The word "byzaanchy" comes from the Tuvan word for calf. The instrument has four strings, like the four udders of a cow, and it is said that playing the byzaanchy is like milking the sound out of the instrument. The sound box is covered with goat skin in front and is open in back. The first and third strings are tuned to the same note and the second and fourth strings are tuned a fifth higher. The byzaanchy shares a unique feature with the Chinese huqin
family of instruments: the bow is threaded between the strings so that it is drawn across both the upper and lower surfaces of the horsehair. The strings are fingered lightly from underneath rather than being pressed against the neck. Nachyn Choodu is shown playing an old byzaanchy from the Bai-Taiga region of Tuva.