Tatarstan is a region of Russia, where the largest ethnic group is the Tatars. Their traditional music is a mixture of Turkic and Finno-Ugric elements, reportedly bridging Mongolian and Hungarian music. Nonetheless, the most distinguishing feature of the Tatar music is the pentatonic scale, which aligns it with the Chinese and Vietnamese music traditions. Instrumental dance music, secular song and sacred music are all a part of Tatar folk music. Instrumentation includes the kubyz, surnay, quray (flute) and accordion-talianka.
The music of the Tatar people as well as other arts has developed for centuries. Intonational and rhythmic features are allied to musical traditions of Turkic and Finnish-Ugric peoples of the Volga region.
All variety of Tatar musical folklore can be divided into vocal and instrumental music. The song mirrors the emotional life of the people – sorrows and joys, holidays and customs, life and historical development. Tatar songs include ceremonial (calendar, wedding), historical (bayits) and lyrical songs. Only solo singing developed in national musical art.
Ancient songs and folklore dances of girls with their plasticity and grace, shy movements, lack any wild outbursts, vim or vigor. Monotonous movements with small steps almost on the same spot in the national Tatar dance as well as drawling sad songs signify to the decent of secluded life of Muslim girls.
The most widespread tools of Tatar musical folklore were: accordion, kurai (sort of a flute), kubyz (violin), surnai (east musical instrument).