Author: Miloš Jodas
Address: Asociace pro mezinárodní otázky / Association for International Affairs, Žitná 608/27, 110 00 Praha 1
Language: Czech / English translation
Page Range: 3–29
No. of Pages: 27
Keywords: Kyrgyzstan, ethnomusicology, music, globalization, folklore, Central Asia, music education, urbanization
Abstract: The principal aim of this paper is to define Kyrgyz music in Kyrgyzstan ethnomusicology in order to assess whether the traditional Kyrgyz music has an essential impact on the identity of the Kyrgyz people and, if so, how does this impact manifest itself. In order to assess the impacts during research, the author was concerned with the influence of urbanization, globalization on processes related to music, the preference of either traditional or modern music, and how music is perceived in a cross-generational perspective. Furthermore, the thesis focuses on related phenomena including folk music instruments of the Kyrgyz or the Kyrgyz storytellers and musicians, who call themselves aqyns and manaschi. Additionally, the relationship of the national pride and music or the most common forms of music education of children and adolescents and its financial and spatial availability are being explored and scrutinized. The unifying theme of this thesis is music in everyday life of the Kyrgyz. The analytical part of this research mainly draws on the results of the author’s month-long field research from 2018 which took place in various diverse regions of Kyrgyzstan. The research includes a questionnaire, overt participant observation, and semi-structured interviews.
Celý příspěvek / Full Text Paper: PDF
Česká verze: HTML
The main aim of this study is to define Kyrgyz music in Kyrgyzstan in ethnomusicological terms and to find out whether traditional Kyrgyz music has a significant influence on the identity of the Kyrgyz people or how it manifests itself. A topic that arouses much less passion than, say, politics can be used to describe a number of other interesting areas. What is the impact of globalisation on Kyrgyz music? Do the locals prefer Kyrgyz or Russian composers? And what kind of music do Kyrgyz people actually consider traditional? The study provides answers to these and many other questions. Research sub-objectives include the impact of urbanisation and globalisation on music-related processes, the preference for traditional or modern music, and how music is perceived across generations. The study also looks at related phenomena such as Kyrgyz national musical instruments or the storytellers and musicians called akyns and manaschi. Finally, it explores the relationship between national pride and music, as well as the most common form of music education for children and youth and its financial and distance accessibility. The unifying theme of the study is music in the everyday life of the Kyrgyz people. The practical part of the study is mainly based on the results of our own month-long field research in 2018, which took place in several different regions of Kyrgyzstan. The research consisted of a questionnaire survey, direct observation of participants and semi-structured interviews.
„What always attracts us to music is its high communicative value. It is even greater than human language. For through music we can express or evoke feelings, moods and ideas in a way that is inaccessible to the possibilities of language and art“.
The main aim of the study is to answer the research question and sub-questions:
Does traditional Kyrgyz music have a major influence on Kyrgyz identity?
- What are the regional characteristics of Kyrgyz music?
- From an ethnomusicological point of view, do the urban and rural populations of Kyrgyzstan form a homogeneous whole?
- What is the impact of globalisation and urbanisation on traditional Kyrgyz music?
- What kind of music education system does Kyrgyzstan have?
The study is based mainly on the results of mid-term field research and material from the Central Asian Republic of Kyrgyzstan. Emphasis was placed on qualitative methods combined with secondary data from internet sources, printed literature and statistical data. The study used both primary and secondary data sources. Primary data sources are defined as the results of actual field research in the locality. The interim research was conducted on the territory of Kyrgyzstan in June 2018, and lasted exactly one month. While the qualitative, non-standardised technique used is non-standardised interviews with respondents and participants, covert and overt observations, the quantitative technique used is semi-standardised questionnaires. Respondents were recruited using snowball sampling, with the generous help of local guides.
The questionnaire was prepared in advance in the Czech version and then translated by native speakers into the Russian and Kyrgyz versions in order to maximise respondents‘ comfort. Almost all questionnaires were completed in writing by the respondents directly during the fieldwork (66). Approximately 20% of the questionnaires were completed using a snowballing technique, where a respondent offered to have friends or family complete the questionnaires and bring them to the fieldwork site in the next few days. A minority of questionnaires (in the order of units) were completed electronically during the research in Kyrgyzstan using the snowball technique. The questions were both closed and semi-open. Due to the limited number of questionnaires collected, they cannot be considered universally applicable and valid.. However, because of the number of open questions, it serves to provide a comprehensive picture of the situation at that time and place.
Observation was an integral part of the research, from which a daily research diary was produced. In most cases this was open participant observation, i.e. the researcher participates in the daily lives of the people he or she is observing, and they are aware that the researcher is not a natural member of their collective.
Location of field research
The fieldwork locations were chosen to ensure that the variability across Kyrgyzstan was captured as much as possible. Emphasis was placed on capturing the situation in the countryside as well as in the largest population centres, such as the capital Bishkek and the ‚capital of the south‘, Osh. Due to time constraints, not all of Kyrgyzstan’s regions were compared, but only selected ones that differed in character from the others and had more interesting explanatory value from a research point of view. The primary data collection sites for the research are the capital city of Bishkek (by far the most populous city with about nine hundred thousand inhabitants), Osh (the second largest city with about two hundred thousand inhabitants), and the northeastern city of Karakol (the fourth largest city with about seventy thousand inhabitants). These three centres therefore form the basis for comparison with each other. Not all locations are listed, as many respondents did not live in the cities or areas in question, or simply stated that they came from a village without specifying. Many respondents had also moved to the cities but considered themselves to be from outside the city. A large number of respondents were also approached while travelling around Kyrgyzstan outside the main designated survey centres (Batken, Sary-Chelek and other unspecified rural areas).
Semi-structured interviews were mainly conducted with narrators who were fluent in English, while others were accompanied by a Russian or Kyrgyz interpreter.
Due to the narrators‘ reluctance to have the interviews video- or audio-recorded, all information obtained was recorded in a research diary. Notes were taken during or immediately after the interview. In one case, the narrator made it clear that he completely refused to be interviewed for the thesis, even under a pseudonym.
About half of the respondents have a current or completed university degree. This phenomenon can be attributed to the huge increase in the number of universities, both private and public. As in many other countries of the former Eastern Bloc or the Soviet Union, this phenomenon occurred or continues to occur after the transition to a market economy. It should be noted that an increase in the number of universities does not necessarily mean an increase in the level of education, but often the opposite, leading to a general devaluation of higher education. This situation is most pronounced in Bishkek, where there will be a total of 49 universities by 2019. In Kyrgyzstan as a whole, there will be a total of 64 universities by 2019. In 1991, the year of independence, there were only 12. In 2019, between 45% and 55% of the population with secondary education went on to higher education. In addition to the number of universities, the number of university students has also increased to approximately 223,000 in the 2018/2019 academic year.
Brief characteristics and history of Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan is a mountainous country in the Central Asian region whose economy is largely based on the primary sector (mainly mineral extraction and agriculture). It is a parliamentary republic with relatively frequent extraordinary changes of government. Kyrgyzstan became independent from the Soviet Union in 1991. Following the rapid implementation of market reforms, Kyrgyzstan became the first CIS country to join the WTO in 1998. The official language of the country is Kyrgyz and the official language is Russian, both of which have equal status. As of 2019, Kyrgyzstan has a population of about 6.4 million. The majority of the population is Kyrgyz (73.3%), followed by Uzbeks (14.7%) and Russians (5.6%).
The Kyrgyz people were historically nomadic herders of fertile pastures. In the early 18th century, the Kokand Khanate was established in what are now the republics of Central Asia. The Kokand Khanate gradually fell into crisis due to internal instability, with various wars and rebellions escalating. From the middle of the 19th century, a new player, Tsarist Russia, began to operate in the Central Asian region. For security reasons, many families gradually petitioned the Russian Tsar for serfdom themselves, and by the 1860s Russia controlled most of the Kokand Khanate. The rest of the territory, which did not voluntarily come under Russian administration, was finally conquered in 1876. The clan and tribal system retained its influence in certain areas during the Soviet era.
The Soviet period was marked by great modernisation as well as violent collectivisation and cultural reforms. From 1936 to 1991, the Kyrgyz Soviet Socialist Republic existed in what is now Kyrgyzstan. Its Russian population formed the elite, especially the political elite. It was only after 2000 that the Kyrgyz population became the majority in Kyrgyzstan, due to the emigration of the Russian population. In the post-Soviet era, the search for national identity has become more pronounced. To some extent, this process can be compared to the process of national revival. The greatest hero is clearly Manas, the mythical unifier of the Kyrgyz people.
Music in Kyrgyzstan and its traditions are closely linked to the original nomadic way of life of the Kyrgyz people. Various songs and stories, as well as parts of the epic Manas, have been passed down from generation to generation. In the later period of Kyrgyz history, during the time of Tsarist and Soviet Russia, the Russian influence on Kyrgyz music is crucial, especially the influence of new genres, but also of classical music. The influence of the Soviet Union is still evident today, especially among the middle and older generations, who often remember, for example, the 1973 Soviet musical hit by the band Samotsvets „My address is the Soviet Union“.
There are a number of unique musical instruments in Kyrgyzstan, both indigenous and those that have their roots in other Central Asian countries. For example, there is the kyl kyyak (a stringed instrument played with a bow, often from the back of a horse, called kobyz in Kazakhstan), the sybyzgy (a Kazakh or Kyrgyz flute, which is more of a solo instrument), the chopo chor (a small clay flute from southern Kyrgyzstan), (a small clay flute from southern Kyrgyzstan used as a signalling instrument in dense forests, often as a child’s toy), or the brumle (one of the oldest instruments of uncertain, probably Asian origin, belonging to the category of idiophones). The traditional Kyrgyz stringed instrument, the komuz, which will be discussed in the next section, still enjoys the greatest prestige. Next, the differences between two professions closely related to music – akyns and manaschi – are described and explained.
Komuz. When we talk about Kyrgyz music, perhaps the most important instrument is the komuz. There are, of course, a number of traditional musical instruments in Kyrgyzstan that could be given a fair amount of space. However, the vast majority of respondents identified the komuz as what comes to mind when one thinks of traditional Kyrgyz music, and also associated it with a certain degree of national pride. This is evidenced, for example, by the fact that during the 2016 World Nomad Games in the Kyrgyz city of Cholpon-Ata, the song Mash Botoy was performed by a thousand komuz players playing together in the open air.
It is a three-stringed wooden instrument whose head and neck are made in one piece. The komuz can be made from the simplest form, without any ornamentation, to a valuable work of art. It is used either as an accompanying instrument (e.g. for singing or ensemble playing) or as a solo instrument. A skilled komuz player can combine a performance with a spectacular visual spectacle, rearrange it in various ways and transform it into a percussive accompaniment. Komuzchi, as the komuz player may be called, usually plays sitting down, rarely standing up.
There are many legends about the origins of the komuz – one says it was first made by the ancient hunter Kambar, who also became the first komuzchi. It is often made of apricot wood, sometimes walnut. Until the 20th century, sheep’s intestines were used instead of strings, then industrially produced metal strings were used. The size of the komuz varies according to local tradition or the maker, but is usually between 85 and 90 cm long and 20 cm wide. The komuz was also featured on a 1 som banknote in 1999, along with the prominent Kyrgyz composer Abdylas Maldybayev.
Today, the komuz is taught in all 87 state music schools. In addition to the modern teaching style, the old teaching methods of the master-apprentice relationship are being rediscovered. Every prominent komuz player who has reached a certain level of mastery is surrounded by a number of apprentices. The master not only explains the technical aspects of the game, but also emphasises the teaching of the origin and meaning of each song, showing the differences in the interpretation of each song by different masters.
Akyn. Two terms are important in this regard, namely akyn and manaschi. Let us introduce the former first. The akyn is a folk musician whose performance is more in the nature of a concert, which may be largely based on his own songwriting. Akyns travel and play in different places, and their performances can be quite political. In the pre-Soviet era, their works also reflected the state of society, people’s thoughts and emotions, and they were very much the voice of society. The main difference between the akyn and the manaschi is that the manaschi only perform passages from the epic Manas. The akyn have a much broader scope, writing and performing their own songs and poems. The most famous Kyrgyz akyn is undoubtedly Toktogul Satylganov. The town of Toktogul in the west of the country is named after him, and his importance is evidenced by the fact that he is depicted on a banknote with a face value of one hundred soms. The famous Akyn, known simply as Toktogul, was sent into the service of the local cruel bai (feudal lord) at the age of twelve, which greatly influenced his future work. His work was a protest against the unconscious existence and the lack of rights. He is famous for creating many satirical, philosophical and lyrical songs that are still known in Kyrgyzstan today. After taking part in the Andijan uprising in 1898, Toktogul was initially sentenced to death, but his sentence was later commuted to seven years‘ exile in Siberia. There, Toktogul met many Russian revolutionaries who had suffered the same fate, which greatly inspired his work. With the help of Russian friends, he managed to escape and return to his homeland, which was another major theme of his songs. In many of them he predicted the fall of Tsarist Russia. In later years he emerged as a fighter for the rights of the poor and working class and welcomed the October Revolution. This was later exploited by Soviet propaganda, particularly in the interpretation of his pre-Soviet work, which was identified as describing class struggle, although modern interpretations tend to be more inspired by clan rivalry.
Manas and manaschi. Manaschi are professional performers who focus on telling stories from the main Kyrgyz epic, Manas. The storytelling of the epic is done in the form of recitative  and is essentially a cappella. The stories were passed on by word of mouth, nobody wrote anything down. Of course, the whole art involves a certain amount of improvisation. The learning process itself is not very clear. The Manas claim that there is no memorisation of stories, but that they have vision quests during which they experience the Manas stories for themselves. The heroes of the epic come to the manaschi and give him their blessing to spread these epic stories among the people. These vivid dreams or visions can occur during illness, for example. Manaschis are universally revered and can even go into a trance while reciting. The parallel with the rituals of natural peoples is obvious:
„Many of these recitations are a musical form in themselves, others are unthinkable without musical accompaniment with solo or choral singing, and in many cases they are huge theatrical spectacles whose choreography surpasses anything we – creators and consumers – can imagine“.
The art of being a good manaschi is often trained from early childhood. The youngest manaschi can be as young as five years old. Zdeněk Juston mentions the influence of rhythm and melody on the human voice as follows:
„While we agree that movement and sound were at the very birth of music, and that the projection of movement must have been a necessary impulse for the creation of sound effects, we must admit that articulated speech may have influenced the subsequent development of music. After all, the rhythm and melody of man’s own words may have led directly to musical performance“.
The epic Manas itself, for example, which is twenty times longer than Homer’s Odyssey and consists of 500,000 lines. (Note: the figures vary considerably, and there are even references to one million lines). It describes the unification of the Kyrgyz people, the struggle against many enemies (e.g. the Chinese) and the Kyrgyz journey to freedom. The mythical hero Manas plays an important role, fighting against both real and mythical enemies. Since 2013, the epic has been included in the UNESCO list of masterpieces of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity. Among other things, the epic depicts scenes from everyday life, Kyrgyz traditions, customs and festivals. Manas is a valuable historical excursion into the Kyrgyz past.. Although the epic is over a thousand years old, it was not translated into written form until the 19th century. It is largely based on the famous manaschi Sayakbayev Karalayev, which can be found on the five hundredth note.
Manas was a brave example of pride, patriotism and honesty; he is a highly respected moral authority. Although Kyrgyzstan has many places and streets named after him, as well as many statues, there is no conclusive evidence that the figure actually existed. There is a widespread obsession with Manas in the Kyrgyz milieu. The country’s largest airport, in the capital Bishkek, is called Manas International Airport and is operated by, among others, Air Manas… Manas is still synonymous with national identity.
Qualitative synthesis of the results of the questionnaire survey
In the following sections, the issues are divided into relevant sections that reflect the original terms of reference of the research questions and sub-questions. They are fully evaluated and interpreted here, and key findings are summarised in individual summaries at the end of each section.
Music in everyday Kyrgyz life
When asked about the influence of music in the everyday lives of Kyrgyz people, the vast majority of respondents said that it had either a fundamental or essential place in their lives. Absolutely fundamental means that it makes them happy, e.g. they are professional musicians, they have childhood memories associated with it, or it is an important part of ceremonies, etc. Essential means that they like to listen to music whenever possible, like to go to concerts or musical performances, or have good memories of it. Only about a fifth of respondents skipped the question or said they did not think music was important in their lives.
An almost identical, very high number of respondents (about four-fifths, as in the first question) said that they listened to music during everyday activities. The remainder replied that they did not listen to music during everyday activities and a few people skipped the question. This result can be attributed to the rise of modern technology, which has made the availability of music virtually limitless. Whereas in the past listeners had to rely on itinerant manaschi or akyns, today they can often search for their favourite artists online.
„I listen to music every day at work, with the students I teach violin to“. (conservatory teacher, female, 60 years old, Bishkek)
In terms of the circumstances under which music is listened to in everyday life in Kyrgyzstan, the results were less clear. However, it can be said that the majority of respondents agreed that they listen to music either all the time and everywhere or some of the time in their free time. It is often associated with emotions, both positive and negative. Other occasions for listening to music are when travelling, especially in the car, or when doing household chores.
„I listen to music to relax, for inspiration and motivation“. (a boy from Karakol, 17 years old)
The next question was about the most important song. The answers were very varied and often agreed on just one – a song by Mirbek Atabekov called Muras (which can be loosely translated as Heritage). The video, which premiered in 2018, has received around 7.7 million views on YouTube after one year. The video has received a lot of positive criticism, mainly due to the quality of the animation by two young artists, Shahnazar Borboev and Tilek Asekov. The creative duo were inspired by the epic Manas, Kyrgyz films and the works of Chingiz Aytmatov, a famous Kyrgyz writer and proponent of magical realism.
„Mirbek Atabek’s manager contacted us and offered us the opportunity to make a music video for him. Of course we agreed. I worked with my friend Tilek. We did our best and hope that our future work will have a similar media impact,“ says Shahnazar Borboev, one of the creative duo..
This huge success by Kyrgyz standards can be interpreted by many variables and is probably a combination of several factors. Firstly, the quality of the music by a popular Kyrgyz artist, and secondly, it is a patriotic video with many references to Kyrgyz history and traditions. We see the Kyrgyz flag, yurts, horses and eagles. The introductory part of the video, with information about the performers, is written in Latin, suggesting that the video is intended for international distribution. The form of the video is very dynamic. There are frequent scenes of fighting, at the end of the video clip there is a long shot of a horse running through the Kyrgyz mountains, and the whole video ends with a silhouette of the Kyrgyz mountains in a komuz.
„When a singer sings about our country, it motivates me to do something for our country.“ (Man from Osh, 22 years old)
The penultimate question in the category of music in the everyday lives of Kyrgyz people was about the direct impact of Kyrgyz music on the lives of Kyrgyz people. Two-thirds of respondents said that music had a positive influence on their lives to varying degrees. This ranged from simple responses that it had a good influence to responses that listening to music made the respondent feel proud of their nation or that it reminded them of their childhood. Very often, music was seen as having a calming effect or allowing people to remember their childhood. This suggests that music very often has an associative effect on important life events that took place at that time. One of the more interesting comparisons was that music has a positive effect on life, like the colour of a drawing. The remaining third either skipped the question or said it had no effect.
„Music relieves stress, fatigue and brings back memories of the past.“ (female from Bishkek, 46 years old)
As part of the study of musical everyday life, the question was asked whether and on what occasions Kyrgyz people actively practice music (by singing or playing instruments). Here the answers were balanced. Half of the respondents said that they did not play or sing on any instrument, but the other half were very active in this area. A certain proportion practise actively on a daily basis because they study music on a professional level (e.g. teachers in music schools and conservatories). This includes playing at weddings or during holidays, for example. The rest he likes to sing for himself, depending on his mood and time. So there were no surprising results in this category, only the number of active amateur or professional musicians was surprisingly high. This may be due to the popularity of traditional Kyrgyz instruments and music in general.
Partial summary. The overwhelming majority of respondents consider music to be part of their everyday lives and rate its influence on their lives positively. A large number of them actively practise music themselves, either on a professional or amateur level. The circumstances of listening to music do not differ significantly from those in our European context. These include everyday activities and are often linked to emotional experiences or travel. One of the most popular songs of our time is the song Muras, which celebrates the Kyrgyz heritage of history, nature and the heroic deeds of the Kyrgyz people.
The influence of music on Kyrgyz national pride
The second chapter focuses on the main research question, namely the influence of traditional Kyrgyz music on the identity of the Kyrgyz people. Since some of the research questions were directly related to the Kyrgyz people’s sense of national pride in relation to music, and others touched on this issue in a peripheral way, a separate subchapter was created. Kyrgyz music often evokes patriotic associations among the Kyrgyz. When asked what comes to mind when respondents say Kyrgyz music, Komuz is clearly the common denominator, coming first for a full third of respondents. Half of the respondents then associate a sense of national pride. It is interesting to note how often they suddenly talk about my or our nation, my country, etc., which reinforces the close, almost intimate relationship with Kyrgyzstan. Other associative categories are Kyrgyz nature (especially mountains), folklore and history.
Regarding the preference of the domestic music scene over the foreign one, the majority of respondents expressed a positive opinion on this question. One-fifth of respondents, mainly from cities, do not care about the origin of songs, another one-fifth, also from cities, do not prefer Kyrgyz music to foreign music. The rest did not comment.
A related question is the choice of the language of the song. As Kyrgyzstan is a republic with official bilingualism, the research focused on preferences for one language or another. There is a relative balance of opinion here. The liberal half of respondents see no problem in considering a song in Russian to be Kyrgyz. For the majority of people who answered in this way, music has a great influence. The other, conservative half of respondents reject this possibility and definitely do not consider a song in Russian to be Kyrgyz. Interestingly, more than two-thirds of the respondents who did not consider the Russian song to be Kyrgyz completed the questionnaire in Russian. Those who were undecided or left the question unanswered were a minority in terms of units. The interest in this question can be attributed to how closely music is linked to the search for and affirmation of national identity in the eyes of the Kyrgyz.
„I also consider a Kyrgyz song to be one that is in Russian. But it must be about our country.“ (female from Osh, 18 years old)
If the previous question on language was not very clear, the last question in the chapter on the influence of music on Kyrgyz national pride speaks clearly. When asked, „Do you feel more proud of Kyrgyzstan and the Kyrgyz people when you listen to Kyrgyz music?„, the overwhelming majority of respondents answered in the affirmative. On the contrary, only units of respondents take a hesitant or negative position. This indicates a clear link between music and national identity in the minds of Kyrgyz people.
Partial summary. Kyrgyz people have strong associative tendencies in the relationship between music and the Kyrgyz nation. The vast majority feel a pride that extends to a personal relationship with their homeland, history and culture. There is no clear preference when it comes to choosing the language of songs. More than half of the respondents who answered that they would definitely not consider a song in Russian to be Kyrgyz, filled in the questionnaire in Russian.
Differences and Similarities in Kyrgyz Music
Two sub-questions (What are the regional characteristics of Kyrgyz music? Do the urban and rural populations of Kyrgyzstan form a homogeneous group from an ethnomusicological point of view?) can be combined into one chapter, as there are many similarities in the statements of the respondents. As in other chapters, they will be evaluated and interpreted.
According to consultations with Hungarian ethnomusicologist János Sipos prior to the research, contemporary Kyrgyz music is surprisingly homogeneous, with the exception of the southern city of Osh. This is confirmed by the responses to the survey. When asked whether music differs in different regions of Kyrgyzstan, respondents generally say that it does not, with two-thirds saying that it does. When it comes to the view that music does vary by region, respondents are mostly unable to describe how. The two main camps of opinion that are able to name specific phenomena attribute the difference to both the different dialects in the country and the influence of its southern neighbour, Uzbekistan. The extreme view is not to distinguish differences in music at the level of states and to make Russian, Kyrgyz, Uzbek and Kazakh music a homogeneous whole. Such a view has been mentioned very marginally and is at least unjustified, since Russian music draws on an indescribably greater historical tradition and on highly prestigious schools of music. The term Russian school is a well-known one in music.
„There are certain motifs, melodies and cultural influences, for example in the south the music has an Uzbek motif!“ (female from Karakol, 27 years old)
In an effort to find out what differences exist in music in Kyrgyzstan, one research question focused on the differences between urban and rural areas. Less than half of the respondents thought that there were no differences in music. The majority of Kyrgyz who hold this view are from urban areas. In contrast, people from rural areas believe that foreign music is listened to more often in cities than traditional music, and that music in general is listened to less often.
„In the villages they listen more to ethno and folk, in the cities it’s Russian or foreign songs.“ (man from the village, 57 years old)
However, city dwellers often give their village counterparts the benefit of the doubt when it comes to where to listen to traditional music. According to city dwellers, there are more patriots in the villages who are more likely to listen to classical music, which in this sense means traditional Kyrgyz music, which is more lyrical than modern music. The interpretation of traditional music in the villages is also carried out thanks to traditional Kyrgyz musical instruments.
In the cities, with the changing global lifestyle, there is a tendency for the music to be modern (e.g. hip hop), Western or at least Russian. The way it is performed is also different. In the cities, professional musicians gather and their performances are of a much higher quality than those in the villages, which are mostly amateur.
„I think you can’t divide music between urban and rural, between Kyrgyz and non-Kyrgyz, music is for everyone. If a person likes music, he can listen to any music, music is not divided“. (female from Bishkek, 44 years old)
Partial summary. Music in Kyrgyzstan is very homogeneous, the only differences often mentioned are in the south of Kyrgyzstan, due to the influence of its southern neighbour, Uzbekistan. If any differences in Kyrgyzstan are considered relevant, it is the different dialects. A much greater difference is seen when comparing the city and the village, where in the cities there is a predominant opinion about the influence of globalisation, both in terms of preferences for different genres and in the way they are interpreted. Villages, on the other hand, are seen as bastions of tradition and all that goes with it.
Changes in Kyrgyz Music – Tradition vs. Modernity
This chapter assesses the third research sub-question, namely the impact of globalisation and urbanisation on Kyrgyz music. Under globalization, not only is there a shift in the preferred music, but also different ways of performing or listening to music. The influence of globalization can be quite logically mistaken for simple development. Closely related to the notion of globalisation is the definition of modernity and, conversely, the invocation of traditionalism. To what extent such processes occur, what influences them and how relevant they are will be discussed in the following chapter.
„Times change, music changes too, which is natural, but it’s harder for the older generation to get used to new music.“ (female from Osh, 65 years old)The mobile phone is by far the most common way to listen to music or watch video clips. According to research conducted in Kyrgyzstan in 2018, Kyrgyzstan is the second cheapest country in the world when it comes to mobile data prices. One gigabyte of data costs just $0.27. On the other hand, the country where a gigabyte is the most expensive is sovereign Zimbabwe, where you pay $75.2..
This certainly plays a big role in the use of streaming forms of music consumption.
However, the question did not ask how music is consumed on mobile phones, so we cannot know whether platforms popular in the Euro-American cultural milieu, such as Spotify or YouTube Music, are leading the way, or whether local apps or offline music listening are leading the way. Second only to the mobile phone is television. For example, it’s easy to tune in to Russian music channel MTV, which has been broadcasting in Russia since 1998, with a break in 2013. The penultimate position is shared by radio (often just car radio) and live concerts. In last place is the separately mentioned computer or live listening by pupils at school (in the case of music teachers).
„Kyrgyz music has fundamentally changed during my lifetime, the melodies used to be richer and more beautiful than now.“ (female from Bishkek, 60 years old)
The question of how Kyrgyz music has changed over time is closely related to the age of the respondents. Respondents were divided into three categories: the youngest under 30, the middle 30 to 50 and the oldest over 50. Responses did not vary significantly according to where they lived or their level of education.
In the youngest category of respondents, under 30, two thirds thought that music had changed. A fifth thought it had not, and the rest left the question unanswered or said it did not matter to them. There are clearly positive opinions (music has improved, it is more professional), but negative opinions are no exception (melodies just copy European music, or that older music makes much more sense). Another interesting phenomenon is the rise of the rap and hip-hop genres, observed by some younger respondents.
In the 30 to 50-year-old category, there was unanimous agreement that music is changing fundamentally, often in a negative way. Old songs are being remade according to new, modern trends. Some respondents were not afraid to use expressions such as meaningless songs or outright extravagance.
The majority of respondents over the age of 50 confirmed that music had changed significantly in their lifetime – either in form (e.g. different singing styles or better quality recordings, new genres) or through direct foreign influence.
We keep the same age categories for the next question, which asks whether the younger generation listens to different music to older people.
For the youngest category, the prevailing view is that this is indeed the case. Only a seventh of younger respondents disagree and the same number in this category leave the question unanswered or do not care. The younger generation of respondents believe that the main difference is the way of listening, namely modern technology, which gives young listeners completely different ways of consuming music than older generations. Again, the dominant opinion is that it is mainly foreign music (whether Russian or Western). Among the genres mentioned by young people, rap and hip-hop are the most popular.
Middle-aged respondents unanimously agree that younger people listen to different music, foreign music, including modern genres (rap, rock, hip-hop…). In this they agree with the older generation, who simply cannot name the type of genre (e.g. rap) and therefore only give a universal answer – modern or music whose words do not make sense.
„Young people today listen to meaningless and senseless music.“ (man from a village in eastern Kyrgyzstan, 57 years old)
This brings us to the category of traditional vs modern music. As these terms often dominate the evaluations of the younger or older generation, it is necessary to find out what both groups of the population actually imagine under these terms. In two separate questions, respondents were asked to describe what these terms meant to them. Since in this chapter the statements have been divided according to age, it is appropriate to do so here.
The younger generation is united by the fact that they speak of traditional music with respect. Only a quarter of the young respondents did not answer the question or did not know. Where respondents were able to be more specific, feelings of pride in their nation or perhaps inspiration from traditional music emerged. Traditional music represents the Kyrgyz culture and way of life and tends to have a deep meaning.
Almost half of the young respondents had a negative view of modern music. Some criticised modern music for lacking deeper meaning and being only about love, while others said it was more like a copy of Western music, not nearly as deep and lacking in meaning. Unfortunately, this has led to a description of what modern music is not, rather than what it is. On the contrary, a third of young respondents like modern music. They think the new musicians are very talented and the music is generally of high quality.
„Most of today’s songs are only about love, it makes me sad, it’s nonsense.“ (male from Sary-Chelek, 20 years old)
The middle generation agrees that traditional music is important to them. Unfortunately, there is no clear definition, only the affirmation that it means a lot to them and that it is music with a deeper meaning. It can also be a reference to their childhood and their home village.
There is also more or less agreement about modern music. The overwhelming majority define modern music as meaning nothing to them and that it means rather little to them. Again, there are opinions that it is meaningless and copies western music. Only a few respondents think that modern music is not bad or even good.
„I like traditional music best, I am interested in it, it pleases me, I feel free, humble.“ (male from Osh, 36 years old)
For the oldest generation, the term traditional is often associated with pride. Traditional represents a heritage and a bridge to the past, Kyrgyz national musical instruments, a matter of the heart. For some, it is a reference to the nomadic past. There are views, which may sound a little pathetic to European eyes, that it is a national tradition in the blood.
The oldest generation speaks of modern music with surprising respect. Half of the oldest respondents find it at least interesting or important for Kyrgyz culture. The rest do not think much of it, and several respondents did not answer.
„For me, traditional Kyrgyz music is a heritage that we must pass on, not change and not forget.“ (female from Karakol, 58 years old)
Partial summary. As respondents get older, they attach more importance to the changes taking place in music. Even the youngest generation is aware that changes are taking place. In the middle and older generations, there is a consistency of opinion that clearly favours traditional music at the expense of modern music. Surprisingly, this consistency does not apply to the younger generation, who are not sure whether to support traditional or modern music. If the middle and older generations make any assessment of the changes in music in Kyrgyzstan, it is a rather negative one. In their own words, the youngest generation listens to different music than older people. The medium that dominates the consumption of music content among the young and middle generations is undoubtedly the mobile phone. Respondents across the age spectrum agree that foreign influences play an important role in modern music. As people get older, the view that modern music tends to be devoid of deeper meaning increases. Surprisingly, all age groups speak of traditional music with reverence and respect. It is also surprising that half of the respondents in the youngest category have a negative view of modern music. The oldest generation speaks of traditional music with the greatest pride. Surprisingly, however, they do not usually speak of modern music with contempt.
Availability and preferred choice of music education in Kyrgyzstan
In terms of the wording of this research sub-question, it differs from the original intention before the research was conducted (the original wording of the question „What kind of music education system is there in Kyrgyzstan?“) The original intention was primarily to provide a factual and qualitative description of the form, structure and number of music schools in Kyrgyzstan. As the research progressed, there was a shift towards examining the tradition of passing on musical skills within the family and the availability of music education in general. At the beginning of this chapter, it is worth reiterating that the number of universities in Kyrgyzstan has increased significantly over the last decade, which is reflected in the high number of people with university degrees in the sample of respondents to this research. By 2019, there will be 64 universities in Kyrgyzstan. This compares to 8 and 14 universities in Finland and Denmark respectively, Nordic countries with a comparable population to Kyrgyzstan (around six million people). However, the expansion of universities is assessed as inconsistent and unsystematic. Once colleges have obtained the necessary state certification, they can decide for themselves whether they prefer a state diploma or their own diploma/certificate as an exit form.
Figure 1 – Changes in the number of universities in Kyrgyzstan from 1991 to 2015.
In 2019, Kyrgyzstan will have a total of 32 state and 32 private universities, which are fully self-governing. The Ministry of Science and Education has no means of regulating the number of universities other than the system of awarding certificates and licences. This approach creates a degree of uncertainty in the labour market about what to do with diplomas and how to treat them. According to Transparency International’s Corruption in Human Rights Index, which ranks countries on a scale of 0 to 100, with 0 being a highly corrupt environment and 100 being a highly non-corrupt environment, Kyrgyzstan ranks 132 out of 180 countries in 2018. Kyrgyzstan scores 29, the average is 43, and the Czech Republic, for example, scores 59. In such a corrupt environment, the gravity of the whole situation of overcrowding in universities is even more important and a conceptual solution is a necessity.
The first question in the chapter on music education in Kyrgyzstan is devoted to describing the respondents‘ personal relationship to active playing of a musical instrument and their possible involvement in the music education system. About half of the respondents play a musical instrument actively. The most common instrument is the komuz, followed by instruments such as the violin, piano, guitar and other national Kyrgyz instruments such as the chopochor or brumle. Age and place of residence do not play a role, and active players can be found in all age categories. However, only a third of those who said they knew an instrument learned it at school. The range of instruments that these respondents learned at school is wide, including both classical and Kyrgyz national instruments. Few respondents reported learning from relatives. Interestingly, this was the case for playing the komuz. The same number of respondents or units learned this skill as autodidacts. However, it was always guitar or drums, not komuz. While there is a wealth of information on the Internet about how to master at least the basics of playing guitar or drums, the situation is different for the komuz, and there is diametrically less material available.
The question is whether there would be a demand for this kind of information, given Komuz’s strong geographical focus on Central Asia. More than a third of respondents said that their parents or grandparents played musical instruments. The komuz is again the most represented instrument, which only underlines its irreplaceable importance in the Kyrgyz environment. The relative availability of music education in Kyrgyzstan is addressed by questions relating to both geographical and financial availability. There are currently 87 music schools in Kyrgyzstan.
In terms of distance, the answers varied widely. From one kilometre to three-quarters of an hour to a day’s journey. Any misjudgement may be due to a lack of interest in the location of a potential school building. Only a very small proportion of respondents, in order of units, replied that they either had no music schools at all or did not know where they were located. The largest proportion of responses, more than half, agreed that a music school was nearby (equivalent to within about half an hour by car, bus or on foot). Less than a quarter of respondents described the journey to a music school as far or very far.
„I’m from the village and the school is in town, I have to walk 40 minutes.“ (woman from a village near Karakol, 58 years old)
When it comes to the possibility of giving their children a musical education, less than half of respondents over the age of 18 are considering it. The most common answer was ‚I don’t have children‘. Only about a tenth of respondents said a clear no. The average monthly salary in Kyrgyzstan in 2018 was around 16,500 Kyrgyz soms (USD 250). Traditionally, people earn the most in the capital, where the national average is about 4,000 soms higher. The extent to which affordability of music education is perceived is addressed by the following question:
You consider music education for children to be:
Very expensive = I cannot afford to pay for my children’s music education (e.g. more than half of my monthly salary).
Expensive = Because of my children’s music education, I have to be very frugal and can’t buy as many things. (e.g. a third of my monthly salary).
Cheap = Paying for my children’s music education is not a problem for me and I don’t feel it on my monthly income (e.g. a tenth of my salary).
Very cheap = Music education for children is an absolutely negligible part of the family budget. Just under a third of the competent respondents aged 18 and over who said they had children in the previous question left this question unanswered. It can therefore be concluded that they are not, for example, managers of the family budget, or that they omitted this question deliberately or by mistake. Only about a tenth of respondents described music education as very expensive. Slightly more agreed that it was expensive. On the other hand, about twice as many respondents described music education as very cheap. The greatest consensus was in the third category, cheap, with a full third of respondents agreeing. Interestingly, only a quarter of those who thought music education was cheap or very cheap were from the capital, Bishkek. The final question in the category of music education in Kyrgyzstan concerned the form in which children were taught. The choices were either state school, private lessons, not playing an instrument or teaching themselves. More than a third of respondents over the age of 18 (again, those who did not have children in the previous question) said that their children attended a state school. On the other hand, the influence of private tuition proved to be rather marginal, with few respondents mentioning it as a form of education. Slightly more respondents (about one sixth) taught their children themselves.
The aim of this study was to describe the theme and importance of music in Kyrgyzstan and to find out how it influences the everyday lives of Kyrgyz people. The study addressed a number of issues that may or may not be related to music, such as national pride, identity, tradition and modernity, globalisation, etc. Questions related to these themes were answered through a research question and sub-questions that delved deeper into the themes. In general, the topic under study aroused great interest among the respondents and the narrators.
Does traditional Kyrgyz music have a strong influence on Kyrgyz identity? The overwhelming majority of respondents are positive about the influence of music on their lives and agree that it has an irreplaceable place in their lives. Half of the respondents directly associate music with a sense of national pride and talk about my nation. When asked if listening to traditional Kyrgyz music made them more proud of Kyrgyzstan and the Kyrgyz people, the vast majority of respondents answered in the affirmative. Affordable modern technology makes it easier than ever to choose and consume music. An example of this is the viral success of music videos that are produced in a modern and high quality way, but still reference the tradition and natural wealth of the Kyrgyz people. The most common way to listen to music today is on a mobile phone. About half of the respondents are actively involved in music. The most important thing that comes to mind when respondents think of Kyrgyz music is the national instrument, the komuz. It is the most popular instrument, played by a third of respondents. Most respondents prefer traditional songs to modern ones. It seems that traditional music is not far away for them. The choice of the preferred language of the songs divides the respondents into two more or less equal camps. While some do not consider songs in Russian to be Kyrgyz in principle (although they often chose Russian as the language of the questionnaire themselves), for others this is not a problem. When trying to define traditional music, the answers were often abstract and unspecific. However, the young respondents spoke of traditional music with respect, attributing to it a deep meaning and outlook on life. Only a quarter of young respondents did not know what traditional music meant to them. The research questions, which will be supplemented by other relevant chapters in the practical part of the study, also serve to understand the issues fully.
What are the regional characteristics of Kyrgyz music? Kyrgyz music seems to be a surprisingly homogeneous entity, with the exception of the Osh region in the south of the country, where the Uzbek influence is very strong. Two thirds of respondents believe that music in Kyrgyzstan does not vary much from region to region. The remaining third are unable to say what the specific differences are. When there is a consensus on the question of musical distinctiveness, it is most often the dialect in which the songs are sung. At the other end of the opinion spectrum is the idea that all Central Asian music can be considered as a whole. Two thirds of respondents under the age of 30 feel that music has changed in their lifetime. However, they disagree about the direction in which music has changed. The 30-50 year olds, on the other hand, perceive the changes that have taken place (on which they agree) as changes for the worse. The oldest generation feels similarly. It is often said that old, classical Kyrgyz songs are being remade into new, modern forms.
From an ethnomusicological point of view, do the urban and rural populations of Kyrgyzstan form a homogeneous whole? Once again, the answer to the question of how the urban and rural populations fare is rather ambiguous. Urban dwellers tend to believe that more traditional music is heard in the villages. Similarly, they see the villages as bastions of traditional interpretation of Kyrgyz songs. Villagers tend to think that foreign music is more in vogue in the cities, and that traditional music is overshadowed by it. But the city dwellers themselves give them the benefit of the doubt. In addition, more non-native music genres that are new to Kyrgyzstan are listened to in the cities. Respondents of all ages believe that the youngest generation listens to different music than the older generation. The middle-aged category (unlike the oldest generation) is often able to name new genres that are popular among the young. Although the youngest generation admit to listening to modern music, up to half of young people have a negative opinion of it. The most common criticism of modern music is that it lacks deeper meaning or that it is only about love. Surprisingly tolerant is the oldest generation, who, although they regard traditional music as a matter of the heart and a bridge to the heritage and history of Kyrgyzstan, speak with respect about modern music and admit that it plays an important role in Kyrgyz music.
Availability and preferred choice of music education in Kyrgyzstan. About half of the respondents are involved in music at various levels. The most common is playing the national instrument, the komuz, which a third of respondents learnt to play at music school. However, when respondents are self-taught, it is usually guitar, drums or other popular musical instruments. About half of the respondents agreed that music schools are not far from their homes (travel time is about half an hour). On the question of the possibility of musical education for offspring or the possible financial cost of such a hobby, the results are numerically limited to the relevant sample, i.e. those aged 18 and over who have or plan to have offspring. A third of the respondents mentioned above consider the financial difficulties to be low (paying for their children’s musical education is not a problem for them and they do not feel it in their monthly income). Public music schools are the most frequently chosen or considered type of school, while private lessons by teachers are the least popular. Based on a comprehensive assessment of the research results, it can be argued that traditional Kyrgyz music has a strong influence on the identity of the Kyrgyz people. At the end of the questionnaire, as well as during casual conversations or semi-structured interviews, the author was often greeted with wishes for success in his research and gratitude for addressing the issue of Kyrgyz music. This confirmed that music is a means of communication that unites more than it divides. Despite the many modern influences that have shaped the face of Kyrgyzstan and the form of its music, traditional music retains a place in the everyday life of the Kyrgyz people. An active approach to music, i.e. practising music and playing an instrument, has an irreplaceable place in the lives of many Kyrgyz people. Unsurprisingly, the legendary komuz is at the top of the list. State schools remain the most important form of education. Completely self-taught students learn almost exclusively on instruments that are known beyond the borders of Kyrgyzstan (guitar, drums, etc.). The geographical accessibility of music schools is considered satisfactory by the respondents. However, this may be due to the choice of locations for data collection, where the availability of services is better than in remote areas. The affordability of music education was rated even more positively, with the prevailing view being that it was rather cheap.
At the end of the study we can use a quote by Lévi-Strauss about music as a unique means of expression – „combines contradictory characteristics: it is at once intelligible and untranslatable, which makes the Creator a divine being, and music itself is the supreme mystery of the human sciences, against which these sciences struggle and which at the same time guards the key to their progress“.
 JUSTOŇ, Zdeněk. Hudba přírodních národů. Liberec: Dauphin, 1996. ISBN 80-901842-4-3., s. 14.
 It is also a so-called chain or reference selection, during which a new sample is nominated by respondents who are already in the sample.
 The total number of at least partially completed questionnaires is 66.
 KANTORO, Aigul. Does the Large Number of Universities in Kyrgyzstan Reflect the Quality of Higher Education? Central Asian Bureau for Analytical Reporting [online]. 2019 [cit. 2019-10-26]. Available from: https://cabar.asia/en/is-the-large-number-of-universities-in-kyrgyzstan-reflect-the-quality-of-higher-education/
 Education and Culture: Dynamic tables. [online] National Statistical Committee of the Kyrgyz Republic, 2019. [cit. 2019-10-26]. Available from: http://www.stat.kg/ru/statistics/obrazovanie/
 CIS – Commonwealth of Independent States – includes 9 of the 15 former union republics of the USSR.
 Kyrgyzstán: Základní charakteristika teritoria, ekonomický přehled. Bussinesinfo.cz [online]. Praha: CzechTrade, 2019, 24. 5. 2019. Available from: https://www.businessinfo.cz/, [cit. 2019-10-11].
 KOKAISL, Petr a Amirbek USMANOV. Dějiny Kyrgyzstánu očima pamětníků: 1917-1938. Praha: Nostalgie, 2012. ISBN 978-80-905365-0-0.
 KOKAISL, Petr et al. Kyrgyzstán a Kyrgyzové: Kyrgyzstan i kyrgyzy. V Plzni: Západočeská univerzita, 2008. ISBN 978-80-7043-772-8.
 The refrain emphasizes the unity of the Soviet nation – my address is not a house or a street, my address is the Soviet Union. You can watch the song here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CeBtpC4eds
 The World Nomad Games have been held every two years since 2014, with Central Asian countries in particular competing in the region’s traditional sports games. The Games also include a rich cultural programme.
 Komuz teaching methods in formal and informal systems in kyrgyzstan. Intangible Cultural Heritage Courier of Asia and the Pacific [online]. 95 Seohak-ro, Wansan-gu, Jeonju, Jeollabuk-do 55101 Republic of Korea: ICHCAP, (Volume 33) [cit. 2019-10-20]. Available from: https://ichcourier.ichcap.org/article/komuz-teaching-methods-in-formal-and-informal-systems-in-kyrgyzstan/
 Toktogul Satilganov (1864 – 1933). Kyrgyzmusic.com [online]. Frequency Glide, 2002 [cit. 2019-10-19]. Available from: http://www.kyrgyzmusic.com/satilganov.html
 It is a style of singing in which the performer imitates ordinary speech, it appears frequently, for example, in operas.
Kyrgyzfilms 1965, dir. Bolotbek Shamshiev (Mанасчи кыргызфильм 1965, реж. Болотбек Шамшиев). Youtube [online]. 10. 1. 2017 [cit. 2019-10-15]. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXjB5gGKdCs kanál uživatele Paolo Dillies.
 JUSTOŇ, Zdeněk. Hudba přírodních národů. Liberec: Dauphin, 1996. ISBN 80-901842-4-3., s. 14
 JUSTOŇ, Zdeněk. Hudba přírodních národů. Liberec: Dauphin, 1996. ISBN 80-901842-4-3., s. 14
 The Manas epos. Bars International [online]. 72000 Sadyrbaev Str, 28a, Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic: Adicom.kg, 2019 [cit. 2019-10-15]. Available from: http://bars.kg/the-manas-epos/
 Epic of Manas as national identity of kyrgyz people. Intangible Cultural Heritage Courier of Asia and the Pacific. [online] 95 Seohak-ro, Wansan-gu, Jeonju, Jeollabuk-do 55101 Republic of Korea: ICHCAP, (Volume 22) [cit. 2019-10-20]. Available from: https://ichcourier.ichcap.org/article/epic-of-manas-as-national-identity-of-kyrgyz-people/
 The link to watch the video with English subtitles is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ALPIons9NU
 Two students depict Kyrgyz heritage in animated music video. [online] AKIpress. [cit. 2019-10-26]. Available from: https://m.akipress.com/video:816/
 Kyrgyz is a West Turkic language (specifically the Kipchak branch), the form of which has undergone many changes. It was first written in old Turkic runes, then in Arabic script, then for a short time during the USSR era in Latin script, and finally in Cyrillic script. Although there are thoughts of a return to Latin, it does not seem very likely that such changes will begin to happen in the near future.
 The form of listening varies, as in Kyrgyzstan some people need dedicated time to listen to music, others have it as a background during everyday activities. Music historian and Yale University professor Craig Wright comments, „Listening to music is not just an activity aimed at relaxation. Music should be consumed actively and should be a rewarding activity.“ (Source: Jak poslouchat hudbu? Naučí vás to online kurz Yaleovy univerzity. Rádio Wave [online]. 2017 [cit. 2019-11-23]. Available from: https://wave.rozhlas.cz/jak-poslouchat-hudbu-nauci-vas-online-kurz-yaleovy-univerzity-5981900).
 János Sipos has conducted extensive research in Central Asia, including Kyrgyzstan. Sipos mentions, among other things, that the influence of urbanisation along with globalisation is also evident in villages, using the example of the Russian-speaking rural population. These Kyrgyz people are singing Russian melodies instead of traditional Kyrgyz ones.
 When it comes to the Central Asian region, in terms of music, I often see Uzbekistan as the most different country. The music in Uzbekistan has a very long history, complex rhythms and melodies and is similar to that of the Middle East. There are a large number of indigenous musical instruments in Uzbekistan.
 KANTORO, Aigul. Does the Large Number of Universities in Kyrgyzstan Reflect the Quality of Higher Education? Central Asian Bureau for Analytical Reporting [online]. 2019 [cit. 2019-10-26]. Available from: https://cabar.asia/en/is-the-large-number-of-universities-in-kyrgyzstan-reflect-the-quality-of-higher-education/
 Ministry of Justice of the Kyrgyz Republic. (1996). Civil Code of the Kyrgyz Republic. [online]. 2019 [cit. 2019-10-31]. Available from: http://minjust.gov.kg/ru/content/313
 While typing „how to play the komuz“ in Russian brings up 439,000 results in Google’s search engine and 12,000 results when typing the query in English, typing „how to play the guitar“ in English brings up more than 100 times as many results, 503 million, and even 803 million results in Russian.
 Komuz teaching methods in formal and informal systems in Kyrgyzstan. [online] ICH Courier. [cit. 2019-11-03]. ISSN 2092-7959. Available from: https://ichcourier.ichcap.org/article/komuz-teaching-methods-in-formal-and-informal-systems-in-kyrgyzstan/
 Average monthly salary (soms). National Statistical Committee of the Kyrgyz Republic [online]. [cit. 2019-10-31]. Available from: http://www.stat.kg/en/opendata/category/112/
 No or don’t know figures are unit figures only.
 JUSTOŇ, Zdeněk. Hudba přírodních národů. Liberec: Dauphin, 1996. ISBN 80-901842-4-3., s. 15.
Average monthly salary (soms). [online]. [cit. 2019-10-31] National Statistical Committee of the Kyrgyz Republic. Available from: http://www.stat.kg/en/opendata/category/112/
BAUMAN, Zygmunt. Globalizace: důsledky pro člověka. Praha: Mladá fronta, 1999. Souvislosti (Mladá fronta). ISBN 80-204-0817-7.
Cambridge Dictionary. In: Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus [online]. © Cambridge University Press [cit. 2019-09-29]. Available from: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/
Corruption perceptions index 2018. [online] Transparency International. [cit. 2019-10-31]. Available from: https://www.transparency.org/
Education and Culture: Dynamic tables. [online] National Statistical Committee of the Kyrgyz Republic, 2019. [cit. 2019-10-26]. Available from: http://www.stat.kg/ru/statistics/obrazovanie/
EDWARDS, J. R. International Encyclopedia of Music and Culture: „Music Recommender Systems“. The SAGE International Encyclopedia of Music and Culture. (2019) https://doi.org/10.4135/9781483317731.n497
Epic of Manas as national identity of Kyrgyz people. [online] Intangible Cultural Heritage Courier of Asia and the Pacific. 95 Seohak-ro, Wansan-gu, Jeonju, Jeollabuk-do 55101 Republic of Korea: ICHCAP, (Volume 22) [cit. 2019-10-20]. Available from: https://ichcourier.ichcap.org/article/epic-of-manas-as-national-identity-of-kyrgyz-people/
EXNEROVÁ, Věra. Islám ve Střední Asii za carské a sovětské vlády: – na příkladu jednoho z center oblasti, Ferganské doliny. Praha: Karolinum, 2008. ISBN 978-80-246-1504-2.
GELLNER, Ernest André. Národy a nacionalismus. [1. vyd.]. Praha: Josef Hříbal, 1993. Poznání (Hříbal). ISBN 80-900892-9-1.
GERBER, Theodore P. a Hannah S. CHAPMAN. Russian propaganda isn’t as effective as you may think. The Washington Post [online]. 5. 11. 2019 [cit. 2019-11-06]. Available from: https://www.washingtonpost.com/
HIRT, Tomáš. Přehled základních tezí modernistického pojetí nacionalismu. AntropoWeb 2007(2/3) [cit. 2019-11-13].
HORÁK, Slavomír. Rusko a Střední Asie po rozpadu SSSR. Praha: Karolinum, 2008. ISBN 978-80-246-1472-4.
Jak poslouchat hudbu? Naučí vás to online kurz Yaleovy univerzity. [online] Rádio Wave. 2017 [cit. 2019-11-23]. Available from: https://wave.rozhlas.cz/jak-poslouchat-hudbu-nauci-vas-online-kurz-yaleovy-univerzity-5981900
JURKOVÁ, Zuzana. Kapitoly o mimoevropské hudbě. Olomouc: Vydavatelství Univerzity Palackého, 1996. ISBN 80-7067-598-5.
KANTORO, Aigul. Does the Large Number of Universities in Kyrgyzstan Reflect the Quality of Higher Education? Central Asian Bureau for Analytical Reporting [online]. 2019 [cit. 2019-10-26]. Available from: https://cabar.asia/en/is-the-large-number-of-universities-in-kyrgyzstan-reflect-the-quality-of-higher-education/
KIRMSE, Stefan B. Youth and Globalization in Central Asia: Everyday Life between Religion, Media, and International Donors (Eigene und Fremde Welten). Campus Verlag. English, 2013. ISBN 978-3593398891.
KOKAISL, Petr a Amirbek USMANOV. Dějiny Kyrgyzstánu očima pamětníků: 1917-1938. Praha: Nostalgie, 2012. ISBN 978-80-905365-0-0.
KOKAISL, Petr et al. Kyrgyzstán a Kyrgyzové: Kyrgyzstan i kyrgyzy. V Plzni: Západočeská univerzita, 2008. ISBN 978-80-7043-772-8.
KOKAISL, Petr. Ujguři – starobylý národ, nebo produkt sovětské národnostní politiky? Historická sociologie, 2019, 11.1: 75-91. https://doi.org/10.14712/23363525.2019.5
Komuz teaching methods in formal and informal systems in Kyrgyzstan. Intangible Cultural Heritage Courier of Asia and the Pacific [online]. 95 Seohak-ro, Wansan-gu, Jeonju, Jeollabuk-do 55101 Republic of Korea: ICHCAP, (Volume 33) ISSN 2092-7959. [cit. 2019-10-20]. Available from: https://ichcourier.ichcap.org/article/komuz-teaching-methods-in-formal-and-informal-systems-in-kyrgyzstan/
KUCHARSKÝ, Jonáš. O novou hudbu: problematika nacionalistické rétoriky v oficiální hudební kultuře po roce 1948 v textech Antonína Sychry Brno: Masarykova univerzita, 2014.
Kyrgyzstan included in top 3 countries with cheapest mobile traffic in world. [online] © «24.kg» News Agency. 7. 3. 2019 [cit. 2019-11-03]. Available from: https://24.kg/
Kyrgyzstán: Základní charakteristika teritoria, ekonomický přehled. Bussinesinfo.cz [online]. Praha: CzechTrade, 2019, 24. 5. 2019. [cit. 2019-10-11]. Available from: https://www.businessinfo.cz/.
Ministry of Justice of the Kyrgyz Republic. (1996). Civil Code of the Kyrgyz Republic. [online]. 2019 [cit. 2019-10-31]. Available from: http://minjust.gov.kg/ru/content/313
NOVOTNÝ, Jiří. Český lid: etnologický časopis: 1946-2000: bibliografie. Praha: Etnologický ústav Akademie věd České republiky, 2008. ISBN 978-80-87112-13-7.
PECHÁČEK, S. Lidová píseň a sborová tvorba. Praha: Karolinum, 2010. ISBN 978-80-246-1830-2.
PETRUSEK, Miloslav. Společnost jako sociální konstrukce a text. Teorie vědy/Theory of Science, 2008, 30.3–4: 5-54. ISSN 1804-6347.
Stringed instruments. [online]. Wisco, 2007 [cit. 2019-10-19]. Available from: https://www.kyrgyzjer.com/
The Manas epos. [online] Bars International. 72000 Sadyrbaev Str, 28a, Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic: Adicom.kg, 2019 [cit. 2019-10-15]. Available from:: http://bars.kg/the-manas-epos/
THOMAS W. I. a THOMAS D. S. The child in America: Behavior problems and programs. New York: Knopf, 1928.
Toktogul Satilganov (1864–1933). Kyrgyzmusic.com [online]. Frequency Glide, 2002 [cit. 2019-10-19]. Available from: http://www.kyrgyzmusic.com/satilganov.html
Toktogul Satylganov (1864–1933). Kyrgyzjer.com [online]. Wisco, 2007 [cit. 2019-10-19]. Available from: https://www.kyrgyzjer.com/
Two students depict Kyrgyz heritage in animated music video. AKIpress [online]. [cit. 2019-10-26]. Available from: https://m.akipress.com/video:816/