Kobyz wins the hearts of music connoisseurs abroad. The Press Attache of the U.S. Embassy in Kazakhstan Wren Elhai learnt about the Kazakh national instrument a month after his arrival in Kazakhstan. A willingness to better understand the traditional Kazakh arts inspired him to learn playing the kobyz. The diplomat believes that music is the universal language of the mankind. He is also learning the Kazakh language. Wren Elhai plays several musical instruments. He has been playing violin since he was 4 years old. He also plays other stringed instruments such as the guitar, mandolin and even the Kazakh dombra.

WREN ELHAI, PRESS ATTACHE, U.S. EMBASSY IN KAZAKHSTAN:

The kobyz is really beautiful instrument It produces a really sensitive kind of complex sound that’s very pleasant to listen to.

For now, Wren can perform a few classical kyuis, but he wants to master playing the kobyz. The musician also plans to create a band to play modern folk music on Kazakh instruments and a violin.

Wren ELHAI, PRESS ATTACHE, U.S. EMBASSY IN KAZAKHSTAN:

When I explained my family and friends in the U.S. that I am learning kobyz, of course, the first question was: what’s a kobyz? So I showed them this thing and they were really impressed if not a little shocked by certainly the appearance of the instrument because it has for us quite unusual appearance. If we are used to kind of all wooden instruments from the classical tradition then kobyz which has horse hair and skin and wooden elements and all those intriguing carvings normally on the neck and the head of the instrument – it looks really interesting. 00:03:03:03

A famous kobyz player Raushan Orazbayeva, who went on tour to many countries worldwide, notes a tremendous interest to the ancient Kazakh musical instrument abroad. She says that the unique sound of kobyz fascinates the audience everywhere from the very first notes. Raushan Orazbayeva was also invited to conduct an art therapy sessions during her world tours, as kobyz music has a truly healing effect.

RAUSHAN ORAZBAYEVA, KOBYZ PLAYER:

The music is perceived as something sacral and valuable, as a therapy. They come here for spiritual experience, even to manage stress or overcome mental incapacity.

Sounds of kobyz are unique and magical: natural motives, tinkling sounds of brooks and the steppe. Deep, velvety kobyz sound can convey this, and, at the same time, touch the heart strings of every listener. Musicians say the kobyz has retained its unique sound from the ancient times to the present day. The kobyz music has been preserved over the centuries. Apparently, all this makes the Kazakh instrument fascinating. 

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