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an improvisatory poet and singer among the Kazakh and Kirghiz people. The akyn is distinguished from the jirshi, who is a performer of songs and teller of epic poems. The akyn improvises a sung recitative accompanied by a dombra (a lutelike instrument). In prerevolutionary times, when the largely illiterate population lived under nomadic conditions, the akyn played an especially important role, since he expressed popular ideas and feelings, unmasked social vices, and sang the glories of heroes. After the October Revolution, the ancient art of improvisation was updated by the akyn both in content and in form.
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Ismailov, E. Akyny, Alma-Ata, 1957.
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