Balalaika

The balalaika has its origins in the oriental domra, a two-stringed, oval-faced instrument brought to Russia most probably by the Mongols in the fourteenth century. For centuries it was an instrument of the peasant class - at various times during its history, the playing of it was banned by both the Orthodox church and the State, for as often as not the irreverent street musicians, or 'skomorokhi', poked fun at both of these institutions in their music.The word balalaika is similar to the Russian words “балакать,” “балаболить” and “балабонить” meaning “babble” or “jabber” an analogy to the sound of the balalaika.
By the mid-eighteenth century, the balalaika was easily the most popular instrument amongst the Russian people. Several factors contributed to the: earlier stringed instruments such as the 'gusli', 'domra' and 'gudok' - all of which may have rivalled the balalaika - had gone out of fashion, the guitar had not yet penetrated into the Russian life, and it was surprisingly easy to make a balalaika at home. It was the latter that also contributed to the change in shape from the oval to triangular - it was much easier to form straight sides that curved.
Even though the balalaika was largely considered a toy for the underclass, it was Vasiliy Vasilievich Andreyev, born in 1861 who was inspired by the instrument and learned to play it from local peasants. Determined to garner respect for the lowly balalaika, Andreyev commissioned a professionally made balalaika and with it, performed concerts. Andreyev wrote music for the balalaika and his performances commonly combined Russian folk music with classical programs. During the 1850s, a popular balalaika player named Radivilov gave performances on one, three and four string instruments. Music Andreyev wrote music for the balalaika and his performances commonly combined Russian folk music with classical. Many balalaika players of his day played traditional folk songs
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The picture on the right shows a contra bass balalaika, the largest in the balalaika family.

  • though it was largely considered a toy for the underclass. Vasiliy Vasilievich Andreyev, born in 1861, was inspired by the instrument and learned to play it from local shepherds. Determined to garner respect for the lowly balalaika, Andreyev commissioned a professionally made balalaika and with it, performed concerts. During the 1850s, a popular balalaika player named Radivilov gave performances on one, three and four string instruments.

Music

  • Andreyev wrote music for the balalaika and his performances commonly combined Russian folk music with classical. Many balalaika players of his day played traditional folk songs



Read more : http://www.ehow.com/about_5085038_balalaika-history.html?ref=Track2&utm_source=ask
  • though it was largely considered a toy for the underclass. Vasiliy Vasilievich Andreyev, born in 1861, was inspired by the instrument and learned to play it from local shepherds. Determined to garner respect for the lowly balalaika, Andreyev commissioned a professionally made balalaika and with it, performed concerts. During the 1850s, a popular balalaika player named Radivilov gave performances on one, three and four string instruments.

Music

  • Andreyev wrote music for the balalaika and his performances commonly combined Russian folk music with classical. Many balalaika players of his day played traditional folk songs



Read more : http://www.ehow.com/about_5085038_balalaika-history.html?ref=Track2&utm_source=ask


 
Balalaika Kontrabas