Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values

LEGENDS ABOUT THE SHOOR ( Shoor is a kind of longitudinal flute, made of wood or dried hollow inside plant stem)

Shoor (Шоор)

It is a wind instrument. It is a kind of longitudinal flute, made of wood or dried hollow inside plant stem. Length is not less than 50-60 cm in diameter at the base of 1.5-2 cm. It is open on both sides. The wider end of the tube is pressed at the right half of the mouth to the upper teeth. Whistling sound is obtained by blowing air. Periodically closing and opening the outlet, as well as changing the air pressure, a performer receives sounds of basic overtone of the main tone. Shoor sounds softly, iridescently. The modus doesn’t have the certain height and depends on the length of the instrument.


In one of legends of the hunters of the Todzhu region, it is told how one hunter, after severel days of fruitless hunting, made himself a shoor in the evening and, after eating, played upon on it long, sad melodies. Late at night the hunter suddenly heard a voice coming from the shoor, distinctly saying : “Tomorow you will catch a big wild animal that is blind in one eye.” The hunter, afraid, leapt up and looked around. There was nothing but the embers of the fire next to him and the night sound of the taiga around him. The hunter decided he was hallucinating and lay down to sleep. Waking early in the morning he went first to check his traps, snares, and self-firing crossbows. Once again they were empty. However, at the very farthest crossbows there lay a big elk stag. When the hunter began to clean it, he saw that animal was missing one eye. The animal probably at some point had its eye poked out by some branch or lost it in fight with another stag.

In a different legend of the hunters of the Chöön-Khemchik region it is told how two hunters were hunting at one camp. One of them was having great luck, and the other was having none. One evening, the luckless hunter made himself a shoor and, sitting by the fire, began to play it. The other hunter was one of the people the Tuvans call karang körnür,i.e. he had the ability to see inhabitants of the spirit world which is not given to every mortal. ( Tuvans consider that this kind of ability is not exclusive to lamas and shamans.) This hunter could see spirit-mistress of the taiga sitting upon the nose of the other, listening to his music with pleasure. Then, dozing off, she slipped off his nose, down the shoor and onto the ground. This was so amusing that hunter couldn’t contain himself and burst out laughing, telling the other hunter why he was laughing. They say that from then on the mistress of the taiga was insulted and this hunter never had luck in the hunt again.

Konstantin Khlynov

Listen Shoor by Radik Tyulyush


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