Note: Makhsyakha is a boy's name. Recorded in Moscow in 1957. Aleksei Popov (b. 1923), from Megino-Kangalasskii ulus (district), Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). Among the Yakuts a particular form of song has preserved its popularity to the present day, this is the tangalai yryata (palate song). Its distinguishing feature is the clicking of the tongue on the palate while taking a sharp breath, which results in pronuciation of the syllable 'hyt' which is represented in note form – 'x'. Here is a variant of one of the most widely spread palate songs.
About the session: These Yakut songs were collected and given to Alan Lomax by Eduard Alexeev. They were originally recorded in Armenia, U.S.S.R., in 1962. Notes on tape: "Yakut sing only monody or unison in dance—never polyphonically—they sometimes sing with a two-tongued jaw's harp. The shamans have totally disappeared. The Yakut had a 3, 2, 1 stringed fiddle—not a traditional instrument— introduced by the Russian cultures—the one we saw was a yard long held against the belly."
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