Musical Instruments

Many musical instruments traditionally used in Kalmykia are also common among other nomadic peoples in Central Asia. Having many variations, the shape of these musical instruments has been influenced by the history, lifestyles, geography, and religion of the relevant nomadic tribes. Materials used in the making of musical instruments are both of animal and plant origin, including skin, wood, as well as various stones, shells, and metals.

Kalmyk musical instruments can be divided into religious and folk instruments. The former were used during religious festivals and dances, whereas the latter at various occasions, including weddings, concerts, competitions or simply for private entertainment.

Due to dramatic changes such as those in political and social institutions following the Socialist Revolution in 1917, the exile of the whole Kalmyk population to Siberia from 1943 to 1957, and modernity, which all have had an eroding effect on traditional Kalmyk institutions at large, many traditional musical instruments as well as accompanying melodies have disappeared from the Kalmyk national repertoire.

On this page you can watch and listen to various musical instruments and listen to stories, legends, and myths about them.

Video Collections