Many people probably don’t know about the instrument called Yatoga. That’s no wonder; this instrument is a Mongolian folk instrument, and compared to the Morinkhor, it is clearly one of the minor instruments. Yatoga is a well-known musical instrument among the Mongolian people, and is mainly played in Mongolia and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of China.
This instrument originated in Mongolia.
Yatoga is a very familiar instrument for Mongolians. The reason is that the origin of this instrument is quite a long time ago. Yatoga is probably a plucked string instrument of the zither genus that was born in Mongolia in the Middle Ages, around the 10th to 13th centuries. Speaking of this period, it is no exaggeration to say that the Mongol Empire ruled the world, but in the royal palace of the empire, music was often played on this yatoga for the entertainment of the royal family. . At first, this instrument was only used in Mongolia, but gradually spread to China, Korea, and even Vietnam. Perhaps because of this, in modern times, this instrument can be seen in Southeast and East Asian countries.
Characteristics of Yatoga
Yatoga is a plucked string instrument of the zither family. It is characterized by the fact that the performer plays the instrument with the instrument resting on his or her lap. The most common way to play is to produce sound by playing the strings directly with your fingers, without using artificial nails. Although it is often used as an accompaniment instrument, it is also often used for solo performances. Basically, the right hand plucks the strings, and the left hand can apply pressure to the strings to change the tone. Since the right hand is played barehanded, it often bleeds. In Japan, both of these systems are very similar to the koto. The Yatoga basically consists of 13 strings and uses metal strings. However, until now, there were some instruments with 12, and there were also instruments with less than that. There are more than 20 Yatoga now. The length of the instrument is about 160 cm, so it is not small.
Yatoga songs are basically used in Mongolian traditional music. Others may be used with orchestral instruments, such as in movie soundtracks. For this reason, it is mostly used in theatrical music.