Well not really. It already existed before I came around, and its cultural roots long before that. But first: there are two Mongolias. The country Mongolia has a population of just 3.5 million. Inner Mongolia (内蒙古) is an Autonomous Region of China, with a population of 25 million. Mongolia once dominated China.
That’s a Persian painting of Genghis Khan in 1213-14. We’ve all heard of him, but most of us know very little about him, despite his creating one of the most extensive world empires ever. The Mongolian rock group The Hu certainly remember him. 5,156,745 views — premiered Aug 23, 2019! (The band is from non-Chinese Mongolia. Look again at the population! They tour a lot, in fact were stuck in Sydney because of the pandemic.)
That is one impressive song and video!
In Chinese Mongolia one finds Hang Gai:
Also impressive. YouTube, by the way, warns us that CCTV-3 is “funded in whole or in part by the Chinese government.” Um, I suspect I kind of knew that, but it was the music I was interested in.
Another artist of Chinese Mongolian origin is Tengger. This video is part of a competition, Singer 2018, which an English woman ended up winning. And this brings me to how I ended up watching all this.
Yesterday I posted on Facebook:
When you see comments like these — “One of the greatest artists alive and to have ever lived!” and “Appreciation and respect from USA. What a great singer!” — you sit up and take notice. Immediately I see the horse-head fiddle and know this is Mongolian, but in this case Inner Mongolia — that is in China. He [Tengger] really is AMAZING!
(The video below is the song that attracted those comments.)
And this is how I encountered Mongolian music just over a week ago, thanks to Michael Xu who posted some items from the modern Chinese music shows that appear on CCTV-3. (Trump never watches them. Xu Jinping probably does….) Then it just took YouTube’s algorithms to steer me to such as The Hu (Mongolian) and Hanggai (Chinese Mongolian), after which I told Chris Turner who was hooked, and yesterday Colin and Adam at Diggers. Overnight an ex-SBHS student said very nice things about one of my postings: “I doubt I would have ever come across that in any other way, as I have no connection to that culture or history and live in the philistine island oasis that is Australia.”
Now go back to 2011 and the London Proms: