Tuvan music and World Music

Novye Issledovaniâ Tuvy. 2017;0(2) DOI 10.25178/nit.2017.2.5


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Journal Title: Novye Issledovaniâ Tuvy

ISSN: 2079-8482 (Online)

Publisher: Novye Issledovaniâ Tuvy

LCC Subject Category: Social Sciences: Communities. Classes. Races

Country of publisher: Russian Federation

Language of fulltext: Russian

Full-text formats available: PDF



Maxim V. Chaposhnikov (Независимый автор)


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 18 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

The essay presents the author’s observations about the ingression of Tuvan music into the World Music – a niche of world musical culture covering ethnical music traditions. The author has witnessed the rise of interest to traditional musical culture of Tuva and Russia as well as globalization of Tuvan music. He is endeavoring to interpret these changes and reveal their affect on traditional music and xöömei. In the late Soviet period, traditional music in Tuva, like in many republics of the Union, has been as if put on hold. During the Perestroika and national revival processes, traditionalism became of high demand. Symposia and festivals started off in Tuva where amateur participants took the same stage with professionals. Special honor was paid to old masters of xöömei. Scholars started engaging in  discussions about the origins and a role of xöömei and its genres. Хöömei attracted a good deal of market interest from outside Russia. In the late 1980s American scientist and producer T. Levin made first field records of xöömei to be released on a disk. Ethnographic ensemble “Tuva” was established. Later, members of “Tuva” started their own musical bands. Musical programs were compiled as an ethnographic variety show – a principle that the public has been seeking for both in Tuva and abroad. Disks were realeased and artists started active touring in foreign countries. Boosting interest in World Music was marked with hallmark attention to the phenomenon of throat-singing and overtone music, and further evolution of Tuvan music has since been tightly linked to Western musical market. The author traces the peculiarities of such bands as “Huun Huur Tu”, “Yat-Kha”, etc. and remarks that the value of Tuvan music is not only in star performers shining on the Western skies, but in the rise of a stable community of people inspired by Tuvan music and culture, and seeking new ways of aesthetic and spiritual perception of the world. Tuva now has its rock, as well as avant-garde, women bands, etc. Throat-singing became a popular type of vocal arts. Tuvan music attracts hundreds of thousands of fans around the world. Circulation of media, especially with Tuvan music, allowed musicians of Sayan-Altai region and Central Asia to rediscover many of their own genres. Thus, Tuvan music burst into the world like a Mongol invasion in early 1990s. Global success of Tuvan music on the world music market is obvious. But the process of normalization of Tuvan music perception by the outer world is inevitable.  This article has audio files attached (please, see "Supplementary files" in "Article tools").