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János Sipos


From the Two Ends of the Steppe



English translation by Judit Pokoly

Audio and video by János Sipos

Edited by István Berán

Photos by Éva Csáki, Dávid Somfai Kara and János Sipos

The expeditions were supported by the
Stein–Arnold Exploration Fund of the British Academy

The writing and publishing of the book was supported by
the Research Support Scheme of the OSS and
the Hungarian National Scientific Research Fund program No T 029037 and
P 33706.

The CD was prepared by the help of the Pro Renovanda Cultura Hungariae.

ISBN 963 05 7754 2

Published by Akadémiai Kiadó

P. O. Box 245, H-1519 Budapest, Hungary


© Sipos János, 2000

The e-book was sponsored by the OTKA-NKFI 115405

© BTK Institute for Musicology 2020

© János Sipos 2020


DOI: 10.23714/nzntk.ebook.SJ03-en

ISBN: 978-615-5167-31-7

Editor: Éva Csáki

Technical preparation: Adrienn Ádám

Programming: Zsolt Kemecsei

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In memory of my father

"The loud-speaker was still blaring forth
the hard word-dumplings of the ceremony,
when at the side of the tent quietly an old-old song
was begun by three Kazakhs, and a Turkmen and an Uighur...
We recognized each other by a single embrace,
And they all knew which way was Hungary."

Gyula Sipos, Kazakh fair.
In: Védőbeszéd [Apologia], Budapest, 1984



Hungarian ethnomusicological researches among Turkic peoples
      Béla Bartók's collection in Anatolia in 1936
      My collection in Anatolia in 1987-1993
      Extending the research to Kazakh folk music

A short history of the Kazakh people

Description of the collecting trips
      Collecting trip to Mangkïstaw in southwest Kazakhstan
      Collecting among the Kazakhs of Bayan Ölgiy in Mongolia*
      Collecting in a Mongolian Kazakh mining village: Nalayh**

Types of the southwestern Kazakh tunes
      Kazakh epic songs, the 'terme' types
      Lament style
      The 'psalmodic' style
      Small-gamut songs with ascending first line
      'Melodious' tunes of a larger compass
      Unique but apparently authentic tunes
      Tunes of other nations

Types of Mongolian Kazakh tunes
      Descending first lines – laments
      'Melodious' first lines
      First lines hopping on a tri- or tetrachord
      Unique tunes
      Fourth and fifth shifting

Comparing the music of the two Kazakh areas
      General musical features
      Lament tunes
      'Melodious' melody progressions
      Recitative, oscillating melody progression
      Other lines moving along a tri- or tetrachord


      Folksongs from Mangkïstaw (№ 1a – № 37)
      Mongolian Kazakh folksongs (B№ 1a – B№ 13)

About the transcription of Kazakh texts*

Kazakh song-texts and their English translation*
      Texts of the examples
      Texts of the songs collected in Mangkïstaw
      Texts of the songs collected in Bayan Ölgiy and Nalayh

      Classification of melodic forms
      Classification according to the number of syllables
      Compass of tunes
      Classification of songs by the last tune of the line
      Informants and places



Chapters with one asterisk were compiled by Dávid Somfai Kara, chapters with two asterisks were compiled by Éva Csáki.
All remaining work in the book was done and the CD was prepared by János Sipos.


What business does a Hungarian ethnomusicologist have in the Kazakh steppe? Let us remember a beautiful wording by Bence Szabolcsi: Hungarians are the outermost branch leaning this way from age-old tree of the great Asian musical culture rooted in the souls of a variety of peoples living from China through Central Asia to the Black Sea. 1

While the languages of different Turkic peoples have been subjected to thorough comparative analyses, only the first few steps have been taken in the comparative research of their musics. In the multitude of arising questions, it is highly intriguing to explore whether traces of old Turkic musical styles can still be detected in contemporary Turkic folk musics. One of the main questions appealing to Hungarians is to see how Turkic folk music styles relate to layers of Hungarian folk music.

One might also wonder why collect personally instead of studying the books on folk music. First, because there are no comprehensive monographs of individual Turkic ethnicities, and second, it is highly accidental which tunes are included in the existing publications. The latter usually include no information about the popularity, spread, variants, provenience, or users of the published tunes, whether they were collected from learned city-dwellers or an old lady living at the edge of tiny village, and so on. Most importantly, they offer no possibility to look deeper into tune types and musical strata that might kindle our interest.

Nor is it rare that local collectors have preference for more complicated tunes which they deem more advanced. It was a serious problem in Turkey, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan that my local escorts almost prohibited the collecting of simple tunes. They were ashamed of them and wanted to present larger forms, as performed by professionals if possible. I remember the anxiety of our Kazakh attendant when he saw us recording such simple tunes, from untrained peasants or – horribile dictu! from nomads during our last trip to southwest Kazakhstan. He was worried what people would think about such "primitive" songs in faraway countries.

Another reason for collecting in person is the reduction of folk music publications to a single variant per tune, whereas without a knowledge of the tune variants, no deep musical analysis can be conducted. Field work also gives further help for the systematization of the tunes. It often happens that several people sing at a site, taking turns. A heard tune may retrieve from the memory another tune that sounds different at first hearing but has several ties with the former. This in turn may largely contribute to exploring melody contacts that derive from the specific culture of the given singing community. In this way, theory creation by the desk may be replaced by the more noble act of demonstrating real connections within the given musical material.

The Kazakh collections were part of a more comprehensive project. As is known, the Chuvash, Tatar, Bashkir, Kazakh, Turkmen, Azeri and Anatolian Turkish people (listing the great ethnic units from north to south) live in the western part of the immense Turkic language bloc.2

There have been Hungarian attempts to explore the music of the Turkic peoples living on this vast crescent. In the northern area László Vikár collected a significant material of Chuvash, Tatar and Bashkir tunes, and discovered a musical style that is very similar to the Hungarian pentatonic fifth shifting style along the Cheremiss and Chuvash border.

Down in the south, Béla Bartók's collection in Turkey in 1936, aimed at the comparative exploration of Anatolian folk music, launched the work, joined in 1987-93 by my Anatolian collection. It turned out that although the fifth shifting style is missing in Anatolia, there are strong similarities in the psalmodic and lament styles of Hungarian and Anatolian folk music. The Azeris and Turkmens linguistically relatively close to Anatolian Turks and speaking a Turkic language of the Oguz group live between the Volga region and Anatolia, which is also the home of the Kazakhs and Tatars speaking a Kipchak-Turkic tongue.

We have succeeded in conducting several field researches among Kazakhs with support from the British Royal Academy's Stein-Arnold Fund as well as the Soros Foundation. As a result, we have gained an insight into the music of Mongolian Kazakhs and other Kazakh people who moved to Turkmenistan and then moved back to southwest Kazakhstan in recent decades.

This volume is to afford a glimpse of the folk music of two Kazakh ethnic groups living some 3000 km apart. Besides presenting the material systematized and proportionately with the characteristics, we also try to give a comparison between the musics of the two groups. Whenever possible, analogies or contacts with the musical styles of other Turkic peoples living elsewhere and with the Hungarians are also pointed out.

Hungarian ethnomusicological researches among Turkic peoples

Several Hungarian scholars searched for traces of the origin of the Hungarians in the east. Let it suffice to list Alexander Csoma de Körös, Antal Reguly, Ármin Vámbéry, Miklós Leitner, Gábor Bálint, Béla Széchenyi, Lajos Lóczy, Jenő Zichy, György Almásy and Aurél Stein. Since the culture of the Hungarians settling in the Carpathian Basin displayed strong Turkic influences, it is quite justified to presume that Hungarian folk music also incorporated significant Turkic effects or layers. It is no wonder that researching the eastern elements in Hungarian folk music has great traditions. At the very beginning of this process such great names can be encountered as those of Béla Bartók and Zoltán Kodály.

Very little is known for sure about the dances or songs of the Hungarians entering the Carpathian Basin. No written record survives. Historical researches may help create grounds for hypotheses, and literature might have a few allusions, but these are too meagre to draw essential musical information or notated music from. The only source we have to fall back upon is living folk music and the old music collections, which are of course quite new in a historical sense. Systematic and cautious comparison of tunes may help date some styles, but not individual tunes. It is by the nature of the thing impossible to declare that items of a musical style deemed a thousand years old were identical with their contemporary form, but wherever possible, we compared old (300-400-year-old) notes with contemporary folk music data and have found remarkable conservation of tradition in the essential features.3

In an optimal case, the folk musics of all the peoples in the world would be lined on our shelves in systematized publications. We could attempt to plot the musical map of the world then in which the overlapping seas and the islands of folk musics could be demonstrated suggestively. It would reveal the extent of the spread of a tune type or style, their national or supranational, locally bound or generally prevalent character. That is, however, only a dream.

At the same time, we have a relatively clear picture of the Hungarian folk music, its main types and styles, even if there might be some controversy among scholars on minor issues. It is therefore known the correspondents of what kind of musical forms are to be searched for in other people's folk music. 4 Comparison with other folk musics began over ninety years ago, with the comprehensive conception of a great scholar.

Just a few months after having begun the systematic collection and study of Hungarian folksongs in 1906 Béla Bartók started to explore the Slovak, and later the Romanian musical traditions in the Carpathian Basin.5 He was convinced that only in the thorough knowledge of the folk music of neighbouring peoples could it be established what was specifically Hungarian, what was common or different in the traditions of different ethnic groups.

He went on with this work of signal importance until the Trianon Peace Treaty, which put an end to collecting in areas disannexed from Hungary. After 1918 he practically carried out no field-work in areas populated by Hungarians. He recorded some six thousand Hungarian tunes, transcribing both their music and text; he wrote his fundamental book The Hungarian Folksong, created the Universal Collection and used some of the collected tunes in his compositions.

At the same time, he showed keen interest in the music of more distant but related and other ethnicities. In 1913 he went to North Africa, to the oases around Biskra to study the music of the Arabs there, and later in 1932 he travelled to Cairo. In 1919 he collected Carpatho-Ukrainian folksongs in Upper Hungary, in 1929 he had a concert tour in the Soviet Union where he visited the archive of phonogrammes in Leningrad. In 1924 he published three Cheremiss folksongs whose fifth shifting pentatonic style he compared with Hungarian folksongs. 6 In the postscript of his comparative study of 1934 he declared: "There is unquestionable connection between the Hungarian pentatonic material and the Cheremiss material." 7 He ascribed such a great importance to the latter material that he began to learn Russian and was planning to collect among the Cheremisses along theVolga. Although after the Trianon Peace he stopped collecting folksongs, this theme preoccupied him later on as well and even wanted to extend the area of research towards the Turkic peoples.

As he put it, "...when we got down to this work, the impression overpowered us that... the origin of the pentatonic style was Asia, suggesting the northern Turkic peoples... Apart from Hungarian tunes which are variants of Cheremiss tunes, we have found Hungarian melodies that were versions of northern Turkic tunes from around Kazan. Lately I received Mahmud Ragib Kösemihal's book entitled 'Questions of the tonal peculiarities of Turkish folk music' in which I have found a few such melodies... Obviously, all tunes like this derive from a single common source, and this source is the mainstream of old north Turkic culture." 8 Or, as he put it even more succinctly later: "I first searched for Finno-Ugrian – Turkic similarities somewhere around the peoples living by the Volga and then, starting from there, in the direction of Turkey." 9

Bartók collected in Turkey in 1936. About the collected material he concluded that some 43% showed startling relations with the old Hungarian tunes.10

There came a long break in collecting with an aim to get to know the prehistory of Hungarian music, giving way to the writing of momentous theoretical studies, among which most salient were the achievements of Bence Szabolcsi. Szabolcsi's goal was to explore broad connections on the basis of the study of immense musical materials. The examples he picked for demonstration still inspire ethnomusicological research today. He drew thought provoking analogies between Finnish and Hungarian regös songs; among Ostyak bear songs, Chinese laments and Hungarian laments; as well as among Hungarian, Cheremiss, Chuvash, Kalmuk, Mongol and Chinese tunes. 11 He said that Central Asian pentatony was a peculiar variant of pentatony characteristic of great ancient cultures whose five-note scale had fifth shifting as a concomittant structural feature or the repetition of melody lines at lower pitches, with the addition of certain rhythmic and ornamental specificities. It is typical of the impressiveness of his examples that the north Chinese tune he picked was indeed a central tune of a fifth shifting style I discovered it in the area of Dzō-Uda in Inner Mongolia in a quantity sufficient to constitute a distinct style. 12

In the POW camps of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy the Austrian musicologist Robert Lach collected songs from soldiers of Finno-Ugrian and Turkic tongues. 13 Around that time, a village teacher returning from war captivity brought home the folk song collection of Vassilev, the great scholar of the Cheremiss people, published in 1920. On the basis of these and other publications obtained, Kodály outlined the fifth shifting melody structure of the Cheremisses. 14 From then on, up to László Vikár's and Gábor Bereczki's field study in the Volga Region, Hungarian musicology has deemed the genetic Finno-Ugrian and Hungarian musical relationship unquestionable. 15

Studying the music of the East on location could begin when upon Zoltán Kodály's intervention, an agreement between the Soviet and Hungarian Academies of Sciences provided for the possibility of two Hungarian researchers going to the Central Volga Region biannually. Upon Zoltán Kodály's request, the musicologist was László Vikár who was joined by Gábor Bereczki, a Finno-Ugrian linguist. They collected among Finno-Ugrian and Turkic ethnic groups living in the area between 1958 and 1979 and published some of the four thousand tunes or so they recorded. 16 The inestimable value of their work is providing reliable information about the folk music layers in a vast area populated by many nations.

It is László Vikár's observation that in the Volga-Kama region the Turkic and Finno-Ugrian layers can hardly be differentiated, and common tunes are frequent ranging from highly compex to the simplest ones. The diatonic, many-part music of the Russians, on the other side, is sharply distinguished from the monophonic, mainly pentatonic music of the others. As another general tendency, László Vikár points out that the music of the Turks has influenced the music of the Finno-Ugrians for centuries, while conversely the tendency cannot be demonstrated. Collecting work has revealed that a fifth shifting style resembling a Hungarian folk music stratum can only be found in a small area some 60-80 km in diameter, among both ethnicities. On the basis of personal impressions, László Vikár doubts, contrarily to Zoltán Kodály and later Lajos Vargyas, that this fifth shifting style would have genetic relationship with the Hungarian fifth shifting tunes.

The collection and collation of the folk music of the Volga Region and the Hungarians can be deemed completed, though the conclusions are not all perfectly unambiguous. The other important ethnomusical collection by Hungarians took place in Turkey. It was Béla Bartók's mentioned collection in Anatolia.

Béla Bartók's collection in Anatolia in 1936

In 1936, Bartók was invited by the Ankara organization of the Halkevi "Folk Centres" upon the recommendation of Dr. László Rásonyi, the professor of Ankara University, to hold lectures in Ankara, have concerts with the Ankara Orchestra and carry on ethnomusicological research work in an appropriately chosen Turkish village.

As Bartók wrote, "I very gladly accepted the invitation as had long desired to investigate Turkish folk music at first hand, and especially, to find out if there were any relations between Old Hungarian and Old Turkish folk music. To get an answer to this question become more and more imperative since a comparison between Old Hungarian folk music on the one hand and the folk music of the Cheremiss (Mari) people and of the Turko-Tatar inhabitants of the Kazan area in Russia on the other hand, resulted in the establishment of a definitive relationship between the folk music of these various people. It seems highly important to know whether the Turkish folk music contains a similar stock of melodies, for this would suggest the possibility of far reaching conclusions." 17

They had little time – ten daysfor research. Upon Rásonyi's advice, they chose a place around Osmaniye near the southern seashore some sixty-seventy miles from Adana. It was one of the winter abodes of the nomadic Turkmen Yürük tribes. The hypothesis was that people who had preserved their ancient migrating way of life also adhered more closely to their old musical stock than sedentary populations.

Bartók systematized the collected tunes, creating tune types, ascribing signal importance to the first two amounting to some 43% of the collection. After describing the Turkic octosyllabic parlando isometric tunes, he wrote: "If we compare these characteristics with those of the Old-Hungarian melodies with 8-syllabic sections, we will see that they are literally identical." 18 As for differences, he named the rarity of the VIIth degree19 in Turkish tunes, the slacker use of pentatony and the lack of the fifth shift.

He attached as a twin class the group of 11-syllabic isometric parlando tunes to that of the 8-syllabic ones. He also deemed the tunes of a smaller tonal range similar to the corresponding Hungarian melodies. Finally, he called attention to tunes in dotted rhythm, with the remark that "We do not know precisely if 'dotted' rhythm occurs elsewhere. Therefore, this common feature in the Hungarian and Turkish material, however striking the similarity may be, cannot be taken as a convincing proof of the common origin of these rhythms." 20

"The melodies representing the remaining Classes are so few that no type description of them can be given, and no conclusions can be drawn," Bartók concluded. 21

My collection in Anatolia in 1987-1993

For me, the most intriguing question raised by Bartók's Anatolian collection was to ascertain whether a more ample material would certify further closely related Turkish and Hungarian folk music tune types, classes and styles, and also, whether the discovered connections could be verified or disproved.

My research began in 1987 when I and my wife Éva Csáki arrived in Turkey to teach Hungarian at Ankara University and laster until early 1993. Over the six years there, I recorded and transcribed a total of 1400 tunes from 233 informants at 85 places. To complement my collection, I have elaborated a reference material of some 3000 tunes from nearly all over Turkey.

This enormous material enabled me to extend, and at places modify, Bartók's comparative analyses of Hungarian and Turkish folk tunes and texts. It has turned out that the Anatolian tunes resembling Hungarian psalmodic melodies were spread not only in the southeast of Turkey but nearly everywhere in Anatolia, in style-defining multitude, too.

It has also been revealed that the tunes in Anatolian lament style are strongly similar to the general small form of the Hungarian laments, which questions the assumption that the Hungarian lament style could only be interpreted as a 'Ugrian stratum'. The structurally simple tunes of children's games can be found with many ethnic groups, yet some informative conclusions could be drawn from the basic similarities – and typical differences – of this Hungarian and Anatolian tune style. Finally, it has also been proven that the pentatonic fifth shifting style is non-existent in Anatolia. 22

Figure 1 Map showing the places Hungarian musicologists collected at Turkic folk music

Extending the research to Kazakh folk music

Let us first reiterate some questions raised in the preface: Are there common layers in the folk tunes and texts of different Turkic peoples? Are there connections between certain Turkic and Hungarian folk music strata, and if there are, what can they be attributed to? The Kazakh research has made a step forward in answering these questions.

With this investigation, research shifted towards Central Asia on the one hand, and on the other, it has reinforced the ground to conduct a broad areal comparative research by studying the folk music of Kazakhs living between the relatively well explored Volga-Kama region and Anatolia. What is more, the Kazakhs deserve special attention in their relationship to Hungarians because a part of the Comans settled in Hungary after 1239 while many of those who remained in Asia took part in the ethnogenesis of the Kazakhs mixed with Turkic and Mongol ethnic groups. In the Middle Ages, Comans moved to Hungary in several waves from the territory of the Golden Horde. Researches have rendered it quite probable that the customs and language of the settled Comans were prevalent until the early 17th century when Magyarization gained momentum. 23

The first step in my Kazakh research was to travel to Almaty in the summer of 1995 to a conference in commemoration of Abay Kunanbaev, the great poet of the Kazakhs. I only conducted limited collecting work then in the that-time capital and acquired some basic books on Kazakh folk music. In 1997, I and Dávid Somfai Kara organized a major collecting trip to Mangkïstaw in southwest Kazakhstan. In the same year, my wife Éva Csáki and Dávid Somfai Kara did some collecting among Mongolian Kazakhs in Nalayh near Ulan Bator. I have also made use of Dávid Somfai Kara and Kïyanatulï Babakumar's collection made among Kazakhs in west Mongolian Bayan Ölgiy county in 1996. The basis for the present book's analysis of music and text is constituted by these three collections on the spot.

A short history of the Kazakh people

In the 9th-7th centuries BC, Sarmatian tribes populated the area of today's Kazakhstan, giving way in the 7th-4th centuries BC to east-Iranian tribes. The first wave of the Huns' advance to the territory of Kazakhstan was in 47 BC, and the second wave in the first century AD. Their proliferation lasted nearly three centuries. From 552-554 the area was part of the Turkic Kaganate, a nomadic state. The Turkic tribes themselves had brought along strong Mongol elements that were reinforced by the Kara Kitay and later the Tatar invasion. By the 13th century, the basic elements – Iranian, Turkic and Mongol – were in place to produce the Kazakhs.

The word kazak can be first documented in the Turkic language in the 14th century in the meaning 'independent, vagabond'. It became the name of a political unit and later an ethnic designation by having been applied in the former meanings to those groups of the Özbek tribal confederacy that had abandoned the Khan Abul Khayr and migrated to the north-east steppes of Turkistan.

The emergence of the Kazakh people and language took place in the 15th-16th centuries with the fusion of several other Turkic and Tatar tribes, including the Nogays. The three tribal confederacies – the Ulu Jüz 'Great Horde' in east and southeast Kazakhstan, the Orta Jüz 'Middle Horde' in Central Kazakhstan and the Kiši Jüz 'Little Horde' in west Kazakhstan – came into existence at that time.

The struggles with the Kalmuks in the 17th century forced the three Kazakh hordes to make an approach to Russia and to accept the Russian supremacy. For Russia, Kazakhstan was a key area since their further expansion could take place through the Gate of Central Asia. With the help of vigorous Russianization and forced conversion to Orthodox Christianity, the Russians subjugated the Kazakhs more and more. Several revolts broke out against Tsarist Russia and later the Soviet Union, but the Kazakhs, often torn by inner strife and fighting with primitive weapons, had no real chance in the teeth of the numerically superior colonialists. Russian became the official language, Islam was prosecuted, the jamis were closed down. Kazakh did not become the official language before 1988. As a result, about half the Kazakhs do not speak the language of their forefathers well.

The census of 1989 revealed that 18 million people lived in Kazakhstan, 8.3 million of them Kazakhs, 6.4 million Russians, 1 million Ukrainians as well as 2.3 million others, including Germans, White Russians, Coreans, Poles, Moldavians, Jews, Tatars, Özbeks, Uygurs, Azeris, Chuvashes and Bashkirs. Thus, the Kazakhs are a minority in their own country. One of the main reasons for this is that the vacancy left by millions of Kazakhs who fled forced agricultural collectivization was filled by other nationalities, mainly Russians.

Considerable Kazakh minorities can be found in the northern regions of the Chinese province Xinjiang (more than one million), in the Russian Federation and Uzbegistan. Smaller minorities live in western Mongolia (100,000) and Turkmenistan (80,000).

This book is concerned about the music of the latter two minorities. There are reports about a rapid process of shift to Russian among Kazakhs, meaning that the progress of regression of the Kazakh language and culture has not yet come to an end. That is why it appeared expedient to study the music of minority Kazakhs, for minority existence normally strengthens the drives to preserve one's identity.

Picture 1 Collectors in the Kazakh steppe (Mangkïstaw): János Sipos and Dávid Somfai Kara

Description of the collecting trips

After this brief summary of the history of the Kazakhs, let us now present the travel notes of János Sipos about his collection in Mangkïstaw in 1997, followed by Éva Csáki's and Dávid Somfai's travel accounts.

Collecting trip to Mangkïstaw in southwest Kazakhstan

I learnt the Anatolian Turkish language belonging to the Oguz group of Turkic tongues during the six years I spent in Turkey, but I only knew Kazakh from books. I therefore not only took an escort with me who had a perfect command of the language but also tried to learn it myself. To be able to conduct effective collection, one must at least understand the point of conversation so as to direct the research in the required channel. And for the transcription and analysis of the musical recordings, it is a great advantage, if not an imperative prerequisite, to speak the given language as well as possible.

The area we visited in the autumn of 1997 is in southwest Kazakhstan, north of Turkmenistan, between the Caspian sea and Lake Aral. The Hungarian Turcologist admittedly of Coman origin, István Mándoky Kongur pointed it out to us that it was here, around Mangkïstaw that the traditional nomadic culture was preserved most faithfully in Kazakhstan.

The most often suggested etymology of the name is from Turkish miŋ kïšlak 'the thousand winter quarters'; another one derives the name from Turkish maŋ 'four-year-old sheep', so that Mangkïstaw is, presumably, 'sheep's winter quarters'. The Kazakh name of the area is Mangkïstaw, therefore this designation is used below. This area the size of one and a half Hungary is peopled by the largest tribe of the Kiši Jüz or 'Little horde', the Adays.

At the beginning, the peninsula was inhabited by Oguz tribes. According to the Turkmen tradition, in the middle of the 14th century Mangkïstaw belonged to the Golden Horde. After the Mongol conquest for several centuries the Karakum desert and Mangkïstaw remained one of the main regions inhabited by the Turkmens, who came under the rule of the Uzbek sultans in the early 16th century, regaining their independence in the 17th.

Via Mangkïstaw, there ran a trade route from the Volga basin to Khwarazm. Goods were unloaded in the Kabaklï landing-place on the Buzacï peninsula and taken to Khwarazm by caravans through the plateau of Üst-Yurt. Mangkïstaw also served as the starting point of the sea-route to Shirwan in the late 16th and early 17th centuries used by Central Asian merchants and pilgrims to Mecca wishing to avoid travelling through Shii Iran.

In the 16th century, the Nogay raids forced a part of the Turkmens to leave Mangkïstaw. Another cause of emigration was, apparently, the growing desiccation of the steppe which began at the same time. Later in the 17th century, the Kalmuk pressure had the same effect. A part of the Turkmen tribes moved off voluntarily or were deported by the Mongols. There were some that drew off to the Volga Basin from where they moved to the Caucasus, while others fled towards Khwarazm. Mangkïstaw was finally abandoned by the Turkmens only in the 1840s, but a small section of the Chawdor has continued to dwell near the Caspian shore till the present time. During our expedition, we managed to collect tunes from a few Turkmen families who stayed there.

In Mangkïstaw, the Turkmens were replaced by the Kazakhs in the mid-18th century. These Kazakhs belonged to the Aday clan of the Bayulï tribe (of the Little Horde). For the Aday, Mangkïstaw was the region of their winter pasture, their summer pastures being about 600 miles from there to the north. In 1834, the Russians founded a fortress in Mangkïstaw, preparing the Russian onslaughts against the Khanate of Khiwa. However, neither could overcome the other and both sides tried to use the Aday Kazakhs against one another. The Russian Empire only managed to incorporate Mangkïstaw as late as after 1873. After the Russian conquest of Turkmenia in 1881, this district was integrated in the newly-organized Transcaspian region. After the revolution of 1917, Mangkïstaw, except for its southernmost part around the Kara-Bogaz Bay, was separated from the land of the Turkmens and included in the republic of Kazakhstan.

Picture 2 Kazak girl with a young camel (Mangkïstaw)
- Yurt, - Nomadic accomodation, camel milking

Since 1973, it has formed a separate Mangkïstaw region (oblast') of Kazakhstan, including also a part of the Üst-Yurt plateau, with an area of 100,000 square miles and its centre at Shevchenko (built only in the 1960s; until 1964 Aktaw). The population of the oblast' was 256,000 in 1978, of which the population of Shevchenko was almost a half (110,000 in 1979); 92% of the inhabitants of the oblast' live in cities. It is worth knowing that the present economic and strategic importance of Mangkïstaw is determined by its mineral riches, especially petroleum and natural gas as well as uranium.

Our plane landed at 9.30 pm local time in the town of Atïraw, or Guriev in Russian, on September 13, 1997. As was previously arranged, Mister Maksim came to meet us and he took us to a friend to dinner. I began to feel like in Turkey when the meal served on the ground was sat around cross-legged and everyone took from the common dish with their hands. In towns, of course, eating with hands is only preserved for welcoming an honorary guest and treating him to a meat dish, while in rural areas it is still prevalent. After dinner, we got into a car and rode some 400 km southeast, to Kulsarï. We overnighted there and covered another 800 km southwards the next day.

We arrived in the centre of Mangkïstaw, Aktaw, at noon. The town, which has a renown for attractiveness in Kazakhstan, is practically a housing estate of 4-5-storey high blocks – that is, it is exactly like so many recently built Soviet town. It adds some colour to the drab picture that at dawn a herd of horses may pass the town and you may come across yurts here and there. True, the latter are only put up for funeral feasts. A pleasant perspective is lent to the town by the picturesque shore of the Caspian sea.

First of all, we needed a local guide, so we went to the mayor's office and from there to the local Culture Centre. The leader of the Centre, Mr Nurniyaz got two professional singers, Izbasar and Amandïk, and entrusted us to their care. Amandïk immediately offered to sing the twenty folksongs or so to be found in the region, claiming that it was useless to roam about. We, of course, insisted on collecting on the spot.

- Kazakh village

Aktaw became our headquarters, from where we made expeditions to neighbouring small settlements and yurt camps of the nomads. Although we had been adviced that in Kazakhstan criminality was high, drug addicts were galore and we would be glad to escape with life and limb, we did not notice anything of that in the small villages.

Our local guide, Mister Amandïk Kömekov or Kömekulï in Kazakh and his family saw to our accomodations, meals and transportation for some remuneration. Amandik drove us in his car and lent us immense help in getting people to sing. The latter is a hard job indeed. To collect songs, especially from women, is some of the hardest folklore collecting work. At the same time, natives seem to be more bent to sing to strangers than to local people since the stranger will leave and he is not bound by local customs as strictly. Therefore, we worked out the following procedure. In the first days we explained to our guide that we wanted to know simple tunes of simple people, instead of professional programs. Arriving in a village, he informed the inhabitants of our goal, who, in turn, named elderly men and women who still knew the old songs and led us to their places. The potential informant was notified by the villagers of the aim of our coming, and often also asked to sing. When the 'victim' was a woman, my Kazakh attendants usually left and we Hungarians continued collecting, usually with good results.

Traditional folk music appeared to be much demoted in the area and old tunes were only sung by the elderly. Extinction, however, is no direct threat as our observations have proved that the old men and women look after the small children and they often hum and sing to them the old tunes.

We called on the villages of the area, right down to Üst-Yurt of the old caravan routes and also visited Fort Shevchenko. Towards the end of the collecting trip, tunes began to repeat themselves, thus the collection, if not all-inclusive, is hopefully representative. 21 men and 20 women sang to the magnetic tape some 200 songs recorded in twenty villages.

Figure 2 Summary map of collecting in Mangkïstaw
- Terme in the yurt, - Cutting sheep, - The morning in Üst-Yurt,
- Herd, - Drinking through and well, - Herd,
Supple a horse, - János Sipos distributes the meat in the yurt,
- The herd is coming, - Nomadic settlement

Collecting among the Kazakhs of Bayan Ölgiy in Mongolia*

Even beyond the farther, eastern edge of Kazakhstan, in Mongolia and China Kazakhs can also be found. In China's Xinjiang province, for example, there live over one million.

Some 100,000 Kazakhs live in the westernmost aimak or administrative division of the Republic, which is in existence since 1940 as the Bayan Ölgiy aimak. The aimak is also called Hasag aimak, 'that of the Kazakhs'. These Kazakhs of Mongolia are linguistically, culturally and historically closely linked with the Kazakhs of Kazakhstan, but at present only partially acknowledge themselves as Sunni Muslims. The mosque of the Kazakh Muslims in the administrative centre of the aimak, Ölgiy, is now no longer used for religious purposes.

The Turkic people in Bayan Ölgiy – the Kazakhs and Tuvas – stick to their nomadic horse-herding way of life and still live in yurts, which is otherwise not infrequent in Mongolia.

In recent years, a reliable folk music book24 was published in the Kazakh language about the music of the Mongolian Kazakhs, which claims that the area is predominated by a few clearcut and comparatively easily described folk music styles. Dávid Somfai Kara also collected in this area in 1996. I transcribed his tunes and ascertained that their musical analysis also supported the above statement.

A collecting trip in Bayan Ölgiy

Bayan Ölgiy county is the westernmost province of Mongolia.25 The province is traversed by the Altay range. Mongolia's highest peak - Tawan Bogd - is here at 4374 m. The inhabitants of the area are nomads, characterized by nomadic livestock raising and alpine shepherding. In summer people draw upwards to cooler mountain pastures, to the jaylaw or 'summer camp' close to streams and in winter they withdraw to lower lying shelters protected from the winds. Almost completely barren, only some higher mountains show here and there juniper forests. The juniper is a holy tree, having healing power. The largest rivers of the province are the Ölgiy 'crib' and Xowd flowing across the centre of the region.

By the latter half of the 18th century Inner Asia had been divided by two great powers, tsarist Russia and the Manchu Chinese Empire. Mongolia, Djungaria and East Turkestan became Chinese areas. The Kazakhs of the Kipchak Steppe were colonized by the Russians. In the 1770s many of the Orta Jüz tribes refused to surrender to the Russians and moved into Djungaria.

Today, half a million Kazakhs live in the autonomous area of Xinjiang in China, the autonomous Kazakh districts of Ile, Tarbagatay and Altay. Until the 1870s they lived somewhat autonomously, led by their own chosen judges. Later they were drawn under direct governance by the Manchus, and were controlled by the governors appointed by the Manchus. When Outer Mongolia became independent of China as Mongolia in 1921, the Kazakhs who lived there were severed from their brethren in Djungarian. In 1991, after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan became an independent state. Thanks to the democratic changes in Mongolia and Kazakhstan, many Kazakhs resettled in the parent country from Mongolia, most of them young (about 50,000, onethird of the local population). This migration is still going on, the number of Kazakhs here decreasing.

Bayan Ölgiy is Mongolia's only area with national minorities, two thirds of the population being Kazakhs with a few Oiraths of Mongolian tongue and Tuvas who speak a Turkic language. Lamaist Mongolians and Muslim Kazakhs live in peace but do not mix very much. Tuvas are shamanistic and even among Kazakhs one may find bakšïs or 'shamans' who would go into trance.

Hungarian researchers had visited this westernmost corner of Mongolia in the Altay mountains earlier, too. István Mándoky Kongur, the Turcologist who died young, and professor György Kara collected in this area.

I visited the Nogōn-Nūr district of the Bayan Ölgiy province in West Mongolia in July 1996. An ethnographer who was born there, Kïyanatulï Babakumar took me to his native place to collect data about folk poetry and traditional culture at the summer camp of the nomads. Babakumar living in Almaty waited for me in the Kazakh capital and from there a four-hour flight took us to Ölgiy. The airport was the pasture of a flat area, just as in whole Mongolia you can hardly find any tarred roads.

Ölgiy exemplified well the county centres of nomadic administration and culture arising in Mongolia after the emergence of the Soviet power in 1925. People live in houses of wood and mud whiling away the winter here and as weather turns for the better, they move into felt tents. In summer, the settlement becomes almost completely deserted. The nomads move to the summer pastures with their livestock, set up tents and graze their animals there until cold weather returns. Earlier, camels carried the cargo, now trucks slowly replace them.

Picture 3 Landscape with shepherds and yurts (Bayan Ölgiy)

The formalities over, we set out to visit Babakumar’s relatives at the summer camp of the Jantekey clan. The place being in the border zone adjacent to the Altay Republic of the Russian Federation where (in the Koš-Agaš area) another 5,000 Kazakhs live, foreigners need special permits for travelling. We took a jeep for the trip to Nogōn-Nūr district. On the way, Kazakh yurts began to crop up. We crossed a high pass where an owō or ‘holy stone pile’ erected in honour of the spirit of the mountain marked the presence of Mongolians. To the south, the snow-capped Cengel Hairhan could be seen. We descended to the Har-Gowi plain. The jeep took us to Cagān Nūr where the relatives gave us horses and we rode to the tribe’s summer camp. We progressed along a valley uphill. At the top of the gorge the car road led to Russia through the Dörböt pass. Sometimes huge trucks whizz by towards the capital Ulanbator.

A little brook was gurgling in the valley. The felt tents were put up along the stream in small groups. We were first put up in the tent of a horseherding uncle. We saw a traditional stallion gelding. Then pispe batasï ‘gelding blessing’ was said by the ak-sakals ‘white-bearded old men’ and a small feast was held. The Kazakhs here were not much surprised that I spoke their language. They killed a sheep in honour of the guest who came from afar and made an offering to Kambar-Ata, the protective spirit of the horses, praying that the gelded horse might become a good mount. When the food was ready it was served ceremoniously in the evening. I, the guest, got the head. Each part of a sacrificial animal must be divided as custom dictates among the guests.

After the feast many began to sing and collecting could begin. On such occasions they mainly sing kara öleŋs or ‘simple songs’. The texts are widely varied, expressing affection to or longing for the native land or relatives. The first two lines contain images hardly, if at all, related to the message but they often include motifs conveying the mentality or pagan beliefs of the nomads. The actual message is in the second two lines. Such was the song sung by an old woman about the rain-making stone of the nomads. In other songs I found reference to the tree of life. The texts are learnt by way of mouth, sometimes made up by themselves, and all sing them to their favourite tunes.

The ties of the family and clan are very tight among Kazakhs. They keep record of their forefathers back seven generations. The clan or family head is the ata, the rest being all brothers and sisters. Tribal coherence is very strong, therefore the next days the relatives who had come from faraway Almaty made a mounted round tour of all relatives and I joined them.

One of those we visited was a woman whose husband had died. It is a custom among Kazakhs that a woman of the tribe meeting a recently widowed woman must mourn together with her irrespective of the time that has passed since the death. This is called köris ‘meeting’ and the lament is joktaw ‘ to miss’.

The two white-scarved women, when they caught sight of each other, began lamenting loudly. One of them stepped out of the yurt to greet the guests, the other got off her horse, then both descended on one knee in front of each other, lent their heads on the other’s shoulder and lamented with deep emotional involvement for the departed. The heart-rending lamentation was only calmed down by the soothing of the men. The recordings I made were ill suited to make out the text. Later I asked the women to sing the laments to me. After long reluctance, they agreed and although they sang with less emotion, their eyes were still brimming with tears. During the dirge, they lamented for the orphaned children most woefully. The first two lines strike the mood in many laments only, and only the second two are concerned more directly with the event.

Kazakhs bury the dead in the tribal cemetery and hold a feast in honour of the deceased on the 7th day. Laments are also sung then. Lamenting is only done in the day. On the fortieth day there is another feast, the kïrkï. It is also customary to hold a commemorating feast on the hundredth day, when an animal is sacrificed.

The toy ‘feast’ is an important occasion for singing. The neighbourhood gathers for some reason or other, and even Mongolians are invited. The main toy is the wedding when many special songs are sung. During the kïz-uzatuw or ‘bride’s farewell’ the bride takes leave of her parents and relatives, mourns for her childhood as she becomes kelin ‘new-comer’ in her husband’s tribe. This song is the sïnsuw. My informants were mainly old women and men about 70-80, many of whom remembered these songs and performed them to me.

The other popular song is the bet-ašar or ‘unveiling the face’. The new-comer bride has her face veiled and a relative then introduces her to her new relations and gives her good advice. The bride must bow to every relative once. Then her face is unveiled and the women cast presents at her by way of blessing. Bet-ašsar is stil indispensable in a Kazakh wedding ceremony. The veiling of the bride is a Moslem motif, unknown to shamanistic Turkic peoples and Mongolians. What is a general feature is the arrival of the bride on an ornately harnessed horse and her being accompanied by her father. During weddings songs teaching the youth are also sung called ösiyet sözi ‘testament’. I was not lucky to participate in a wedding, since they are mainly held in the autumn when the great summer chores are over.

Figure 3 Summary map of collecting in Bayan Ölgiy and Nalayh

Picture 4 Arrival at the summer pasture, putting up tents (Bayan Ölgiy)
- Yurt

When I was there the summer work was ahead. The mares were being miled and the milk was fomented in leather bags to make the national drink of the Kazakhs, the kumis, or to make dried cheese and other dairy products that could last long. After the shearing of the sheep, the wool is to be processed, felt pressed or ropes spun. The wooden-framed tents are covered with felt and the rugs on the floor they sit on are also of wool.

We also collected lullabies beginning with the word äldiy-äldiy ‘sleep-sleep’. Celebrating the lunar month of Ramadan is a Moslem custom. As the Koran has it, Allah divined the holy scripts to the prophet Mohammed during this time. Moslems fast in this months from sunrise to sunset and eating only begins when the sun is down. Young people walk from tent to tent singing Moslem didactic songs (jarapazan). People give them presents for it.

Last to be mentioned is jïr, the major genre of Kazakh epic poetry. Depending on length and text from two hundred to some ten thousand lines, it can be a long song, legend or even an epic. The most sacred ones are the batïrlïk jïr or ‘heroic epic’ songs. By singing epics, they pay tribute to the spirit of the ancestors whom the ‘bard’ invokes by singing the song in a semi-trance, as it were. In old nomadic societies, the epic was indispensable being almost the only form of public education, acquainting the people with their history as it lived on in their minds. The epics were passed by word of mouth, with the help of the famous jïraw or ‘epic poets’. For nomads the epic is what is the library for literate cultures. An epic consists of four-line unites of 7 or 11 syllabic lines, its monotonous simple tune enhancing the state of trance.

Let me finally express my gratitude to my friend Babakumar who took me along to his native land and relatives, and let me say a word of thanks to his relatives who welcomed me with unmistakable nomadic hospitality.

Picture 5 A 70-year-old Mongolian Kazakh man hunting with an eagle, shown here with the prop that holds the eagle on the back of the horse (Bayan Ölgiy)

Collecting in a Mongolian Kazakh mining village: Nalayh**

It seemed necessary to complement the material collected in Bayan Ölgiy with the music of another Kazakh village in Mongolia. We chose Nalayh. 26

Nalayh is a mining town of mixed Kazakh and Mongol population, southeast of the Mongolian capital nearby. The Kazakhs living here derived from Bayan Ölgiy district some 1500 km away. That time socialist principles required that several hundred Kazakh families be resettled here to join the Mongols – allegedly, they were more hard-working. The wealthier peasants – so-called kulaks – were shifted from Bayan Ölgiy here, but there were some who came of their own will. It was forbidden to settle back but they could visit home. In Mongolia, there were no paved roads and the head of the Muslim community, the molla remembered the times when they set out for a one-week trip across the endless steppe on a motorbike. Another small Kazakh group was transferred to Bugant, some 460 km northeast of Nalayh, where there is a Kazakh colony to this day. Their main occupation is washing gold.

Most Kazakhs of Nalayh have contacts with those who live in the west of Mongolia. Though the youngest generation is bilingual, speaking both Mongolian and Kazakh, most of the five hundred Kazakh families in Nalayh have preserved their Kazakh identity and constitute a separate 'neighbourhood' which is practically a well designated hillside. There are examples of mixing with Mongols, too.

Picture 6 Drinking tea in a yurt (Nalayh)

In recent years, Kazakhstan has admitted repatriating Kazakhs from Mongolia. Although most have no acquaintances there, since the independence of Kazakhstan in 1991, a trend can be noticed of Kazakhs leaving their diaspora countries, especially Mongolia, to settle in Kazakhstan, where they take places left behind by the Russians and Germans leaving the republic.

There is migration within Mongolia as well. The molla's cousin, for example, was from Bugant. There was a single school there, with Russian management, but after the political change, it closed down and the children can now be schooled with immense difficulties.

Nalayh was known for its coal mining, but the mine has recently been shut down and unemployment has risen. Life is hard, the Kazakhs are very poor, but they somehow keep going. Men take care of the women who bear children, cook and embroider the small round cap or ‘kepeš’ adorned with Kazakh motifs, mainly tendrils.

The bus takes you from the capital to Nalayh for a fee of about half a dollar, and there are several buses a day, as we learnt the day we arrived. I and my colleague Dávid Somfai took the 9 o’clock bus the next morning. The ride took about an hour. Mogïxan molla, the leader of the local Kazakh community was born in Bayan Ölgiy as a member of Jantekey clan of the Kerey tribe. As far as he knew, there were Kazakhs at seventeen places in Mongolia, most of the children attending Mongol schools. There are Kazakh families, some sixty in all, who are pursuing a nomadic way of life in the vicinity.

It is the molla’s duty to help them keep the past alive, but in Nalayh his role is not restricted to the Kazakhs. Mongols of Buddhist faith also sought him out for incantations, talismans while we were there. Someone lent some money and tried to get it back with the molla’s intervention. He got a talisman with Arabic script for a try.

The aim of our trip was collecting folk songs, and we recorded folk and religious songs alike for our archive. The first performer, Kenesar (aged 56) sang a part of an epic song accompanied by the dombra. Ibrahim Šotan recited a jarapazan religious song, sung usually before the night meal during the Ramadan. The woman Mäliyke, aged 91, was born in Xinjiang and married a Kazakh man of Mongolia. Many of her children and her husband were already dead. She was illiterate, but she sang an äldiy or ‘lullaby’, a köris or ‘lament’, a kara öleŋ ‘simple song’ and an aytis ‘question-and-answer song’ very nicely. The molla sang an epic-like song followed by Tilew, a 54-year-old man, both accompanying themselves on the dombra.

Laments and lullabies were then recorded in the performance of Serjan, a woman aged 70. Then we went to lunch to a farmer who was just laying out the peat to dry on the roof. When we entered, he came to shake hands with a broad smile.

Kanïypa, a woman of 56, put on local costumes to sing the songs she wished us to record: a sïŋsuw or ‘bride’s lament’ and a kara öleŋ or ‘simple song’. At another time, the molla sang an aytïs, his wife Kümpey Kadak (aged 53) sang a kara öleŋ about the treacherous world and brief love. We also recorded a betašar or ‘bride’s greeting’ and an ösiyet öleŋ or ‘didactic song’.

The collected songs well complemented the large material we gathered in Bayan Ölgiy.

Types of the southwestern Kazakh tunes

Before embarking upon the musical analyses, let me explain the basic concepts and abbreviations without which the next section cannot be understood. We are going to get acquainted with the Kazakh musical genres, before looking into the tunes themselves.


In the majority of Kazakh tunes, the mi-re-do trichord could be pinpointed and tunes could be transposed to mi-re-do=d-c-b flat. As regards degrees, do=b3rd degree, re=4th, mi=5th degree, etc. The note below do=2nd degree (ti), minor third below do=1st degree (la), then, stepwise, the VIIth, VIth , etc. degrees follow. The second degree lowered by a semitone is marked with ti b, the sixth degree raised by a semitone is marked with fa#.

Figure 4 Degrees and pitches

Solfa syllables are often only indicated by their initial letters, e.g. d=do, r=re, etc.

A note of the scale is put in brackets when it does not play an important role in the tune. For instance, in a melody with the (so-)mi-re-do scale, the main role is played by the notes of the trichord mi-re-do, with an occasional so added, but not in an accentuated role.

When listing the tone set of a tune, I often indicate the final note with capital letters. E.g. mi-Re-do stands for the scale of a tune that moves on the notes mi-re-do and closes on re.

Av indicates a variation of the musical line A when the deviation is at the beginning or middle of line A. Ac indicates a variation of the musical section A where the deviation between the two lines is in the last (cadential) part of the lines. Both Av and Ac suggest that A is the closed line, Av and Ac meaning more open variants, thus formulae like AcA, ABcB, etc. are frequent.

By padding words, padding syllables, I understand words or syllables that are either devoid of meaning (ay, oy, vay, da, de, etc.) or, when meaningful, have no connection with the main text (aman, anam, gelin, etc.).

A cadential note is the last note of the line. When the pitch was not clear, I tried to define it on the basis of similar tunes and analyses.

When no tempo indication is specified in an example, it was performed in parlando-rubato rhythm. However, it must be kept in mind that in reality, there is a wide variety of rhythmically free performance.

Set rhythm is called tempo giusto or giusto as customary in Hungarian folk music research.

The numbers indicated with the abbreviation №  are serial numbers of tunes collected in Mangkïstaw. I refer to the melodies from Bayan Ölgiy with the abbreviation B№.

Psalmodic melody style. Among the old tunes of Hungarian one finds descending melodies and others that recite the do-re-mi nucleus. These do-re-mi melodies form a musical style in the folk music of different peoples, e.g. that of the Hungarian and the Anatolian Turks. Typical cadential sequences in the style are 5(♭3)♭3, 4(♭3)♭b3, ♭3(♭3)♭3, 7(♭3)♭3, the final tone of the last line is variable. Most lines cover small tonal ranges, and the overall range of a tune rarely goes beyond the octave, either. Most typical is the motion ‘filling the range’, which appears fairly incidental, advanced tune-forms being only exceptional. As layers similar to this style can be unearthed in the first and the sixth psalmodic modes of the Latin ecclesiastic musical culture, Hungarian scholars gave this style the name psalmodic style.


Naturally enough, there are many genres that are shared by a variety of ethnic groups. This applies specially to peoples who have conserved nomadic culture or at least its memory. Music accompanies a lot of situations in life. The children are rocked to sleep with besik jïrï 'lullaby', a girl to be married off is said goodbye to with a sïŋsuw or 'bride's farewell to her home', the deceased are taken leave of with joktaw/köris27. The children also have their simple songs. Just as with most peoples, it also generally obtains among Kazakhs that the structure and melodic movements of the mourning songs, lullabies and children's songs are very simple.

Weddings are specially rich occasions for singing. The toy bastar or 'wedding-starting' song is performed in the manner of terme tunes, rapidly recited. Special wedding-related songs e.g. betašar or 'unveiling the face' and the mentioned bride's farewell are also sung on such occasions. The betašar is sung when the bride leaves for the groom's tent, or to the groom's house nowadays (kelin tüsiriw). It consists of advice to the bride concerning behaviour upon coming into her husband's family.

A typical wedding song is the jar-jar tune sung at the wedding feast by alternating groups of men and women. Its content is quite varied, ranging from serious congratulations and exhortations to merry jokes. The characteristic kolomeika rhythm of jar-jar tunes has an important place in Hungarian folk music as well. The text of these tunes have 11+2, or more precisely, 4+3|4+2 syllables, the last two syllables of the refrain being jar-jar 'dear one', from where the tune got its name.

Other ceremonial songs are the calendric songs, marking exceptional moments in the work year, and also invocations to the forces of nature, giving thanks for the success of man's work, e.g. calls for rain during drought, among other things. Healing songs also belong to this group. The main feasts celebrated by the Kazakhs include the Nawrïz 'lunar new year', Oraza 'feast of the end of fasting', sündet when boys are circumcised, Kurban ayt 'sacrificial feast', čilde-xana celebrated when a child is forty days old. That is when outsiders can first take a look at a child.

Picture 7 Nurmuhambet singing and playing the dombra in Kïzïl-Say-ban (Mangkïstaw)
- Terme

Songs can be sung during work or in the break of work. The main types of men's work were pastoral. Their songs are divided into songs of cowboys (jïlkïsï äni) and songs of shepherds (koyšï äni). Domestic and subsidiary pastoral work fell to the women's lot. Women sang while milking animals, preparing dairy products, weaving and spinning, making felt and carpets, working with the hand-mill, etc. The construction and dismantling of tents during transhumance was among the duties of the women, too, and it was accompanied by singing.

Kazakhs, just as most Turkic peoples, are Muslim. From among religious songs, we collected jarapazan tunes sung during the Ramadam fast and prayers thanking for gifts. The terme style will be embarked on in more detail later. Let it be noted here that the epic songs and the related recitative forms are usually simple in rhythm and motifs but complex and irregular in form.

The tunes that are not bound to occasions include lyric songs (kara än) which are normally more complex in melody and text than the epic songs. The humorous and satirical songs, e.g. aytïs 'dialogues' are simple in form and measured in rhythm. The aytïs are songs in which the performers – usually a man and a woman – alternately 'converse', trying to outdo each other in wit and resourcefulness. Both performers usually employ the same tune.

Obviously, the genres are not sharply separated from one another in tune or text, similar musical or textual phrases being met with in different genres. It applies to several ethnicities that the melodies of laments and bride's farewell songs are identical, and not infrequently, even the lullabies are of the same character and the basic motifs of laments recur in lyrical songs. All this will amply be illustrated among the tunes.

We collected few solely instrumental pieces (küy) while men often accompany themselves on the two-stringed plucked dombra found in many homes which they often handle masterfully. Earlier they had a bowed kobïz no longer in use. Anyhow, the Kazakh musical instrumentarium is small. It includes the dombra (a lute), kobïz (a horsehair fiddle), sïbïzgï (a type of end-blown flute) and šaŋ kobïz (jew's harp).

The Kazakh dombra has two strings, truned a fourth (or, less frequently, to a fifth) and tied-on frets. It may be the forerunner of the Russian balalaika. Its western form is pearl-shaped and has 14 frets, while the eastern model has a spade-shaped or triangular body and seven or eight frets. The dombra is played with a strum, i.e. striking both strings simulatenously. The scale of the dombra varies regionally in Kazakhstan. In the nexture we show the scales of the dombras. Fretless play can extend this scale somewhat.28

Figure 5 The scale of the Kazakh dombra

I classified the tunes of Mangkïstaw into the following musical blocks:
    a) terme tunes
    b) small-range tunes including laments and psalmodic tunes,
    c) wide-compass "melodious" tunes and
    d) miscellaneous tunes.

The blocks mostly contain musically more or less related tunes and tune classes, except naturally for 'miscellaneous' tunes. To establish similarity, the form and melodic progression of the first line, the range of the tune and the line-ending notes are taken into consideration. Within each tune class, tunes of various scales are analyzed together, which will be thoroughly explained later. First, let us get acquainted with the so-called terme tunes.

Kazakh epic songs, the 'terme' types

The akïns are professional singers who have the gift of versification and poetic improvisation and also master the dombra as an accompanying instrument. They normally do not compose new tunes, nor are they expected to do so, and would probably be turned down if they did, but they vary and embellish the old tunes as best as their talents allow. More recently, some singers have taken to gathering in a bunch some songs performed one by one at long length in days of yore. The basic genres of the Kazakh akïns are maktaw 'panegyric songs' and tolgaw 'didactic and denunciatory songs', which were usually cast in the recitative forms (terme and jeldirme). The akïn also sings songs in different genres (lyric, historic), using developed strophic forms. Kazakhs call the epic tale jïr and storyteller jïrsi.

The musical basis of Kazakh epic narrative is a steady declamation of seven- (4|3), eight- (3|2|3) or eleven-syllable (3|4|4) highly variable motifs of a small tonal range, sometimes with prolongations of the last syllable of the line. The performance of sections of tales usually begins with introductory exclamations in a high or middle register, after which text is declaimed with gradual descent to the lower register and the tonic. This descent is not even, usually taking place gradually as will be seen. All excerpts usually conclude in a slower tempo, sometimes based on the broad singing of words of the refrain.

The narrative form is used by the Kazakhs not only for epics, but it is also used for early types of songs and for the musical-poetic compositions of akïns on social (and other) themes. When applied to recitative songs, the jïr form is called terme or jeldirme. The latter term literally means 'horse's gallop', and is tied to the lively rapid-fire tempo of its performance. This quick recitation is in a fairly irregular rhythm, but above the even quavers of the dombra the rhythm of the tune grouped in triplets sometimes allows for the performance of several syllables, while at other times it runs ahead creating a pecular dramatic tension which kindles and, more important still, sustains attention.

We have collected many terme tunes, typical segments of which are presented in this volume. The terme texts are usually didactic. They often begin by describing the singer's situation, not devoid of a grain of self-laudation. The main themes are the praise of ancient customs and Islam, the description of aging, the enumeration of misbehaviour and offensive deeds, as well as pieces of advice about the right social conduct. The wedding bet-ašar tunes also belong here, on account not only of their musical form but also of their didactic texts – instructing the fresh bride how to behave appropriately in her new home.

Terme fragments - Terme 1, - Terme 2, - Terme 3, - Terme 4,
- Terme 5, - Terme 6, - Terme 7

Although the terme tunes are not strophic, descending strophic tunes can often be reduced from them. It is typical of the performance of terme tunes that the first line is the highest and the closing line is the lowest in register, while in between the lines are quite irregularly alternated. Some terme tunes are worthy of note for their simple, archaic musical patterns. Another noteworthy feature is that a great part of terme tunes have do finals while most tunes in the area move along a scale with the minor third.

I have introduced abbreviations to indicate the structure of terme performances. Most melody lines move on or around a central note, or descend a few notes. This prompted me to identify the line with the solfa syllable of the central note around which it moves or to which it descends. The following forms can be differentiated among terme lines reciting on, or centered around, do:


the line moves on the do note, leaving it only once or twice, and only in the direction of re (e.g. drdd/dd d)


the line descends to do from the notes fa-mi (e.g. mmmr/dd d )


the line descends from a note, which is one ore notes below do (e.g. ltdd/dd d )


the line circumscribe do (e.g. rdtd/rd d )

Dk, Dk

the line moves on do but ends on another, higher note (e.g. dddd/dd r). The line-ending note is almost always only a (major) second higher than the central note of the line. Dk means the same, but the final note is below the central note of the line (e.g. ddrd/dd t )


indicates the very rare ascending lines (e.g. dddr/rm m )

I indicate the lines moving around la, ti, re, mi, fa, so or descending to these notes in the same way. When describing the structures, I marked the tune-ending formulae Lcad when the final note was la, and the opening calls launching major musical sections are marked with *. These components well characterize the overall progression of the terme tunes.

I classify the terme tunes on the basis of the tonal ranges the melody moves in. Musically, the tunes in a group are coherent, further subdivision only overcomplicating the situation. Since the syllable numbers of the lines of a terme tune differ, they cannot be grouped by this criterion. Nor can they be categorized by final note, as closing on la, for example, is often additional, effected by the use of a refrain that does not integrally belong to the terme process. An attentive reader will certainly soon realize that in terme tunes with a winder tonal range there are lines and even longer units that constitute some terme tunes of a smaller gamut, thus the groups are not separated by fast lines.

Terme tunes of the smallest compass (1-b3/4)

The terme tunes of the smallest gamut mainly use different variants of D (do), reciting on or around the do note. Re and even mi might occur in them, but never as the central note. It is frequent that the introductory phrase of the refrain use higher and sometimes lower pitched notes too.

The next example shows such a terme tune. The tune is launched by an introduction of one or two longer notes (iy, aw) as usual. The flexible alternation of syllable number is apparent, while in line three the rhythm outlines the usual scheme, though at times it strays from it quite far. The terme is closed by a longer cadence this time including the VIIth degree, a unique occurrence.

Example 1 Terme tune of small compass
(see also № 1a-i). Scheme: *DDDD + *Lcad   

I am demonstrating the structural formulae of the small-compass terme tunes № 1a-i in the collection of examples below. I also include a reduced structure. It designates a hypothetical tune that might evolve from the given terme tune in the course of evolution. * marks the opening call.

These simple tunes succeed one another in the order of "complexity", the smaller-range tunes of fewer motifs being followed by termes of more different musical lines and wider compass.


reduced structure

detailed structure

№ 1a



№ 1b



№ 1c



№ 1d



№ 1e


* DDDTL’LL + Lcad

№ 1f


* D^TTTTkL + Lcad1 + Lcad2

№ 1g


* D’*DTDT’T|DkDDDT’ +Tcad

№ 1h


* DDkDDkDDkD|*RkDDkDkDkD + Lcad

№ 1i


* DDDDD|R’R’R’R’R’kDDk + Lcad

Picture 8 Košakan singing and playing the dombra in Senek (Mangkïstaw)

Terme tunes of medium compass (1-5/6)

What differentiates the termes of medium compass from the above class is that some of their lines persist on the 5th, 6th, 7th degrees for some time. The tunes of the former group clacking on a few notes in the manner of twin-bar tunes give way to more singeable forms. No definite song form can be outlined, however. The melody contour of the short lines is largely incidental and chance or the singer’s mood also has a great say in the succession of the lines. The lines follow each other in descending order, but there are some terme tunes that begin low and gradually rise, only to close deep down again. As the structural schemes of the table reveal, melody lines centered around fa are frequent.

Before turning to the examples in the Anthology, let us see a terme tune of medium large compass (Ex. 2). It can be seen well that a few line progresses high, then the terme returns to the lower register.

Example 2 Terme tune of medium large compass
(see also № 2a-i and № 3a-c). Structural scheme: *R’RkMR’|*D’TkTkTkT|TkTTDk+Tcad  

The structure of the examples listed in the appended collection can be schematized as follows:


reduced structure

detailed structure

№ 2a



№ 2b


* MRkRkD~D~|MkMk*M’D~D~D~|MRM+Lcad+Lcad|D~L’+Lcad

№ 2c



№ 2d


* RRMMkD’|MkRRR * Dcad

№ 2e


* FFkMkFkMkDkD’DkD||FkMkSkMkFkD’D^D’D

№ 2f


* M~M~M~DkD’|D~*T’L

№ 2g



№ 2h


MRMkRkD|RF + Dcad | RRRR^ + Dcad

№ 2i



Similar lines constitute № 3a-b sïŋsuw and № 3c jarapazan religious songs, indicating that the terme tunes are closely correlated with folksongs and with religious tunes. The main difference is that in performing a terme the musical lines alternate according to the invetiveness of the performer, while folksong performers more closely adhere to more regular, repetitive structures. The question is still unanswered whether the regular or irregular lines are older. I myself tend to believe that irregular structure are older and regular forms evolved from them. At any rate, here one can observe the occurrence of a common musical idea in a more flexible and then in a more stabilized form.

Two-part termes (higher first part + lower second part)

Though rare, there are recitative tunes that break up into a higher first and a lower second part so that the two registers of recitation have at least one note in common. We only collected two of this kind. The following example shows a continuous recitation on the 7th-8th degrees, before sinking into the usual low register.

Example 3 Terme tune of large compass
(see also № 4) Structure: SSkM’FkM *M~T’TkT’LkL + Lcad  

№ 4 in the collection is also like that. The tune outlines the scheme SkSkM’RR MMRkDDDDD | SkSkFkR^| FkRkDDDkDkDkDkD|DkDD|RkT’L | T’TkTkLk S,S,S,L + S,cad. Towards the end, the tune sinks to lower so, which is a unique feature. The four-line scheme reduced from that suggests a round song form SkM’RD, as the next example shows. Such tunes can also be found in the descending fifth shifting pentatonic strata of Hungarian and other folk music.

Example 4 Large compass terme tune reduced to a four-line scheme  

Special terme tunes

An informant sang Mixolydian tunes quite different from the rest of the termes (№ 5a-b). Apart from their tonality, the tunes share the common feature of not being recitative but sung in an easily transcribed rhythm, in even quavers. Tunes № 6a-b also sung by the same singer have more distinct structure, more melody-like construction in rhythms tending towards 9/8 and 9/4, and ending on do and la, respectively.

Minor tunes of narrow range

Let us now take a look at other small-compass tunes after the terme songs. Narrow compass (1-5/6) Kazakh songs ought anyway to be handled separately from tunes of larger tonal ranges. It seems that in west Kazakh folk music it is the compass close to the octave that produce a melody pattern with the first half in another register than the second. Smaller-range tunes naturally tend to inspire conjuct melody construction.

A large part of terme songs also had a narrow range and examples were quoted to illustrate the interrelation between termes and other folksongs. Two relatively well demarcated groups – those of the laments and the psalmodic tunes – also take shape among the small-gamut tunes with the minor third.

Lament style

Let us now take a look at other small-compass tunes after the terme songs. Narrow compass (1-5/6) Kazakh songs ought anyway to be handled separately from tunes of larger tonal ranges. It seems that in west Kazakh folk music it is the compass close to the octave that produces a melody pattern with the first half in another register than the second. Smaller-range tunes naturally tend to inspire conjuct melody construction. A large part of terme songs also had a narrow range and examples were quoted to illustrate the interrelation between termes and other folksongs. Two relatively well demarcated groups – those of the laments and the psalmodic tunes – also take shape among the small-gamut tunes with the minor third.

In Mangkïstaw, joktaw 'lament' tunes can be collected easily – if not without sweat. Nearly all women, young and old, know laments and the men also known them, although they don't sing them. A deceased person is to be mourned on the 3rd, 7th, 40th and 100th day of his/her death, and when a relative or acquaintance first visits the bereaved family laments are also sung.

In musical content the sïŋsuw 'bride's lament' is similar to the dirges. The bride's lament is performed in the spirit of a lament for the dead and is sung when she parts with her parents and leaves for her husband's settlement. They also begin, are interrupted by, and conclude with sorrowful exclamations and sobs. It is generally characteristic of lament tunes that they have small tonal ranges, one or two musical ideas with convex melody lines and low final notes.

The simplest and possibly most archaic tune of the style has the typical so-la-so-(fa)-mi = re-mi-re-(do)-ti small convex motif. It is noteworthy within this elementary motion that at the end of a line, the tune often takes a leap (re-ti) instead of the gradual descent.

This mound-motif is often realized in the form of a musical line repeated again and again (№ 7a-b). Yet, already with this elementary melodic progression a rudimentary two-line structure begins to take shape. The second line progresses below the first, but the two end on the same note (Ex. 5). Sometimes only a segment of the lamenting process displays this simple form, a b2 or b3 note also being intoned at the end of a line quite often, but its incidental, unfixed character is still predominant (№ 7c-d).

Example 5 Simplest one-line lament
(see also № 7a-d)  

This tune kernel may be extended with an additional, inorganically attached re closing note to interjections (aw, ah, ay,...). The new closing note strengthens the impression of a two-section tune, but it is not necessary that various units of the lamenting process shall close on this note. Such tunes are Ex. 6 and № 8a-b. № 8c is not a lament but a folksong sung by a man. A similar structure can be observed here but the second melody line copies the first distinctly at a second interval, and the performance is in 2/4 giusto tempo, to boot. Another difference is that the end of the line contains no leap but a gradual stepwise descent.

Example 6 Two-line lament descending additionally to re
(see also № 8a-c)  

In another subgroup of lamenting tunes re also only appears as a closing note(s), but it is now a wholly integrated element of the second, or more precisely, the closing melody line both in text and tune. The rests – the inner cadences – in this two-line melody construction are on the 5-2-1 degrees or la-mi-re notes (Ex. 7 and № 9a-c). It is characteristic that a similar tune performed by men somewhat expands the compass and the 2nd degree is also lower (№ 9d). The same (so)-la-mi-re descent may also occur within a single melody line (№ 9e). A diminished variant of a two-line lament, or at least a simple giusto version of this melody construction can be detected in the folksong № 9f.

Example 7 Two-line lament descending upon re
(see also № 9a-f)29   

In two-line lamenting tunes the most frequent 2nd degree may be replaced at times by the b3rd, 4th or even the 5th degrees as the cadence. Stabilized two-line forms often recur, but it is not infrequent to hear different line-ending notes within a single lamenting process. Despite the different cadences, the typically small-compass convex lamenting melody outline unites these tunes in a class.

In Ex. 8 the b3rd and 2nd main cadences alternate. The same applies to № 10a-d. In addition to the slightly convex lines and typical line construction, this line-ending deviation is insignificant. № 10a is instructive with the line-ending notes easily alternating in successive strophes. More remotely connected are the small-range tunes № 10e-f.

Example 8 Various lamenting tunes of low cadence
(see also № 10a-f)30  

The 4th and 2nd degrees as the finals in Ex. 9 and № 11a-b alternate, while in № 11c-h only the 4th degree ends the process. It must be noted, however, that the line-ending notes are often uncertain and tend to decline from the 4th to the 2nd degree, at least in ornamentation. Fine examples are № 11c-d. It must also be remembered that even in the simplest case the end of the tune leaps from the 4th to the 2nd degree, that is, the 4th degree at the end of a line has a distinguished role.

Yet in these tunes the 4th degree at the end of the line introduces a somewhat different character because the small-compass line ending on 4th is not convex, giving way to a do-re-mi-re rotating motion. In musical terms, however, the decisive fact is that apart from the 4th degree as cadencial note, the tunes are identical note-for-note with the above laments. What is more, most tunes are laments or bride's farewell. Although a few tunes (№ 11c,f) are kara än or 'folksongs', they also tally with the rest of the group musically. The Bos moyin tune (№ 11f-g) and the folksong № 11h represent a similar melody construction with longer, 11-syllabic (3|4|4) lines. Significantly enough, the second half of № 11h comprises the original two-cadencial two-line lament. The latter type tunes were mainly performed by men.

Example 9 Lament tunes with 4 cadences
(see also № 11a-i)  

So far, mainly convex melody outlines have been seen in the lament style, even with the 4th degree as the cadence. In the following tunes, however, the small compass and the closing 5th degree do not allow the formation of a mount. The gentle rise of the lines and the character of the second half of the melody correspond to the respective places of the above tunes. Yet the undulating motion of the first line on the mi-re-do trichord deviates from the melody writing of the laments. Indeed, there are no laments among these tunes, and there is but a single bride's farewell, too (Ex. 10).

The rest of the tunes in this subgroup were collected from a single singer who improvised various forms from a single two-line musical core in a trance. The basic form was № 12a, which grows into № 12b with a closing formula. It is illuminating that tunes № 12c and more particularly № 12d imply the much-discussed two-line lament form. Let us take a closer look at the first line which differentiates these tunes from the majority of the lament tunes. This melody progression is going to be the characteristic feature of another tune type. 31

Example 10 Lament with a first line moving on the mi-re-do trichord
(see also № 12a-d)  

Picture 9 Akles singing lament in Jetibay (Mangkïstaw)
- lament

The 'psalmodic' style

There are small-range tunes collected in Mangkïstaw that are analogous with the Hungarian and the Anatolian psalmodic style. Their typical feature is the melody construction on the mi-re-do core, the 5-b3-b3 or 5-b3-4 cadences and most frequently a recitative performance. The nuclear mi-re-do can be extended with so above and the end of the tune mostly sinks to la. The songs include wedding songs, termes, lullabies, love songs and dance tunes.

The main representative of the style is the two-line Ak Böbek 'white baby' tune of 1-5/6 compass, 11-syllabic lines with 5-b3-4 or 5-b3-b inner cadences. It is a highly popular tune, confirmed by the fact that seven variants were collected without any specific inquiry (Ex. 11-12 and № 13a-c).

Example 11 Ak böbek tune
(see also № 13a-c)  

Example 12 Ak böbek tune with refrain  
- "Ak böbek" song

Other 7-8-syllabic two-line tunes of 1-5 compass and 5-b3-2 cadences as well as distinctly four-line 11-syllable tunes with 5-b3-b3 or 5-b3-2 cadences also belong to the psalmodic style. Although giusto performance may also be found as Ex. 13 of a four-line, 11-syllabic tune shows, the recitative performing style is more prevalent (Ex. 14).

Example 13 Giusto psalmodic tune  

Example 14 Recitative psalmodic tune  

A few five/four-line descending tunes of narrow compass and 4-b3-x cadences also belong here the lines of which mainly use the do-re-mi trichord. One is e.g. the lullaby in Ex. 15.

Example 15 Psalmodic tune with 4-b3-x cadences  

A separate substratum of Kazakh psalmodic style is constituted by song whose first line closes on the 7th degree and at the end there is no descent to la but the final close is on ti, but otherwise the tune is identical with the above tunes closing on la. As they typically move on (so)-mi-re-do notes, I transposed them to mi-re-do=d-c-b flat, and included them here (№ 14a-b). Ex. 16 shows a tune like that ending on ti, whose main interest is that after several closes on do and ti, it finally ends on la with a refrain-like section.

Example 16 Psalmodic tune with a high-pitched first line
(see also № 14a-b)  
- "Ay agalar" song

More distantly, some sequential lullabies may also perhaps be subsumed under the psalmodic style. Their features allowing for the analogy include the narrow tonal range and the descending character (Ex. 17 and № 15a-c). These tunes imply characteristic features of laments, psalmodic tunes and sequentially descending tunes. In Hungarian folk music, these tunes are ranged with archaic narrow-compass tunes. 32

Example 17 Sequential tune with small compass
(see also № 15ac)  

Here belongs the lullaby in Ex. 18 whose first three lines move on the mi-re-do trichord, except precisely for the end of the second line – the main cadence, that is.

Example 18 Narrow-compass sequential tune  

Small-gamut songs with ascending first line

The first line of a few narrow-range two-line tunes rise to the 4/5th degree vigorously. Ex. 19 and № 16a-e belong to this group.

Example 19 Narrow-compass tune with ascending first line
(see also № 16a-e)  

'Melodious' tunes of a larger compass

So far, we have discussed tunes of a 1-5 or 1-6 compass at most. Two groups emerge from tunes of larger compass. In these the broader tonal spectrum and the descending tendency in the melody allow for a sharper differentiation of the melody lines, with parallel motion and at times clearly disjunt structures evolving. However, it is still more typical to have the second half of these tunes begin high, too.

Convex first line

The distinguishing feature of one class is the convex first section rising from around b3rd to the 7th or 8th degree, then sinking back to the 5th. The second lines descend from various heights. These tunes are divided here into two groups.

Before describing the two groups, let us recall that the typical melodic contour of the laments was also convEx. Besides, some small-compass tunes also outline a similar melodic pattern, the first convex line being followed by a descending one. For this reason, I am presenting them here as the connecting link between small-compass and large-compass tunes. Most of these tunes rise in the middle of the convex first line to the 6th degree (Ex. 20 and № 17).

Example 20 Middle-compass tune with convex first line
(see also № 17)  

Tunes that have a broader gamut can have a first line that delineates a more pronounced mound, rising to the 7th or 8th degree in the middle (Ex. 21 and № 18a-b). It may strike one that the tune of Ex. 21 is actually four-lined. That is indeed so, but as was seen with laments and will be seen later as well, there is close interlocking between two-, four- and more-lined tunes in this area. The watchful reader will soon realize that the first two lines of Ex. 21 is identical with the second two lines, except for the end of lines one and three. We have indeed the extension of a two-line tune to a four-line pattern, thus the tune is rightly discussed here.

Example 21 A relatively broad-compass tune with convex first line
(see also № 18a-d)  

The area of Mangkïstaw is predominated by Minor tunes, and apart from the do termes, there is a single homogeneous tune class among other tunes ending on do. In this class the 11-syllabic two-line tunes have convex lines and the first line plots the often-seen b3-6/7/8-4/5 arch. The beginning of line two is at the height of line one, but from bar two the second line progresses a note or two lower, in parallel motion. These tunes display strong similarities with the above Minor tunes, often only deviating from them in the closing bar (Exs. 22-23 and № 19a-c). In № 19d two two-lined tunes are combined just as previously shown for tunes ending on la.

As for illustration, let us see two tunes ending on do and having convex first lines. Line one of Ex. 22 is flatter than that of the tune in Ex. 23.

Example 22 A tune with do final and a first line with medium compass
(see also № 19a-d)  

Example 23 A tune with do final and a first line with wider compass  

The first two lines of some 11-syllabic four-line tunes are identical with the above two-line tunes, and their second line closes on the 1st degree. Lines 3-4 either descend to the first degree reciting in a low register or, as in Ex. 24, they first climb to the 4th or 5th degree and descend from there again (Ex. 24 and № 20a-c). There is an undeniable connection between the above two-lined and this four-lined tunes.

Example 24 Convex tunes and concatemination
(see also № 20a-c)  

Hill-and-dale first lines

As will be seen, the hill-and-dale first lines are very popular in the melodic realm of Mongolian Kazakhs, but such tunes can also be found in Mangkïstaw, often taking the AkA form. The first line of № 21 traces a shallow wave, while Ex. 25 and № 22a-d are mutually similar forms with taller hills, ending on do in № 22d. № 23 only remotely belongs here, on account of its deeper and more varied first line on the one hand and its refrain closing on the Vth(!) degree.

Example 25 Hill-and-dale outline in the first line of the tune
(see also № 21, № 22a-d and № 23)  

Ascending lines

A basically two-line wide compass melody group is characterized by a first line rising to the main cadence at the 8th degree (Ex. 26, № 24a and less clearly № 24b). № 25 reveals the relationship between this melody pattern with tunes ending on the 5th degree as their main cadence. That, in turn, is the concatemination of two-line tunes the first line of one of which climbs up to the 7th/8th degree, while the first line of the other descends onto the 5th.

Example 26 Tune with a rising line
(see also № 24a-c and № 25)  

First line shaped like a tall hill

There have been lament tunes galore with shallow mounds in their lines. Ex. 27, uniquely, has a very hill in its first line.

Example 27 Tune whose first line delineates a tall high  

Picture 10 Buried settlement on the edge of the desert (Mangkïstaw)
- Desert

Unique but apparently authentic tunes

The collected material includes several unique and hard-to-categorize tunes which appear authentic all the same. It is always instructive to study unique melodies as their uniqueness throws the features of typical tunes into even deeper relief. Let us see a few such individual tunes to determine how they deviate from the majority of the Mangkïstaw tunes.

Unique Minor tunes

As frequent as the parallelism at the second is, so rare is the parallel line at a third of fifth. I can only show two tunes with a structure that faintly resemble fifth shifting. Ex. 28 outlines an A3-4A form, Ex. 29 an AB4-5CB pattern (see also № 26).

Example 28 Tune with third and fourth shifting
(see also № 26)  

Example 29 Tune with fourth and fifth shifting  

We recorded the recitative № 27a-b tunes in the performance of a horseherd living at a nomadic camp. What renders them unique is the first line rising to the 6th degree. The individuality of № 28 lies in the gradual descent over eight lines. № 29 consists of three gradually lower convex lines, its form being a4a3a.

Unique Major and Mixolydian tunes

We have already met with a tune class with do final, so let us now take a look at other apparently authentic tunes ending on do some of whose features separate them from the rest.

In addition to the seemingly most prevalent lament form, one may come across individual laments of bride's farewell songs. An old woman of 90, apparently a reliable informant, sang a bride's farewell that was very much like the laments I had collected in Anatolia, moving downward on the (so)-mi-re-do core and ending on re and do. It was the only Kazakh lamenting tune that displayed some similarity to Anatolian and Hungarian laments (Ex. 30).

Example 30 Kazakh lamenting tune with mi-re-do centre  
- lament

The bride's farewell was sung by 90-year-old Aunt Bäyniš when she was married off at the age of sixteen, in return for some cattle. Now, it is an extinct custom for brides to take leave of the parental tent and relatives with a bride's farewell song before moving to the husband's settlement. The doorpost (bosaga), the side of the wooden frame of the yurt door, symbolizes the girl's home. The trousseau (jasagan) consists of woven goods that the bride takes to her new home in a chest (kebeje). The central spot in the tent (tör) is beyond the hearth opposite the door. The head of the family sits there or the most honoured guest. The text confirms that the girl was thought very highly of. It is noteworthy that the prayer thanking for donations incorporated in the Islamic customs also moves on the mi-re-do trichord, most specimens closing off on re (Ex. 31).

Example 31 Prayer centering on mi-re-do  

I am only listing the other individual tunes with cadential do, with brief remarks.

№ 30

non-strophic bride's farewell tune of unique scale, with the second half being in twin-bar structure

№ 31

unique tune with inner cadences on 8-4-b3

№ 32

a wedding jar-jar song in 4x2 lines. It is generally not sung in Mangkïstaw but known at other places of Kazakhstan. As will be seen when the Kazakh tunes collected in Mongolia are analyzed, it has some Hungarian references as well.

№ 33a-b, Ex. 32

are characterized by a compass from b3rd to 10th and a main cadence on the 10th degree.

№ 34

is a uniquely disjunct one-line tune, it leaps downward an octave and a fifth, but eventually closes on mi.

Example 32 Unique eventful tune of a large compass
(see also № 30-34)  

Most Mixolydian tunes are art songs with a few terme tunes. There are only three tunes ending on so whose melodic progression and construction allow them to be seen as authentic: they include Ex. 33 with a dale-and-hill first line and № 35a-b whose first lines trace a shallow mound.

Example 33 A unique horseherd's tune ending on so (see also № 35a-b)  
- Shepherd’s song

Another unique Mixolydian tune is № 36, a Kara köz 'black eye' tune with AB+Ref structure. This tune is pulled down to so by the refrain. № 37 is built of a single motif before closing on so.

Tunes of other nations

Turkmen families have also remained in the studied area. We visited some and recorded six tunes. Ex. 34 presents one analogies of which were also collected among Turkmens in Anatolia. 33

Example 34 Turkmen tune  

A woman sang an Azeri tune which he had learnt as a child in Turkmenistan. The 6/8 pulsation of the tune and its melodic contour resemble the Azeri folksongs published in collections. 34

Example 35 Azeri tune  

We heard a Tatar tune from the hostess of a Turkmen family we visited. Her mother was of Tatar origin, changed by a Turkmen man in Astrakhan for sheep at the beginning of the century. The singer learnt the song from her mother. This descending pentatonic tune of a wide compass is strikingly different from the Mangkïstaw tunes and aptly shows how widely different the tunes of different Turkic peoples can be.

Example 36 Tatar tune  

Having got acquainted with southwestern Kazakh folk music, let us now return to the overriding question. What similarities can be demonstrated between the Mangkïstaw folk music and music of Kazakhs living in Mongolia some 3000 km or more away from here? To answer this question, first we must get acquainted with the music of Mongolian Kazakhs.

Picture 11 Lunch being prepared in Düngerlew (Mangkïstaw)
- Lunch is prepared in front of the yurts

Types of Mongolian Kazakh tunes

As the collecting trip in August 1997 revealed, similar musical styles predominate the folk music of Kazakhs in the small mining village of Nalayh next to Ulan Bator and the Bayan Ölgiy province in west Mongolia alike. That is no surprise, since the overwhelming majority of the Kazakh inhabitants of Nalayh derived from Bayan Ölgiy. Apart from the Mongolian Kazakh tunes I have registered, I have also studied several hundred Bayan Ölgiy tunes collected and published by local ethnomusicologists, so as to place my conclusions on firmer grounds. There is however an area which can only be illustrated by tunes from our own collection: the laments.

I am going to embark on the individual musical components (scale, gamut, forms, etc.) when comparing the music of the two areas. Here, I am only summarizing the main conclusions.

The folksongs of Mongolian Kazakhs usually move along an anhemitonic pentatonic scale of la-so-(fa)-mi-re-do, although diatonic notes may also occur in less significant roles. Most frequent forms include two musical ideas or cores (AB, AkA, AvA), and the repetition of bars is not infrequent. An overall form divided into four equivalent parts is rare, but some rudimentary four-line forms may arise in song of AkARefA or ABRefB structure. As for rhythm, parlando, rubato and 2/4 giusto tunes are predominant. The most typical syllable number is seven (4|3), eight (3|2|3) and eleven (3|4|4). The shape of the first line is most frequently convex, concave or hill-and-dale like, and an undulating up-and-down movement may also be found.

A part of the few so-pentatonic tunes have two parts, but similarly to do-pentatonic tunes, the extension of the lines with refrains also occurs. The compass is usually VII-7/8, but unlike the do-pentatonic tunes, no drive into higher registers can be verified, which is in concord with the prevalent range of an octave or less in the area.

The above said also applies to the structure of la-pentatonic tunes. Their compass is almost exclusively 1-7/8 and as an upper grace note, ti' may occur at places, stretching the gamut from 1 to 9. I discuss the so- and la-pentatonic tunes that constitute few types together with the majority do-pentatonic melodies. When I speak about a significant type, it normally constitutes some 5% of the material, less significant types have a 2-3% share of the material.

On the basis of the melody contour of the first line, the following major tune groups can be differentiated:
    a) descending ‘melodious’ tunes (including, hill, hill-and-dale, dale),
    b) tunes jumping on tri- or tetrachord notes,
    c) other tunes.

Let us take a closer look at each of these groups.

Descending first lines – laments

Very few tunes with descending first lines have so far been recorded by Kazakh scholars, but they have no laments in their collections. This descending melody line characterizes laments.

There are fifteen laments and bride's farewell songs in our collection, each with a so-mi-re-Do scale, thirteen of them descending. The basic form of descending laments is apparently the single-core descending tune in each of its line, ending on do. A typical example can be seen in Ex. 37. Further illustrative material can be found in the appended collection of tunes (B№ 1a-b). 35

Example 37 Basic form of descending Mongolian Kazakh lament
(see also B№ 1a-b)  

It is also frequent to have two descending lines constituting the lament, the second always moving lower. Within this melodic formula, the end of the first line sometimes jumps to the 4th or 5th degree, as in Ex. 38 and B№ 2a-b. I only included here the B№ 3a-d wedding jar-jar tunes because they have a small compass and their lines end jumping onto the 5th degree.

Example 38 Mongolian Kazakh lament with high-jumping cadence
(see also B№ 2a-b and B№ 3a-d
jar-jar melodies)  

Some laments carry out the descent from so to do in two steps. Their first lines float between so and mi, while the second descends from mi to do. Ex. 39 shows an excerpt from such a bride's farewell tune's variative, lively performance. A similarly constructed tune is the bride's lament B№ 4 in the appendix.

Example 39 Two-line Mongolian Kazakh lament
(see also B№ 4)  

Among the laments with their first lines in a high register throughout, noteworthy are two four-line tunes descending from so, characterized by the cadential 7-b3-4 notes. The lullaby in Ex. 40 was recorded in Nalayh, the betašar B№ 5a-b and the lament B№ 5c were collected in Bayan Ölgiy. While the performance of the lullaby is tempo giusto, the B№ 5a betašar of a similar musical construction is performed parlando-rubato. Tunes of similar musical structure can be found among old-style Hungarian, Anatolian and Mangkïstaw tunes with the difference that the latter close on la.

Example 40 Mongolian Kazakh lullaby with cadential 7-b3-4
(see also B№ 5a-c)  

It may rarely occur that the end of a tune is given an additional, textless decline. Such an extension is heard at the end of a lament in which the tune is followed by sobbing on quasi musical notes, on so or la. This recording was made during a real lamentation on the death of someone, and the text could not be made out subsequently.

Example 41 Lamentation in Nalayh  

'Melodious' first lines

So far, laments containing descending lines were discussed. It is high time to turn to the most typical melody forms of Kazakh folk music. Their first lines have a hilly, wavy or vale-like form and are often constructed motivically. Most 'melodious' tunes belong to kara öleŋ 'simple songs' and only exceptionally can one find laments or so-called comforting songs among them. Let us take a look at the main types one by one, according to the shape of their first lines.

Convex first line

The first important type of this group has its convex line end on (so)-do-mi/so-mi-do-so. Ex. 42 is a pentatonic tune I collected. The name of the song is Marka-göl or 'Lake Marka'.

Example 42 Hill-shaped first line ending on so  

In another type, the first line traces (so)-do-mi-so'/la'-mi-do, which may at times be followed by a smaller mound. The form of the tune is AB, and although their first line rises higher than in the previous type, the melodic arch renders them similar in character. Similarity is further reinforced by the end and beginning of the hilly shape being 'at the same' pitch. In this pentatonic style, do is replaced by equivalent lower so, hence the do-so difference between the first and last notes is insignificant. Ex. 43 presents a Mongolian Kazakh folksong that precisely represents the above-described form.

In my collection, there is a large group belonging here (B№ 6a-g). There are some that begin on so and others on do, most of them being simple folksongs or less frequently jubatiw 'comforting songs' or laments. As will be seen, these tunes resemble in many regards their undulating counterparts with the difference that their first line does not turn up to the 7th degree but remains on b3rd. Similarly constructed songs ending on so also constitute a distinct type in the stock of Mongolian Kazakh folksongs.

Example 43 Convex first line
(see also B№ 6a-g)  

The motion of the convex first line of the third type is do-re-do-so’-mi-re/do. They are typically differentiated by the mid-line do-so' leap after a low beginning. The first line closes on the 5th or b3rd degree (Ex. 44a).

The tunes in Ex. 44b realize the same idea of melody construction with a rarer main cadence on the 4th. Tunes ending on do normally close on the 7th or b3rd degrees.

Example 44 Two songs with an upward leap in mid-line
a) main cadence on b3rd degree   , b) main cadence on 4th degree  

The fourth, and last type has its convex first line in a higher register: so’-la’-do’-la’-so’. The second line either forms a mound itself (Ex. 45a) or descends (Ex. 45b). On and off a partial or accidental fifth or fourth shift between the two lines may take place, as in Ex. 45b, also marking the transition to the undulating wave form. It is worth noting that the first two lines of the religious song jarapazan also move like that.

Example 45 Tunes a)  and b)  with a convex first line in high register

First line tracing a hill and dale

The motion of the first type in the group of tunes with hill-and-dale first lines is (so)-do-mi-so’-mi-re-do-mi-so. This is the most numerous Mongolian Kazakh tune group, the form apparently playing a central role among Mongolian Kazakh tunes. More than one fifth of the studied tunes belong here. If a single typical Mongolian Kazakh tune were to be picked as a typical tune of the ethnicity, I would certainly select one from among these. A somewhat larger wave, do-mi-la’-mi-re-do-mi-la’ as well as tunes that arrive at the wave from the lower so, may also be subsumed here. The AkA form is frequent, with AB also occuring, while extension with a refrain is rare. The central form is probably the wave starting low on so, (Ex. 46a) or do (Ex. 46b), with numberless variants.

Example 46 First lines with a hill-and-dale outline from Bayan Ölgiy a)  , b) 

In addition, there are simple shallower waves (Ex. 47a). A form extended with a small refrain at the end is not rare (Ex. 47b-c) 36, the wave which is not so deep in the end of the first line (Ex. 47d-e), nor is a wave ending on la’ instead of so’ (Ex. 47f), or, for that matter, tunes ending on so or la. In our collection, B№ 7a belongs to Ex. 47b-c, B№ 7b to Ex. 47e. B№ 7c may also be listed here, with an extension of the line after the wave.

Example 47 Various Mongolian Kazakh tunes with a hill-and-dale contour
in the first line (see also B№ 7a-c) a)  , b)  , c)  , d)  , e)  , f) 

The next type displays strong similarities with the previous one of smaller compass. The melody outline of the first line is so'-do'-so'-mi-so'-do'. AkARefA and AkA forms are also frequent (Ex. 48a-b).

Example 48 Mongolian Kazakh tunes with a wave in the first line
a)  , b) 

The so-pentatonic tunes of Ex. 49 have a striking similarity with the la-pentatonic tunes of Ex. 47. Later parallel melodies will be shown, too. It underscores the importance of the hill-and-dale form that it not only occurs but is also strongly represented among tunes with cadential do, so and – as will be seen soon – la.

Example 49 So-pentatonic tunes with a hill-and-dale first line a)  , b)  , c) 

The largest la-pentatonic tune group is characterized by the hill-and-dale first line turning up to the7th degree as was so decisive with the do- and so-pentatonic group. Fewer are the tunes turning up from so (Ex. 50a) and more are those that undulate between do and la' (Ex. 50b). There was only a single occurrence found for a tune with the wavy first line ending on a final 8th (Ex. 50c).

Example 50 La-pentatonic tunes with a hill-and-dale first line
a) turning up from so  , b) undulates between do and la'  , c) wavy first line ending on a final 8th (ex.50c) 

Vale-shaped, concave first lines

Although the discussion here highlights the shape of a vale in the first line, it will be immediately seen that apart from the launching of the line, the tunes are highly similar to the hill-and-dale first lines, although here the cadential 8th is more frequent.

The first line of the first concave type plots so’-mi-re-do-mi-so’-la’. The overall form is again typically AkA (Ex. 51a-b) and AkARefA. Ex. 51c outlines a melody contour like that, although it could also be taken for the extreme case of the hill-and-dale group. Remember that B№ 2a-c also had a concave first line which were laments and there the concave line was caused by a basically descending first line cadentially rising to the 5th degree. That was why they were discussed with the descending laments.

Example 51 Mongolian Kazakh tunes with a concave first line a)  and b) 

There are only a few melodies with high and dale-like first line. The first line of these melodies usually starts and ends on the 11/12 degrees. One example is Ex. 52 with a form ABRefC.

Example 52 Mongolian Kazakh tune with a high first line  

Dale-and-hill first lines

Among the melodious tunes, those with a dale-and-hill first line also need mentioning. The tune of the example is la-pentatonic, whereas this tonality is relatively rare among Mongolian Kazakhs. Two specimens of the la'-mi-re-mi-la'-mi la-pentatonic tunes of the dale-and-hill type are included in our collection, one of them shown below (Ex. 53)

Example 53 Dale-and-hill first lines  

There is another la-pentatonic tune type with dale-and-hill first line, characterized by a steep rise to the 8th degree after a slight descent in the first line (Ex. 54).

Example 54 Dale-and-hill shaped first lines  

The rest of the la-pentatonic tunes cannot be ranged with any of the above types or tune groups. There are only two la-pentatonic tunes in our collection, B№ 9 with a jumpy first line and B№ 10 with a deep vale in the first line.

Picture 12 Relatives praying in the yurt on the first anniversary of the death of our Kazakh assistant, Babakumar’s father (Bayan Ölgiy)

First lines hopping on a tri- or tetrachord

After the descending and undulating, melodious forms, let us now see some more hectic melodic lines. The first line again conceals twin bars.

The first type has a first line hopping on the notes re-mi-so'-la', ending on so’ or la’. Motifs often recur even within a line. In the simplest form, the first line oscillates on two notes (Ex. 55a), but this is rare in Mongolian Kazakh folk music. Melodic motion along a tri- or tetrachord, as in the first line of Ex. 55b is far more frequent. The form of this tune in kolomeika rhythm is AkARefA, with aka bar structure in the first line. In our own collection, Ex. 55c clearly belongs here, and apart from its do-final it adjusts to a fifth shifting pattern. The short-lines of B№ 4a-b laments are also of this character, but we ranged them with laments.

Example 55 Mongolian Kazakh songs with first lines jumping about in a high register (see also B№ 4a-b) a) first line oscillates on two notes  , b) Melodic motion along a tri- or tetrachord  , c) a similar melody from my collection 

There is a noteworthy series of tunes whose members are united by the mi-so’-la’-so’ progression of the first line, the tripodal structure and the four-line construction as well as the cadential 7th-b3rd-4th (B№ 8a-e). This melody pattern is predominant both in quantity and the number of variants. It is illuminating to see how a melody idea takes various shapes while remaining essentially the same, eg. in giusto B№ 8a-d and the lamenting B№ 5a-d. These songs all share a first line moving around the pitch of the 7th degree and closing there, and a second line descending from the 7th to the b3rd degree. Line three – as usual with four-line tunes – is widely varied, while the closing line ends on the b3rd degree or do note, after touching on a few adjacent notes. Despite its higher cadences, B№ 8d is similar in nature. B№ 8e is also subsumed here for its similar melodic progression, although not only the cadential notes deviate but the 11-syllable line changes from 4|4|3 subdivision to 4|3|4. You will remember that the same 7-b3-4 cadential sequence and ABCB form was characteristic of some small-size basically descending lament tunes (B№ 5b-d). The genres are most diverse, including kara öleŋ, jarapazan religious song, song of advice, lament, betašar, lullaby and bride's farewell song.

Example 56 Four-line song with cadential 7-b3-4
(see also B№ 8a-c, B№ 5a-d)  

Typical of the second type is the first line jumping on do'-(ti')-la'-so'. Motivic repetition and the AkARefA form are also frequent. In some cases the first line of aka or, conceived differently, aba motivic structure ends on the note ti (Ex. 57).

Example 57 First line jumping about on the notes do'-(ti')-la'-so'  

The third type has a first, not always pentatonic line that moves up and down on do-re-mi-(fa)-so' notes, Apart from tunes with undulating first lines, this group also includes lines with aba and aka motivic structure (Ex. 58a-b). Another, relatively large and non-pentatonic group only uses the notes re-mi-fa-so' (Ex. 58c). Similarly hesitant progression characterizes B№ 11.

Example 58 Not always pentatonic first line oscillating on notes do-re-mi-(fa)-so'
a) and b) aba and aka motivic structure   , c) notes re-mi-fa-so' pentachord 

There is a group among tunes with a first line hopping about on a tri- or tetrachord and ending on so, whose first line built of twin bars is characterized by a mid-line rest on so' after do-re-mi and re-mi-fa waves and by a line-ending mi after similar melodic progression to the first half (Ex. 59a-b). It is not hard to find analogies with the Ex. 58 tunes ending on do.

Example 59 First lines undulating on do-re-mi-so and re-mi-fa-so tetrachords    

Picture 13 Kenesar singing (Nalayh)

Unique tunes

Let me finally list some individual Mongolian Kazakh tunes that deserve attention for some reason.

The regular pentatonic jar-jar wedding song always ending on do has a unique variant, shown in Ex. 60a, as it only has three lines and besides, the central note of the second line is fa. Ex. 60b displays an ab|ab+c twin-bar structure, which is unique yet apparently authentic.

Example 60 Unique Mongolian Kazakh tunes
a) unique variant of the jar-jar wedding song  , b) ab|ab+c twin-bar structure 

Ex. 61 with a brief ascending first line and a replying brief descent also seems authentic yet unique. This melody construction can be found in our collection in the second half of a lullaby (B№ 12) and a bride's farewell (B№ 13).

Example 61 Unique starting ascent  

Also rare is the tune with aa bar structure and oscillating ti'-la'-so'-mi notes (Ex. 62). This is, however, one of the tunes that reminds of certain melodies of the Hungarian psalmodic melodies with its 5-b3-b3 cadences despite the do final.

Example 62 Unique Mongolian Kazakh tune  

There are individual religious jarapazan tunes as well (Ex. 63a-b). 37 Other tunes belonging to the traditional genres are the New Year's congratulatory songs (like carols), performed during the spring New Year's holiday nawriz, which is widely celebrated by the peoples of Central Asia and the Near East. 38 Bedik can be cited among the old Kazakh curing ceremonies. I have not recorded any of the latter.

Example 63 Unique jarapazan tunes a)  and b) 

Fourth and fifth shifting

As has been seen, it is not typical of Mongolian Kazakh tunes to be constructed with a definite fifth- or fourth-shift. In some cases, however, such parallelisms between lines can be noted, although these do not coalesce into separate types in Kazakh folk music (Ex. 64)

Example 64 Mongolian Kazakh fourth and fifth shifting  

The rest of the do-pentatonic tunes amounting to some 5 % cannot be ranged with the above classes. Most of them have very large compasses. The rest of the so- or la-pentatonic and the very few re-pentatonic tunes do not allow for groups to be defined.

Picture 14 Light filtering through the top of the yurt (Mangkïstaw)

Comparing the music of the two Kazakh areas

Having got acquainted with the folk music of the two Kazakh regions, let us now compare the music of Mangkïstaw in southwest Kazakhstan with that of Bayan Ölgiy and Nalayh in Mongolia far apart.

Comparison is made in two steps. First the overall musical characteristics such as scales, compasses, forms, rhythms, cadences, syllable numbers, melody contours are compared. This is followed by a more complex comparison of tune types in the course of which the possible Anatolian and Hungarian analogies are also referred to.

General musical features

Scalar basis

Narrow scales with a range of a sixth or less predominate in lots of Kazakh songs, such as ceremonial songs. In developed strophic songs the scale and the melody reach the compass of an octave or ninth above the lower tonic. In individual cases even wider ranges are used. There is a decided preference for the range of an octave and adjacent ranges of a seventh or ninth.39

To judge by Zataevič’s data,40 pentatonicism is regionally distributed over the vast area of Kazakhistan, most concentrated in the Eastern area. One should not overlook the influence of such neighbouring, pentatonically oriented music cultures as those of the Tatars and Bashkirs and Mongols in discussing Kazakh pentatonicism.

The main difference between the scales of the two studied areas is this: while in the folk music of the Mongolian Kazakhs the scale is mostly the anhemitonic do-pentatonic (la’)-so’-mi-re-do, in Mangkïstaw the diatonic la’-so’-(fa)-mi-re-do-ti-la scale with a minor third is preponderant. At the same time, in Mangkïstaw tunes of a wider range (1-7/8) the 6th degree may be missing or inserted in unaccented places, which lends the tunes a somewhat pentatonic flavour. In Bayan Ölgiy, on the other side, the notes ti and fa may occur in less accented places such as ornaments or unstressed beats. In the two areas we have only found a few authentic Mixolydian melodies.

The compass of the tunes of both areas ending on do is mostly VII-7/8 or b3-7/8, but here the difference between the two tone sets is fixed in the so,-do and do-so, leap, respectively. It generally applies that the highest note of the archaic tunes of the two Kazakh areas is the 7th or 8th degree, irrespective of the closing note. 41 This also means that the range of the do-pentatonic tunes is usually smaller than the compass of the tunes ending on la or so, which is usually an octave or seventh.

In some cases chromatic scales appear. In minor scales chromatization occurs on three degrees. In cadences the lowering of the second degree can be met with (Aeolian–Phrygian). The sixth degree is sometimes unstable too (Dorian–Aeolian). Both phenomena can be seen in Anatolia, too. The chromatization of the third degree of an Aeolian scale is rare in Anatolia, but can often be encountered in Kazakh folk music.

Figure 6 Most typical scales and compasses in Bayan Ölgiy and Mangkïstaw


Very rare are the tunes comprising a single (A) or three different (ABC) lines in Kazakh areas, and unlike in Anatolia, the AkA and AvA forms are not too frequent, either. What numbers high in both Kazakh areas is the two-line and four-line form as well as constructions derived from them.

As regards two-line forms, the most frequent basic formula is AB, in which each musical line occurs once. Via the unchanged or varied repetition of these two lines, a variety of subsidiary forms come about, such as AAB, AAAB, ABB, ABBB, etc. It is also frequent that in the course of a song, the A and B cores occur in different grouping, e.g. AAB|AB, AB|ABB, AAABkB, etc. This is also a characteristic feature in Anatolia but rare in Hungarian folk music – the latter apparently preferring the more regular four-line structure, at least over the recent decades.

Of course, regular forms divided into four equal parts also occur in Kazakh folk music. Most frequent are the four different lines (ABCF), but these narrow-compass lines are not too characteristic, often coming stepwise lower. 42 Many four-line tunes have repeated lines, producing forms like AABC, ABAC, ABCC, ABBC, etc.

Rare is the purely twin-bar construction, although in refrains and inside lines – mainly first lines – bar repetitions are popular. In the most typical cases of these, the first lines define the aa, aka or aba bar structures.

Whenever in tunes of AkA or AvA line structure the motifs of the first line occur again in the second, the tune is practically built of a single twin bar. Let me illustrate it with the tunes of AkA structure in Ex. 67, of which Ex. 67a-b have aak|ab bar structure, Ex. 67d has aba|abc pattern.

What is more, even ostensibly four-line tunes can be built of a single pair of bars. An example is Ex. 67e, whose line formula is AkARefA and whole bar scheme is aka|akb|xx|akc. Such and suchlike motific construction is more typical of pentatonicism. It is not surprising therefore that while in some Hungarian styles of pentatonic character there is a multitude of such songs, in Mangkïstaw and Anatolia they can hardly be traced.


In laments, lullabies and usually the simplest small-compass tunes there are no refrains, while in more recently developed styles they are frequent. A simple form of refrain is the closing line repeated with slight modifications. The short few-bar formula is also frequently added to the end of the last line of the tune.

Refrains may attain great length, and can then constitute whole strophes. Four-line refrains may be added to the 'psalmodic' songs, kara än, religious jarapazan tunes or to the termes. Terme tunes are usually closed off by a one- or two-line descent at slowed down tempo, begun around so' when the final note was do and around mi when the song ended on la. Most refrains close on the same note as the tune proper. Let me finally remark that many tunes have ABRefB or AkARefA structures, in which the refrain-lines normally constitute two identical bars or a twin bar.

Some tunes are introduced by opening calls. The opening calls in Kazakh songs consist of long, loud so, mi or do tones sung to a short exclamation. It is not infrequent to have this note preceded by a short upward glide or followed by a downward glide. These calls seem to call the listeners' attention to the beginning of the song, as happens in Anatolia and in many other countries, too.


In both Kazakh areas the 2/4 giusto rhythm is predominant in every syllable structure heard in about half the tunes. Rarer is the melody built of 2/4 and 3/4 bars. The rest of the tunes are in parlando or more freely treated rhythm, and some are performed rubato, with the stressed elongation of some notes. Asymmetric rhythms, a vital preserver possibly of the one-time Greek influence in Anatolia, can almost exclusively be met with in religious songs; they sporadically also occur in Hungarian areas too.


In some musical styles the line-ending notes are highly informative, while in others – e.g. with agile pentatonic tunes – they reveal little. In Mangkïstaw, there are saliently many main cadences on the b3rd degree, followed by the 1st, 2nd and 5th degrees. The 4th and 8th degrees are rare as main cadences, the rest hardly occuring at all. In Bayan Ölgiy the do-pentatonic scales predominate, which also implies that the closing note of the tune is at the same time its lowest, thus it is not surprising that the 1st and b2nd main cadences are missing. The main cadential degrees are b3rd, 5th, 7th, 4th and 8th; the 7th degree that hardly occurs as the main cadence in the other area plays a significant role here, so much so that the main close of one of the most important homogeneous Mongolian Kazakh tune group is the 7th.

Melody contours

Apart from the descending laments, the first lines of the tunes in Bayan Ölgiy are convex, concave or hill-and-dale shaped. Apart from these, some more restless up-and-down moving melody lines of various character, the lines reciting on a few adjacent tones and others jumping about on several notes are also frequent. Although the second half of the Mongolian Kazakh tunes are deeper than the first, only rarely can parallelisms be demonstrated between the lines, let alone fourth- or fifth shifting.

In Mangkïstaw, the most typical contour of the first line of la-pentatonic tunes is convex, it being flatter in laments, psalmodic tunes and some narrow-range tunes. The two-line la-pentatonic tunes of a wider compass and even the only major do-pentatonic tune group also have a hill-shaped first line. So it seems that it is the convex curve traced by the Mangkïstaw melodies that render them so homogeneous. There are few tunes here with a definitely descending or ascending first line, or outlining a hill-and-dale curve. The rest of the melodious forms are missing. This feature differentiates this set of tunes markedly from the diversity of Mongolian Kazakh tunes.

For the sake of comparison, let is be noted that in Anatolia, the preponderant melody progression is descent within each line. The same applies to some old Hungarian styles, but the pentatonic strata of Hungarian folk music resemble the Bayan Ölgiy region in the richness of their melody outlines.

After the general properties, let us try to compare the tune types of the two Kazakh areas on the basis of the melody contours, mainly that of the first line. Although the shape of a melody line cannot always be registered precisely, it seems that with these simple two-core tunes of an octave or less in compass it is the melody shape of the first line that helps best demonstrate the contacts and relations between the tunes. Of course, the register of the line is also to be taken into account. As each tune group was analysed in detail in the previous chapters, let us now recall their fundamental traits only.

As laments are of signal importance, they are to be discussed first. They will be followed by melodious tune progressions, that is, songs whose first lines trace a hill, a vale of a wave. Finally, tunes with a more animated, oscillating first lines will be the subject of comparison.

Picture 15 Prayer to the saint in the cemetery of Akšukïr (Mangkistaw)
- Cemetery, - Prayer at the grave of the saint

Lament tunes

The custom of lamentation over a dead person is alive in both Kazakh areas. The descending line of Mongolian Kazakh laments are unique in an area of melodious tunes, while the Mangkïstaw laments of shallow mounds in their first lines fit in well with the rest of the melodies there. The laments of the two areas have both similar and dissimilar features.

In the central form of Mangkïstaw laments, a so-la-so-(fa)-mi first line is followed by a lower mi-fa-so-fa-mi-re second line (Ex. 65a).43 In the Bayan Ölgiy area the main lament motif is the so-mi-re-do descent followed by a smaller mi-re-do descent (Ex. 65b). The common structural feature in the laments of the two areas is the short, eight-syllable lines divided 3|2|3 as well as the existence of a one-line lament which is identical with the first line of the two-line lament.

Is there any connection between the Kazakh laments and the mutually highly similar Anatolian and Hungarian laments? The simplest Anatolian lament descends to do on the notes so-(fa)-mi-re-do, just like the Kazakh laments in Mongolia. The central form of the Anatolian and Hungarian laments also most often descends on the so-(fa)-mi-re-do notes, with two different lines, as one ends on re, the other on do (Ex. 65d). I have only found a single such Kazakh lament – and that in Mangkïstaw, too, where the other lament structure is predominant (Ex. 65e).

Example 65 a) A lament from Mangkïstaw with line-ending re and do (Ex. 6 ),
b) descending Mongolian Kazakh lament with cadential
do (Ex. 37 ),
c) one-line Anatolian lament closing on
do (Sipos 1994: № 22 ),
d) two-line Anatolian lament with cadential
re and do (Sipos 1994: № 41 ),
e) a Mangkïstaw lament with cadences on
re and do (Ex. 30 )

As has been seen, the first line of the Mangkïstaw laments may end, besides the most frequent 2nd degree (mi), on b3rd, 4th or 5th degrees (la, so, fa), whereas the first line of the two-line Mongolian Kazakh laments may only stop cadentially on the 5th degree apart from do. In Ex. 66a I show a Mangkïstaw lament ending on mi and in Ex. 66b a Mongolian Kazakh lament with the final mi note. It is not infrequent in Anatolia that the first line stops on mi (Ex. 66c).

Despite the narrow range, the involvement of two musical ideas and the identity of the line-ending notes, there are great differences between the Kazakh laments of the two areas. As against the convex tune line of the Mangkïstaw laments ending on la, the Mongolian Kazakh tune of pentatonic character closing on do is definitely descending. The second lines are even more pronouncedly different. The character of the first line of the Anatolian lament stagnating on the 5th degree is utterly different, too.

Example 66 a) Mangkïstaw lament with main cadence on mi (№ 12b ),
b) Mongolian Kazakh lament with
mi close (Ex. 38 ),
c) Anatolian lament with a mi main close (from the archive of S.Ü. of Konya )

Let us infer some conclusions. The laments of Mangkïstaw and those of Anatolia (and Hungary) display structural similarities with their two lines one progressing directly below the other and closing on notes one below the other. Their tone sets are, however, different. Although the tone set of the Mongolian Kazakh laments are similar to that of the Hungarian and Anatolian laments, their structural construction is different.

The laments can eventually be schematized as the combination of four motifs descending one below the other or shaped like a flat mound. These motifs, progressing downwards, are: 1) so-la-so-(fa)-Mi, 2) mi-so-(fa)-mi-Re, 3) so/re-mi-re-Do, 4) re-mi-re-do-Ti. The laments of the studied ethnic units are built from these motifs as follows: Mangkïstaw Kazakh: 1 and 1+2; Mongolian Kazakh: 3, Anatolian Turkish and Hungarian: 2, 3 and 2+3. As for laments, thus the Anatolian and Hungarian are closest to each other, Mongolian Kazakh laments also coming close, while the laments in Mangkïstaw being different.

Picture 16 Tilew singing and playing the dombïra (Nalayh)

'Melodious' melody progressions

In both areas, the lines of several tunes display definitely 'melodious' forms, meaning that the melody contour of their first lines is a distinct mound, or vale or hill-and-vale form. Such forms evolve when in one direction more than two steps are taken followed by a change in direction. When an ascending or descending line is established, a single step in the opposite direction can be ignored, since one tone in countermotion normally does not change the direction of the progress. One line contains maximum two units (hill, vale, descent, ascent). In these melody arches one can often discern repetitive or varied motivic bar structure such as a wave-line being constituted by aba bars.

Before embarking on the Kazakh areas, let us recall that in Anatolian and Hungarian folk music, the most frequent form occuring is the hill or convex line. At the same time, while in Anatolian and Hungarian folk musics the descending and stagnating lines have quite a large number, in Kazakh areas one rarely finds their equivalents.


A popular form in Mongolian Kazakh folk music is the undulating hill-and-dale form. This form can not only be found in plenitude among the predominant do-pentatonic tunes but also constitutes significant groups among the much rarer la-pentatonic and sporadic so-pentatonic tunes. Though rarer, the hill-and-dale form also occurs in Mangkïstaw areas.

The following example shows hill-and-dale tunes of various tonality and structure. The do-pentatonic Mongolian Kazakh tune of aak|ab structure presented in Ex. 67a only deviates from the so- and la-pentatonic undulating Mongolian Kazakh tunes in Ex. 67b-c in its closing section. A tune from Mangkïstaw (Ex. 67d) also traces a la-pentatonic wave; its Mongolian Kazakh do-pentatonic counterpart is shown in Ex. 67e. The latter tune also well illustrates how a pair of aka bars can be developed into a Mongolian tune of a complete four-line AkARefA structure, or in detail, aka|akb|xx|akc.

Example 67 a) Mongolian Kazakh do-pentatonic tune of aak|ab structure (Ex. 46b ),
b) Mongolian Kazakh
so-pentatonic tune with aak|ab structure (Ex. 49b ),
c) Mongolian Kazakh
la-pentatonic wave (Ex. 50b ),
la-pentatonic wave from Mangkïstaw  ,
e) Mongolian Kazakh tune of
AkARefA line structure or aka|akb|xx|akc bar structure (Ex. 61 )


The hill-shaped first line is strongly represented in southwest Kazakh areas. The narrow-compass lines of laments also delineate a shallow mound, and a hill appear in the first lines of the medium-wide and wide-range la- and do-pentatonic tunes in Mangkïstaw. As against that, the convex first line only occurs among the very rare la-pentatonic tunes in Mongolian Kazakh folk music, and there it is not frequent, either. In Ex. 68a a Kazakh tune from Mangkïstaw, in Ex. 68b one from Mongolia are shown, both with a convex first line. It is typical that the second line of the Mongolian Kazakh tune quits the peaceful shape of the first line and plunges into vigorous undulation.

Example 68 a) convex form Mangkïstaw (Ex. 20c ),
b) Mongolian Kazakh convex form (Kaz-58 )


Dale-shaped first lines only occur in Mongolian Kazakh folk music, also rarely, and also seldom in a pure form. Not infrequently they are blurred variants of the frequent hill-and-dale formula, since apart from the first few tones, they are almost note-for-note identical with the undulating first lines (Ex. 69).

Example 69 A dale-shaped first line from Bayan Ölgiy (Ex. 51a )


However rarely, distinctly rising first lines appear in both areas. This musical pattern is not frequent among Turkic peoples. The ascending first line is always followed by a clearly descending second line. The following example illustrates this, first with a rather long Mangkïstaw tune (Ex. 70a) and then with a Mongolian Kazakh melody of built of shorter lines (Ex. 70b).

Example 70 Two melodies with rising first lines
a) longer ascent  , b) short ascent 

Picture 17 A gravestone similar to wooden grave markers in Hungary (Mangkïstaw)
- Gravestone

Recitative, oscillating melody progression

Lots of tunes move on the notes of bi-, tri- or tetrachords, and this movement is sometimes without any marked conception while at other times, it creates distinct motifs. This was seen e.g. in the popular 'psalmodic' tunes of Mangkïstaw having the common feature of being recited on the notes of the mi-re-do trichord with an overall tendency of descending and ending cadentially on 5-b3-4. Such tunes can be found galore in Anatolian and Hungarian folk music. The next example illustrates this pattern from all three areas. Ex. 71a is a popular Mangkïstaw tune, Ex. 71b is an Anatolian wedding tune, and Ex. 71c is a fine old-style Hungarian melody. The similarity between the tunes needs no lengthy explanation.

Example 71 Psalmodic tunes a) from Mangkïstaw (Ex. 12 ),
b) Anatolia (Sipos 1994, № 127 ), c) Hungary (Kodály 1976, № 176 )

Recitative tunes also include a plenitude of terme songs from Mangkïstaw which are constructed of lines recited on one or two notes. A part of them also recite the notes of the mi-re-do trichord, while some have wider compass. Many examples can be found in the appended collection № 1a-i.

Mongolian Kazakhs also use a type of psalmodic melody construction which has the first line in a high register before recitation on the mi-re-do trichord. I present such a Mongolian Kazakh tune as well as similar Anatolian and Hungarian melodies in Ex. 72. Besides the similar melody outlines, the tunes are also bound by the 7-b3-b3 and 7-b3-4 cadences, although the Mongolian Kazakh tune ends on do, the Hungarian and Anatolian ones close on la.

Example 72 Psalmodic tunes a) Mongolian Kazakh (B№ 8a ),
b) Anatolian (Sipos 1994, № 114 ), c) Hungarian (Kodály 1976, № 133 )

Other lines moving along a tri- or tetrachord

The first lines of several tunes found in Bayan Ölgiy hopped about on a tri- or tetrachord notes. It is not recitation based on note repetition we have here but an unconceptual up-and-down movement within a certain interval. The impression of jumping is caused by the pentatonic steps, therefore it is obviously characteristic of some Hungarian pentatonic layers while rarely occuring in Anatolian or Mangkïstaw tunes.

These motions are hard to classify but they are all within an interval of a fourth or fifth and comprise pentatonic up-and-down steps. Twin bars within a melody line are not infrequent, or at times, a line may only be built from a single bar. It is important to realize that the Mongolian Kazakh religious tunes as well as the Mangkïstaw songs in more recent style are of this structure. The following example shows two such Mongolian Kazakh tunes. Despite the visible deviations, the tunes are strongly related on account of their similar motifs.

Example 73 a) jumping do-pentatonic tune from Bayan Ölgiy (Ex. 58 ),
b) jumping
so-pentatonic tune from Bayan Ölgiy (KAZ-157 )

Picture 18 The author with singers in Aktaw (Amandïk to the right)
- Amandik plays the dombra


In view of the vastness of Kazakhstan and the complexity of the ethnogenesis of the Kazakh people, it is not hard to anticipate that a wide variety of musical dialects can be encountered in areas populated by Kazakh. Sure enough, while the Kazakh language is highly unified despite dialectical deviations, great differences in music have been found.

According to Beliaev (1932) there are three main areas. The songs of southern Kazakhstan (the Semirechie, Aral region, the banks of the Syr-Darya) are marked by simplicity of form, regularity of rhythm. In the west (the trans-Ural region and the Caspian shore) lyricism, with wide melodies, has developed on the one hand, and terme or recitative forms, on the other. In central Kazakhstan one must mention a special wealth of melodic means of musical expression, breadth of melody and complex structure of verse forms.

The typical do- and so-pentatonic tunes of Mongolian Kazakhs are closer to the pentatonic melody style of Mongolian Tatars, while the majority of tunes in West Kazakhstan move along the Aeolian scale so much favoured in Hungarian areas. Many signs indicate that Kazakhs living in China have similar musical styles to Kazakhs in Mongolia. In the two studied Kazakh areas a tempestuous and complex ethnogenesis can be discerned, which is presumably to blame for the limited number and homogeneity of musical styles. This is sharply in contrast with the extremely varied Anatolian or Hungarian folk music.

As regards laments, highly intricate connections have been found. Some threads tie the Anatolians laments to Mangkïstaw ones, others tie the Mongolian Kazakh laments to them. There is a single Mangkïstaw lament which displays perfect identity with the small form of Turkish and Hungarian laments. It is an important recognition that psalmodic tunes are popular not only in Anatolia and Hungary, but also in Mangkïstaw of the Turkic cultural sphere. Most of the other similarities and differences derive from the fact that Bayan Ölgiy is predominated by the do-pentatonic scale while in Mangkïstaw the Minor scale is preponderant. Pentatonic scales go together with pentatonic agility, which determines the character of the tunes. In this regard, the music of Mongolian Kazakhs is similar to styles of Chinese Mongols, the Volga region and some Hungarian styles, while the music of Mangkïstaw is closer to Anatolia.

It can be presumed on the basis of the above research and the study of available Azeri, Turkmen and Kirghiz musics, that a major areal deviation can be spotted here transgressing the area populated by Kazakhs. The 'upper' pentatonic zone stretches from China through Mongolia and Kazakhstan to the Volga region, while in the south pentatony is found at most in traces, if at all, from Kirghiztan and South Kazakhstan throught the land of the Turkmens and Azeris to Anatolia.

The south-western Kazakh folk music has little to do with Chuvash, Tatar, Bashkir, or again, Mongolian and Chinese tunes of wider compass and usually pentatonic scale. Their music is predominated by modest forms and the relatively free, unstrophic forms are quite frequent. A closer look, however, has exposed similar musical solutions governed by identical mentality under widely deviant surfaces. There is a striking scarcity of giusto tunes, which must be ascribed to the astonishing fact that the Kazakhs do not dance.

At the same time, the music of both studied areas adds some peculiar hues to the world of folk music. A comparison of Mongolian Kazakh as well as e.g. Mongolian, Tatar or Hungarian pentatonic tunes would go far beyond the purview of this book. It suffices to cast a glance at the Tatar tune in Ex. 36 to guess the differences. Similarly, there is a conspicuous beauty in the special realm of south-western Kazakh tunes which, though diatonic, typically differ from Azeri or Anatolian tunes even in their small forms.

All this tends to prove the assumption that the time has not yet come to draw too general conclusions about the musics of Turkic peoples. When, however, one takes the risk of a more comprehensive vision, minute and meticulous data collection, analysis and most importantly, comparative research have many an unexpected finding in store.

The advantages of first-hand collecting are discussed in detail at the beginning of the book. Let me point out two of its positive consequences. One is the possession of tape recordings, allowing us to listen to the tunes many times and correct mistakes. It also enabled us to prepare a CD containing examples of the main melody types.

Several musical transcriptions were included in the study and several references have been made to further examples of each type at the end of the book. These examples can be perused without reading the study. Before they are touched on, however, let us get acquainted with Kazakh phonetics and the problems raised by transcribing Kazakh texts.

Picture 19 A camel standing in our way (Mangkïstaw)

About the transcription of Kazakh texts*

The text in Kazakh Folksongs

The basic verse lines of Kazakh folksongs are seven or eleven syllables long.

The seven-syllable lines are the ceremonial songs, lullabies, children's songs and terme texts. These verse lines usually have a 4|3 division. However, the augmentation of the heptasyllabic line through the addition of exclamations is not rare. One may rather say that it is the consistently applied 7-syllable line that is rare. When performing a terme, the singer recites lines of highly varying syllable number, but the duration of a line in time is usually identical. Ample examples can befound among the texts of tunes № 1a-i, 2a-i. The text is enlarged in an interesting way in the folksongs: not infrequently, the additional text is put to the longest notes (e.g. Ex. 11).

Eleven-syllabic are the lyrical songs, the jarapazan, some terme melodies and many love songs, as well as the actual folksongs, the kara än. The verse lines are often complicated by the insertion of additional syllables, exclamations and other words, which augment the syllabic content of the lines and actually lead to the creation of new forms of prosody. The Kazakhs divide the eleven syllables into three groups (3|4|4) and this gives a strong national flavour to the metrics of Kazakh folksongs (Ex. 11). A 4|3|4 division is very rare, nor is a 4|4|3 structure as popular as in the folksongs of other Turkic people. At the same time, the basic text of the jar-jar wedding song is 4|4|3 which is supplemented by the two-syllable refrain. Fine examples of these can be found among the tunes № 3a-d of Mongolian Kazakhs.

Disregarding the meaningless ay, ey, oy, goy, etc. syllables, we find that the most frequent forms in the two studied Kazakh areas are the seven-syllabic 4|3 form, the 11-syllabic 3|4|4 form, as well as the octosyllabic 3|2|3 division, and other forms derived from a mixture of 7- and 8-syllabic lines. This is widely different from the Anatolian and Hungarian patterns. Although the old style folksongs of both latter peoples have an inclination for schemes of 7 and 8 syllabic, as well as 11-syllabic lines, the division of the octosyllable is almost always 4|4, that of the 11 syllables 4|4|3 or 6|5. Let us see the main deviations summed up in the below table.

syllable number

Mangkïstaw and Mongolian Kazakh

Anatolian Turkish and Hungarian







7 and 8

2|3|2 and 4|3




4|4|3 and 6|5

The most typical syllabic patterns and divisions in Kazakh areas, in Anatolia and Hungary

A brief review of the phonology of the Kazakh language


















Let us see the approximate English counterparts of the Kazakh vowels. When a phoneme is marked identically in English or Hungarian, it is shown with =.















s/z, š/ž









English pronunciation of the Kazakh consonants










velar, guttural k produced as a plosive in the throat.

No separate phoneme but the pronunciation of k in words of back vowels. Not indicated in the study.


as English affricates ch/j.

In western Kazakh dialects mainly initially or after l/n, but in most dialects they turned into fricatives š/ž.


š as English sh, ž as French j.


an in English, tending to become a diphthong.


as English s/z.


as English, tending to become a diphthong.


velar, guttural g produced as fricative in the throat.

No separate phoneme but the pronunciation of g in words with back vowels. Not marked in the study.




guttural n, as in English sing.



About the transcription

Several principles can be observed when transcribing the texts. One may transliterate a text, when, however, some phonemes won't have their own written symbols. One may use phonetic transcription to give every sound a symbol. That would make transcription overcomplicated and mind-boggling, since a phoneme may have several variants (allophones) in a language. We have chosen a third, more scientific solution, indicating the separate phonemes only and giving explanations to the regular phonetic changes.

Kazakh spelling depends on pronunciation, with several deviations, so no servile transliteration is helpful. The main deviations are the following:

Close vowels (ï, i, u, ü) are highly reduced, tending towards open vowels (a, e, o, ö). In the cyrillic script separate symbols have been introduced to denote i and u (і and). The cyrillic i an u (i and u) denote compound sounds (uw/üw, ïy/iy) pronounced as diphthongs or long vowels, where the vowels are not reduced. Thus uw/üw are pronounced long ū or uw (not reduced u), e.g. suw, tuw-, baruw, kelüw. Similarly, the pronunciation of ïy/iy are long ī or iy (not reduced i), e.g. jïy-, sïy, kiy-, biy.

An important problem is the writing of velar k and g. In Kazakh they are not separate phonemes but allophones of k and g. Linguists often adhere to the orthography of the given language, which can be misleading, however. Kazakh spelling differentiates the two k and g sounds, while the closely related Kirghiz does not, although it also has them. The same applies to the Kazan Tatar and Bashkir languages, which are almost as close as dialects: k and q are marked in Bashkir and unmarked in Tatar. Karakalpak and Nogay – taken for dialects of Kazakh – display wavering. In pronunciation the two sounds are distinctly separate.

A scientific transcription should reflect the typical phonetical and morphological features, therefore the variants of k and g without phonemic value are not separately indicated in the book. In a word with back vowels, k and g are velar, in one with front vowels they are palatal. The transcription of words with mixed close and open vowels, mostly of Arabic or Persian origin, is problematic. In these languages there is no vowel harmony, but there are separate q and γ phonemes. In Kazakh, Persian x and Arabic x and h are often pronounced q, while γ sometimes replaces Arabic 'ayn. Kazakh, however, persists in its own phonological system and pronounces a back vowel after a velar k or g even if otherwise the word has front vowels, and vice versa, e.g. kïzmet (pron. qïzmet, Arabic hidmat), kitap (Arabic kitāb), kurmet (pron. qurmet, Arabic hurmat).

In short, although orthography differentiates velar k and g, they are not of phonemical value as their use is dependent on vowel harmony. In Arabic and Persian words of mixed vowels the lack of differentiated k and g causes no problem as in Kazakh a velar k or g can only be preceded by a velar vowel, as against the Uzbek or Uighur languages where vowel harmony ceased or is disintegrating and q and γ can also be followed by palatal sounds, e.g. Kaz. wakït (pron. waqït), Uzb. wäqit (spelt waqt) or Kaz. kabat (pron. qabat), Uigh. qäwät.

Transcription of the Kazakh alphabet
































w or uw/üw***













































*Only in Russian words, **Not separate phonemes, variants of g an k, ***w after vowels and uw/üw after consonants

About the orthography of texts in the music examples

In texts given with the music, some phonetic changes only present in colloquial speech are also indicated; though regular, they widely differ from dialect to dialect.


Labial harmony is rather hesitant, stronger in eastern dialects than in western ones, often only detectable in the second syllable, at other times throughout the word. For this reason, there is no labial harmony in the standard language. In the standard Kazakh the labial vowels (o/ö, u/ü) can only occur in the first syllable, except when upon the influence of w a diphthong is created: uw/üw, pronounced as ū, e.g. kelüw (pron. kelū), baruw (pron. barū).

Examples of wavering labial harmony: ötirik (standard form): ötürik/ötürük, küledi (standard): külödi/külödü; burïngï (literary form): burungï/burungu.

In words of front vowels i and e may adjust to labial sounds, while in words with back vowels only ï will, e.g. orïs or orus, but nogay (never nogoy, as the Kirghiz form), kurïk or kuruk, but kulan (after u there is not labialization in Kirghiz, either).

I and ï are highly reduced in Kazakh so they can often hardly be heard, or are omitted, e.g. topïrak or toprak (below the stave it is denoted as top'rak), baradï or barat (marked barad' in the score).

When a word ends on a vowel followed by a word with an initial consonant, the final vowel is usually omitted, e.g. kel' almaydï instead of kele almaydï, or kayd' eken instead of kayda eken, etc.

A in the first syllable may get palatalized. This may be caused by the following y, š or upon the influence of ï in the second syllable, whereas the in rest of the syllables there will be back vowels, e.g. šay or šäy (but šäyga), šaš or šäš (but šäštan).

A is sometimes pronounced labial in the songs similar to an o. We indicated this sound as å in the score.


In final or initial position k may become voiced when it meets a vowel or another voiced consonant, e.g. jaksï kïz or jaksï gïz, ak orda or ag orda, baruw kerek or baruw gerek.

The final p of adverbium perfecti (-Ip) may often become w before a vowel, especially in compound verb forms, e.g. körüw edi instead of körip edi , satïw aldï instead of satïp aldï. Rarely the intervocal b may also become w, e.g. kawak instead of kabak.

Since x is not a Kazakh phoneme and only occurs in Arabic-Persian languages, velar k often replaces it in colloquial speach, e.g. kalïk in place of xalïk, and often the standard language also adopts the velar k(q), e.g. kïzmet, kurmet (<xïzmet, xurmet). In southwestern dialects sometimes the velar k is pronounced x, e.g. xarlïk in place of karlïk.

Differences between the dialects in Ölgiy and Mangkïstaw

Though spread over a vast area, the Kazakh dialects are fairly close to each other. Kazakhs understand each other well, and apart from a few dialectal words, their vocabulary is identical, and pronunciation also slightly differs. The major deviations are the following.

In western dialects (Altay, Jungaria, Ala-tau) the initial č/j remains, and sometimes is even pronounced inside a word, e.g. čäšuw (standard šašuw), čïbïn (stand. šïbïn), jaman (stand. žaman).

Though standard pronunciation of j is ž, it is marked j in the text because this phoneme is originally j as ž is unknown in Turkic languages.

People in Mangkïstaw pronounce the affricates (č and j) as fricatives (š and ž), as indicated in the standard language.

Labialization is stronger in the Ölgiy dialects, e.g. Ölg. körgönüm - Mang. körgenim, Ölg. kurbumnuŋ - Mang. kurbumnïŋ. As was mentioned above, this is not included in the standard language: kurbïmnïŋ.

In Mangkïstaw dialects sometimes k is uttered x, e.g. karlïk replaced by xarlïk, while in Ölgiy the x of Persian and Arabic words is always a velar k, e.g. stand. xat, Ölg. kat.

Some dialect words from Bayan Ölgiy

turgoy = What’s more, stand. tügil
zakï (cf. Mong. dzax) = fair, stand. bazar
jäŋe = just now, stand. jaŋa
magat jok (cf. Mong. magad güi) = maybe/possible, stand. šïgar
kem jok (cf. Mong. gem güi)= no trouble/trifle, stand. ešteŋge emes
närse = what, stand. nemene
kiyttey= small, stand. kiškentay

Some dialect words from Mangkïstaw

nän = large, stand. ülken
ülek = he-camel(one-humped), stand. nar
jar = wall, stand. kerege
agaš üy = felt tent, stand. kiyiz üy
kaykï = singer, poet, stand. akïn
kurttay= small, stand. kiškentay

Kazakh song-texts and their English translation*

Wherever possible, literal translation is given, otherwise the meaning is tried to be rendered as precisely as possible. Some words that could not be made out are put in brackets in the Kazakh original and marked (...) in the Hungarian text.

Texts of the examples

Ex. 1 Terme ‘didactic song’, Turgan (cca.50), Mangkïstaw. Teŋge, 18 Sept 1997.

Sözdiŋ basï bismilla,
Bismillasïz pende is kïlma.
Katuwlansa kar tuwra,
Kelesi ayda tapsïrgan
Dünyeni rasul Allaga.
The first word is bismillah,
Don't start anything without bismillah.
If he hardens with wrath,
The Prophet will give the world
To Allah next month.

Ex. 2 Terme ‘didactic song’, Däwitbay (70), Mangkïstaw train station, 16 Sept 1997.

Bir degende ne jaman,
*Bilimsiz tuwsa ul jaman.
Eki dese ne jaman,
Ene tilin almagan,
Bile de bilse kïz jaman.

Üš degende ne jaman,
Üškilsiz kiyim bul jaman.
Tört degen ne jaman,
Töresin tuwra bermese,
Parakor bolsa biy jaman.

Bes degende ne jaman,
Bes waktïŋ namazïn,
Kaza kïlsa er jaman.

Altï dese ne jaman,
Alganša algan aruwïŋ,
Köp išinde küŋkildep,
Betiŋnen ursa bul jaman.

Jeti dese ne jaman,
Jetkinšekke ok tiyse,
Jer tayanbay turgïzbay,
Jan kïynagan bul jaman.

Segiz dese ne jaman,
Serke sandï at minse,
Sergeldeŋ sapar jol šekse,
Jürgen jolïŋ oŋbasa,
Oylaganïŋ bolmasa,
Kapïda bolsa er jaman.

Togïz dese ne jaman,
Altïn taktïŋ üstinde,
Tolïspay kalsa kan jaman.

On degende ne jaman,
Kaygïlï bolsa bul jaman.
On bir dese ne jaman,
Aramnan jïygan mal jaman.

On eki dese ne jaman,
Akïlï jok kïz jaman.

On üš dese ne jaman,
Kelin menen balaga
Buyïrmagan bolsa šal jaman.

Kimnen kalmas bul düniye,
Kapïda öter bul zaman.
First of all, what is bad?
A boy born without knowledge is bad.
Secondly, what is bad?
A self-important young wife
Not heeding to her mother-in-law's word is bad.

Thirdly, what is bad?
A dress without hemming is bad.
Fourthly, what is bad?
A greedy bey who
Breaches the law is bad.

Fifthly, what is bad?
A man who fails to say
His five prayers a day is bad.

Sixth, what is bad?
When the fairest lass you married
Shows dissatisfaction to others
And smacks your face, that's bad.

Seventh, what is bad?
When a young man is hit by a bullet,
He lies in agony,
He cannot get up, that's bad.

Eighth, what is bad?
The one that sits on a bad-legged horse,
Stumbling along the road.
His road won't lead him right,
His plan won't be realized.
A man in trouble is bad.

Ninth, what is bad?
When on a golden throne
The khan is too conceited.

Tenth, what is bad?
Someone being sad is bad.
Eleventh, what is bad?
Fortune gathered with much struggle is bad.

Twelfth, what is bad?
A silly lass is bad.

Thirteenth, what is bad?
When your wife and son
Cannot agree with your old father.

But the life of all of us
Will come to an end one day.

Ex. 3 Terme ‘didactic song’, Izbasar (60), Mangkïstaw. Aktaw, 15-17 Sept 1997.

Zamandasïm, Aral-bay,
Bilmey bir kaldïm balaŋdï.
Täwekel endi šükür edi,
Awzïŋa alma jamandï.
Men bilmey kaldïm kapïda,
Ayta almay sözdiŋ parkïn ay.

Ökingen men goy payda jok,
Kayïrïn bersin artïna.
Aynalayïn, Aral-bay,
Ayï bitkende ay da öler,
Jïlï bitkende jïl da öler.
My good buddy, Aral-bay,
I didn't know what'd happened to your son.
Audacity is a fine trait,
Don't mention me accursing.
It so happened I didn't get word,
What could I say now?

There is no sense in saying sorry.
May God rest him in peace.
Dear Aral-bay,
The month dies one day,
The year also dies.

Ex. 4 Sketch of terme without words, Nurmuxan (61), Mangkïstaw. Akšukïr, 21 Sept 1997.

Ex. 5 Sïŋsuw ‘bride’s farewell song’, Akles (65), Mangkïstaw. Jetibay, 19 Sept 1997.

Esiktiŋ aldï kara tas,
Kabïgïn al da malga šaš.
Janïmday körgen jan kökem,
Ayda bir apta amandas.

Bazardan kelgen keseler,
Šay samawrïn eseler.
Janïmday körgen jan anam,
Jolda bir kelip turgaysïŋ.
There's a black stone outside the door,
Peel its shell and throw it on the livestock.
My dear father, my sweet darling,
Greet me for a week every month.

Cups brought from the bazaar,
Tea is poured into them from the samovar.
Mother dearest, my sweet darling,
You will come along the road.

Ex. 6 Joktaw ‘lament’, Akles (65), Mangkïstaw. Jetibay, 19 Sept 1997.

Bismilla dep bastayïn,
Alïska šïgarïp tastayïn.
Ol düniya kïyïn-dï,
Oylanbay jetip bargaysïŋ.

Kïyamet degen kïyïn-dï,
Kïynalmay jetip bargaysïŋ.
Šerbettiŋ suwïn iškeysiŋ,
Šešine beliŋe tüskeysiŋ.

Jan surawšï kelgende,
Jawabïn tüzüw bergeysiŋ.
Peyištiŋ jolï üš ayïr,
Jaŋïlmay jolga tüskeysiŋ.
I start with bismillah,
Let my song resound far.
The netherworld is pitiless,
You haven't realized you are already there.

The last judgment is pitiless,
You will get there without doubt.
You will drink the water of the Sherbet,44
You will immerse in it, undressed to your waist.

When your soul is called to account,
You will give a straight answer.
There is a road forking three ways in Paradise,
But you must not miss your path.

Ex. 7 Joktaw ‘lament’, Ayjan (78), Mangkïstaw. Jïŋgïldï, 29 Sept 1997.

Ak sur at ayaŋday kör,
    bügin el jok,

Aldïŋda kus konganday
    aydïn köl jok.

Ayaŋdap ak sur at

Aldïŋda min de kel dep turgan
    kos küreŋ jok.

Karagïm aynalayïn maŋdayïŋnan,
Sen öziŋ kanday ediŋ!
Ketpeydi seni tatïp,
Jan tilim taŋdayïmnan.
Slow down, my flea-bitten grey horse,
    the countryside is deserted,
There is no vast sheet of water ahead where
    birds could alight.
Slow down, my flee-bitten grey, when you
    set out on the road,
There is no sorrel lead in front which I could
    change for.

My sweetest love, ah, your beautiful brow,
How beautiful you were yourself!
I have tasted you and now
My tongue sticks to my palate.

Ex. 8 Joktaw ‘lament’, Däwitbay’s wife (cca.70), Mangkïstaw train station, 16 Sept 1997.

Ay, menen künim tutïldï,
Altïn bir sakam utïldï.
Utkan bir kisi berer-me,
Jezdekem kaytïp keler-me?
My sun have darkened,
I have lost my golden ankle-bone.
Will the one who wins it return it?
Will my brother-in-law return?

Ex. 9 Sïŋsuw ‘bride's farewell song’, Akles (65), Mangkïstaw. Jetibay, 19 Sept 1997.

Bazardan kelgen keseler,
Šay samawrïn eseler.
Janïmday körgen jan anam,
Jolda bir kelip turgaysïŋ.
Cups bought in the bazaar,
Around the samovar.
Mother dearest, darling,
Stand there on the road.

Ex. 10 Sïŋsuw ‘bride’s farewell song’, Toydïk (cca.60), Mangkïstaw. Kïzïlsay, 18 Sept 1997.

kez de toksan bastï iyil, äke,
Sïymadï torgay basïm bïyïl, äke.
Kïz da bolsam äkeme ulday edim,
Jek körgenin äkemniŋ bïyïl bildim.
... bend your head ninety times, father.
My lark-head won't be stroked by my father this year.
Though I was a girl, my father loved me as his son,
But now I've realized he hates me.

Ex. 11 Kara än ‘simple song’, Nurmuham­bet (50), Mangkïstaw. Kïzïlsay, 18 Sept 1997.

Bir küy bar dombïramda, tartïlmagan,
Bir sïr bar köŋilimde, aytïlmagan.
Änimdi arnadïm men, säwlem sagan,
Köziŋnen aynalayïn jawtaŋdagan.

Ak säwle aspan menen talasasïŋ,
Tögilip ïyïgïŋa kara šašïŋ.
Jalt berip kuralay köz

Janïmnïŋ jaylawïna jarasasïŋ.

Šïnar ay, Šïnar ay, gašïgïŋ sizge

Šïnïŋdï aytšï känekiy,
Jas jürek kašan tïnar.
There's a song in my dombra, so far never played,
There's a secret in my heart, so far never told.
I meant my song for you, sweetheart,
The lustre of your fair eyes bewitches me.

The white light of your face rivals that of the sky,
Your black hair is falling down upon your shoulders.
Your eye flashes, as if you were the fawn of the
    tatar antelop,
You fit well in the abode of my soul.

Shinar, Shinar, your sweetheart is madly in love
    with you,
Tell me the truth,
When will a young heart calm down?

Ex. 12 Kara än ‘simple song’, Košakan (cca.60), Mangkïstaw. Senek, 18 Sept 1997.

Köškende jïlkï aydaymïn kara menen,
Tal kurïk aldïm kesip ara menen.
Jaŋaktan algan taŋdap Ak Böbegim,
Iyt kedey alïp ketti para menen.

*Ak Böbek ketkeniŋ-be sertten tayïp,
Adamdï Alda ayradï erli-zayïp.
Ak Böbek tanïmasaŋ

Balasï Korabaydïŋ, atïm

Jaŋaktan awlïm köšti, kulay

Ayrïldïm Ak Böbekten kuda almay.
Ayrïlïp Ak Böbekten, karagerden,
Üš kün essiz jattïm jïlay almay.

When we move, I drive a stud sitting on a black horse,
I cut halters of sticks, with a saw, from poplar.
I've chosen you, my Ak Böbek, from around Jangak,
A darned son of a bitch seized you from me with money.

Ak Böbek, you've dishonoured your word,
Allah separates man from his mate.
Ak Böbek, if you don't recognize me, I'll introduce     myself,
I'm the son of Korabay, my name is Kayip.

My people moved off from Jangak, they missed the way,
I got severed from Ak Böbek, I couldn't ask her in     marriage.
Separated from my auburn Ak Böbek,
For three days I was lying unconscious, I couldn't even

Ex. 13 Kara än ‘simple song’, Köpbol (48), Mangkïstaw. Akšukïr, 21 Sept 1997.

Bizdiŋ el kaytuwšï edi Arka jaylap,
Kepsenge suw tüsetin biye baylap.
Samawrïn sazdïŋ suwï sarï
    kïzïl šay,

Säskelep turuwšï edi äzer

Šïn ayak, altïn kese, mol dastarkan
Suluwlar kuyuwšï edi közi jaynap.
Esime kayran elim, sen tüskende,
Ketedi zïgïrdanïm kaynap, kaynap.

Maŋkïstaw kulazïy-ma eli ketken soŋ,
Tartadï šöbi kuwaŋ jer kepken soŋ.
Süyretken bäygekerdiŋ šïlbïrïnday,
Ol däwlet eki kelmes bir ketken soŋ.
Our people spent the summer in the north45,
We milked our mares by the river Kepsen.
The colour of tea boiled in a samovar is yellowish like
When we got up in the morning, it was hardly boiling     at all.

China glasses, golden cups, on a rich tablecloth,
Our beauties laid the table with radiant eyes.
Alas, my dear homeland, when you come to my mind,
Sorrow overcomes me.

Mangkystau becomes deserted when its people have left,
When its land has dried out, its grass is scorched.
Just as a race-horse is pulled on a leading-rein46,
Riches vanish as rapidly.

Ex. 14 Terme ‘didactic song’, Köpbol (48), Mangkïstaw. Akšukïr, 21 Sept 1997.

Äweli tuwgannan soŋ birge jettim,
Eŋbektep eki jasta törge

Üš penen tört jasïmda tilim šïgïp,
Šüldirlep ata-anamdï ermek ettim.

Kelgen soŋ bes jasïma oyïn bildim,
Oyïnnan kalganïmda wayïm bildim.
Altïda balalar men asïk atïp,
Oyïnnïŋ neše türli jayïn bildim.

Jetige jetkennen soŋ ayla bildim,
Segizde zalal menen payda bildim.
Aytsa da köten bolar jas bala dep,
Özimdi telegey teŋiz darïya kördim.
I was born, then I turned one,
When I was two, I climbed up the place of honour
    on all fours.
Between three and four, I started to speak
And chatted prattling with my parents.

When I was five, I learnt playing,
Deprived of it, I was pouting.
At six, throwing ankle-boness with the children,
I learnt several games.

When I was seven, I got to know cunning,
At eight, I learnt the difference between gain and loss.
And although I was called the shit-assed,
I looked upon myself as the boundless sea.

Ex. 15 Besik jïrï ‘lullaby’, Duwan’s wife (cca.75), Mangkïstaw. Ataš, 30 Sept 1997.

Aynalayïn ak böpem,
Appak bolïp jüredi.
Äldiylepti mamasï, bagadï aw,
Aynalayïn, Ak-Jeten.
Appak bolïp jüredi,
Ak kötenine kagadï.
Mamasï gana bagadï,
Kötenine kagadï.

Äldiy-äldiy dep baktïm aw,
Közimniŋ jasï köl bolïp,
Kökiregim sel bolïp.
My darling babe
Goes about clad in white.
Her mum is rocking her, taking care of her,
My dear Ak-Jeten.
She is clad in white,
I'm patting her white bum.
Only his mother is taking care of her,
Patting at her bum.

Sleep, sleep, I was on guard,
There's a sea of tears in my eyes,
A flood from my bosom.

Ex. 16 Terme ‘didactic song’, Jolaman (68), Mangkïstaw. Šetpe, 16 Sept 1997.

Ay, agalar, agalar,
Jasï ülken analar,
Karïndas, jeŋke-jay, apalar.
Aldïŋïzda aytatïn
Bir azgantay sözim bar.

Bayagï jïlkï jïlïnda
Men anamnan tuwïppïn,
Sarï-Arkanïm kïrïnda.

Äweli Aday atamïz,
Jetipti konïs burïnda.
Köbeytem dep maldarïn,
Bolmaptï isi gïlïmda.

Budan da mïktï jïl bolsa,
Ušïraydï eken šïgïnga.
Osï eken bizdiŋ tuwgan jer,
Kindikti kesip juwgan jer.

Osï kezde äkemiz,
Alpïska kelgen šal eken.
Buršak salïp moynïna,
Tilegeni bala eken.

Bizdi mïnaw körgesin,
Tilegenin Alla bergesin.
At šaptïrïp toy kïlïp,
Toyga ulassïn toyïm dep.

Bir neše maldï goy kïrgan.
Ay, brothers, brothers,
My grand-mothers,
Sisters, sisters-in-law, aunts,
I should like to say a few words
To you.

Sometime, in the year of the horse,
My mother gave birth to me,
In the Sary-Arka steppe.

Our ancestor was Aday,
He had lots of pastures.
He cared little for scholarship,
He kept increasing his livestock.

When it was a hard year,
All the livestock perished.
This is our native land,
Where our navel was cut and we were washed.

At that time our father
Was an old man of sixty.
He was begging for a child
With a rope tied round his neck.47

Allah paid heed to his prayer,
I was born to this world.
He made a feast with a horse-race
He said, all must revel.

Many animals were slain then.

Ex. 17 Besik jïrï ‘lullaby’, Buldï (58), Mangkïstaw. Senek, 18 Sept 1997.

Äldiy-äldiy, böbegim,
Awzïmdagï öleŋim.
Besik jïrïn aytayïn,
Tün uykïmdï tört bölip.
Sleep, sleep, my little babe,
My lips are alive with songs.
I am singing a lullaby,
I've woken up four times at night.

Ex. 18 Besik jïrï ‘lullaby’, Duwan’s wife (cca.75), Mangkïstaw. Ataš, 30 Sept 1997.

Ak besikke böleyin,
Ak tösekke jalayïn.
Jarïgïm meniŋ jatïr aw,
Äldiy de böpe bolïp aw.
I'm laying her in a white crib,
I've covered her with a white blanket.
My little dear is lying,
She's lulling away.

Ex. 19 Jubatuw ‘consoling song ’, Ayjan (78), Mangkïstaw. Jïŋgïldï, 29 Sept 1997.

Ašamaylap tay baylap,
Tay terletseŋ baybaylap.
Azïrak agat is kïlsam,
Ülken äkem aygaylap.

Men de goy okïymïn,
Okïganda kim bolam?
Awlïma da ay-kün bolam.
Tying a training saddle48 on a two-year-old colt,
I'm driving it around yelling.
For this little mischief
I get a scolding from my grandfather.

I am going to study, too.
What will I be when I have learnt?
I'll be the moon and the sun of my camp.

Ex. 20 Kara än ‘simple song’, Izbasar (60), Mangkïstaw. Aktaw, 15-17 Sept 1997.

O Döηgey, mïnaw Döηgey, Döηgey,
Dawsïm ašïlmaydï šïga jelmey.
Kešegi bes bolïstïη bazarïnda.
Alkada alšaηdadïm,
    bäyge berdi.

Tüyeni oytaη jerge šögirgenim,
Soηïna salkamdïktïη köp ergenmin.
Jartï kurttï jan-kaltadan jarïp

Kurbïdan söy-tip jürgen,
    ne körgenmin.

Oh Döngey, this Döngey, this Döngey,
My voice is silent, stuck in my throat.
In the bazaar of the one-time five governors
I used to strut among the people proudly,
    winning prizes.

I got the camel to kneel down in a ditch,
I payed much heed to the words of the old.
I ate half a piece of cheese, breaking off
    crumbs in my pocket,
I've suffered much from the whims of
    my sweetheart.

Ex. 21 Kara än ‘simple song’, Košakan (cca.60), Mangkïstaw. Senek, 18 Sept 1997.

Kelemin jogarïdan kerge minip,
Akbas altay toga erge

Ayrïlïp Ak Böbekten jürgennen,
Onan da ölgen jaksï jerge kirip.
I've come from the mountain aback my bay steed,
I'm sitting on an Altay saddle with a white front
    and buckle.
I've been torn away from Ak Böbek,
I had better die, I feel.

Ex. 22 Kara än ‘simple song’, Däwitbay (70), Mangkïstaw train station, 16 Sept 1997.

Surasaŋ meniŋ atïm, Zülgär edim,
Kelgende kara sözge dilmär edim.
Jïyïrma bes eki aynalïp kelsem kayta,
Düniyeniŋ tört burïšïn bïlgar edim.
When you ask me, my name is Zülgar,
When I am to speak, my words are eloquent.
Although I am past twice 25 years,
I have roamed all four corners of the world.

Ex. 23 Kara än ‘simple song’, Nurmuham­bet (50), Mangkïstaw. Kïzïlsay, 18 Sept 1997.

Birewdi asaw deydi, tentek deydi,
Birewdi kïz minezdi erkek deydi.
*Är kimdi öz ornïna ädil koyïp,
Bäri bir wakït özi jetekteydi.

Jamandï bir jolata kulïptaydï,
Jaksïnï el älpeštep umïtpaydï.
Kewdesin key birewler kötergen men,
Axmakka ardagerdi juwïtpaydï.

Tuwgan el, san jol ötip
    sänim jok-tï,

Tereŋ oy, merwert sözder agïldïrgan

Jürgende ortamïzda ardaktayïk,
Bir küni bärimizdi

One is said to be wild, the other mischievous,
The third is taken for a feminine man.
Everyone will be judged righteously,
Life leads us on a leash.

The wicked will be locked up for good49,
But the good won't be forgotten by the people.
Although there are bumptious people,
The stupid will never enjoy respect.

I have roamed my native land many times,
    but I haven't met with luck.
Profound thoughts, eloquent words have been
    sown for us.

So long as he is with us, we respect him,
Since the day will come when we can only long
    for him.

Ex. 24 Kara än ‘simple song’, Nurbergen (42), Mangkïstaw. Düŋgerlew, 22 Sept 1997.

Awïlïm jeri Er-Konaydïŋ biyiginde,
Kus konar kara jerdiŋ (šeli) biyigine.
Bürkittey jel awdargan

Kešegi ketken erkem küyigine.
Our nomadic pastures are on the Er-Konay heights,
The birds alight (...) on the height of the black earth.
Like an eagle spinning in the wind, I'm bearing
    with pride
That my sweetheart has left me.

Ex. 25 Sïŋsuw ‘bride's farewell song’, Šarkat (71), Mangkïstaw. Fort Ševčenko, 30 Sept 1997.

Men ketkeli jeŋeše köp jïl ötti,
Köp sargayïp kökešim kasiret šekti, jeŋeše.
Many years have passed since I left, sister-in-law,
I've brooded much full of longing, sister-in-law.

Ex. 26 Sïŋsuw ‘bride's farewell song’, Bäyniš (90), Mangkïstaw. Üštagan, 24 Sept 1997.

Xalkïmnïŋ jïlaganïn ne kïlayïn?
Artïmda bir az jïlap bawrïm kaldï.
What shall I do when my people are crying?
My brothers and sisters are left behind weeping.

Ex. 27 Kara än ‘simple song’, Bakït (55), Mangkïstaw. Kurïk, 25 Sept 1997.

Zäwreš, seniŋ üšin elden keldim,
Bayagï öziŋ körgen jerden keldim.
Sen nege men kelgende tebirenbeysiŋ,
Iyiskep bir süyeyin degen edim.
Zubra, I've come from afar for you,
From the place you once lived.
Why don't you feel moved
When I arrive?

Ex. 28 Kara än ‘simple song’, Buldï (58), Mangkïstaw. Senek, 18 Sept 1997.

Ïzïldaydï äwede jasïl sona,
Ay dalada kalïptï jalgïz mola.
Men ketkende Ak Bala awrïp edi,
Ak Bala kïz bolmasa, munan kara.
A green horse-fly is buzzing in the air,
There's a solitary grave in the steppe.
When I left, Ak Bala was ill,
If she is no maiden, look here.

Ex. 29 Kara än ‘simple song’, Buldï (58), Mangkïstaw. Senek, 18 Sept 1997.

Jïlkïšïmïn elimniη men dermin,
Altïn juldïz aygagï eηbegimniη.
Är töbede köp jïlkï kök

Möldiregen kögildir kölderiniη.

Kültelengen jalï bar,
Jelden jüyrik janïwar,
Seni bakkan adamnïη
Eηbeginiη bagï bar.
I am my people's horseherd,
My work is acknowledged with a golden star.
All over the hills there are many horses,
    grey and motleyed,
There by the glittering blue lake.

Its mane is flying,
It's faster than the wind,
The one that tends to you
Has a lucky job.

Ex. 30 Sïŋsuw ‘bride's farewell song’, Bäyniš (90), Mangkïstaw. Üštagan, 24 Sept 1997.

Kayranda meniŋ bosagam,
Birine šešile jasagam.
*Erkindep ösken öz

Eriksiz ketip baramïn.
Kayranda meniŋ bawrïm,
Bawrïmdï kïya almay,
Aynalayïn xalkïm, aw.

Bazardan kelgen keseler,
Samawrïn šäynek eseler.
Eriksiz ketip baramïn,
Koš aman bolsa šešeler.
My dearest doorpost,
My trousseau was suddenly got out.
I was brought up free at the place of honour
    in my yurt,
But now I am forced to leave.
Oh my dearest relatives,
I can't leave my relatives,
My precious people.

The cups brought back from the market,
Tea is poured into them from the samovar.
I am leaving reluctantly,
May God bless you, mother.

Ex. 31 Prayer in Arabic, Turgan­bay (cca. 45), Mangkïstaw. Akšukïr, 21 Sept 1997.

Ex. 32 Kara än ‘simple song’, Buldï (58), Mangkïstaw. Senek, 18 Sept 1997.

Ïzïldaydï äwede jasïl sona,
Ay dalada kalïptï jalgïz mola, erkem.
Men ketkende Ak Bala awrïp edi,
Ak Bala kïz bolmasa, munan kara, erkem.
A green horse-fly is buzzing in the air,
There's a solitary grave in the steppe, darling.
When I left, Ak Bala was ill,
If she is no maiden, look here, darling.

Ex. 33 Kara än ‘simple song’, Akkozï (cca.70), Mangkïstaw. Jetibay, 19 Sept 1997.

Jïlkï aydaymïn el köše ala menen,
Keldim talay awlïŋa dala menen.
Bew karagïm, esime sen tüskende,
Sagïnam sargayïp sana menen.
When we migrate, I drive a stud on a calico horse,
I have often come from the steppe to stay with you.
Oh, sweetheart, when I remembered you,
I thought of you longing, and with sorrow.

Ex. 34 Turkmen song, Izimakül (66), Mangkïstaw. Ataš, 30 Sept 1997.

Yakanïŋ düybünde yïkïldïm, yattïm,
Tüpengi doldurup dušmanï attïm.
I hid lying at the bottom of the trench,
I shot at the enemy, loading my gun.

Ex. 35 Azeri song, Izimakül (66), Mangkïstaw. Ataš, 30 Sept 1997.

Ex. 36 Tatar song, Izimakül (66), Mangkïstaw. Ataš, 30 Sept 1997.

Ay uragïm salïp iŋ bašïnna,
Koyaš nurlarïndin nur aldïk.
Salkïn šišmälärdin suw alganda,
Kul-yawlïgïŋ kemgä bolgadïŋ?
I am carrying a sickle over my shoulder,
Sunrays are glittering on it.
When we ladled water from the cool spring,
Who did you wave to with your kerchief?

Ex. 37 Köris ‘lament’, Mädiyne (51), Bayan Ölgiy country seat, July 1996.

Esiktiŋ aldï šïlkïldak,
Šöp šïgadï ïlkïldap.
*Kayranda oy meniŋ sabazïm,
Janïma battï ïŋkïldap.

Äweden uškan ak suŋkar,
Kanatï men jer sïypar.
Artïŋda kalgan jetewdiŋ,
Maŋdayïnan kim sïypar.

boyï aŋïrak,
Kayïŋnan iygen šaŋïrak.
Kayranda meniŋ sabazïm,
Ornï bir kaldï aŋïrap.
There's a bush outside the door,
The grass grows freshly green.
Ah, where is my sweetheart,
When I think of him, grief gnaws at my heart.

The white falcon flying in the sky
Touches the ground with its wings.
Six childrend are left behind,
Who will caress their brows?

The banks of the Ölgiy50 are steep,
The roof ring is made of birch.
Ah, my darling,
Your place is left empty.

Ex. 38 Köris ‘lament’, Jïlkï-aydar (28), Bayan Ölgiy country seat, July 1996.

Esiktiŋ aldï japïrak,
Japïragï jatïr jaltïrap.
*Ïymandï bolgïr kulïnïm,
Salmadïŋ magan topïrak.

Äweden uškan baygïzïm,
Birge tuwgan jalgïzïm!
Aldïŋda kargam ketpedim,
Kaldïm goy tartïp kaygïsïn.
There are leaves outside the yurt,
Leaves are lying glittering on the ground.
May God give you a peaceful rest, my child,
You won't cast earth upon my grave.

A little owl's flying in the air,
Oh, my only sister!
I haven't died before you did,
Now I must be mourning for you.

Ex. 39 Sïŋsuw ‘bride’s farewell song’, Kasïyla (71), Bayan Ölgiy. Nogōn Nūr district, July 1996.

Oy pirim, Alla jasagan,
Ustatpas kuwsam kašagan.
Jer awdarïp baramïn,
Jiberme kolïm bosagam.

Artïmda kaldï tuwïsïm,
Bir Alla bersin amandïk,
Jüreyin tilep jasagan.

*Esiktiŋ aldï kürke edi,
Kürkeden atïm ürkedi.
Kïz demeytin agakem,
Kïzïl da jelek bürkedi.

Esiktiŋ aldï kïzïl jar,
Kiygende kiynim jeŋi tar.
Bir körüwge boldïm zar.
Oh, holy God
A ruttish horse cannot be caught.
I am leaving for another place now,
Hands, don't let go of the doorpost.51

My kinfolk are left behind,
May God bless them,
I'm asking the Creator's blessing upon them.

There's a straw-stack outside the door,
My horse takes fright of the straw-stack.
Father, you have denounced your daughter,
I red kerchief's covering (my head).

There's a red abyss outside the door,
The sleeves of my dress I'm wearing are too tight,
My merciless father and mother.

Ex. 40 Besik jïrï ‘lullaby’, Kenesar (56), Nalayh, Töw country, Aug 1997.

Äldiy-äldiy, ak böpem,
Ak besikke jat, böpem.
Kunan koydï soy, böpem,
Kuyrïgïna toy52, böpem.

Baydïŋ kïzïn al, böpem,
Barša tösek sal, böpem.
Baydïŋ kïzïn almasaŋ,
Kedeydiŋ kïzïn al, böpem,
Köl tuwlagïn sal, böpem.

Äldiy-äldiy appagïm,
Ak kiyizden kalpagïm.
Sleep, sleep, my little babe,
Lie in a white crib.
Slay a three-year-old sheep,
And have enough of its tail-fat to eat.

Marry a rich lassie, sonny,
Lay a silken bedding on the floor.
If not a rich daughter,
Marry then a poor one,
Lay a leather bedding.

Sleep, sleep, my little white thing,
Your cap is made of white felt.

Ex. 41 Köris ‘lament’ (without text), Kasïyla (71), Bayan Ölgiy. Nogōn Nūr district, July 1996.

Ex. 42 Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Kasïyla (71), Bayan Ölgiy. Nogōn Nūr district, July 1996.

Ayïrïldïm men elimnen tiri bolïp,
Pendeniŋ tiri ayïrïlgan biri bolïp.
Salt at pen jaŋgïz kašïp men šïgïp em,
Šïbïn-jan šïkpaydï eken sïrï bolïp.

Sor-Kudïk, kašïp šïktïm dalasïnan,
Šay ištim Terektiniŋ kalasïnan.
El-jurtka keyin kalgan sälem ayttïm,
Ulïstïŋ elši jürgen balasïnan.

Ey, Alka-Köl, kayran Altay, Marka-Köl,
Kaldï eken kayran el.
I was torn from my people when I was alive,
I became one of those drifted away alive.
I set out on the road on a harnessed horse,
The soul doesn't leave the body like that.

Sor-Kuduk, I've fled from its steppe,
I drank tea in the town of Terekli.
Greetings to those who stayed behind
From the youth who went in delegation.

Lake Alka, dear Altay, Lake Marka,
My dear people are already far away.

Ex. 43 Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Kenesar (56), Nalayh, Töw country, Aug 1997.

Basïnan kara tawdïŋ köš keledi,
Bir taylak kelgen sayïn bos keledi.
Ayrïlgan el jurtïŋnan jaman eken,
Möltildep kara közge jas keledi.

Aspanda bir juldïz bar ay sekildi,
Jïlkïmda bir kulïn bar tay sekildi.
Kurmetti tuwïs tuwgan kelgennen soŋ,
Mundayda änge salmaw jay sekildi.
They are moving off from the top of the black mountain,
A two-year-old camel calf has gone astray.
It's bad to get torn from your tribal quarters,
Tears gush forth from your radiant black eyes.

There's but one star in the sky, similar to the moon,
There's a little colt in the stud, worth a two-year-old one.
When some honourable relatives arrive
And you fail to sing, it is a strange thing.

Ex. 44a Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Bayan Ölgiy country, before 1983.

Sïrtka jaydï sïrïmdï öleη, šïrkïn ay,
Öleη aytar jigitter mïnaw bir kün.
Üyde jatsam dem alïp, ätten, meni,
Toktatpaydï šakïrïp dürkin-dürkin.
The song has revealed my secret, alas,
This very day the lads are singing a song.
I'm lying at home resting, alas,
But the song keeps luring me, again and again.

Ex. 44b Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Mädiyne (51), Bayan Ölgiy country seat, July 1996.

Ayagïma kiygenim kebis edi,
Jïlkï išinde kos küreŋ (tebisedi),
Axaw, laylim, ay.

*Budan burïn toyda öleŋ aytkanïm jok,
Ne dep aytsam öleŋge kelisedi,
Axaw, laylim, ay.

Awïlïmnïŋ konganï oy bolsa eken,
Örip šïgar koradan koy bolsa eken,
Axaw, laylim ay.
I put short-legged boots on my feet,
Two sorrels are kicking each other in the stud,
Ahaw, laylim ay,

I didn't sing earlier,
So how should I sing as I am supposed to,
Ahaw, laylim ay.

I wish I was living in the valley,
A long row of our sheep would come out of the fold.
Ahaw, laylim ay.

Ex. 45a Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Bayan Ölgiy country, before 1983.

Esik aldï kara suw,
    kalïη jiyde,

Köηlim onda bolsa da,
    közim üyde.

Axaw liyliylay, ay!

Awlïη alïs ketkende, kalkatay,
Jata almadïm kulazïp jalgïz üyde.
There's a pond outside my yurt,
    lots of berries grow there,
Though my heart strays that way,
    my eyes are on the yurt.
Ay, lililay, ay!

When the people of your camp moved away, darling,
All alone and lonely, I could not sleep in the yurt.

Ex. 45b Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Bayan Ölgiy country, before 1983.

Sen de armanda, kalkatay, men de armanda,
Eki armanda jïlaydï ayrïlganda, säwlem.
Karay-karay artïηnan közim taldï,
Neη ketedi artïηa kayrïlganda, säwlem.

Mingen atïm sur meken,
At agašta tur meken?
Jaylawdagï jan säwlem,
Aman-esen jür meken?
I am longing, sweetheart, you are longing, too,
Two longing people are crying when they have to part. My eyes got tired staring after you,
Couldn't you just look back once?

Is my saddler grey?
Are there horses among the trees?
My sweetheart from the summer pastures,
Are you well and healthy?

Ex. 46a Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Toktasïn (40), Bayan Ölgiy. Nogōn Nūr district, July 1996.

Öleŋ degen nemene önerpazga,
Öleŋ turgay söz kïyïn akïlï azga, säwlem.

Tiršiliktiŋ barïnda oyna da kül,
Kim bar kim jok kelgenše keler jazda,

Özen suwdïŋ kabagï, suwïnda
    oynar šabagï,

Kötere kör koltïktan on eki

What's a song for those who are blessed with talent,
While a scatterbrains even finds the words hard.
Make merry as long as you are alive,

You don't know who we'll have with us next
    summer, darling.

The riverbank in the valley, the little fish splashes     about in its water,
Please, God, lend your help to the twelve
    Awak-Kerey clans.

Ex. 46b Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Bayan Ölgiy country, before 1983.

Tolkïn köldey, osï änim esken jeldey,
Toydïη säni kelmeydi akïn kelmey.
Akïn kelse dübiri jer jaradï,
Aspandagï samalyot dürilindey.
Like a billowy lake, my song is like the rising wind,
The feast has no flavour if there is no singer.
When the singer comes, his roar cracks the earth,
It's like the boom of the airplane flying in the sky.

Ex. 47a Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Bayan Ölgiy country, before 1983.

Duway-duway šek, teke moyïn äkmäk,
Bolïp dedim deldar ay, deldar kïlgan.
*Kïzdar kïršïn endeše, kïzdar kïršïn,
Kïzïktïrïp oynagan oynïη

Kündiz aytkan söziŋnen tünde

Sïypalatïp koydïŋ jüktiŋ buršïn.
Alas, doubt, oh, the fool with the he-goat's neck!
I wanted to be tough, but the girls threw me in despair.
The girls are still young, the lassies are young,
Why did I get inflamed by the game you played
    with me!?

The word you said in the day was forgotten
    by the evening,
And you only let me caress the edge of your bag.53

Ex. 47b Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Jïlkï-aydar (28), Bayan Ölgiy country seat, July 1996.

Koy jalgan, sen magan jok,
    men sagan jok,

Ortasï darïyanïŋ jaynagan šok,
Ay, künim, ay.

Sagïnïp alïs joldan kelgenimde,
Bawïrïm armandaymïn, üyinde jok,
Ay, künim ay.
Oh, treacherous life, you ceased to exist for me,
    as I don't exist for you.
The middle of the river is glowing embers,
Oh, my sweetheart.

When I arrived from a long way, longing,
My brother whom I longed to see was not at home,
Oh, my sweetheart.

Ex. 47c Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Muŋdïzar (38), Nalayh, Töw country, Aug 1997.

Öleŋdi basta deseŋ basï mende,
Mayïskan balïr jasï mende,
Ay, künim, ayday.

*Kaytarïp kara bulttï kar jawdïrgan,
Jayšïnïŋ šubar-ala tasï bizde,
Ay, künim, ayday.

Awïlïm kongan jeri oy bolsa eken,
Koradan urïp šïgar koy bolsa eken,
Ay, künim, ayday.
When a song is to be begun, its beginning is with me,
I have arrived at an old age,
Ay, sweetheart.

To turn back the black raven that is bringing snow,
I have the mottled stone of the rainmaker54,
Ay, sweetheart.

My lodging shall be in the valley,
The sheep shall scramble out of the sheep-fold,
Ay, sweetheart.

Ex. 47d Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Toktasïn (40), Bayan Ölgiy. Nogōn Nūr district, July 1996.

Öleŋ degen nemene
Önerpazga, büldirgen.
Öleŋ turgay, söz kïyïn
Akïlï azga bürdirgen.

Bas koskanda agayïn,
Oyna da kül, büldirgen.
Kim bar, kim jok kelgenše
Keler jazda, büldirgen.

Aytpay bolmas öleŋdi
Üyrengen soŋ, büldirgen.
Kïlgan kayrïŋ sel bolar,
Küŋirengen soŋ, büldirgen.
What's the song for the one
That is talented, strawberry;
Not only the tune but also the words
Are difficult for the foolish, strawberry.

When we come together, brothers,
Let's make merry and laugh,
Who knows who of us shall be here
Next summer, strawberry.

When you have learnt the song,
You must simply sing, strawberry.
Your good deed is like the flood,
When you resound, strawberry.

Ex. 47e Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Jambï (65), BÖ. Nogōn Nūr district, July 1996.

Öleŋdi basta dese, basï mende.
Mayïskan baldïrganday jasï mende,
Dep ayday änge saldïm.

*Kaytarïp kara bulttï, kar jawdïrgan.
Jayšïnïŋ šubar ala tasï mende,
Dep ayday änge saldïm.

Öleŋdi til bastaydï, jak kostaydï.
Bäygeden kelgen jüyrik oykastaydï,
Dep ayday änge saldïm.
When a song is to begin, I begin it myself,
Like swaying grass, I am young,
I am singing my song.

I turned back the black cloud laden with snow,
The mottled stone of the rain-maker is with me,
I am singing my song that way

The tongue begins the song, then the jaw joins in,
A race-horse coming from the race is beside itself.
I am singing my song.

Ex. 47f Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Tilew (54), Nalayh, Töw country, Aug 1997.

Jïlkï aydagan töskeyde tögildirip,
Köris aytar kabïrga sögildirip, agayïn.
Tülki aladï bürkit pen kïyada jürgen,
Siyirkiniŋ oyini bolsïn derlik, agayïn.

Bir küyewge kez boldïk endi minew,
Šattï bolgan tagï da köŋilimde, agayïn.
Bastaganïŋdï ala ket kazagïmnïŋ
Küyew bala ana bir turgan Vengiriŋe, agayïn.

Algan eken agayïn, askak änge salayïn,
Jïyïn toydïŋ ötkizdik biz osïnday

The stud's being driven in the steppe at a great speed,
When a lament is said, the ribs are bursting.
The fox on the hillside is caught by the eagle,
Let us have a revelry like in a circus.

We have found a son-in-law,
We are happy deep in our hearts,
Take her back with you,
Son-in-law of Kazakhs, to your homeland, Hungary.

He did marry her, my song is cheerful,
We took part in a wedding feast, we sang many
    songs like that.

Ex. 48a Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Bayan Ölgiy country, before 1983.

Ayt deseηiz, aytayïn, ayday on bes,
Asawïnan üyretken tayday on bes, säwlem.
Tiršiliktiη barïnda oyna da kül,
Kayta aynalïp kelmeytin kayran on bes, säwlem ay.

Biriη kayïη, biriη tal,
Biriη šeker, biriη bal,
Kaysïnïηdï kalayïn,
Ekewiη de ak suηkar.
If you ask me, I will sing, oh fifteen (years),
The age of fifteen is like a colt broken in wild.
As long as your life lasts, you must revel and laugh,
The age of fifteen will never return.

One is a birch, the other a willow,
One is sugar, the other is honey.
Which one of you shall I choose,
Both of you are white falcons.

Ex. 48b Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Bayan Ölgiy country, before 1983.

Ušïp jürgen äweden sarï ala kaz,
Aydïη köldiη ortasï kök oray saz,
    kurbïm ay.

Sen izdeseη, kalka jan, men suragan ey,
Külip oynap kalayïk bir-eki jaz, kurbïm ay.

Mingen atïm sur jorga,
Amal bar-ma kuw sorga.
Moynïη burïp karasaη,
Neη ketedi, bir jolga.
A tawny pied goose takes flight in the air,
There's a patch of green reeds in the middle of the     wide lake.
Come and find me, darling, I am entreating you,
Let us laugh and enjoy ourselves for a summer or two.

My saddle-horse is a grey ambler,
There's no remedy for wily trouble.
If you turned back and looked at me,
Just one time, would it tax you that much?

Ex. 49a Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Bayan Ölgiy country, before 1983.

Köziηnen aynalayïn karasïnan,
Jürektiη xat jazayïn sanasïnan, gül darïyga.
Üstinen düriya mešpet šešip bergen,
Kolïηnïη aynalayïn salasïnan, gül darïyga.
Oh, the pupils of your beautiful eyes,
I'll write my heart's feelings in a letter, my flower oh.
She took off her silken bodice,
Oh the fingers of your beautiful hands, my flower, oh.

Ex. 49b Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Bayan Ölgiy country, before 1983.

Kiygenim ayagïma kebis edi,
Kos küren jïlkï išinde tebisedi, gül darïyga.
Toyda öleη munan burïn aytkanïm jok,
Öleηdi ne dep aytsam kelisedi, gül darïyga.
I put felt boots on my feet,
Two flea-bitten horses are kicking in the stud, my dear.
I haven't sung any song at the feast,
What shall I sing that will be be proper, my dear?

Ex. 49c Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Bayan Ölgiy country, before 1983.

Keη otanïm güldegen tür men jaηa,
Kulaš urïp eηbekke biyik dara.

Nübiy ay, Nügiy ay
Änši Nübiy, ay,
Uwgay kazïyray.
My broad homeland is replete with coloured flowers,
A great man has ended his job.

Nubiy, ay, Nuliy, ay,
Singing Nubiy, ay,
Ay, ay, kaziray.

Ex. 50a Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Bayan Ölgiy country, before 1983.

Jïrgïltïday jer kayda kar almagan,
Jibek šašïn jelkildep taralmagan.

Ey, ä-göy, kalkaš, ä-göy, gäy.
Bagalasam bagana jan jetpeydi,
Bul ölkede sizdey jan jaralmagan.
Where is a spot not covered by glittering snow,
Your silken hair is flying uncombed.

Hullo, sweetheart, ho-hullo.
Thinking of her qualities, there's none like her,
No one like you has ever been born in this region.

Ex. 50b Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Bayan Ölgiy country, before 1983.

Mingenim däyim meniη šubalaη ker,
Kolïmda kos saxïyna burama zer,
Äy, äläw, läylim.

Körmegeli öziηdi boldï talay,
Közge jaksï köriner
    oynagan jer,

Äy, äläw, läylim.
My saddle-horse is a long-bodies sorrel,
I have two rings, both gilt, on my hand,
Ay, leylim.

I haven't seen you for long,
It's pleasing to see the place we used to have
    a good time at,
Ay, leylim.

Ex. 50c Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Bayan Ölgiy country, before 1983.

Basïnda kara tawdïη kos baraban,
Sol jerden darïya šalkïp suw taragan.
Äsem kïz, suluw jigit, bäri sonda,
Ya-pirim, aw, nege keldim sol aradan.
There are two drums on top of the black mount,
A large river rolls along at that place.
The fair lasses and handsome lads are all there,
Oh, God, why have I left that place?

Ex. 51a Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Bayan Ölgiy country, before 1983.

Šïrkap salsa keledi änniη säni,
Sïbïzgïšï, sïrnayšï, dombïrašï, säwlem.
Toy, duwmandï mereke bolgan jerde,
Kïz, boz-bala jïyïlïp, än šïrkašï, säwlem.
When it resounds loudly, then the song is nice,
With flute and pipe and dombra - my darling.
Where there is a feast and revelry,
The lasses and lads gather; sing, my darling.

Ex. 51b Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Bayan Ölgiy country, before 1983.

Äwede ušïp jürgen ala karga,
Bereyik öleη aytïp agalarga.
Bermesek öleη aytïp agalarga,
Ketedi kina koyïp balalarga.
A mottled crow is flying in the sky,
Let us sing a song to our brothers.
If we don't sing to our brothers,
They will scold us young ones.

Ex. 51c Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Mäliyke (91), Nalayh, Töw country, Aug 1997.

Kelip tur ülken jerden eki bala,
Osï eki balanïŋ kurmeti üšin men aytamïn,
Aytayïn ayt degenin jasagan,
Sarï atan, ïrgay moyïn kom jasagan.
Two young people arrived from an important place,
I am singing in honour of these two young people.
When I am asked, I sing, oh my Creator,
A yellow gelded camel, with a thin neck but a fat back.

Ex. 52 Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Bayan Ölgiy country, before 1983.

Bay da ötken, kara da ötken, jarlï da ötken,
Jas bala, kempir men šal, bäri de ötken.
Balalar, tiršilikte külip oyna,
Ölmese, ata babaη kayda ketken.

Suw išinde …,
Šïga almaydï šetine.
There have been rich people, great ones and poor ones,
Young, old men and women, all have lived once.
Children, you must keep on laughing as long as life lasts,
Wither have your ancestors gone if they haven't died?

There's a (...) in the water,
It can't come to the shore.

Ex. 53 Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Bayan Ölgiy country, before 1983.

Awlïm köšip baradï belden asïp,
Belden askan, bult penen aralasïp.
Alïs awlïη ketkende, äy karagïm.
Ak kagaz ben jüreyik amandasïp.

Kara közim, bar-ma esiηde,
Kešegi aytkan sözim?
Our people migrate, crossing the mountain,
It crossed the mountain, enveloped in clouds.
Sweetheart, if your home is too far,
Send me your greetings on white paper.

Oh you black-eyed, can you remember
What I said yesterday?

Ex. 54 Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Bayan Ölgiy country, before 1983.

Karagïm, aynalayïn sïkïlïηnan,
Sekildi kïsïr kiyik mïkïnïηnan.
Bagana bagalasam jan jetpeydi,
Jaraldïη kanday adam, eyuwgay.
Oh sweetheart, your beauty is enthralling,
You are slender like a barren tatar antelop.
If I think her qualities, she is unmatched.
The clan of which man are you from?

Ex. 55a Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Bayan Ölgiy country, before 1983.

Toylaw bazar, toy bazar, toylay keldim,
Altïn saka kolga alïp, oynay keldim,
    kurbïm ay.

Tamïrï jok bul toyda tanïsïm jok,
Aytïsam dep öziη men, oylay keldim, kurbïm ay.

Äsem kömey, bulbul ay,
Än erkesi, düldül ay.
Ker maralday kerilgen,
Alma moyïn kurgïr ay.
A wedding is a big crowd, I've come to the wedding,
A gilt ankle-bone in my hands, I've come to make     merry, chum.
I know no one in this celebration that will never end,
I thought I'd challenge you to a duel of words, chum.

A magnificent throat, the lark,
The lover of songs, the eloquent.
Her stature is like a brown hind's,
Her neck is beautiful, damn it.

Ex. 55b Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Bayan Ölgiy country, before 1983.

Bos kopanïη kuragï,
Janïp turgan šïragï.
Elden alïs baramïz,
Kay jer meken turagï.

Šöbi šüygin Markanïη,
Äwseleηdi baykarmïn.
Iysi jupar aηkïydï,
Kämzol kiygen kalkanïη.
Reeds line densely both sides of the river,
The candle is burning.
We have left our people far behind,
Where shall we find abode?

The grass is dense around Lake Marka,
I know what I can expect of you.
There's a fine fragrance coming from that way,
From where my sweetheart in the bodice is.

Ex. 55c Besik jïrï ‘lullaby’, Serjan (70), Nalayh, Töw country, Aug 1997.

Äldiy-äldiy ak böpem,
Ak besikke jat böpem,
Seniŋ šešeŋ kïdïrmak.
Kaydan izdep tabayïn,
Äldiy-äldiy, äldiy ay.

*...böpem kayda eken?
Biyik-biyik tawda eken.
Onda ne kïp jür eken?
Alma terip jür eken.
Sleep, sleep, my white babe,
Lie in a white cradle.
Your mum wants to go for a walk.
Your mum's rambling around, where shall I find her?
Sleep, sleep.

... where's my little babe?
On the high mountain!
What's he looking for there?
He is picking apples!

Ex. 56 jïr, Kanas-bay tüsi (Kanas bay's dream' - excerpt from an epic tale), Sakay (43), Bayan Ölgiy.Nogōn Nūr district, July 1996.

Bir küni uyïktap jatïp tüs köremin,
Tüsimde är aluwan is köremin,
Aytayïn sol tüsimdi öleŋ kïlïp,
Keyingi tuwïstarga bildireyin.

Aspanda bir dawïs bar šïrïldagan,
Karasam üš tört ak kuw keledi örlep.
Kolïmda ayak bawlï bir karšïgam,
Älgini sïlap-sïypap etem ermek.
One day I was asleep and I had a dream,
I saw lots of things in my dream.
I'll tell you my dream set in a song,
I'm telling it to my younger relatives.

A screeching sound comes from the sky,
I see three or four swans flying towards me.
There's a hawk on my hands, its legs tied,
I'm fondling and caressing it.

Ex. 57 Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Bayan Ölgiy country, before 1983.

Arï öteyin awlïηnan, beri öteyin,
Šalbarïmnïη balagïn zerleteyin.

Axay, arman, išten jangan,
Erkin kolga tiymey jür köηilge algan.
I am leaving your camp, then I am approaching,
I have the legs of my trousers embroidered in gilt yarn.

Oh, desire, my heart's burning,
I can't get easily the one my heart's chosen.

Ex. 58a Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Bayan Ölgiy country, before 1983.

Än forïmga kelmeydi šïrkap salmay,
Jigit säni kelmeydi karšïga almay.

Ükili jeηgey, nazdarï ay.
Osï otïrgan köpšilik söge-me dep,
Bügejektep men jürmin, än šïgarmay.
The song will be formless if it is not sung,
The lad won't be finer unless he catches a hawk.

Sister-in-law with an eagle-owl tuft, our grace,
Will those gathered here give me a piece of their mind?
I'm afraid they will, so I'm not going to sing.

Ex. 58b Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Bayan Ölgiy country, before 1983.

Jaksï bolar jïlkï mal küzetkenge ey,
Kayïη kurïk sïnbaydï düzetkenge.

Oy, asïl ay, armanda edim kosïlmay.
Dätin kay-tip šïdadï oyaw jatïp,
Üy sïrtïnan än tartïp biz ötkende.
It's easy to tend to horses,
It's easy to set the halters with birch-wood sticks.

Oh sweetheart, I'm longing for you, we can't be together.
How could he endure the longing, lying awake,
We passed the yurt singing.

Ex. 58c Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Bayan Ölgiy country, before 1983.

Basï kïmbat bazarda alašanïη, kalkam,
Kïzï suluw tömengi karašanïη.
Än dawïsïn sagïnïp jürgenimde,kalkam,
Dawsï kaydan šïgadï kudašanïη, kalkam.

Ay karaηgï, kün bult,
Keldim jetip kasïηa,
Jetip keldim kasïηa,
Kïzdar aw, kïzdar aw.
The mottled rugs are expensive at the market, dear,
The poor man in the valley has a lovely daughter.
I was longing to hear her song, darling,
Where can the voice of the sister-in-law be heard, dear.

The moon is dark, the sun's clad in a cloud,
I've come to see you,
I've come to you,
Lassies, lassies.

Ex. 59a Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Bayan Ölgiy country, before 1983.

Öleη dese dawsïm änge kelsin,
Ülken-kiši otïrgan kemeηgersiη,
Aldarïŋa kez boldïm osï üyge,
Kün-kün sayïn bakïtïη damïy bersin.

Axaw düldül, siz bir bulbul,
Eki köziη kap-kara, al-kïzïl gül.
When I sing, my voice shall be melodious,
Little ones and big ones, you sitting here, are all wise.
I've come to stand in front of you in this yurt,
Be luckier from day to day.

Oh düldül, you are a nightingale,
Your two eyes are pitch-black, you pink flower.

Ex. 59b Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Bayan Ölgiy country, before 1983.

Bul Bulgïnnïŋ asuwïn asïp keldim,
Japïragïn jaykalgan basïp keldim, kurbïm.
Sen esime tüskende, ey karagïm,
Atïηdï atap, öleηge kosïp keldim, kurbïm.

Sayalï özen Bulgïn ay,
Sayrandagan bul kün ay,
Ulï toydïŋ üstinde
Än salayïk, bulbul ay.
I have crossed the Bulgun pass,
I have trodden its swaying grass, chum.
Sweetheart, when I remembered you,
I uttered you name and set it in a song, chum.

The Bulgun is a shadowy vale,
Let's make merry today.
In the great feast
Let us sing, nightingale.

Ex. 60a Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Bayan Ölgiy country, before 1983.

Kara nasïr degende kara nasïr, jar-jar,
Kara makpal säwkele šašïn basar, jar-jar.
Üyde äkem kaldï dep kam jemeši, jar-jar,
Jaksï bolsa kayïn-ataη ornïn basar, jar-jar.

Ey, sïlkïm ay, xoš esen bol jurtïm, ay.
A sorrowful event is a sorrowful event,
Your hair is covered with a black silken headdress.
But do not brood that you leave your father,
If your father-in-law's good, he will take his place.

Ah, you dearest, be blessed, my homeland.

Ex. 60b Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Bayan Ölgiy country, before 1983.

Axaw, Mosïm, axaw, Mosïm,
Öziη köηil bergende bolsa bolsïn.
Süygen säwlem, jakïn dosïm,
Awlïmïzdïη arasï jakïn konsïn.
Ah, my Mos, ah my Mos,
If you trust me, be it as it must.
My beloved darling, my close companion,
Let our pastures be close to each other.

Ex. 61 Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Bayan Ölgiy country, before 1983.

Böley-böley botam, ay,
Bota közim ekey, ay.
Öziŋdi oylay sargayïp,
Sagïnïš pen ötem ay.
Böley-böley, my camel foal,
And you, lassie with the beautiful eyes, you two,
I am thinking of you with longing,
I spend my days longing.

Ex. 62 Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Bayan Ölgiy country, before 1983.

Jürgende karaηgïda kabanïmïz,
Awïrar jayaw jürsek tabanïmïz ay.
Boz torgay koy üstinde jumïrtkalayt,
Dey-tugïn endi tuwdï zamanïmïz.

Axaw, ayday, änim kanday,
Kelbeti kalkataydïη tuwgan ayday.
The wild boar around our place roams about in the dark,
Our soles get sore when we go on foot.
The lark has set its nest on the back of the sheep,
It means we are facing hard times.

C'mon, what's my song like,
The face of my sweetheart is like the rising moon.

Ex. 63a Jarapazan ‘religious song’, Šotan molda (cca.62), Nalayh, Töw country, Aug 1997.

Mingeni paygambarïm maw kara iŋgen,
Astïnan tamagïnïŋ taw köringen.
Oraza otïz küni kütpey barsaŋ,
Barganda akïrette daw köringen.

Mingeni paygambarïm kïzïl iŋgen,
Üš altïn buydasïnïŋ tübi tüzgen.
Oraza otïz küni kütip barsaŋ,
Barganda akïrette suwday tüzgen.

Birewi paygambarïm Idiris-ti,
Kolga alïp asa-tayak aspanga uštï.
Oraza otïz küni kütpey barsaŋ,
Barganda akïrette surak küšti.
The mount of the prophet is a big black she-camel,
The mountain showed under her chin.
If you fail to observe the thirty days of the fast,
You will come to trouble in the netherworld.

The mount of the propher is a russet she-camel,
Her nose-rope was woven of three golden threads.
If you observe the thirty days of the fast,
You will swim in the netherworld like in water.

One of the prophets was called Elijah,
He ascended into heaven with a rattling stick in his hand.
If you fail to observe the thirty days of the fast,
You will be called to account in the netherworld.

Ex. 63b Jarapazan ‘religious song’, Boladïya (75), Bayan Ölgiy. Nogōn Nūr district, July 1996.

Assalawmaleyküm, Aktan keldik,
Kün šïgïp ayï tuwgan, širkin-ay, jaktan keldik.
Muxamet ümbetine jarapazan, oraza ïyman.
Orazaŋ kabïl bolsïn, ustagan jan,
Kawsar bop kïyamette, širkin-ay, jolïgatïn.

Mingeni paygampardïŋ Maw kara iŋgen.
Astïnan tamagïnïŋ, širkin-ay, taw köringen.
Diniŋdi bul jalganda kütpey barsaŋ,
Barganda kïyamette, širkin-ay, daw köringen.
Salam alaikum55, God has sent us,
We have come from the east.
Ramadan, the holy fast is in memory of Mohammed,
May your fasting be blessed if you keep it,
When you get old, the day of doom will come.

The mount of the prophet is the black she-camel Maw,
There's a mountain showing under her chin.
If you are not a believer in this temporary world,
You will get into big trouble on the day of doom.

Ex. 64 Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Bayan Ölgiy country, before 1983.

Sen degende kalkatay oyïm bölek,
On jasïmnan öleŋge boldïm zerek,
Tal šïbïktay buralïp sen turganda,
Kiyma beli özgeniŋ kimge kerek.

Äne gül-gül tamaša, mine bulbul tamaša,
Kelši jaynap, kelši sayrap, kelši, kurbïm, oŋaša.
I think of you differently, darling,
I've been good at singing since I was ten.
Your body sways like the willow branch,
No one else's slender waist appeals to me.

There's the flower, gaiety, here is the lark, gaiety,
Come happily, come singing, my darling, alone.

Texts of the songs collected in Mangkïstaw

№ 1a Terme ‘didactic song’, Šotïbay (77), Mangkïstaw. Kïzïltöbe, 16 Sept 1997.

Biylerim ötken karasaŋ,
Keŋesti xalïk kam üšin,
Söylese janga bolmagan.
Jïrawlar ötken karasaŋ,
Öz xalkïn maktap tolgagan,

Xaziret ötken adaydan
Šargïnïŋ jolïn korgagan.
Osïnday wakït išinde,
Pïsïptï baradï išimde

Let us see our judges of yore,
They debated for the good of the people.
When they spoke, no one rivalled them.
Let us see our singers,
They praised our people.

The saints of our Aday tribe
Protected the Islamic faith.
All this time
I have been idle.

№ 1b Terme ‘didactic song’, Šotïbay (77), Mangkïstaw. Kïzïltöbe, 16 Sept 1997.

Näsili men malïŋ bolsa däwletiŋe,
Pende ïrza ay men künniŋ
Tagat jok bir Kudayga etip jatkan.
Kün šïksa tïrbaŋdaymïz düniya üšin,
Pendemiz kalgan düniya äwresine.

Xabarïn akïrettiŋ estigende,
Tüsedi jalbarïnïp sonda esiŋe.
Jas-karï, akïrettiŋ kamïn oylanmasaŋ,
Aldïradï jändetine.
Zaŋ küšti, zäkin küšti,
Amal jok ogan tagï könbesiŋe.

When he has children and livestock,
Mortal man is satisfied with the rays of the sun
    and the moon.
But we have no patience with our only God,
We hanker after wealth in this life,
We are mortals longing for riches.

But when the news of death comes,
Frightened, you realize all that.
Ye old and young, if you don't await Doomsday,
Its executors will slay you.
The law is harsh, custom is powerful,
There is no way to reject it.

№ 1c Terme ‘didactic song’, Košakan (cca.60), Mangkïstaw. Senek, 18 Sept 1997.

Bir degende ne jaman?
Bilimsiz tuwgan ul jaman.

Eki degende ne jaman?
Ene bir tilin almagan,
Melmigen kelin sol jaman.

Üš degende ne jaman?
Ülgióiz bišken ton jaman.

Tört degende ne jaman?
Töresin ädil bere almay,
Parakor bolgan biy jaman…
Altïn taktïŋ üstünen
Torïkpay tüsken kan jaman.

First of all, what is bad?
An ignorant boy is bad.

Secondly, what is bad?
An obstinate young wife
Ignoring her mother-in-law's words is bad.

Thirdly, what is bad?
A gown cut without pattern is bad.

Fourthly, what is bad?
The thrifty judge
Ignoring the law is bad...
The pretentious khan
Sitting on a golden throne is bad.

№ 1d Terme ‘didactic song’, Maksat (34), Mangkïstaw. Teŋge, 18 Sept 1997.

Agalï menen jeŋgeler,
Aldïŋda talay šalkïdïm.
Körmegen jerde körsem dagï,
Kanattï jayïp talpïdïm.

Jurt aldïnda äškerttim,
Karï jïr men jaŋa jïr,
Jïr akïndardïŋ altïnïn.
Uyïmdasïp birlesken,
Talayïn kördik šaršïnïŋ.

Orïndï jerde otïrïp,
Duwadaktay šalkïdïm.
Atagïna xalk rïyza,
Bizdiŋ šaldïŋ daŋkïnïŋ.

Jaksï menen jamannïŋ,
Belgili köpke parkïnïŋ.
Awïzdan kïysïk söz šïksa,
Alïp tasta artïgïn.

Atamïzdïŋ jolï dep,
Jurt aldïnda jaykalttïm,
Önerdiŋ türli jarkïlïnï.

My brothers and sisters-in-law
I'm standing before you.
Though I am at an unknown place
I am flying with stretched wings.

I am performing to the people
Old songs and new songs.
The best of the poets
are gathered and united here,
I have seen many a gathering.

Sitting at the right place,
My back straightened like a bustard's,
The people take pride in his fame,
In the fame of our great old man.

People can tell
Good from bad,
If I should perform badly,
Do not hear me out.

As is the custom of our ancestors,
I showed proudly to my people
All the tricks of my craft.

№ 1e Terme ‘didactic song’, a man (cca.70), Mangkïstaw. Kurïk, 25 Sept 1997.

Ey, bilgenim bolsa bul zaman,
Tüsiŋ jok jöniŋ turmawga,
Jurt jaksïsï jïynalïp,
Jerge layïk kïynalïp,

Köz körmegen endi kim artar?
Adamnïŋ aytsam endi ïymannan
Bir eki awïz äŋgime,
Estiseŋiz mïnaw endi mïymannan.

Alas, this I know now,
Dreams do not come true.
When the cream of the people gather
And they have compassion,

Will any envious remain?
Let me utter a humane word or two,
A little discourse,
Listen to the guest now.

№ 1f Nasïyxat ‘religious song’, Turgan (cca.50), Mangkïstaw. Teŋge, 18 Sept 1997.

Bismilla sözdi bastayïn,
Bes künde deniŋ sawïnda.
Rasul edi Muxambet,
Paruwar-diger bir Kuday.
Parša da kala-ma jamïygat,
Padïyšasïn da meŋgergey.

I begin my word with Bismillah56,
While I am sane and sound in this short life.
The Prophet Mohammed
And the exalted God,
Will the state collapse
If its padishah is not respected?

№ 1g Uzak-bay jïrï ‘epic tale’, Maksat (34), Mangkïstaw. Teŋge, 18 Sept 1997.

Jälelim järdem bolgaysïŋ,
Jaratkan soŋ kulïm dep,
Bul ömirge kelgensin.
Men Uzak-Bay söyledim,
Jaksïlardï nurïm dep.

Köz körgen aday batïyxa,
Berip jürdi soŋïmnan.
Osï künge Uzak-Bay,
Sügir menen ekew,
Adayga kalgan nurïm dep.

My God, help me,
You created me, your servant,
I've come to this world.
Me, Uzak-bay, said what I was to say,
I praised the good ones.

I was going on my way
With blessings from my beloved Aday people.
The two of us, Uzak-bay and Sügür
Are held in high esteem to this day,
They are the glories of the Adays, they say.

№ 1h Bet-ašar ‘bride's farewell song’, Maksat (34), Mangkïstaw. Teŋge, 18 Sept 1997.

Bäri älewmet jïynalïp,
Osï jolï sagan deseŋiz,
Bäriŋiz birden uygarïp.
Irkileyin nesine,
Men turgan jüyrik kïrlanïp.

Alkalï jerde äwezdep,
Aytpay ketken buldanïp.
Al körgenim jalgïz bul emes,
Kalïŋdïkka-ma orta alïp.

Buyïrgasïn älewmet,
Otïrayïn kurnagïp,
Kelinniŋ betin ašalï.
Burïngï joldïŋ jobasï,
Osïlay-ma dep mïna sol bagït.

All my people have gathered,
And this time, they all united
In agreement for you.
I shouldn't tarry, I am eloquent,
I soar, they sit around me, I am singing.

Those who are mute are conceited,
I wanted to say more than that.
Paying the bride's money
The people had the right.

I myself, as the custom has it,
Stand here before you,
I unveil the bride's face.
That's the old tradition,
This custom is like that.

№ 1i Terme ‘didactic song’, Maksat (34), Mangkïstaw. Teŋge, 18 Sept 1997.

Men kašangï jüyrigiŋ,
Top išinde tolgagan.
Osïlayša söylesem,
Babamdï kadir koldagan.

Osïlayša söylesem,
Söz kala-ma urtïmnan.
Kör almagan birewler,
Söz aytadï sïrtïmnan.

Kas jüyriktiŋ belgisi,
Dawdï körse julkïngan.
Aytuwlï jüyrik men edim,
Saldïrmay kamšï umtïlgan.

I've been your eloquent singer for a long time,
I have sung to many people,
When I speak,
My honourable ancestors help me.

When I speak,
Will you remember my words?
Those who envy me
Speak badly of me behind my back.

It is typical of false singers
To incite quarrel and wrangling.
I am a singer of great renown,
I attack grabbing a whip.

№ 2a Bata ‘blessing’, Izbasar (60), Mangkïstaw. Aktaw, 15-17 Sept 1997.

Kayïrlï bolgay sapar uš,
Bul jüzin kurmettep,
Sïylap jürgen, jürgen jeriŋ.
Sïrtïŋnan ärkim kumar duga kïlïp,
Šalkïsïn därejeli aydïn köliŋ.

May the end of your road be lucky,
If you adhere to the custom.
Wherever you go, you will be respected,
Everyone will be ready to ask blessing for you;
May your great wide watered lake roll with waves.

№ 2b Toy-bastar ‘song to open a wedding’, Nurmuham­bet (50), Mangkïstaw. Kïzïlsay, 18 Sept 1997.

Atamda säpiy jaralïp,
Kalem bir sïyaŋ kolga alïp,
Bir äri-beri tolgalïk.
Toy bazarïŋ kuruwga
Jïyïldï xalkïm oŋdalïp.

Men de jelden jüyrikpin,
Jarïssam jarïp ötetin,
Kaškandï kuwïp jetetin,
Merekeŋe kez keldik,
Kïzimet toylaw etetin.

Toy merekeŋ bolganda,
Tostaganday men basïmdï
Talaydan topka salganmïn,
Jigit te bolmak, kïz bolmak.
…Täŋriniŋ künderi.

Ayta tugïn bizder jok.
Ötedi düniyaŋ bir kün,
Üstiŋe jükti üylendi,
Arlï dep edi ölgende.

The world has long been created,
Let us take pen and ink in hand,
And let us write a poem.
You have gathered merrily
To celebrate a merry feast.

I am rushing faster than wind,
I strive to lead the race,
Those who run off will be caught.
We shall take part in your celebration,
We shall serve at the feast.

I've often sung during feasts,
My large head, big as a tray,
Has often been taken to the market.
There are lads and lassies here.
...The days of God.

We won't be here to sing,
One day life will flicker out.
Death will put a heavy weight on you,
The honorable people say.

№ 2c Jïr ‘epic tale’, Bäyniš (90), Mangkïstaw. Üštagan, 24 Sept 1997.

Koblandï Batïr men Tay Buwrïl,
Üydegi Kurtka jubayïm.
Jubayïm alka boldï dep,
Jemeymin Buwrïl uwayïm.

Šešeŋ tulpar dewši edi,
Jan serigim Buwrïl at.
Šešeŋniŋ sözin sïnayïn,
Jayïŋ kalay Buwrïl jan,
Kalkam bügin bulayïn.

Koblandi Batir and Taj Burul,
My wife Kurtka is at home,
My wife is far away,
Yet I am not brooding.

The mare that gave me birth,
The steed Burul was fleet-footed, my friend.
Let's see if it's true what your mother said,
What you are like,
It will turn out today, darling.

№ 2d Terme ‘didactic song’, Maksat (34), Mangkïstaw. Teŋge, 18 Sept 1997.

Sözimdi ötkir til men alïp saldïm,
Xalïktan ozdïm degen talaylarga,
Karïlïktï jastïk penen
Mïna baldar, baykar edim,
Adaydan ozdïm degen tagï

At minip astana eldi adaktadïk,
Küninde jïyïrma bestiŋ jalaktadïk,
Ol künde mïnanday mine tugïn mašiyn bar-ma?
Jawïrtïp jalgïz attï

I reproached in harsh words those
Who thought they were superior to the people.
Among the old and the young,
Lads, I've seen many
Who thought they were superior to the
    other Adays.

We roamed the capital57 on horseback,
At twenty-five we competed on horseback,
There were no cars at that time.
We were vying in riding, breaking the back of
    our only horse.

№ 2e Terme ‘didactic song’, Izbasar (60), Mangkïstaw. Aktaw, 15-17 Sept 1997.

Ew, Kašeke, Kašekeš,
Kešegi šattï künimde
Dombïranï kolga alganmïn,
Iytiŋdi burap salganmïn.

Men katepti kara nar edim,
Artïgïn tappay mertilip,
Men osï bir jolda kalganmïn.
Tikken topta jïgïlïp,
Düniye kaygï armanmïn,

Tuyagï sïngan tulparmïn.
Kanatï sïngan suŋkarmïn,
Osïnday jayga kez boldïm.
Özderiŋdey de aganï,
Bir körüwge iŋkärmïn.
Zamanda sagan Kašeke.

Men kanatï sïngan karšïga.
Kanatïnan ayrïlsa,
Karšïga tüser šaršïga.

Ay, Kasheke, Kasheke,
In the past happy days
I took my dombra in my hands,
To give your dog a lesson.

I was a powerful black dromedary,
Bursting with energies,
I broke my legs and hands,
I was placed a big blow in my yurt,
Sorrow overcomes me.

I am a steed with cracked hooves,
I am a falcon with broken wings,
I have been hurled in a state like that,
My unrivalled brother,
I've long wanted to see you,

I'm like a hawk with broken wings,
With its wings lost,
It falls among the people.

№ 2f Terme ‘didactic song’, Maksat (34), Mangkïstaw. Teŋge, 18 Sept 1997.

Älewmet keldiŋ jïyïlïp,
Mereke boldï kurïlïp.
Men ataktï jüyrik šešeniŋ,
Bögelsin nege tïyïlïp.

Kaynarlï özen bulakpïn,
Emespin taŋkï kurïlïp.

My people, you've gathered
A feast's going to start.
I am your famous singer,
Why should I wait silently?

I am a brook gushing forth from the spring,
I will not dry out.

№ 2g Terme ‘didactic song’, Maksat (34), Mangkïstaw. Teŋge, 18 Sept 1997.

Düniyeli oy tastap,
Jüyrik attay oykastap,
Tiršilik künde kalalïk.
Azamattï iyirip,
Iyirip jurttï alalïk.

Mïnaw sözdi makta dep
Jalïnbaymïn jaralïp.
Keregiŋ bolsa alarsïŋ,
Bir šetinen xalkïn karanïp.

Jarandar, keldim alkaŋa,
Otïrsïŋ xalkïm antalay.
Kawmalagan köptiŋ jerinen,
Jüyriktiŋ bola-ma jaltagï,
Jüyrigiŋ basïn tarta-ma?

I have clever thoughts,
Darting about like a race-horse.
Let us live in peace.
Let's gather
Our honoured people at the camp.

I don't beg
For praising words.
Listen to them, when you feel like it,
Look at the people from one angle.

Friends, I am among you,
My people, sit around me.
When you sit around the singer,
Will he take fright from so many people,
Will he back away?

№ 2h Terme ‘didactic song’, Maksat (34), Mangkïstaw. Teŋge, 18 Sept 1997.

Aldïmda jetpis soktï döŋdey bolïp,
Küyilgen kuyïmšaktay en de bolïp.
Nesine men jastïktïŋ josïlayïn?

Kïzïktï kim körüp edi mendey bolïp,
Söyledim tolkïn sokkan seldey bolïp.
Osï kün aytayïn dep tursam dagï,
Bir päle minip aldï eki ïyïkka zildey bolïp.

Uzak-bay, Sügir degen algïs aldïm,
Xalïktïŋ batalarïn birge aldïm.
Ol künde nazarlarïn kaytarmadïm,
Adaydïŋ ülken-ülken atalardïŋ.

Seventy yards ahead of me rose like a hill,
Broad like a back.
Why should I brood over my past youth?

Who has seen so many interesting things as I,
I sang like the billowy stream.
I would burst out singing again,
But worries weigh down upon my shoulders.

I received the blessing of Uzak-bay and Sügür,
The people kept praying for me,
In days of yore
The chieftains of the Adays listened to my word.

№ 2i Bet-ašar ‘bride's greeting’, Nurbergen (42), Mangkïstaw. Düŋgirlew, 22 Sept 1997.

Bismilla dep te bastayïn,
Betiŋdi ašïp tastayïn.
Jat jerden kelgen jas bala,
Oramal tarttïŋ šašaktap,
Säwkele kiydiŋ arjaktap.

Sen de bir kempir bolarsïŋ,
Köziŋ awrïp sortaktap.
Sabakta dep iyneŋdi,
Jas adam goy jaltaktap.

Ana bir turgan atasï,
Kara bir jerdiŋ jotasï,
Atasïna bir sälem!
Ana bir turgan enesi,
Kara bir jerdiŋ kemesi,
Enesine de bir sälem!

Ana bir turgan kayïn-aga,
Kayïn-aga šabar paydaga.
Köškende köšin bastagan.
Köp üšin keyin tastagan,
Kayïn-agaŋa bir sälem!
Ana bir turgan kayïn-inisi,
Atan da bir tüye bäygisi.

I begin with Bismillah,
I unveil your face.
A child coming from a strange place,
Tufted kerchief
And a bride's headdress on her head.

But you will get old, too,
Your eyes will ache and run.
You will ask the young ones
To thread your needle.

Here is standing your father-in-law
Like a large hill,
Greeting to your father-in-law!
Here is standing your mother-in-law,
She is like a big ship,
Greeting to your mother-in-law!

Here is standing your brother-in-law,
He will be to your help,
When we move off, he will lead us,
He takes care of everyone,
Greeting to your brother-in-law!
Here is standing your little brother-in-law,
His reward is a gelded dromedary.58

№ 3a Sïŋsuw ‘bride's farewell song’, Aluwa (71), Mangkïstaw. Aktaw, 17 Sept 1997.

Bazardan kelgen taktayïm,
Sonda-ma kalay saktayïn?
Ak sütiŋ bergen anašïm,
Sütiŋdi kalay aktayïn?

My little chair from the bazaar,
How shall I take care of it?
My dear mother giving me white milk,
How shall I thank you for your milk?

№ 3b Sïŋsuw ‘bride's farewell song’, Aluwa (71), Mangkïstaw. Aktaw, 17 Sept 1997.

Aynalayïn anam aw,
Arkamdagï panam aw.
On eki ay meni emizgen,
Sök sütiŋdi kešir balaŋa.

Dearest mother,
Who has always protected me.
Who has nursed me for twelve months,
Do not stint me of your milk now.

№ 3c Jarapazan batasï ‘greeting Ramadan’, Muxambet­jan (cca.70), Mangkïstaw. Kïzïltöbe, 16 Sept 1997.

Bölšil-bölšil, bölšil-di,
Boz torgayday tölšil-di.

Burama köz jok som-altïn,
Suwga salsa batpasïn.
Täŋiri bergen nesibiŋ,
Tepkilese ketpesin.

Esigiŋ aldï oy bolsïn,
Domalangan koy bolsïn.
Jeliŋde jetpis iŋgen bozdasïn,
Onï kïz ben jigit komdasïn.

Alla-tagala seniŋ talabïŋdï,
Sonday kïlïp oŋdasïn.

He was bölshil, bölshil, bölshil59,
He had many children like a lark.

Flawless hammered golden coin,
May it not sink in water.
May your God-given luck
Not leave you even when kicked.

May a vale be in front of your yurt,
May you have many fat sheep.
May you have seven she-camels on your rope,
May they be saddled by lassies and lads.

May the God in high
Comply with your requests in this way.

№ 4 Terme ‘didactic song’, Nurmuxan (61), Mangkïstaw. Akšukïr, 21 Sept 1997.

Ay, mïnaw bizdiŋ Kazakstan xalkïnda,
Tört tülik maldïŋ türi bar.
Ögizdiŋ ülken zorï bar,
Sawsa samar süt bergen
Ay müyizi ala eken.

Jetelese jeletin,
Šakïrsa bozdap keletin.
Tört jasïna tüyeler,
Katarïna eretin,
Ayïr iŋgen, ak tumsuk,
Kamïs pen koltïkka,
Karagay örkeš nar eken.

Jïlkïsï jüyrik jabï eken.
Kolaylï koŋïr koyï bar,
Koyïnda asïl soyï bar.
Ajarï ak pen kara eken,
Bolmasa buyra sarï eken.

Men šošïtpayïn šoška dep,
Kaldïrmayïnšï boska dep.
Ayïr tuyak ašalï,
Kïska kuyrïk mašalï.

Salbïrlagan kulaktï,
Buka moyïn bugaktï.
Šoktïktarï šoŋkaygan,
Basï tömen toŋkaygan.

Erinderi eki eli,
Basï jalpak šekeli.
Togayda turïp šöp jeydi,
Esebi jok köp jeydi,
Jatkan jerge jayïladï…

Our people of Kazakhstan
Have four kinds of livestock.
Huge cows,
When milked, they give a pailful of milk,
Their broad horns are mottled.

When they are led, they trot,
When they are called, they come lowing,
When four years old, they begin to follow
The herd of camels.
She-camels with two humps, with white snout,
The lover of reed and dry stalks,
A he-camel with one hump.

Our horses are fast-footed jabis60,
We have fine brown sheep,
Some pure-blooded ones,
Coloured black and white,
Or yellow spotted.

Don't be frightened by the swine,
We won't forget about them,
They have artiodactylous hooves,
And short fluffy tails.

Its big ears keep flapping,
It's bull-necked and choppy,
Its shoulders are tembling,
Its head hanging down.

Its lips measure two palms,
Its nape is flat on its head,
It eats grass in the woods,
It devours immense lots,
Where it lies down, it sprawls...

№ 5a Terme ‘didactic song’, a man (cca.70), Mangkïstaw. Kurïk, 25 Sept 1997.

Bul zamanda munda ne ötken,
Patša da aytïp el ötken.
Äweli Alla, Kudayïm,
Ärwak ta erdi tüzetken.

Arkasï men erlerdiŋ,
Mal jayïp šarwa kün ötken.
Allanïŋ dostï Muxambet,
Alpïs üške kelgende,
Ümbetim depti, köz ötken…

What's happened here nowadays,
The ruler ruled over his people.
Earlier, Allah our God
And the spirit of our ancestors helped our men.

Through our men
The people put the livestock to grass.
Allah's friend Mohammed,
Calling his Moslem brethren died
At the age of sixty-three...

№ 5b Terme ‘didactic song’, a man (cca.70), Mangkïstaw. Kurïk, 25 Sept 1997.

Äwen söz awzïmnan,
Askïnnïŋ suwïnday,
Darïyanïŋ taskïnday.
Jüzimdi adam-zatka,
Eki elüw de jas kïlman, jas kïlman.

The song from my mouth
Is like the flood of the river Askin.
I do not want to hurt
Anyone with my sharp tongue.
I will not live twice fifty years.

№ 6a Terme ‘didactic song’, a man (cca.70), Mangkïstaw. Kurïk, 25 Sept 1997.

Argïmaktï körgennen
Asïlï belgili,
Tuwganda bular teŋ biler.
Ak suŋkar ustap aynalïp,
Är biriŋdi aŋgarsak,
Askarlï tawdïŋ endi sen biri.

Kumga bir tolar eki köz,
Dünye bir öter basïŋnan,
Kerwenniŋ köšindey.

At first glance you can tell
Which is the good steed,
All know it at birth.
Everyone keeps a white falcon,
When we take a look at you all,
You are a tall mountain, too.

Your two eyes are filled with sand,
Life passes in front of you
Like a caravan.

№ 6b Terme ‘didactic song’, a man (cca.70), Mangkïstaw. Kurïk, 25 Sept 1997.

Aytïp jürgen wakïtta,
So jerlerim opïrïlïp,
Šeberdiŋ de bolgan tösindey.
Solar seni de šet körip,
Jïldar jïlga kelemiz.

Ülkendikke bizder bet berip,
Allanïŋ bir kün,
Söz nege aytpayïn eskertip,
Tergew bir degen kün bolsa,
Tentekterdi tekserip.

Söyley, söyley söz bildik,
Allanïŋ isin jön bildik.
Padïša bura-bura Kudayïm,
Key kulïŋdï oŋ körip,
Key kulïŋdï jarïkka,
Karaŋgï jerdiŋ astïnda,
Parlaptï jangan söngende.

In the mentioned time
Those places began to decay,
Like the chest of the craftsman,
They regard you a stranger,
Years come and pass.

We begin to get old
One sacred day.
Why shouldn't I warn you,
The day of reckoning will come,
The mischievous will be called to account.

We learnt the words talking a lot,
We judge the deeds of Allah right.
Ruling God,
You loved one of your servants,
You helped him into the light,
You let the other crumble under the black soil
In darkness when his life flickered out.

№ 7a Sïŋsuw ‘bride's farewell song’, Aluwa (71), Mangkïstaw. Aktaw, 17 Sept 1997.

Aynalayïn bawïrïm,
Elimnen ketip baramïn.
Kešegi jürgen jerim,
Kayran bir meniŋ elim.

My dear brothers,
I am leaving my people.
My one-time home,
My dear people.

№ 7b Sïŋsuw ‘bride's farewell song’, Buldï (58), Mangkïstaw. Senek, 18 Sept 1997.

Bazardan algan kuyïskan,
Kolïma jibek uyïskan.
Jïlamayïn desem ay,
Jïlatadï turgan tuwïskan.

A crupper61 bought at the bazaar,
My hands are covered in silk.
I don't want to cry
But my relatives make me weep.

№ 7c Joktaw ‘lament’, Aluwa (71), Mangkïstaw. Aktaw, 17 Sept 1997.

Jïlaw bir degen jïr deydi,
Közdiŋ bir jasïn nur deydi.
Kešegi jürgen jan bapam,
O düniyede jür deydi.

They say the lament is a song,
The tear drop is light.
Our dear father, alive yesterday,
Is walking the netherworld now.

№ 7d Sïŋsuw ‘bride's farewell song’, Bäyniš (90), Mangkïstaw. Üštagan, 24 Sept 1997.

Altïnday saktadïm,
Jüyrik te attay baptadïm.
Xalkïmnïŋ bäri kïynalïp,
Bäri de birdey jïynalïp,
Kudireti kelip Kudaydïŋ,
Bir tiyer ayla tappadïm.

I guarded you like gold,
I brought you up like a race-horse.
All my people are brooding,
All of them have gathered,
Help me, my God,
I can't find a way out.

№ 8a Sïŋsuw ‘bride's farewell song’, Akles (65), Mangkïstaw. Jetibay, 19 Sept 1997.

Bazardan kelgen oramal
Šay kuygasïn oralar.
Janïmday körgen jan agam,
Ayda bir apta oralgay.

The kerchief brought from the bazaar
Is taken in hand, pouring tea.
My beloved brother,
Return once a month.

№ 8b Joktaw ‘lament’, Izbasar (60), Mangkïstaw. Aktaw, 15-17 Sept 1997.

Kïyïlgan kara kasï,
Ürdiŋ de kïzï talaskan.
Kayïrma jaga kara išik,
Ïyïgïna jaraskan.

Her black brow was cracked,
Even a huri maiden was her rival.
Do not turn the collar of a black jacket inside out,
It becomes your shoulders.

№ 8c Kara än ‘simple song’, Köpbol (48), Mangkïstaw. Akšukïr, 21 Sept 1997.

Awlïmïz sarï köldiŋ
Biyligi kïz balanïŋ
Jigitter öleŋ aytïp kïstay bermeŋ,
Äweli änniŋ basï bagasïnda.

My lodgings are by the mouth of the river
    at the yellow lake,
A lass can put her will across with the help
    of her brother.
Lads, do not spend the winter singing,
The value of a song is in its beginning.

№ 9a Kara än ‘simple song’, Buldï (58), Mangkïstaw. Senek, 18 Sept 1997.

Ak-sur at ayaŋday kör,
    bügin el jok,
Išetin šöldegennen
    aydïŋ köl jok.

Slow down, flea-bitten horse,
    the steppe is deserted today,
There is no lake where you could
    quench your thirst.

№ 9b Aytïs ‘responding song among lasses and lads', Ayjan (78), Mangkïstaw. Jïŋgïldï, 29 Sept 1997.

Men özim sakaldïnï jaratpaymïn,
Sakaldï kesip tasta terisi menen.

Baradï awlïm köšip Temir-Kolga,
Kandïrar mïŋ jïlkïnï
Bizden sizge sawga,
Bereyik iyt ayakka as kuyïp.

I don't like men with beards,
Cut off your beard with your cheek-skin.

My people had wandered off to the Temir-Kol,
Our thousand horses fill themselves with water
    by the Temir-Kol,
We are giving you presents,
We are putting food in the dog's plate.

№ 9c Aytïs ‘responding song - girls’, Ayjan (78), Mangkïstaw. Jïŋgïldï, 29 Sept 1997.

Oynaydï ker kulïnšak jelisi menen,
Öleŋdi men aytamïn kelisi menen.

A sorrel is playing with its tether,
I am singing my song as I am supposed to.

№ 9d Kara än ‘simple song’, Izbasar (60), Mangkïstaw. Aktaw, 15-17 Sept 1997.

Oy Mawït, sarï Mawït, Mawït, Mawït!
Sarïmdï sagïnamïm awït-awït,
Esime, bew kalka-jan, sen tüskende,
Kuladïm ak-boz attan esim awïp.

Oh, Maut, blond Maut, Maut!
Sometimes I think of my sweetheart.
When I remembered you, sweet thing,
I fell of my grey horse fainting.

№ 9e Sïŋsuw ‘bride's farewell song’, Ayjan (78), Mangkïstaw. Jïŋgïldï, 29 Sept 1997.

Sütinen boz biyeniŋ juwgan šasïm,
Talasïp eki jeŋgem burgan šasïm,
*Kor bolïp bir jamanga ädil basïm.

My hair was washed in the grey mare's milk,
Two sisters-in-law vied to plait my hair.
Innocent me, I've fallen into big trouble.

№ 9f Sïŋsuw ‘bride's farewell song’, Ayjan (78), Mangkïstaw. Jïŋgïldï, 29 Sept 1997.

Ak köylegim beldemše,
Aynalayïn jeŋeše.
Endi aylanïp körgenše,
Koš esen bol jeŋgeše.

A little apron over my white shirt,
Dear sister-in-law.
Until we see each other again,
May God keep you well, sisters-in-law.

№ 10a Joktaw ‘lament’, Šarkat (71), Mangkïstaw. Fort Ševčenko, 30 Sept 1997.

Birge jürgen jarïgïm,
Bir küngidey bolmadï.
Jetpiske jasïm kelgende,
Osïnday xalga tap boldïm.

Aynalayïn kulïnïm,
Kaysï birin aytayïn.
Šešeŋ kaldï artïŋda,
Äkeŋ kaldï artïŋda.

Altï da kanat ak orda,
Kalïptï, bitip barasïŋ,
Jarïgïm da meniŋ kaydasïŋ?
Osïnša jaska kelgende,
Kara jer boldï mekeniŋ.

We lived together, darling,
But that's a past story now.
I am seventy,
This is my lot now.

My sweet dove,
What could I say?
You've left your mother,
You've left your father.

Our white yurt with six walls
Remained deserted, you've died.
Where are you, my darling?
At such a young age
Your home is the black earth.

№ 10b Joktaw ‘lament’, Bäyniš (90), Mangkïstaw. Üštagan, 24 Sept 1997.

Sagïzdïŋ boyï salkïn sok,
Sagïnsaŋ atka kamšï sok.
Kešegi ketken karagïm,
Sagïngan menen bizge jok.

It's cold on the shore of the river mouth,
If you miss me, whip your horse.
It's in vain to wait for my sweetheart
Who left us recently, she's no longer with us.

№ 10c Besik jïrï ‘lullaby’, Duwan’s wife (cca.75), Mangkïstaw. Ataš, 30 Sept 1997.

Äldiy-äldiy dep bakkasïn,
Ak besikke jatkïzïp.
Jarïgïmdï Kuday soŋïma,
Ertetindey kün bolsa.
Közimniŋ jasï köl iši,
Äbbe jan dep aytamïn.

Sleep, sleep, I've protected him,
I put him in a white crib.
May God keep my sweetest
By my side,
Then the sea of my tears won't be in vain,
Abbe sweetest, I say.

№ 10d Besik jïrï ‘lullaby’, Duwan’s wife (cca.75), Mangkïstaw. Ataš, 30 Sept 1997.

Äldiy-äldiy dep baktïm,
Közimniŋ jasï köl bolïp,
Kökiregim sel bolïp,
Jürgen de körgen ak jarïgïm,
Mende Ak Jeten.

Sleep, sleep, I've protected him,
My tears gathered into a lake,
Sighs heave from my bosom.
I am with you, darling,
Ak Jeten is with me here.

№ 10e Joktaw ‘lament’, Ayjan (78), Mangkïstaw. Jïŋgïldï, 29 Sept 1997.

Kalï bir kilem kir astï,
Agayïn tuwgan jolïŋdï karap tabïstï.
Kaydan da karap tabarsïŋ,
Jeti de kabat jer astï.

The Turkmen rug became dirty,
Your brothers saw you gone and sought you,
How could they find you,
You are under seven layers of earth.

№ 10f Besik jïrï ‘lullaby’, Duwan’s wife (cca.75), Mangkïstaw. Ataš, 30 Sept 1997.

Äldiy-äldiy ak böpem,
Ak besikke jat böpem,
Aynalayïn jarïgïm.

Sleep, sleep, little babe,
Lie in a white cradle,
My darling, my sweetest.

№ 11a Sïŋsuw ‘bride’s farewell song’, Akkoraz (67), Mangkïstaw. Kïzïltöbe, 16 Sept 1997.

Esiktiŋ aldï tal-dï goy,
Törimniŋ aldï kaldï goy.
Bermeydi degen kökekem,
Moynïma kurïk saldï goy.

There's a willow outside my yurt,
The place of honour is empty in my yurt.
My father said he wouldn't give me away,
Yet a halter has been cast around my neck now.

№ 11b Joktaw ‘lament’, Akkoraz (67), Mangkïstaw. Kïzïltöbe, 16 Sept 1997.

Esiktiŋ aldï kïzïl-dï,
Tukïmga kïzïl sïzïldï.
Ätekem koldan ketken soŋ,
Kurïlay tikken buzïldï.

Ätekemniŋ barïnda,
Sarï sandïktïŋ sïr edi,
Tört kanat üydiŋ nur edi.

There is grain outside my yurt,
Grain has been sown.
Dear father, when he's left
The seam got undone.

While my father was alive,
He was the secret of the yellow chest,
He was the lustre of our yurt with four walls.

№ 11c Sïŋsuw ‘bride's farewell song’, Buldï (58), Mangkïstaw. Senek, 18 Sept 1997.

Bazardan algan kuyïskan,
Kolïma jibek uyïskan.
Jïlamayïn desem de,
Jïlatadï mïnaw turgan tuwïskan.

Bazardan algan keseler,
Šay samawrïn eseler.

A crupper bought at the bazaar,
My hands are covered with silk.
I do not want to cry
But my relatives make me weep.

Cups bought at the bazaar,
Next to the samovar.

№ 11d Sïŋsuw ‘bride’s farewell song’, Köpbol (48), Mangkïstaw. Akšukïr, 21 Sept 1997.

Äwede torgay örip jür,
Balapanïn erip jür.
Aynalayïn bälenše,
Sagïndïrïp kelip jür.

A lark's flying upward in the air,
Leading her fledglings.
Oh, my sweetheart,
Come back, I miss you.

№ 11e Kara än ‘simple song’, Aytuwgan (cca.60), Mangkïstaw. Senek, 18 Sept 1997.

Bazardan alïp kelgen böz belbewim,
Jaman-jaksï bolsa da öz belbewim.
Köp aydan körmegeli köp kün boldï,
Aman-esen jür-misiŋ köz körgenim.

I bought my canvas belt from the bazaar,
Whether it's good or bad, it is my belt.
I haven't seen you long,
Are you in good health, my darling?

№ 11f Kara än ‘simple song’, Totïya (cca.60), Mangkïstaw. Senek, 18 Sept 1997.

Ayta bar, barsaŋ sälem Bos-Moyïnga,
Bos-Moyïn kele ketsinši osï oyïnga.
Bos-Moyïn kelmey ketse osï oyïnga,
Kim jatar mamïk tösek bul koyïnga?

Go and greet Bos-Moyun,
Let Bos-Moyun come to this feast.
If Bos-Moyun does not come to the feast,
Who will lie in my lap on a cotton bed?

№ 11g Kara än ‘simple song’, Esen Biybe (cca.40), Mangkïstaw. Bautino, 30 Sept 1997.

Barsaŋdar aytsaŋ sälem Bos-Moyïnga,
Bos-Moyïn kelip ketsin osï oyïnga.

Go and give my greetings to Bos-Moyun,
May Bos-Moyun come to this celebration.

№ 11h Kara än ‘simple song’, Akkozï (cca.70), Mangkïstaw. Jetibay, 19 Sept 1997.

Jogalttï jumïrtkasïn jarga salgan,
Kerwen awïr jügin narga salgan.
Kelemin el šetinen endi el
Jetiniŋ edim biri parga salgan.

Arasï eki awïldïŋ kök bayagaš,
Konadï kök bayagaška top karïlgaš.
Kuday ay, kosar bolsaŋ jaksï men kos,
Jürsem de kol ustasïp tïr jalaŋaš.

Kašadï keŋ togaydan arlan böri,
Erkemdi köre almadïm aydan beri.
Basïmnïŋ awïrganï bir jazïlmay,
Kesege kuygan eken šaydan bir ay.

The bird has lost its eggs laid on a cliff,
The heavy load of the caravan was put on a camel.
I am walking the edge of the nomadic camp,
    longing for my people,
I was one of seven, I found a spouse.

Between two quarters there are green poplars
A group of swallows settle on the poplars.
God, if you order a spouse for me, order a good one,
Even if we go around naked, holding hands.

A he-wolf runs out of a wide forest,
I haven't seen my sweetheart for a month.
My headache will not abate
From tea poured into the cup.

№ 12a Kara än ‘simple song’, Ayjan (78), Mangkïstaw. Jïŋgïldï, 29 Sept 1997.

Jügirgen koydan koyga koŋïr koyïm,
Koŋïr koy kozïsï ölse
    boladï tel.

My brown sheep runs from sheep to sheep,
If the lamb of the brown sheep dies,
    it will nurse another's lamb.

№ 12b Kara än ‘simple song’, Ayjan (78), Mangkïstaw. Jïŋgïldï, 29 Sept 1997.

Koŋïr koy, koydan koyga jügirgen.
Koŋïr koy, kozïsï ölse,
    boladï tel.

The brown sheep runs from sheep to sheep,
When the brown sheep's lamb dies,
    it will nurse another's lamb.

№ 12c Kara än ‘simple song’, Ayjan (78), Mangkïstaw. Jïŋgïldï, 29 Sept 1997.

Arkaga änim ketti Tilew-Kabak,
Än salsam keriledi kas pen kabak.

My song flew to the north, Tileu-Kabak,
When I sing, my brows and forehead bend in an arch.

№ 12d Kara än ‘simple song’, Ayjan (78), Mangkïstaw. Jïŋgïldï, 29 Sept 1997.

Alïstan at öksitip kelgenimde,
Köterip ak tamaktan
    tilin bergen,
Künine bes teŋkeniŋ bulïn jegen.

When I came from afar, driving my horse,
The lass with the fine neck made a promise and
    gave me heart,
She spent five golden coins a day.

№ 13a Kara än ‘simple song’, Košakan (cca.60), Mangkïstaw. Senek, 18 Sept 1997.

Kašadï en togaydan arlan böri,
Erkemdi köre almadïm aydan beri.
Iyt dawïs burïngïday aŋkïmaysïŋ,
Kešegi erkem kuygan šaydan birew.

A he-wolf ran out of the wide forest,
I haven't seen my sweetheart for a month.
My voice, like a dog's, does not ring as it did,
Yesterday the tea was still poured out by my love.

№ 13b Kara än ‘simple song’, Nurmuham­bet (50), Mangkïstaw. Kïzïlsay, 18 Sept 1997.

Ak-Böbek, suluwlïk pen sïlaŋdaysïŋ,
Bul jalgan öter desem, Ak-Böbek til almaysïŋ.
Altayï kumnan köšken tülki degen,
Bir salïp kuyrïk penen bir aldaysïŋ.

Ak-Böbek, you boast with your beauty,
But our earthly life passes quickly, believe me.
The Altay fox62 ran off from the desert,
Swinging you tail, you play a trick on me.

№ 13c Kara än ‘simple song’, Akkozï (cca.70), Mangkïstaw. Jetibay, 19 Sept 1997.

Jigitke kerek nege elbeŋdegen,
Kurbïsïn öz katar, adaydïŋ teŋ körmegen.
How could a lad be a self-assured fellow,
If he doesn't respect his love as the child of Adays.

№ 14a Terme ‘didactic song’, Jolaman (68), Mangkïstaw. Šetpe, 16 Sept 1997.

Kolïma kalam alayïn,
Kurbïma sälem jazayïn.
Kadirdi biletin kurbïmnan
Kay jerimdi ayayïn.

Tïŋdasaη sözdi, kurbïm ay,
Men köŋilimdi aytayïn.
Men sälemdi bildirdim,
Senikin endi baykayïn.

I take a pen in my hand,
I write a reply to my love.
He respects me, I do not spare
Anything from my sweetheart.

Listen to my word, my darling,
I am opening my soul.
I have greeted you,
Now it's your turn to greet me.

№ 14b Kara än ‘simple song’, Jolaman (68), Mangkïstaw. Šetpe, 16 Sept 1997.

Baltalï, baganalï kölderim,
Aŋkïgan iysiŋ jupar jerlerim.
Šapandï šalma jiyek kiyip alïp,
Šay kuygan agalarga künderim.

Šašagïn šaš-bawïmnïŋ šaldïrayïn,
Šašagïn kök boyawga maldïrayïn.
Üydegi bawïrlardï ne kïlayïn,
Tüzdegi bawïrlardï sagïnayïn.

My lakes Baltai and Baganali,
My fields emitting lovely fragrance.
Putting on a kaftan with a white lining,
I poured tea to my brothers once.

I will get the tassle of the head-dress,
I will dip the tassle in blue dye.
What shall I do with my brothers at home,
I am longing for my brothers in the steppe.

№ 15a Besik jïrï ‘lullaby’, Däwitbay’s wife (cca.70), Mangkïstaw train st., 16 Sept 1997.

Äldiy-äldiy, ak böpem,
Ak besikke jat böpem.
Kunan koydï soyayïn,
Kuykalï etke toyayïn.

Sleep, sleep, little babe,
Lie in a white cradle, babe.
I will slay a three-year-old sheep,
I will have my fill of meat with rind.

№ 15b Bet-ašar ‘bride's farewell song’, Buldï (58), Mangkïstaw. Senek, 18 Sept 1997.

Ay kelin aw, ay kelin,
Jumïrtkadan sak kelin.
Betin ašïp tastayïn,
Bet-ašarïn bereyin.

Oh, young wife, young lady,
Whiter lady than eggs.
I am lifting the veil off your face,
I am saying a greeting to the bride.

№ 15c Besik jïrï ‘lullaby’, Duwan’s wife (cca.75), Mangkïstaw. Ataš, 30 Sept 1997.

Äldiy-äldiy, ak böpem
Ak besikke jatadï,
Äldiylepti mamasï, bagadï.

Sleep, sleep, little babe,
He is laying in a white crib,
His mother is rocking and guarding him.

№ 16a Kara än ‘simple song’, Maksat (34), Mangkïstaw. Teŋge, 18 Sept 1997.

Alla da meni kïlmay-ma at,
Ökpem jazïk, bawrïm kat.
Minip bir šïkkam awïldan,
Jogalïp ketti kök buyra at.

Türi de tüsi kök edi,
Arïmastay bek edi,
Jüz jïlkïday januwar,
Köŋilime tok edi.

Minsem bir jolïm bolatïn,
Basïma bakït konatïn.
Jolda bir jorgam sol edi,
Üyde jorgam köp edi.
Jawrïn jagï bal aškan,
Jogalmaydï dep edi.

Though I was not created by Allah to be a horse,
My lungs are broad, my sides are hard.
I mounted a horse and left my quarters,
My grey spotted horse got lost.

His head and body are grey,
It never gets tired.
It is worth a hundred horses,
I was proud of it.

When I ride it, my trip is lucky,
I do have blessing.
It was a good ambler on the way,
At home there were many amblers.63
Shoulder-blades inspired the prophecy
That it wouldn't ever get lost.

№ 16b Sïŋsuw ‘bride's farewell song’, Ayjan (78), Mangkïstaw. Jïŋgïldï, 29 Sept 1997.

Ak köylegim beldemše,
Oynawšï edik ölgenše.
Endi aylanïp körgenše,
Koš esen bol, jeŋeše.

Jel šïgadï teŋizden,
Burïn bir boldïk segizden,
Ayïrdï Kuday egizden.

My little shirt has an apron,
We kept playing till our death.
Sister-in-law, till I return,
May God bless you, sister-in-law.

The wind's blowing from the sea,
The eight of us used to be one,
God has parted us from our twins.

№ 16c Besik jïrï ‘lullaby’, Ayjan (78), Mangkïstaw. Jïŋgïldï, 29 Sept 1997.

Tünde turïp oyangan,
Tünde besik tayangan.
Tün uykïsïn üš bölip,
Taŋ uykïsïn bir bölip,
Kirli kiyim kiygizbey,
Ayawlï koldan talpïntkan.

I woke and got up at night,
I rocked the cradle at night.
I broke off my dream three times at night,
I broke off my dream at dawn once,
I won't give him dirty clothes,
I will straighten his steps with protecting hands.

№ 16d Besik jïrï ‘lullaby’, Ayjan (78), Mangkïstaw. Jïŋgïldï, 29 Sept 1997.

Eki de semiz, teŋ semiz,
Eki de semiz minseŋder,
Jer solkïldar deseŋder.
Jer solkïldar deseŋder.

Two equally fat horses,
If you mount them,
The earth will tremble for sure,
The earth will tremble for sure.

№ 16e Kara än ‘simple song’, Ayjan (78), Mangkïstaw. Jïŋgïldï, 29 Sept 1997.

Äweden aynala uškan ala karga,
Jaksï eken ala karga balalarga.
Bir eki awïz än salayïk agalarga,
Ülgi bolsïn keyingi balalarga.

A mottled crow's circling in the air,
The children are pleased to see a mottled crow.
Let's sing a song or two to our brothers,
To set an example to the generation to come.

№ 17 Terme ‘didactic song’, Maksat (34), Mangkïstaw. Teŋge, 18 Sept 1997.

Jebesi šïn kümisten sadagïmnïŋ,
Ädeti osïlay medi bazarïmnïŋ.
Nesine aytar sözdiŋ irkileyin,
Kasïŋa kez kelgen soŋ,
Darïyga, ašarïmnïŋ.

Ak suŋkar nege konbaysïŋ
Darïyga, jaygan torga.
The point of my arrow is pure silver,
That's what is sold in our bazaar.
Why should I suppress the words
When I am standing before you,
My sweetheart, I reveal myself.

White falcon, why don't you get
Into my laid-out net, my sweetheart.

№ 18a Kara än ‘simple song’, Köpbol (48), Mangkïstaw. Akšukïr, 21 Sept 1997.

Karagïm aynalayïn, kasïŋ kerip,
Mal bolsa alar edik-ti bäsin berip.
Men sagan bastï-baylï bol demeymin,
Jürseŋši azgantay kün kasïma erip.

Darling, your brows are beautiful,
If you have livestock, we'll buy them for money.
We don't want to domineer your,
But please stay with us for a few days.

№ 18b Kara än ‘simple song’, № 43, Aluwa (71), Mangkïstaw. Aktaw, 17 Sept 1997.

Awïldan men de šïktïm, kün de battï.
Boz jorga at jamandatkïr išin tarttï.
Bolarïn bir sumdïktïŋ bilip edim,
Awïlï kïz kalkamnïŋ gašïk tarttï.

I left the pastures, the sun also set,
That darned grey ambler shuddered.
I felt some major trouble was ahead of us,
All the people of the camp are in love with my daughter.

№ 19a Kara än ‘simple song’, Köpbol (48), Mangkïstaw. Akšukïr, 21 Sept 1997.

Jaraskan ak sur atka kara tel,
Jigitke jarasadï töten el.

The black ribbon becomes a light grey horse,
Roaming becomes a young lad.

№ 19b Kara än ‘simple song’, Akkoraz (67), Mangkïstaw. Kïzïltöbe, 16 Sept 1997.

Kiygenim ayagïma kïzïl etik,
Men jürmin kïzïl kumda azap etip.
Kudïktan eki šelek suw alayïn,
Birewin birewinen kem alayïn.

I put red boots on my feet,
I walk suffering in the red desert.
I bring two buckets of water from the well,
I put less into one than into the other.

№ 19c Kara än ‘simple song’, Köpbol (48), Mangkïstaw. Akšukïr, 21 Sept 1997.

Ustaganïm kolïma kuw karagay,
Dawsïm sagan ne boldï sïrganamay.
Oynamayïn, külmeyin desem dagï,
Ötip baradï zamanïm bir karamay.

I took a dry fir-branch into my hand,
What's happened to you, my voice, you do not ring.
Though I'd love to laugh and revel,
My life's gone beyond recall.

№ 19d Kara än ‘simple song’, Totïya (cca.60), Mangkïstaw. Senek, 18 Sept 1997.

Jatïr edim šalgïnda pišen šawïp,
Ak köylegim suw boldï jaŋbïr jawïp.
Sen esime, kalkatay, tüsken kezde,
Ak-sur attan jïgïldïm esim awïp.

I cut hay in tall grass,
It rained, my white shirt got wet.
When I remembered you, love,
I fell off the grey horse and fainted.

№ 20a Kara än ‘simple song’, Jawtik (80), Mangkïstaw. Jïŋgïldï, 29 Sept 1997.

Otïz sälem Orïnbordïŋ tuzïn körsem,
Jalaydïŋ taŋ kalamïnšï kïzïn körsem.
Awïldan kešten burïn da kaytkïm kelmeydi,
Kulannïŋ kaytkan suwdan izin körsem.

Thirty greeting when I see the salt of Orenburg,
I'm stunned seeing Jalaj's daughters.
I don't want to return from the camp before dark,
When I see the trail of wild donkeys on the shore.

№ 20b Kara än ‘simple song’, Jawtik (80), Mangkïstaw. Jïŋgïldï, 29 Sept 1997.

Astïmda atïm mingende suluw jiyren,
Körgende suluwlardï išim küygen.
Tal tüsten koyanga bir jürgenimde,
Kïyïlgan kara murtïm künge küygen.

My saddle-horse is a fine russet steed,
When I see a fair lass, I desire her.
I hunted for hares in the morning,
My walrus moustache got scorched.

№ 20c Kara än ‘simple song’, Izbasar (60), Mangkïstaw. Aktaw, 15-17 Sept 1997.

Baradï awlïm köšip jayma menen,
Karašï akša betiŋ ayna menen.
Birge ösip birge jürgen künderimde,
Ötkizši jalgan düniye ayla menen.

Our people are migrating slowly,
Look at your white face in the mirror.
We grew up and lived together,
Deceptive life requires some cunning.

№ 21 Kara än ‘simple song’, Akles (65), Mangkïstaw. Jetibay, 19 Sept 1997.

Karlïgaš, änimdi aytam,
Sïrïmdï aytam, süygen jar,
Süyiskennen sïrïmdï aytam,

Kuralay köz,
    kolaŋ šaš,
Alma moyïn, kïygaš kas,
Süygen säwlem, karlïgaš.

Swallow, I am singing my song,
I am exposing my secret, my love,
because I love you, I am exposing my heart's
    secret, swallow.

Your eyes like those of the tatar antelop fawn,
    your hair,
Your neck is beautiful, your brows arched,
I love you, swallow.

№ 22a Kara än ‘simple song’, Šarkat (71), Mangkïstaw. Fort Ševčenko, 30 Sept 1997.

Kïz kosïlsa teŋi men jïlamasïn,
Közdiŋ jasïn korgalap bulamasïn.

Mawsïm jan, Mawsïm jan,
Tanïymïn, xalkïm, dawsïŋnan.

When a girl marries, she shall not cry,
She shall not weep sad tears.

Mawsum darling, Mawsum darling,
I recognized you for your songs, my people.

№ 22b Kara än ‘simple song’, Buldï (58), Mangkïstaw. Senek, 18 Sept 1997.

Birge otïrgan awlïm köšip
Sakïynaŋdï berip ket sagïnbaska,

Eki gana jiyren ay,
Jal-kuyrïgïn tiygen ay.
Oymak awïz, kïygaš köz,
Gašïk-jarïn süygen ay.

The people of our camp who stayed
    together are leaving,
Give me your ring, my sweetheart,
    so that I won't miss you.

Only two russet horses,
Their manes and tails touch.
He is kissing his beloved darling
With the thimble lips and the arched brows.

№ 22c Kara än ‘simple song’, Izbasar (60), Mangkïstaw. Aktaw, 15-17 Sept 1997.

Kanday jaksï Maŋkïstaw kïs kïstawga,
Kün aralap suwarïp jïlkï ustawga.
Nawrïz tuwa köši-kon jayïn aytïp
Köšip barsaŋ, jaz šïga-ma Tas-Astawga.

What a fine place Mangkistaw is for the winter abode,
To take the horses to water every day.
We speak of migrating at the spring solstice,
When we have left, will spring come to Tas-Astau?

№ 22d Kara än ‘simple song’, Köpbol (48), Mangkïstaw. Akšukïr, 21 Sept 1997.

Sälem de Bes-Ördektiŋ balasïna,
Kazaktïŋ kazak keler karasïna.
Tösekte kalïnsam jatkanïmda,
Sälem de Bes-Ördektiŋ balasïna.

I send my greetings to the sons of Bes-Ördek,
A Kazakh is coming to visit Kazakhs.
When I fail to rise from my bed,
I'll send my greetings to the sons of Bes-Ördek.

№ 23 Kara än ‘simple song’, Šarkat (71), Mangkïstaw. Fort Ševčenko, 30 Sept 1997.

Oyïl kayda, Jem kayda,
    kaynar aya da?
Ötkir kayšï, jüyrik at,
    janga baylap.

Ak erke, aman bol sen,
Šïbïnïm, šïbïnïm, oyna da kül, kalawlïm.

Where is the Ojul, where's the Jem,
    where are their springs?
Sharp scissors and a good galloping horse
    must always be with you.

Sweetest darling, farewell,
Laugh and make merry, my dove.

№ 24a Kara än ‘simple song’, Maksat (34), Mangkïstaw. Teŋge, 18 Sept 1997.

Jayïktïŋ argï jagï, bergi jagï,
Jaykalgan jagasïnda japïragï.
Karagïm, aynalayïn, kanday ediŋ,
Kurbïnïŋ özin körgen maŋday ediŋ.

That side of the Jayik64 and this side,
The leaves are rustling on its shore.
What were you like, my sweetheart,
Darling, you were the apple of my eye.

№ 24b Kara än ‘simple song’, Totïya (cca.60), Mangkïstaw. Senek, 18 Sept 1997.

Kara tawdïŋ basïnan kös keledi,
Kösken sayïn bir taylak bos keledi.
*Äpekeden ayrïlgan jaman eken,
Möldirep kara közden jas keledi.

My people are going on top of the black mount,
Whenever they move, a camel calf goes astray.
It is hard to part with my mother,
Tears fall glittering from my black eyes.

№ 25 Kara än ‘simple song’, Bäyniš (90), Mangkïstaw. Üštagan, 24 Sept 1997.

Kayïŋnïŋ jasta kördim japïragïn,
Kulannïŋ kördim kïrdan šokïragïn.
Sen kalgan otïz uldan jalgïz
Bir uwïs buyïrmadï topïragïŋa.

I saw the leaves of the birch when I was young,
I saw the cantering of the wild donkey in the steppe.
Out of my thirty children you are the only one now,     Zuhra,
No one will be here to bury me.

№ 26 Kara än ‘simple song’, Buldï (58), Mangkïstaw. Senek, 18 Sept 1997.

Awlïm köšip baradï,
Tawdan asïp, tawdan askan.
Bulttar men aralasïp,
Erkem ay, erkem ay.

The people of our camp are moving off,
Crossing the mountain.
Lost among the clouds
My darling, my darling.

№ 27a Bet-ašar 'bride's song', Nurmuxan (61), Mangkïstaw. Akšukïr, 21 Sept 1997.

Aman-saw otïr-mïsïŋ, kenje kelin,
Bul sözdiŋ özi aytïlïp edi, kem de, kelin.
Šayïŋdï tezirekten demde, kelin.
Bul šayga šaldardïŋ basï jazïlmasa,
Karï attïŋ kazïsï men emde,

Are you fine, you nice little wife?
Most of these words have been said, little wife.
Make your tea quickly,
If it fails to alleviate the headache of the elderly,
Cure them with sausage made from an old horse,
    little wife.

№ 27b Kara än ‘simple song’, Nurmuxan (61), Mangkïstaw. Akšukïr, 21 Sept 1997.

Otïrgan karsï aldïmda kanïmayïm,
Üstimde kiyim menen tamaktïŋ bäri tayaw.
Rüstemdey ul menen Kanïyaday kïz tuwgasïn,
Ür kïzïn alïp kelseŋ de, tanïmaymïn.

My woman is sitting before me,
I am wearing my clothes, my meal is ready.
We were born like the boy Rustem and the girl Kaniya,
I don't even need the heavenly huri girl.65

№ 28 Terme ‘didactic song’, Köpbol (48), Mangkïstaw. Akšukïr, 21 Sept 1997.

Bismilla dep söylesem,
Tilge järdem bere kör,
Til jaratkan jälelim.
Janga järdem bere kör,
Jan jaratkan jälelim,
Kanïmda kaygï …

Kaygïlï boldï zamanïm,
Zamanïm solay bolgan soŋ…

When I say bismillah,
Help my tongue,
My lord who created my tongue.
Help my soul
My lord who created me,
My blood is boiling with grief (...).

My lot is sorrowful,
And since my life's like that...

№ 29 Besik jïrï ‘lullaby’, Šarkat (71), Mangkïstaw. Fort Ševčenko, 30 Sept 1997.

Ay böbegim,
Eske sakta mamaŋnïŋ
Süyip aytkan öleŋin.

My little babe,
Remember the loving words
Of your mother.

№ 30 Kara än ‘simple song’, Suluwpïya (65), Mangkïstaw. Senek, 18 Sept 1997.

Ak köylegim beldemše,
Oynawšï edim jeŋeše ölgenše.
Endi aylanïp körgenše,
Koš-esen bol jeŋeše.

Jïlama deydi jurtïm ay,
Jïlamay kay-tip šïdayïn,
Jïlatadï tuwïskan.

My white shirt is an apron,
We keep playing till death, sister-in-law.
Until I return, fare you well,

Don't cry, my people say,
How could I hold back my tears,
The relatives make me cry.

№ 31 Kara än ‘simple song’, Koyšïbay (45), Mangkïstaw. Düŋgirlew, 22 Sept 1997.

Jaz bolsa, Ala Döŋdi aralaymïn,
Kïs bolsa Arïm kumïn jagalaymïn, jagalaymïn.
Adaydan taŋdap süygen sen kempirim,
Öziŋdi toksan kïzga bagalaymïn, bagalaymïn.

In summer I roam the Mottled Hill,
In winter I live on the edge of the Arim desert.
My little wife picked from the Aday tribe,
You arre worth ninety maidens.

№ 32 Jar-jar ‘wedding song’, Izbasar (60), Mangkïstaw. Aktaw, 15-17 Sept 1997.

Aynalayïn karagïm, aynalayïn, jar-jar,
Basïŋdagï säwkele šašïŋ basar, jar-jar.
Ketemin dep karagïm, jïlay körme, jar-jar,
Ondagï ata-anaŋ orïn basar, jar-jar.

My dear daughter, my sweetheart,
A headdress is covering your hair.
Don't cry that you must leave,
The place of your parents will be taken
    by the people there.

№ 33a Kara än ‘simple song’, Buldï (58), Mangkïstaw. Senek, 18 Sept 1997.

Kölden üyrek ušadï askan menen,
Taŋ atpaydï mezgilsiz toskan menen,

Aydïn köldiŋ erkesi ay,
Erke ösken ak-tamak.

A duck's flying from the lake, passing by,
The day doesn't break early, in vain do you wait for it,
    you with the lovely white neck.

Dearest child of the broad lake,
Brought up pampered, you with the lovely white neck.

№ 33b Kara än ‘simple song’, Bakït (55), Mangkïstaw. Kurïk, 25 Sept 1997.

Senen suluw ak tamak, jan ötpeydi.
Aklïŋ askan darïyga,
Köz jetpeydi, ak-tamak.

Aydïn köldiŋ erkesi,
Erkin ösken ak tamak,
Gül bakšada sayragan,
Bulbulïmsïŋ, ak-tamak.

There's no one alive more beautiful than you,
You have more brains than water in the stream.
I simply can't grasp it, lass with the lovely neck.

The beauty of the broad lake,
Lass with the lovely neck brought up freely.
You are a lark, you with the lovely neck,
Singing is a garden of flowers.

№ 34 Sïŋsuw ‘bride's farewell song’, Šarkat (71), Mangkïstaw. Fort Ševčenko, 30 Sept 1997.

Köp boldï körmegeli, arman jibek,
Otïrsïŋ jaydï kütip jadap-jüdep.

I haven't seen you long, my beloved darling,
You can hardly wait for summer.

№ 35a Kara än ‘simple song’, № 103, Nurmuxan (61), Mangkïstaw. Akšukïr, 21 Sept 1997.

Kara tawdïŋ basïnan köš keledi,
Köšken sayïn eki taylak bos keledi.

The people are moving off from top of the black mount,
Two camel foals always go astray.

№ 35b Kara än ‘simple song’, Nurmuxan (61), Mangkïstaw. Akšukïr, 21 Sept 1997.

Ustaganïm kolïma kuw karagay,
Dawsïm sagan ne boldï
Oynamayïn külmeyin desem dagï,
Ötip baradï bu düniya bir karamay.

I've taken the dry fir in my hand,
What's happened to you, my voice,
    you don't ring any more.
Though I'd love to laugh and make merry,
Life has passed beyond recall.

№ 36 Kara än ‘simple song’, Izbasar (60), Mangkïstaw. Aktaw, 15-17 Sept 1997.

Arasï eki awïldïŋ Balgïn Köl-di,
Balïgïn Balgïn Köldiŋ algïm keldi.
Esime karagïm sen tüskende,
Jerimde at šaldïrgan kalgïm keldi.

Kara köz, kaldïŋ keyin, men ne deyin,
Eske tüsse gašïk dert, wayïm jeymin.
Appak etiŋ koyanday,
    šošïp bir säwlem oyandï,
Sagïnïp körgen kara köz,
    kïzïgïŋa toya almay.

There's the Balgin lake between two quarters,
I want to catch fish from Lake Balgin.
Darling, when you come to my mind,
I want to stay here, grazing my horse.

Black-eyed darling, you stayed away, what could I say?
When my love comes to my mind, I become sad.
Your face is like the hare's,
    my darling started from her sleep,
You with the black eyes, I am longing for you,
    I can never have enough of your beauty.

№ 37 Kara än ‘simple song’, Šarkat (71), Mangkïstaw. Fort Ševčenko, 30 Sept 1997.

Boz jorga at, jorgaŋa bas, aldïŋda el jok,
Išetin šöldegende aydïn köl jok.

Grey ambler, just keep ambling, there's no camp ahead,
When you're thirsty, there's no broad lake

Texts of the songs collected in Bayan Ölgiy and Nalayh

B№ 1a Köris ‘lament’, Serjan (70), Nalayh, Töw country, Aug 1997.

Keŋeske ketken asïlïm
Kelmeske ketti jasïgïm.
Bismilla dep bastayïn,
Asïgïs aytïp saspayïn.

My sweet darling going for the meeting66,
Left into eternity.
Be blessed my sweetheart,
I'm singing it calmly.

B№ 1b Köris ‘lament’ text unintelligible, Kasïyla (71), BÖ. Nogōn Nūr district, July 1996.

B№ 2a Köris ‘lament’, Kayša (63), BÖ. Nogōn Nūr district, July 1996.

Bismilla sözdiŋ asïlï,
Topïrak adam näsili.
*Ïymandï bolgïr sabazïm,
Šašïlsïn Alla šašuwï.

Sözdiŋ de basï bismilla,
Bismilla kelmes mïŋ jïlda.
Jïladï jurtïm demeŋder,
Kaygïlï boldïk biz munda.

Bismilla sözdiŋ atasï,
Adamnïŋ köp-ti katasï.
Jïladï jurtïm demešï,
Alladan bolsïn batasï.

Bismillah is the holiest of words,
Man was made from dust.
Be a believer, my child,
May Allah's blessing be with you.

Bismillah is the first word,
Bismillah does not change for thousands of years.
You don't say my people are weeping,
We are in great sorrow here.

Bismillah is the ancestor of the word,
Human beings are frail.
You don't say my people are weeping,
May God's blessing be with you.

B№ 2b Köris ‘lament’, Mäliyke (91), Nalayh, Töw country, Aug 1997.

Bismilla dep bastayïn,
Asïgïs aytpay saspayïn.
Kayranda kargam, Märkem aw,
Awzïmnan kay-tip tastayïn.

Ak köylek kiydim etime,
Šatïra saldïm šetine.
Kayranda asïl Märkem aw,
Karamawšï edi betime.

Äweden uškan šagalak,
Šagalak ušadï jagalap.
Bir kün bir kargam bar edi,
Otïruwšï edi apalap.

Bismilla sözdiŋ atasï,
Pendeniŋ köp katasï.
Kayranda kargam, Märkem, aw,
Okïgan kurannïŋ tiysin batasï.

I begin with Bismillah,
Not hastily, I sing calmly.
Oh my dearest Merke,
How could I be silent about you!?

I have put on the white shirt,
I sewed a hem at the edge.
Oh my dearest Merke,
You didn't listen to me.

A gull is flying in the sky,
A gull is flying along the shore.
Once I had a little darling
Who called me mommy.

Bismillah is the father of the word,
The mortals are full of frailties.
Oh my dearest Merke,
May a blessing from the Koran settle on you.

B№ 3a Jar-jar ‘wedding song’, Šükirana (87), BÖ. Nogōn Nūr district, July 1996.

Jaksï bolsaŋ karagïm, kayïn-ataŋ bar,
Jaman bolsaŋ karagïm, kayïn-ataŋ bar.
Jar-jar dep köp aytuwga bolmaydï,
Munan bïlay kal, jar.

Usta bolsa baltada tatï kalgan,
Molda bolsa kagazda katï kaldï.
Tük bilmeytin jamandar ölip kalsa,
Tük bilinbey ar jagï jatïp algan, jar-jar.

You have a father-in-law even if you behave well,
You have a father-in-law even if you misbehave.
It's not appropriate to sing the wedding song long,
Let us now quit it.

Rust remains on the hammer when the blacksmith's gone,
Writing remains behind when the molla's gone.
When the ignorant die
Nothing remains after them when they are laid out.

B№ 3b Sïŋsuw ‘bride's farewell song’, Šükirana (87), BÖ. Nogōn Nūr district, July 1996.

Aynalayïn atïŋnan Kudayïm ay,
Keziktirme pendeŋdi wayïmga.
Köp aytuwga kelmeydi til menen jak,
Xalïk išinde karagïm sïnayïn-ba.

Ey, Allam, ayamadïŋ pendeŋdi,
Aynalayïn, kay-teyin ketken äkem,
Armandan bop düniyeden ötken apam.
Oy Allam, kay-teyin ašïmagan janïŋdï,
Bir janïŋa bermediŋ jïygan-tergen malïŋdï.

Be your name blessed, my God,
Do not bring sorrow upon your servant's head.
My tongue and jaw are feeble to sing much,
It's me of the people who am to test you, love.

Oh, God, you did not take pity on your servant,
Woe is me, what shall I do, I've parted with my father.
My dear mother died an untimely death,
Oh God, you did not take pity on my life,
You didn't let this mortal have any of your goods.

B№ 3c Ayday ‘wedding song’, Mädiyne (51), BÖ country seat, July 1996.

Bir tolarsak, bir tobïk sanda da bar ,ayday,
San kisiniŋ akïlï kanda da bar, ayday.
Äke-šešem kaldï dep kaygïrmašï, ayday,
Jaksï bolsaŋ ata-anaŋ onda da bar, ayday.

*Ak otawïm tikken jer oyran bolsïn,
Ak jüzimdi körgen jan kayran kalsïn,.
Äke-šešeŋ bar deseŋ dagï,
Öz äkemdey sonda da kaydan bolsïn.

We have calves and ankles on our legs,
The brains of the khan equals many people's.
Don't be sorry for parting with your parents,
If you are good, you'll have parents there.

The place of my white yurt shall turn into naught,
Anyone that sees my white face shall be surprised.
You say I will have parents there,
But how could they substitute for my own father?!

B№ 3d Jar-jar ‘wedding song’, Mogïlxan molda (56), Nalayh, Töw country, Aug 1997.

Alïp kelgen bazardan kara makpal,
Kara makpal säwkele šašïŋ basar.
Munda äkem kaldï dep kam jemeŋiz,
Jaksï bolsa kayïn-ataŋ ornun basar.

Esik aldï kara suw, maydan bolsïn,
Ak jüzimdi körgende aynam bolsïn.
Kayïn-atasï bar deydi boz balalar,
Aynalayïn äkemdey kaydan bolsïn!

Ak koyan kašadï jotalatïp, jar-jar,
Ak taylak ösir botalatïp, jar-jar.
Munša nege jïlaysïŋ, jar-jar,
Artïŋnan izdep bara apalatïp, jar-jar.

Black velvet was brought back from the bazaar,
A black head-dress covers your head.
Don't be sorry that your father remains here,
If your father-in-law's good, he will take his place.

Clean water outside the door, be it the meeting place,
Be it the reflection of my white face.
I have a father-in-law, the lads say,
But how could he take the place of my dearest father!

A white hare's running over the hill,
Rear a white camel calf gently tending to it.
Why are you crying so much?
You follow her searching, calling out 'mother'.

B№ 4 Sïŋsuw ‘bride's farewell song’, Asïypa (77), BÖ. Nogōn Nūr district, July 1996.

Üy artïnan or kazdïm,
Kamšï boyï jer kazdïm.
Köterip atka salatïn,
Aga äke sizge ne jazdïm.

Suw ayagï teŋiz-di,
Mal köterer egizdi.
Kïz demegen sum basïm,
Kelinšek keledi degizdi.

I've dug a pit behind the house,
I buried a whip handle deep.
Lifting me, you set me on a horse,
Father, what did I commit againt you?

There is a sea by the shore,
The animals bear twins sometimes.
Poor me, I have been disowned,
Saying, the young wife's coming.

B№ 5a Bet-ašar ‘presentation of the bride’, Äbilkazïl (70), BÖ. Nogōn Nūr district, July 1996.

Men aytayïn bet-ašar,
Ösiyet sözim jarasar.
Paygambar kïzïn uzatïp,
Solardan kalgan bet-ašar, deydi.

Sätti küni tüsipsiŋ,
Sätti bolsïn ayagïŋ.
Jok närseden talasïp,
Beliŋnen jeme tayagïn.
Bul arada turmaysïŋ,
Esiŋe tüssin bayagïm.

Bul kereydiŋ ordasï,
Orda jolïn bak, kelin.
Erte turïp jay jatïp,
Ata-eneŋe jak, kelin.
Jawgan karday ak kelin, deydi.
Minekiy, ata sizge bir sälem, deydi.

I'm singing the bride's greeting,
My words are governed by tradition.
When the prophet married off his daughter
This bride's greeting was born then.

You arrived at a lucky day,
May luck accompany your steps.
Do not quarrel without reason,
Lest a stick should meet with your waist.
Now you're going to live here,
Remember what I said earlier.

This is the wedding tent of a man from the Kerey tribe,
Start for the wedding tent, little bride.
Get up early, go to bed late,
Please your father- and mother-in-law.
Little bride, white as snow,
Greet your father-in-law.

B№ 5b Bet-ašar ‘presentation of the bride’, Kasïyla (71), BÖ. Nogōn Nūr district, July 1996.

Bet-ašar basï bismilla,
Al jamagat söz tïŋda.
Kelin keldi, esik aš,
Enesi kelip šašuw šaš.

Kayïn menen kayïn-aga,
Törde otïrgan.
Mïna kelgen kelinniŋ,
Jaksïlap aytïp betin aš.

Kelin keldi tuwlak sal,
Basïna šašuw šaša kör.
Kïzïl jelek basïnda,
Kayïn-aga, kayïn-siŋlisi
Jabïlïp otïr kasïnda.

Ata-eneŋdi sïylay ber,
Aldïnan kese ötip ötpe sen.
Kayïn-iniŋ menen kayïn-agaŋ,
Akïl-keŋes alïp jür, iyilip sälem,

Ülkender de kelgende,
Iyilip kelin, sälem ber.

I beging presenting the bride with bismillah,
People, hear my word.
Here is the bride, open the door,
Her mother-in-law is coming, scatter your blessings.

Her father- and brother-in-law
Sit at the places of honour.
The little bride has arrived,
Show us her face as is proper.

Here is the bride, lay the bedding,
Throw presents at her head.
There's a red scarf on her head.
Her brother- and sister-in-law
Sit by her side.

Respect your father- and mother-in-law,
Do not pass in front of them67.
Keep the advice of your younger and older
In-laws, and greet them bowing.

When the elderly come,
The wife must bend and greet them.

B№ 5c Köris ‘lament’, Jambï (65), BÖ. Nogōn Nūr district, July 1996.

Ay, dalada kuw kazïk,
Kulannïŋ eti jolga azïk,
Jïlamayïn desem de,
Üyim bir kaldï kulazïp.

Äwede uškan babaygak,
Jeliniŋ basïn bïlay kak,
Janïmda jürgen kargam aw,
Janïm bir kaldï (muŋayïp).

There's a grey pole in the steppe,
The meat of the wild donkey is good food for the road.
I don't want to cry
But my yurt is deserted.

There's a falcon flying in the sky,
Throw the rope of the colts here,
Sweetheart, you were with me,
Now I'm overcome by sadness.

B№ 6a Jubatïw ‘consoling song’, Asïypa (77), BÖ. Nogōn Nūr district, July 1996.

Aygïr tokpak jaldï dalada tur,
Bulgarï satïp alsam kalada tur.

There's a stallion with a large flying mane in the steppe,
When I want to buy suppled leather, I will find it in town.

B№ 6b Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Asïypa (77), BÖ. Nogōn Nūr district, July 1996.

Basï edi öleŋimniŋ Al-xam süre,
Aytayïn men bir öleŋ üyge kire.
Öleŋim Bukarbaylap kele jatïr,
Üyiŋdi jatïp ketpesin ay bakan tire.

My song begins with the Al-ham sura68,
Entering the yurt I sing a song.
My song calls Bukarbay,
Prop up your yurt with a pole lest it should collapse.

B№ 6c Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Serjan (70), Nalayh, Töw country, Aug 1997.

Jer kayda bizdiŋ Dayïn jaylaganga,
Jas kulïn šïŋgïradï baylaganda.
Kelmeydi jansam mülkim, tursam külkim,
El-jurtïm artta kalgan oylaganïm.

Dayïn-Köl jaksï jaylawšï edik,
Šïŋgïrtïp jas kulïndï baylawšï edik.
Agayïn, bir künde goy aga edi,
Jer bolïp kara jerde jatkanïnda edi.

Where's our summer pastures at Dayin,
The little calf neighs plaintively when it's tied.
I have no fortune, nor do I feel like laughing,
My tribal abode is far away, it is on my mind.

Once our summer quarters were at Lake Dayin,
The little calf neighed when we tied it.
You were once my relatives, my brothers,
Who are now resting in the earth.

B№ 6d Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Kasïyla (71), BÖ. Nogōn Nūr district, July 1996.

Bärekel bop Jetpistige mine keldim,
Jagday jok öleŋ aytuwga, oy tasïldï.
Tilenip mine jïyïn kelip otïr,
Osïnïŋ men aytamïn kurmetine.

Šet jürip sayak ösip men ketippin,
Oylasam agïl-tegil közdiŋ jasï.

I came to Jetpisti gladly,
I can't sing now, I ran out of thoughts.
Those who gathered tell me their good wishes,
So I'd better sing out of respect for them.

I grew up far away from them, all alone,
When I come to think of it, I have to shed tears.

B№ 6e Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Jïlkï-aydar (28), BÖ country seat, July 1996.

Basï edi öleŋimniŋ Rayïmbek,
At kostïm Altï-Araldan sïnayïn dep.
Tüsken de sizder eske kayran tuwïs,
Jas keledi kara közge jïlayïn dep.

Kay betkey, mïna betkey, dala betkey,
Tuwïstar, osïndayda öleŋ etkey.
Kalayïk, bas koskanda öleŋdetip,
Akša bet albïragan nurï ketpey.

My song begins with Rahim bey,
I sent a horse from Alti-Aral to put them to the test.
When you come to my mind, my dear relatives,
Sorrow makes my eyes wet, I must cry.

Which hill is this hill, the hill of the steppe,
Relatives, sing at such times.
Let us sing when we are together,
The white faces shine, their glow doesn't wane.

B№ 6f Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Jïlkï-aydar (28), BÖ country seat, July 1996.

Basïnda kara tawdïŋ köš keledi,
Köšken sayïn bir taylagïm bos keledi.
Barïnda tiršiliktiŋ oyna da kül,
Baradï ötip jalgan atkan taŋday.

My people are passing on top of the black mount,
Every time they migrate a camel calf goes astray.
Make merry and laugh as long as life lasts,
For life passes like the break of day.

B№ 6g Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Sakay (43), BÖ. Nogōn Nūr district, July 1996.

Salayïn, sal deseŋiz zawlap-zawlap,
Keledi kömekeyden öleŋ kawlap.
Öleŋdi akïndïk pen men aytpaymïn,
Aytamïn kos bawïrdïŋ köŋilin awlap.

If you want, I'll sing in a loud voice,
The song will fly ringing from my throat.
My song is not poetical,
I'll sing in honour of my two brothers.

B№ 7a Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Zabïyra (64), BÖ. Nogōn Nūr district, July 1996.

Öleŋ degen nemene bilgen kulga,
Ak teŋgesin kim berer kara bulga.
Ata-anasïn sïylagan adal ulga,
Tamïy bersin däwleti jïldan jïlga.

Uwgay-uwgay, änimiz,
Ïrgay änge salmasak, kelmeydi eken sänimiz.

What's a song to the mortals who know it,
Who gives a silver coin for black linen?
May the fortune of a loyal son who respects
His parents increase year by year.

Ugay-ugay is our song,
If we don't sing a little, it brings discredit upon us.

B№ 7b Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Zabïyra (64), BÖ. Nogōn Nūr district, July 1996.

Öleŋdi ayt degende bagïlayïn, ey, axager,
Tuwïstar alïs jürseŋ sagïnayïn, kurbïm,
Oyna bir kün.

Uzaktan mïymandar kep jatkanda,
Öleŋdi munda aytpagan ne kïlayïn, kurbïm,
Oyna bir kün.

When I am asked to sing, I go humming,
When my relations are far away, I long to see them,
Revel for a whole day.

Our guests have come from afar, ay ho,
We must sing at such times, dear,
Revel for a whole day.

B№ 7c Kara öleŋ ’simple song’, Šükirana (87), BÖ. Nogōn Nūr district, July 1996.

Attay bop arpa jegen
    izdeydi eken,
Bir jürip eki jastar
    üyrengen soŋ.

Oyaw jat säwlem ay, oylay jat säwlem,
Aytayïn dugay sälem kalgandarga.

Like the horse who fed on barley once and
    keeps longing for it,
Two young people are like that when they've
    taken to each other.

Lie awake, my sweetheart, thinking of me,
I am greeting those who are staying here.

B№ 8a Jïr ‘epic tale’, Toktasïn (40), BÖ. Nogōn Nūr district, July 1996.

Atïŋnan aynalayïn bir Kudayïm,
Jigitke payda bermes sarï wayïm.
On bir jïl mekendegen Böke Mören,
Aytayïn bir azïrak sonïŋ jayïn.

Oh God, be your name blessed,
It's no use brooding for young men.
I lived eleven years in Böke Mören,
Let me sing a little about it.

B№ 8b Jïr ‘epic tale’, Tilegen (38), BÖ. Nogōn Nūr district, July 1996.

Bir küni uyïktap jatïp tüs köremin,
Tüsimde neše aluwan is köremin.
Aytayïn sol tüsimdi öleŋ kïlïp,
Keyingi agayïndar eske ala jür.

Urïsïp bir adam men kelme-kel dep,
Oyï bar sol adamnïŋ meni jeŋbek.
Kolïmda ayak bawlï bir karšïgam,
Älgini sïlap sïypap kïlam ermek.

One day I was asleep and I had a dream,
I saw all sorts of things in my dream.
Let me sing out my dream in a song,
Younger brothers, keep it in mind.

I am fighting a fierce battle with a man,
He wants to defeat me.
There's a hawk with a strap on its leg on my hand,
I keep patting and caressing it.

B№ 8c Terme ‘didactic song’, Tilew (54), Nalayh, Töw country, Aug 1997.

Kärilik bïlay jür dep jolga saldï,
Boyïmnan kïzuwïmdï sogïp aldï.
Kešegi ötken künim, bäri de jok,
Alïsta, kayran künder artta kaldï.

Kärilik, salïp koydïŋ tüzüw jolga,
Usta dep berip koydïŋ tayak kolga.
Kärilik öne boydïŋ jüzin bitip,
Jatïr aw tisimdi de birge joyïp.

Kärilik kïzïl tilge saldï buraw,
Oy-širkin kara šaška tüsti kïraw.
Men dagï zamanïmda jigit edim…

I have entered the path of aging,
It knocked passion out of my being.
Wither have my past days gone,
My young days have left me.

Old age has found me, for sure,
It put a stick in my hand.
Old age has enfeebled my whole self,
It got rid of all my teeth.

Old age has put a curb on my tongue,
My hair has got white.
I used to be young once...

B№ 8d Jarapazan ‘religious song’, Šükirana (87), BÖ. Nogōn Nūr district, July 1996.

Jigitter azan šakïr erte turïp,
Sälem ber ülkenderge kol kuwsïrïp.
Bayansïz päniy jalgan opasï jok,
Ketesiŋ buyrïk kelse bir kün jürip.

Mäliyke masawlame69 jarapazan,
El jaŋa elüw jïlda,
    jüz jïl kazan.

Lads, getting up early, call the people to prayer,
Joining hands, you should greet the elderly.
Incomprehensible, deceptive, fleeting world,
One day you will leave, too, when God orders so.

Melike, be blessed, oh ramadan,
The people renews in fifty years, in a hundred
    it may disappear.

B№ 8e Ösiyet öleŋ ‘admonitions’, Šükirana (87), BÖ. Nogōn Nūr district, July 1996.

Jaman katïn, jaman katïn,
Šïgarar jaman katïn baydïŋ atïn.
Bolganda jazgï-turï azïksïrap,
Bayïnïŋ soygïzadï jalgïz atïn.

Kelgen jerden kiymelep šešensip aw,
Urïs janjal boldïrar sözdiŋ artïn dep.
Jaman katïn belgisi, biylep alar öz bayïn,
Bir ul šïksa kötinen, äste tilin tartpaydï,
Et kesse da etinen.
Pïsïkpïn dep küš bermey, iytti süyrep jep jatïr,

Terisiniŋ šetinen, terisiniŋ šetinen,
Ïrïsïŋnïŋ belgisi jaksï bolsa katïnïŋ,
Jaŋka bolsa otïnïŋ, šašïlmasa kokïnïŋ,
Šašïlmasa kokïnïŋ, sirä ketpes kokïrïŋ,
Aynalayïn karagïm, üyiŋnen ketpes topïrïŋ.

A bad wife, a bad wife
Brings discredit to her husband.
When food is running out in spring,
She slays the only horse of her husband.

She keeps butting in, arguing pig-headed,
In the end she incites quarrels.
A bad wife is bossing her husband around,
When she has borne a son, her tongue keeps wagging
Even if she's skinned alive.
She thinks she is clever,

She skins the dog and eats it.
It's a sign of good luck if you have a good wife,
If your wood burns well, if your pile doesn't collapse.
If your pile doesn't collapse, the fire flakes don't fly,
Oh darling, your yurt will always be full of people.

B№ 9 Ösiyet söz ‘good advice’, Tilegen (38), BÖ. Nogōn Nūr district, July 1996.

Toyda öleŋ budan burïn aytkanïm jok,
Koltïktan kötere ber, ak köylek, köŋil jay,
On eki Awak, ayuw, gay.

I have never sung at a revelry before,
Help them, white shirt, gentle soul,
Help the twelve Awak-Kerey tribes.

B№ 10 Kara öleŋ ‘simple song’, Kümpey Kadak (53), Nalayh, Töw country, Aug 1997.

Oylap tursam düniye jalgan eken,
On segiz mïŋ galamdï algan eken.
Mäšiyneniŋ jibindey kayran dawsïm,
Šaban attay šaldïgïp kalgan eken.

Alïp kelgen bazardan sïrlï ašamay,
Biz kalkadan ayrïldïk bir jasamay.
Alïsta awïlïŋ ketkende, ätteŋ kalkam,
Öleŋ menen jüreyik amandasa.

When I come to think of it, life is deception,
Encompassing eighteen thousand worlds.
My voice similar to the yarn in the sewing machine
Is like a lazy horse, grown tired.

He brought a painted saddle from the bazaar,
I separated from my love, we live far apart.
Since your abode is at a long distance,
Let us take leave singing.

B№ 11 Aytïs ‘responding song’, Mädiyne (51), BÖ country seat, July 1996.

Bazardan alïp kelgen ak šömpez bar,
Išinde ak šömpezdiŋ, ay, künim, ay,
    ïrgay kez bar.
Tem akïn, sen sorasaŋ, men aytayïn,
Šïgïptï koy Mekeden, ay, künim, ay,
    degen söz bar.

White linen was brought back from the bazaar,
There's a piece among white linen that has
    a quince pattern,
Singer Tem, if you ask me, I'll tell you,
It is said the sheep is from Mecca,
    my darling.

B№ 12 Äldiy ‘lullaby’, Mädiyne (51), BÖ country seat, July 1996.

Äldiy-äldiy, abayïm,
Atka terlik jabayïn.
Seniŋ šešeŋ kïdïrmakšï70,
Kaydan izdep tabayïn,
Äldiy, ay, äldiy, ay.

Äldiy-äldiy, ak böpem,
Ak besikke jat böpem.
Seniŋ šešeŋ kïdïrmakšï,
Kaydan izdep tabayïn,
Äldiy, ay, äldiy, ay.

Sleep, sleep, little babe,
I put sweat-cloth on the horse.
Your mother is on the loose,
Where shall I find her now,
Sleep, sleep.

Sleep, sleep, little babe,
Lie in a white cradle.
Your mother is on the loose,
Where shall I find her now,
Sleep, sleep.

B№ 13 Sïŋsuw ‘bride's farewell song’, Kasïyla (71), BÖ. Nogōn Nūr district, July 1996.

Karagay basï kalam-dï,
Moldarlar jazar älemdi.
Uzakta kaldï tuwïstar,
­Üš kaytara sälem de.

Bazardan kelgen tätti eken,
Bagasï neden sattï eken.
Erte ayrïlïp tuwïstan,
Birde de birin körmedim.

The top of the fir is pointed like a feather shaft,
The mollas write down the things of the world.
My relatives are far away,
Greet them with three greetings.

Sugar was brought back from the bazaar,
How much was its price?
I parted young with my relatives,
I haven't seen any of them ever since.


Classification of melodic forms

Number of lines

Southwest Kazakh melodies

Mongolian Kazakh melodies

A single line

9e, 34,


One line and its variants (+ refrain)

10f , 22a, 23, 33a-b, Ex. 15, Ex. 25, Ex. 28

Ex. 42, Ex. 46b, Ex. 47a, Ex. 48a, Ex. 48b, Ex. 58b, Ex. 60b

Two lines (+refrain)

7a-b, 8b-c, 9a,-,f, 10e, 11c-h, 12a-c, 13a, 16c, 16e, 18b, 19a-c, 22c-d, 24a-b, 31, 35a-b, 37, Ex. 5, Ex. 7, Ex. 10, Ex. 12, Ex. 20, Ex. 26, Ex. 32, Ex. 33,

B1a, Ex. 37, Ex. 38, Ex. 41, Ex. 43, Ex. 44a, Ex. 44b, Ex. 45a, Ex. 45b, Ex. 46a, Ex. 47b, Ex. 47c, Ex. 47e, Ex. 47g, Ex. 49a, Ex. 49c, Ex. 50a, Ex. 50b, Ex. 50c, Ex. 51a, Ex. 51b, Ex. 51c, Ex. 54, Ex. 55a, Ex. 58a, Ex. 59a, Ex. 59b, Ex. 60a, Ex. 61, B1b, B2a-b, B3d, B4, B6a-g, B7a, B9, B10, B11, B13

Two lines and their variants

3a-b, 7c, 8a, 9d, 11a-b, 13b-c, 16b, 21, 22b, 25, 27a-b, 30, 36, Ex. 6, Ex. 8, Ex. 9, Ex. 11, Ex. 17, Ex. 21, Ex. 22, Ex. 30,

Ex. 39, Ex. 47f, Ex. 49b, Ex. 53, Ex. 62, B7c, B12

A, B and C lines

7d, 10b, 12d, 14b, 18a, 26, 29, 32, Ex. 13, Ex. 18, Ex. 19, Ex. 23, Ex. 29

Ex. 47d, Ex. 52, Ex. 57, Ex. 58c, B7b

A B C and D lines (+ refrén)

10a, 10c-d, 14a, 15a-c, 16a, 16d, 19d, 20a-c, Ex. 24, Ex. 27

Ex. 40, Ex. 55b, Ex. 55c, Ex. 56, Ex. 63a, B3a-c, B5a-c, B8a-e


Ex. 64


*The structure of the terme melodies are discussed under Kazakh epic songs, the 'terme' types in details.


Classification according to the number of syllables

Number of syllables

Southwest Kazakh melodies

Mongolian Kazakh melodies


1g, 9f, 10f, 11d, 15a-c, 16b-c, 30, Ex. 15, Ex. 17,

Ex. 40, Ex. 47d, Ex. 55b, Ex. 55c, Ex. 61, Ex. 64, B7b, B12

7 and 6

B3a, B3c-d


7 and 8

1e, 1h-i, 2a, 2g, 2i, 3b-c, 4, 6a, 10c-d, 16d, 26, 28, Ex. 1, Ex. 2, Ex. 4, Ex. 6, Ex. 16, Ex. 18, Ex. 19

B2b, B4, B5a-c


1a, 1c-d, 2b-c, 2e-f, 3a, 5a, 7a-d, 8a-b, 10a-b, 10e, 11a-c, 14a, 16a, Ex. 3, Ex. 5, Ex. 8, Ex. 9, Ex. 30

B1a-1b, B2a, B13, Ex. 37, Ex. 39, Ex. 41



Ex. 60b


1b, 2h, 9a-b, 9d-e, 11e-h, 12a-c, 13a-c, 14b, 16e, 17, 18a-b, 19a-b, 20a-c, 22d, 24a-b, 25, 27a-b, 36, 37, Ex. 7, Ex. 11, Ex. 12, Ex. 13, Ex. 14, Ex. 20, Ex. 21, Ex. 22, Ex. 23, Ex. 26, Ex. 27

Ex. 42, Ex. 43, Ex. 47b, Ex. 47c, Ex. 47e, Ex. 47g, Ex. 49b, Ex. 50b, Ex. 50c, Ex. 51c, Ex. 52, Ex. 54, Ex. 56, Ex. 62, Ex. 63a, B6a-c, B6e-g, B7c, B8a-e, B9, B11


1f, 12d, 19c-d, 22a, 22c, 23, 33a-b, 34, 35a-b, Ex. 10, Ex. 25, Ex. 28, Ex. 29, Ex. 32, Ex. 33

Ex. 44a, Ex. 44b, Ex. 45a, Ex. 45b, Ex. 46a, Ex. 46b, Ex. 47a, Ex. 47f, Ex. 48a, Ex. 48b, Ex. 49a, Ex. 49c, Ex. 50a, Ex. 51a, Ex. 51b, Ex. 53, Ex. 55a, Ex. 57, Ex. 58a, Ex. 58b, Ex. 58c, Ex. 59a, Ex. 59b, Ex. 60a, B3b, B10


2d, 5b, 6b, 8c, 9c, 21, 22b, 29, 31, 32, Ex. 24,



Compass of tunes


Southwest Kazakh melodies

Mongolian Kazakh melodies


35b, Ex. 1, Ex. 28

Ex. 60b


13b, 16e, 35a



5a, 9d

B12, B13, B6d-e, B6g, B7a, Ex. 42, Ex. 44b, Ex. 46a, Ex. 47b-c, Ex. 49a-b, Ex. 50a, Ex. 58c, Ex. 59a-b, Ex. 64,


4, 5b, 30, 37, Ex. 33

B6f, B7b-c, B8a-b, B8e, Ex. 43, Ex. 44a, Ex. 47d-e, Ex. 56, Ex. 60a, Ex. 63a,



Ex. 47g, Ex. 49c



B8c, Ex. 45a





1b, 1d-f, 10f



1c, 1f, 1h, 2c, 8c, 9a, 9c, 10a-d, 11b-d, 12c-d, 15c, 16a-d, 23, Ex. 8, Ex. 10, Ex. 14, Ex. 15, Ex. 17, Ex. 18, Ex. 19



1i, 2d-f, 8a-b, 9b, 9e, 11a, 11e-h, 12a-b, 13a, 13c, 15a-b, 27a-b, Ex. 6, Ex. 7, Ex. 9, Ex. 11, Ex. 12, Ex. 13



6b, 17, 18a, 20a-b, 21, Ex. 20



18b, 20c, 22a-c, 24a-b, 26, 28, 29, Ex. 3, Ex. 4, Ex. 21, Ex. 24, Ex. 25, Ex. 29

B9, Ex. 50b, Ex. 53, Ex. 55b


25, Ex. 26

Ex. 50c, Ex. 54


Ex. 27



1g, 7a-d,



Ex. 5



Ex. 2



14a-b, Ex. 16

Ex. 55c


33a-b, Ex. 32






Ex. 30



2h, 19a, Ex. 31



2a, 2g, 2i, 3a, 3c, 6a, 19b, Ex. 22

B1a-b, B2a-b, B4, B5b, B6c, B8d, B11, Ex. 37, Ex. 38, Ex. 39, Ex. 46b, Ex. 47a, Ex. 51a, Ex. 51c, Ex. 58a, Ex. 58b, Ex. 63b


19c-d, 31

B5a,B5c, B6a-b, Ex. 40, Ex. 47f, Ex. 55a, Ex. 61


32, Ex. 23

Ex. 51b, Ex. 62


22d, 34

Ex. 45b, Ex. 48a-b, Ex. 57



Ex. 52


3b, 36



Classification of songs by the last tune of the lines

Melodies ending on la


Southwest Kazakh

Mongolian Kazakh


two lines melodies






Ex. 7-b, 8b-c, 91-c, 9f, Ex. 6






1c-e, 10e, 13a-c, Ex. 1,



05b, 11b-g, Ex. 28,



18b, 12a-c, 16b-e, 21, 23, Ex. 10, Ex. 20, Ex. 21, (5)

Ex. 53






Ex. 50a-b


22a-c, 24a-b, Ex. 25, Ex. 26

Ex. 50c, Ex. 54, Ex. 55a




three lines melodies




















four lines melodies






Ex. 8,






18a, 20b, 26,



20a, 20c, Ex. 24,









Ex. 9,



Ex. 19,



Ex. 18,


















Ex. 14,



Ex. 11, Ex. 12,



Ex. 13,






Ex. 27,



Ex. 29,



five or more lines melodies









Ex. 15,



Ex. 17,



Ex. 16,






special melodies


2c, 2f, 6b, 28, Ex. 3, Ex. 4



Melodies ending on ti


Southwest Kazakh melodies


two lines melodies


7a, 8a, Ex. 5




four lines melodies










Ex. 2


Melodies ending on do


Southwest Kazakh melodies

Mongolian Kazakh melodies

two lines





Ex. 42



Ex. 37, Ex. 41, Ex. 43, Ex. 44a, B1a, B1b, B6a, B6b, B6c, B6d, B6e, B6f, B6g, B11


19c, 31, Ex. 30

Ex. 44b, Ex. 58a


19a-b, Ex. 22

Ex. 38, Ex. 39, Ex. 60b, Ex. 63b, B2a, B2b, B4, B9, B10, B13



Ex. 45a, Ex. 45b, Ex. 46a, Ex. 46b, Ex. 47a, Ex. 47b, Ex. 47c, Ex. 47e, Ex. 47g, Ex. 51a, Ex. 51c, Ex. 58b, Ex. 58c, B7a, B7c



Ex. 47f, Ex. 51b, Ex. 61


33a-b, Ex. 32

Ex. 48b




four lines melodies








Ex. 62



B5c, B8e, B8c, Ex. 40, Ex. 56, B5a,



B5b, B8a, B8b






Ex. 57






Ex. 48a, Ex. 52






Ex. 64












Ex. 55c



Ex. 63a









Ex. 55b, B7b




Ex. 47d

many lines: terme, betašar, etc.

2a-b, 2d-e, 6a,2g-h, 3c



Southwest Kazakh melodies


36, Ex. 31




Melodies ending on so


Southwest Kazakh melodies

Mongolian Kazakh melodies





37, Ex. 33







Ex. 59a-b



Ex. 49a-c



Ex. 60a


4, 5a



Melody ending on mi

(5)             Southwest Kazakh        34


Informants and places


Informant and places in Mangkïstaw

Informant (age)

place of recording

date of recording

No. of recorded melodies

Nurmuxan (61),


21 Sept 1997

4, 27a, 27b, 35a, 35b, Ex. 4

Köpbol (48),


21 Sept 1997

8c, 11d, 18a, 19a, 19c, 22d, 28, Ex. 13, Ex. 14,

Turgan­bay (cca.45),


21 Sept 1997

Ex. 31

Izbasar (60),


15-17 Sept 1997

2a, 2e, 8b, 9d, 20c, 22c, 32, 36, Ex. 3, Ex. 20

Aluwa (71),


17 Sept 1997

3a-b, 7a, 7c, 8b

Däwitbay (70),

Aktaw train station

16 Sept 1997

Ex. 2, Ex. 22

Däwitbay’s wife (cca.70),

Aktaw train station

16 Sept 1997

15a, Ex. 8

Amandïk (41),


28 Sept 1997


Duwan’s wife (cca.75),


30 Sept 1997

15c, Ex. 15, Ex. 18, 10c, 10d, 10f

Izimakül (66),


30 Sept 1997

Ex. 34, Ex. 35, Ex. 36

Esen Biybe (cca.40),


30 Sept 1997


Nurbergen (42),


22 Sept 1997

2i, Ex. 24

Koyšïbay (45),


22 Sept 1997


Šarkat (71),

Fort Ševčenko


10a, 22a, 23, 29, 34, 37, Ex. 25

Akkozï (cca.70),


19 Sept 1997

11h, 13c, Ex. 33

Akles (65),


19 Sept 1997

8a, 21, Ex. 5, Ex. 6, Ex. 9

Jawtik (80),


29 Sept 1997


Ayjan (78),


29 Sept 1997

9b-c, 9e-f, 10e, 12a-d, 16b-e, Ex. 7, Ex. 19

Nurmuham­bet (50),


18 Sept 1997

2b, Ex. 11, Ex. 23, 13b

Toydïk (cca.60),


18 Sept 1997

Ex. 10

Akkoraz (67),


16 Sept 1997

11a-b, 19b

Muxambet­jan (cca.70),


16 Sept 1997


Šotïbay (77),


16 Sept 1997


a man (cca.70),


25 Sept 1997

1e, 5a-b, 6a-b

Bakït (55),


25 Sept 1997

33b, Ex. 27

Aytuwgan (cca.60),


18 Sept 1997


Buldï (58),


18 Sept 1997

7b, 9a, 11c, 15b, 22b, 26, 33a, Ex. 17, Ex. 28, Ex. 29, Ex. 32,

Košakan (cca.60),


18 Sept 1997

1c, 13a, Ex. 12, Ex. 21

Suluwpïya (65),


18 Sept 1997


Totïya (cca.60),


18 Sept 1997

11f, 19d, 24b

Jolaman (68),


16 Sept 1997

Ex. 16, 14a-b

Maksat (34),


18 Sept 1997

1d, 1g-i, 2d, 2f-h, 16a, 17, 24a

Turgan (cca.50),


18 Sept 1997

1f, Ex. 1

Bäyniš (90),


24 Sept 1997

10b, 2c, 7d, 25, Ex. 26, Ex. 30


Mongolian Kazakh informants and places of collection

The songs of Bayan Ölgiy were collected by Dávid Somfai Kara and Kïyanatulï Babakumar in July 1996. In addition, some Bayan Ölgiy tunes published in Mongoliya kazaktarïnïŋ xalïk änderi have also been picked, referred to by the abbreviation KAZ. In this volume, no detailed information is available about the performers and places of collection. The songs of Nalayh were collected by Éva Csáki and Dávid Somfai Kara in August 3-10, 1997.

Name (age)

Place of recording

Date of recording

No. of recorded melodies

Kenesar (56)

Nalayh, Töw country

Aug 1997

Ex. 43

Kümpey Kadak (53)

Nalayh, Töw country

Aug 1997


Mäliyke (91)

Nalayh, Töw country

Aug 1997

Ex. 40, Ex. 51c, m2b

Mogïlxan molda (56)

Nalayh, Töw country

Aug 1997


Muŋdïzar (38)

Nalayh, Töw country

Aug 1997

Ex. 47c

Serjan (70)

Nalayh, Töw country

Aug 1997

m1a, Ex. 55c, m6c

Ibrahim/Šotan molda  (cca.62)

Nalayh, Töw country

Aug 1997

Ex. 63a

Tilew (54)

Nalayh, Töw country

Aug 1997

Ex. 47f, m8c

Äbilkazïl (70)

Bayan Ölgiy.Nogōn Nūr district

July 1996


Asïypa (77)

Bayan Ölgiy.Nogōn Nūr district

July 1996

m4, m6a-b

Boladïya (75)

Bayan Ölgiy.Nogōn Nūr district

July 1996

Ex. 63b

Jambï (65)

Bayan Ölgiy.Nogōn Nūr district

July 1996

Ex. 47e, m5c

Jïlkï-aydar (28)

Bayan Ölgiy country seat

July 1996

m6f, Ex. 38, Ex. 47b, m6e

Kamarïya (64)

Bayan Ölgiy.Nogōn Nūr district

July 1996


Kasïyla (71)

Bayan Ölgiy.Nogōn Nūr district

July 1996

m1b, m6d, Ex. 39, Ex. 41, m5b, m13, Ex. 42

Kayša (63)

Bayan Ölgiy.Nogōn Nūr district

July 1996


Sakay (43)

Bayan Ölgiy.Nogōn Nūr district

July 1996

m6g, Ex. 56

Šükirana (87)

Bayan Ölgiy.Nogōn Nūr district

July 1996

m3a-b, m7c, m8d-e

Mädiyne (51)

Bayan Ölgiy country seat

July 1996

Ex. 37, Ex. 44b, m3c, m11, m12

Tilegen (38)

Bayan Ölgiy.Nogōn Nūr district

July 1996

m9, m8b

Toktasïn (40)

Bayan Ölgiy.Nogōn Nūr district

July 1996

Ex. 46a, Ex. 47d, m8a

Zabïyra (64)

Bayan Ölgiy.Nogōn Nūr district

July 1996

m7a, m7b


Bayan Ölgiy country

before 1983

Ex. 44a, Ex. 45a-b, 46b, Ex. 47a, Ex. 47g, Ex. 48a-b, Ex. 49a-c, Ex. 50a-c, Ex. 51a-b, Ex. 52, Ex. 53, Ex. 54, Ex. 55a-b, Ex. 57, Ex. 58a-c, Ex. 59a-b, Ex. 60a-b, Ex. 61, Ex. 62, Ex. 64


From among Central Asian peoples, the ethnomusicological bibliography of the Kazakhs is the largest in addition to the Uzbeks (as against the sporadic publications on e.g. Turkmen, Kirghiz and Tadjik publications). Some works on Kazakh music are in Russian, others in Kazakh, and some in Western languages can also be found.

It applies in general that Kazakh folk music research is predominated by description as compared to analysis and comparison. Several volumes contain precisely transcribed tunes, but they are usually not accompanied by precisely documented data. I have not come across a monographic work or any in-depth study of the folk music of Mangkïstaw Kazakhs in West Kazakhstan or Mongolia. Without aiming at completion, I below list some major Kazakh folk music publications.

The first transcription of Kazakh melodies was published in the Aziatiskii muzykal'nye žurnal put out by I. Dobrovol'skii in 1816-1818. Next A. Levchin gave two sibizgi melodies in his Opisanie kirgiz-kazakhskih ili kirgiz-kaisakhskih ord i stepei. A. Pfennig included a series of transcription in his essay 'O kirgizskih i sartskih narodnyh pesnjah', published in the journal Etnograficheskoe obozrenie of 1889.

The greatest work of the nineteenth century on Kazakh and partly Kirghiz folk music was A. Einchorn's work: Muzykal'naja fol'kloristika v uzbekistane (Tashkent) finished in 1888 and published in 1963. This work represents special research into Kazakh music with a series of valuable observations and a significant number of musical examples.

In the 20th century a whole new body of research appeared with transcriptions of Kazakh folk melodies, such as S.G. Rybakov's essay 'Liubov' i zhenshchin po narodnym pesniam inorodtsev' in the Russkaia Muzykal'naia gazeta of 1901.

Extensive study of Kazakh music culture began only in the Soviet period, as reflected in the works of A.V. Zataevich (1925 and 1931).

One of the basic manuals for the research of Kazakh folk music is A.V. Zataevich's 1000 pesen kazakhskogo naroda (Moscow 1962), the improved edition of the 1925 publication. The tunes not having texts in the 1925 version were given the words collected in the interim period and the bibliography was enlarged.

On the basis of material gleaned from fifteen various archives, the publication of A. Zhanuzakov: Kazakhskaja narodnaia instrumental'naia muzyka (Alma-Ata1964) offers a valuable overview of Kazakh instrumental music.

In his Pesennaia kul’tura kazakhskogo naroda (Alma-Ata 1966) B. Erzakovič attempts to give a historical and musical classification of the Kazakh tune types. 83 of his 269 music examples belong to various layers of folk music.itt

Narodnaia muzyka v kazakhstane edited by V. Dernova (Alma-Ata1967) is a collection of valuable and less important articles, with a bibliography.

Let me end this brief list with V. Beliaev's Central Asian Music (Middletown 1975).71 In this outstanding work including music examples and analyses the author touches on the music of Kirghiz, Kazakh, Turkmen, Tadjik and Uzbek people. Appended to it one finds 60 notated tunes and a bibliography.

Sovettik kazakh muzykasy by M.Ahmetova-B.Erzakovich-A.Zubanov surveys the more recent Kazakh tunes in five chapters (1917-31, 1932-41, 1941-45, 1946-56, 1957-70). 144 tunes are given in notation.

Erzakovich's Antologija Kazakskii narodnih ljubovnih pesen (Almaty 1994) contains 206 love songs, but the performers were nearly all from the urban learned strata (opera singers, teachers, actresses, etc.) and a considerable part of the transcribed tunes raise doubts about their folk origin.

Let me mention two books about the folk music of Mongolian Kazakhs. One is Mon­golija kazaktarïnïŋ xalïk änderi (Ölgiy 1983), containing 323 Mongolian Kazakh tunes. The authenticity and the reliability of the published tunes could be checked via the Mongolian Kazakh tunes we collected and transcribed. Though being one of the most useful books I have come across during researching the Kazakh folk music of Mangkïstaw, it is almost completely lacking in data about the performers, genres and collection in general. It contains no analysis of music or text, the songs following each other radomly.

The instrumental music of Kazakh in Mongolia's Bayan Ölgiy area is the concern of the book Bayan Ölgiy kazaktarïnïŋ dombïra jäne sïbïzgï küyleri, which presents 119 tunes.



Beliaev, V. M. (1975), Central Asian Music, Middletown, Connecticut.


Bartók Béla Összegyűjtött Írásai [Collected Works of Béla Bartók], Budapest, 1966.


Mongolija Kazaktarïnïŋ Halïk Jïrlarï, Bayan Ölgiy, 1983.


1000 pesen kazakhskogo naroda, Moscow: Muzgiz, 1962.


1993 Elim-ay, Almaty.


1920 Die Volksmusic der Araber von Biskra und Um­ge­bung, Zeitschrift für Musik­wissen­schaft II:9. pp. 489–522. In: BÖI. pp. 518–561, Bu­dapest.

1923 Volksmusik der Rumänen von Maramureš, München.

1924 A magyar népdal [The Hungarian Folksong], Budapest.

1931 Hungarian Folk Music, London.

1934 Népzenénk és a szomszéd népek népzenéje [Hungar­ian folk music and the music of neighbouring peoples], Népszerű Zenefüzetek (Ed. Mol­nár Antal) 3., Budapest, In: BÖI pp. 403-461.

1936 Halk müziği hakkında, Ankara, In: BÖI pp. 841-843.

1937b Népdalkutatás és nacionalizmus [Folk music research and national­ism] In: Tükör 1937, V:5, pp.166–168.

1941 The Etude, 1941 February.

1959 Slovenské L’udové Piesné Slowakische Volkslieder Vol. I., Bratislava.

1967 Rumanian Folk Music, The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff (Vol: I. Instru­mental Melodies; Vol. II: Vocal Melodies; Vol. III: Texts).

1975 Rumanian Folk Music, The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff (Vol. IV: Carols and Christmas Songs [Colinde]; Vol. V. Mara­mureš Country).

1976 Turkish Folk Music from Asia Minor, Princeton.

1991 Magyar Népdalok, Egyetemes gyűjtemény [Collection of Hungarian Folk­songs], Budapest.


1951 Serbo–Croatian Folk Songs, Columbia University Press, New York.


1979 Kazïna, Almaty.


1962 Ocherki po istorii muzyki narodov SSSR, Moskva.

1975 Central Asian Music, Middletown.

Central Asia, A Century of Russian Rule, ed. by Edward Allworth, Columbia University Press, New York, 1967.


1967 Narodnaia muzyka v Kazakhstane, Almaty.


1983 A siratóstílus dallamköre zenetörténetünkben és népzenénkben [The melodies of the lament style in the Hungarian music of the past and Hungarian folk music], Budapest.

1984 Magyar zenetörténet [History of the Hungarian Music], Budapest.

Encyclopaedia of Islam, Kazakhs (W. Barthold – G. Hazai).


1955 Narodnye pesni Kazakhstana, Alma-Ata.

1957 Kazakhskaja SSR, In: Muzykal’naia kul’tura soiuz­nykh respublik, Moskva.

1966 Pesennaia kul’tura kazakhskogo naroda, Alma-Ata.

Kazakhskaja Sovetskaia Socialisticheskaia Respublika, Bol’shaja Sovetskaja Enciklopedia, Vol. 19, 1953.

Kazakhskie sovetskie narodnye pesni, Alma-Ata, 1959.


1937-1976 A Magyar Népzene [Folk Music of Hungary], 1st edition 1937, 7th ed. revised and enlarged by L. Vargyas. 1976, Budapest.


1959 Pesni, Alma-Ata.


1966 The Peoples of Central Asia, 2nd ed. The Hague:Mouton.


1926–1952 Gesänge russischer Kriegsgefanger, Akad. d. Wiss. in Wien, Phil.–hist. kl., Sitzungsber.


1982 What was a nomadic tribe? Bloomington.


1993 A kun nyelv magyarországi emlékei [The Remains of the Cumanian Language in Hungary], Karcag.


1960 Pesni, Alma-Ata.

Muzykal’naia kul’tura Kazakhstana, Alma-Ata: 1955 (in Russian), 1957 (in Kazakh).


1967 Some Style Characteristics of Tatar-Mi­shar Musical Folklore, In: Studia Musi­cologica IX. 1–2., Buda­pest.


1991 An introduction to Turkology, Szeged.

1999 Hungarians and Europe in the Early Middle Ages. An Introduction to Early Hungarian History, Budapest.


1993 Kazak Türkleri tarihi “Kazakların Uyanışı”, İstanbul.


1976 Béla Bartók’s Folk Music Reserach in Turkey, Budapest.


1991 Similar Melody Styles in Hungarian and Turkish Folk Music, In: The Fourth Interna­tional Turkish Folklore Congress pp. 235–257, Antalya.

1993 Türkiye Türkleri Halk Müziğinin Sınıflandırılması, Ankara Üniversitesi DTC Fakülte Dergisi, pp. 181–199, Ankara.

1994 Török Népzene I. [Turkish Folk Music], Bu­dapest. (www.zti.hu)

1995 Török Népzene II. [Turkish Folk Music], Budapest. (www.zti.hu)

1996 Connection between Turkish songs having different structure, In: The Fifth Interna­tional Turkish Folklore Congress, Ankara.

1997 Similar musical structure in Turkish, Mongolian, Tungus and Hungarian folk music, Historical and Linguistic Interaction Between Inner-Asia and Europe, pp. 305–317, Szeged.

1998 Újabb adatok a kvintváltás eurázsiai elterjedtségéhez [New data about the spread of a Central Asian melody type] (110 p.), Néprajzi Látóhatár, Miskolc.

1999 Béla Bartók’s Turkish collection in the light of a larger material (PhD dissertation), Budapest (manuscript).

2000 In the wake of Béla Bartók in Anatolia, European Folklor Institute, Budapest. (www.akkrt.hu)

2001 Kazakh Folksongs from the Two Ends of the Steppe, Akadémiai Kiadó (with CD), Budapest


1971 Mongol’skaia narodnaia muzyka, Moskva: Sovetskii kompozitor.


1934 Népvándorláskori elemek a magyar népzenében [Ancient elements in the Hungarian Folk Music], Ethnographia, pp.71-75, Budapest.

1935 Eastern Relations of Early Hungarian Folk Music, In: Journal of the Royal Asiatic So­ciety.

1936 Egyetemes művelődéstörténet és ötfokú hangsorok (A history of culture and the pentatonic scales), In:Ethnographia, pp. 233–251, Budapest.

1940 Adatok a középázsiai dallamtípus elterjedéséhez [Data about the spread of the Central Asian melody type], In: Ethnographia, pp. 242–248, Budapest.

1979 A magyar zenetörténet kézikönyve (A manual of Hungarian music history), Budapest.


1988 A Magyar Népdaltípusok Katalógusa I–II. (Catalogue of the Hungarian Folksong Types), Budapest.


1976 A finnugor zene vitája 1-2 (Discussion about the Finno-Ugrian music), Budapest.


1975 Lado-ritmicheskaia osnova Kazakhskoi sovet­skoi narodnoi pesni, Alma-Ata.

The Turkic Languages, ed. by Lars Johanson and Éva Csató, London and New York, 1998.


1981 A Magyarság Népzenéje [The Folk Music of the Hungarian People], Budapest.


1971 Cheremiss Folksongs, Budapest.

1979 Chuvash Folksongs, Budapest.

1999 Tatar Folksongs, Budapest.


1956 Älter als die Pentatonik, In: Studia Memoriae Belae Bartók Sacra, pp. 185–208, Budapest.

1965 Ethnomusicology and the History of Music, Studia Musi­cologica VII:187–193.


1925 1000 pesen kirgizskogo naroda, Orenburg, Alma-Ata.

1931 500 kazakhskih pesen i kiui’ev, Alma-Ata.

1935 O kazakhskoi muzyke, Literaturnyi Kazakhstan, nos. 3–4.

1963 1000 pesen kazakhskogo naroda, 2nd ed., Moscow.

1971 Pesni raznyh narodov, Alma-Ata.


1964 Kazakhskaia narodnaia instrumental’naia muzyka, Alma-Ata.


1 Szabolcsi (1934)

2 In this zone and even more to west there are other Turkic peoples as well, e.g. the Gagauz people also belonging to the Oguz group or the Karaim, Karachay-Balkar, Crimean Tatar, Kumük etc. people belonging to the northwestern group of the Kipchak languages. Apart from that, several European countries include Turkic minorities, e.g. Dobrujan Turks and Tatars or Bulgarian Turks. In a subsequent phase of research, I should like to involve their folk music in the comparative research as well.

3 See also Dobszay (1984) pp.17–23.

4 Some most important synthesizing works include: Bartók (1924), Kodály (1937-1976), Szabolcsi (1940), Vargyas (1981), Szendrei-Dobszay (1988).

5 The Romanian collection (1967, 1975) and the Slovakian collection (1959-1970) also appeared well after his death. Apart from his own collections, he elaborated Parry's Serbo-Croat collection at the Columbia University in 1941-42.

6 Bartók Béla (1924). The scale of the tunes is la-pentatonic, the structure is ABA5B5, that being similar features shared with fifth shifting Hungarian pentatonic tunes.

7 Bartók (1934), In: BÖI, p.429

8 Bartók (1936) In. BÖI, pp.841-843

9 The Etude, February, 1941

10 Saygun (1976) Conclusions-Introduction p. XXXIV

11 Szabolcsi (1979) pp.106-109

12 Sipos 1998, pp.1-57

13 Lach, R. (1926–1952)

14 He published a study about this topic in 1934 and gathered a group of such tunes for Bicinia Hungarica IV and Pentatonic Music III-IV for Hungarian young people learning their musical vernacular.

15 One of the most outstanding representatives of this position is György Szomjas-Schiffert (1976)

16 Vikár-Bereczki (1971, 1979, 1999)

17 Saygun (1976) p.I

18 Saygun (1976) p.VI

19 Later on quite a number of such tunes were also found (author's remark).

20 Saygun (1976) p.XII

21 Saygun (1976) p.XII

22 For more detail about the results see Sipos (2000)

23 Mándoky K. I. (1993) p.30

24 Mongoliya kazaktarïnïŋ xalïk änderi, Ölgiy 1983

25 The material was collected by Dávid Somfai Kara and K. Babakumar in 1996. The account of the collecting trip was written by Dávid Somfai.

26 This collection was carried out by Éva Csáki and Dávid Somfai K. in August 1997.

27 The first is Mangkïstaw name, the second is Mongolian Kazakh.

28 Žanuzakov, Z. (1963), Kazakskaja narodnaja instrumental’naja muzika, Almaty, also In: Grove, p.415.

29 Similar Hungarian melody is Dobszay (1988: III(B)/51).

30 Similar Hungarian melody is Dobszay (1988: III(G)/160).

31 Highly revealing is, for example, № 12a which shows close ties with the above laments but its first line outlines a hill and vale on the mi-re-do trichord and the bar scheme is aba. This kind of structural pattern will often be met with in Kazakh folk music.

32 Ex. 17 has a Hungarian analogy: Dobszay (1988:III(B)/68).

33 E.g. Sipos (1994) № 138.

34 E.g. Azerbajdžanskie narodnie liričeskie pesni, 1965 Moskva.

35 The tune was put down during real lamentation, when the relative first met the bereaved family months after the death. At first the two women took turns in singing the lament, then only the mourning mother sang.

36 It is instructive to note how closely similar Ex. 47b recorded in Bayan Ölgiy and Ex. 47c collected in Nalayh are.

37 The Kazakhs are nominally Moslems but maintain a considerable faith in shamanism and animism as well, as do the Kirghiz and Uzbek people and the Tajiks. See Beliaev (1975) p.122.

38 The holiday referred to is the New Year of the Persian calendar, nowruz. The spread of the nowruz celebration among the Kazakhs is indicative of the extent to which most of Central Asia can at least partially be considered an Iranian-influenced region.

39 Erzakovič (1925)

40 Zataevič (1925)

41 Let us remember the common transposition, i.e. mi-re-do=d-c-b flat (=b3-2-1 degrees).

42 The same relations can be demonstrated for the lines of five-, six- and even eight-line tunes.

43 I have transposed higher the southwestern Kazakh lament for comparison's sake.

44 In Islam Sherbet is the river of the world beyond along which the souls get into Paradise.

45 Arka designates the northern parts of Kazakhstan.

46 The leading rein is a long rope tied to the rein by which the horse is led when the horseman sits on another horse or goes on foot. It is also used for parking a horse.

47 It was a custom among Kazakhs to hang a rope around a man's neck who had no son and make a round of the ancestors' graves entreating their spirits to grant him a son.

48 The training saddle is a wooden saddle with a tall pommel used by the nomads to teach 4-5-year-old boys to ride. The child held to the pommel and needed no stirrups.

49 Meaning that they will get into hell after death.

50 Ölgiy is the name of the river that gave its name to the province Bayan Ölgiy and its centre Ölgiy. Its classical Mongolian form is Ölegei ('cradle'), in modern Mongolian Ölgii, pronounced Ölgey by the Kazakhs.

51 Meaning that although she is to leave for another place, she'd more gladly cling to the doorpost, that is, stay at home.

52 The woman sang soy but it is meaningless here; the right form is toy = 'have enough to eat' heard from other performers as well.

53 The girl took the boy in, putting her bag to be patted instead of herself.

54 In Inner Asia, rain-making magic was made with a special stone called jay tas or ‘rain stone’ which was often many-coloured or dotted.

55 Moslem greeting in Arabic, meaning be welcomed.

56 Arabic word, meaning 'in the name of Allah'. Moslems always begin with this word, e.g. upon arrival, beginning a prayer, etc.

57 Probably meaning the town of Orenburg by the river Ural, which was the first capital of Kazakhstan. Later the town was attached to Russia and the capital was moved to Almaty.

58 The reward at contests held when some celebration was staged was usually some animal, a horse or camel. The castrated dromedary was the best means of transport around Maŋkïstaw, it was held in high esteem.

59 Bölshil must be an incantation surviving from shamanic times. Its meaning is vague, but it is still said among Altay Kazakhs.

60 Jabï is a type of Inner Asian horse. It is also spread in Central Asia where, however, the Turkmenian horse (ahal-teke) was appreciated higher.

61 A leather loop passing under a horse's tail and buckled to the back of the saddle so that it won't slip forward when the horse goes downhill.

62 He compares his sweetheart Ak-Böbek to the fox who took her in cunningly.

63 The ambler is a horse that runs in a special way. After trotting it does not break into a gallop but assumes a gait in which the legs on the same side move together. Such a horse is very comfortable, especially to ride on long distances.

64 Jayïk is the old Turkic name of the river Ural used to this day by Turkic peoples. The Russians named the river for the Ural mountain where it starts upon the order of Tsarin Catherine the Great.

65 According to Islamic thought, huris are virgins entertaining men who get into heaven.

66 Most probably, meeting designates death here, the encounter with the netherworld.

67 Among Kazakhs young wifes were not allowed to go across in front of the older relatives of the husband.

68 The Arabic name of a chapter (sura) in the Koran.

69 Most probably the distorted form the Arabic greeting Salam aleykum, pronounced by Kazakhs assalawm aleykum.

70 She sung -maš instead of –makšï.

71 Original title: V. Beliaev, Očerki po istorii muzyki narodov SSSR, Moskva 1962.