Kurai [ ҡурай ] a symbol of Bashkortostan
Kurai, Bashkir and Tatar wind musical instrument: a longitudinal open flute from the stem of the umbrella plant. It has 4 slot openings on the front side and 1 on the back. Length of 45-100 cm range in the amount of sixths, with pereduvaniya reaches 2-2,5 octaves.

Kurai, the name of several weed species in the forest-steppe, semi-deserts and deserts. Usually - this is tough, thorny plants, belonging to a vital form of tumbleweed.
Bashkir music 
01 - Ishmorat Ilbakov - Old Qayum
02 - Azat Ayytkolov - Cialkovskij
02 - Raushan-Kurayshan - Kara Urga
03 - Fattah and Fanur Aralbaevy - Hajra handugasym
05 - Azat Ayytkolov - Buranbay
05 - Rushan Biktimirov - Hyr
06 - Ishmorat Ilbakov - mischievous Zulhira
09 - Raushan-Kurayshan - Serie

found here:

The Kurai

The kurai is the best known and most popular musical instrument of the Bashkir people. The Bashkirs express all their feelings of gladness and sorrow through the kurai. We have known about the kurai since the earliest days. The Bashkirs say: "We remember the kurai as long as we remember ourselves." For example, the Bashkir folk tune " The singing cranes", performed only with the kurai, has more than one thousand years of history. 

The most wide spread kind of kurai is a kurai made of grass. It is made from the stem of the umbelliferous plant, called kurai. The stem of a kurai is 2-3 meters long. It flowers in July, then dries out in August-September. They cut it in September and keep it in a dry and dark place. It is said that a kurai which grew up in the glade among mountains is more tuneful than one that grew up near water. One should measure 8-10 times the width of a palm encompassing the stem of a plant, then cut it. That will be the length of the kurai. Then you should make holes in the plant: the first hole must be done at four fingers distance from the top of the plant, the next three holes at two fingers distance from each other, the fifth - at the back, at three fingers distance from the fourth hole. 

The length of a kurai is about 510-810 millimeters. The diapason of a kurai consists of three octaves. The phonation is poetic and sublime, the timbre is soft. The kurai is used as a solo as well as an ensemble instrument. You can perform dancing melodies as well as marches, extended tunes (ozon-kuy). Nowadays they have begun to make a kurai from veneer. It is more stable and its sound is approximate to the natural kurai's sound. 

In addition to a grass kurai some other types of kurai are known: - sor-kurai - a sort of kurai made by the Bashkirs who lived in the steppe where the natural kurai does not grow.
It is made of steppe grass and its length is not more than one meter, but it is wider in its diameter. The specialists say it was used for calling signals. 

- copper kurai - a kurai made from copper. However, specialists disapprove of using this kind of kurai, because it is harmful for the health. But according to some legends, the skill of making a copper or silver kurai was highly esteemed and the master was revered. 

But only a good kurai-player can open the world of kurai's mystery. The art of playing the kurai was saved and carefully handed down from one generation to generation. The names of outstanding kurai-players-improvisers are well-known. They were the founders of different kurai performing schools - Kubagush-sasan, Baik-sasan, I. Murzakaev, G. Arginbaev, Y. Icyanbaev, I. Dilmukhametov, G. Suleymanov, K. Diyarov, R. Rakhimov, Y. Gaynetdinov, A. Aitkulov and others. 

There are many kurai performers: laureates and diploma-winners of International Musical Folk Festivals, International Students' and Youth Festivals and All-Russian contests of performers of rare musical instruments. The kurai is a very respected instrument in Bashkortostan. It is a symbol of the mother country. One can see the picture of a kurai flower on the national flag and Bashkortostan state emblem. From early time people considered that the kurai was able to dispel grief, to set people at rest and to cheer them up. The Bashkirs knew the strength of music and the spoken. That is why the sasans and kurai players were the guests of honor. Writers, poets and theater producers create a lot of works dedicated to kurai. 

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