Russian Folk Music: Balalaika

Russian Balalaika

Russian Balalaika is a traditional Russian stringed musical instrument. Most likely balalaika was invented at least a thousand years ago, but even today what Alexey Arkhipovsky does with it – is simply amazing.

Today, balalaika is the most famous Russian musical instrument.

Princely Balalaika

Originally balalaika was mostly present at princely courts. Balalaika playing jesters were one of the main attractions of the Russian princes.

Eventually balalaika was hounded; it was considereda harmful tool for people’s consciousness. Balalaikas were taken away and burned.

People’s Balalaika

The ruling classes abandoned balalaika, but balalaika retained its devoted admirers among the common people. Indeed, learning to play a three-stringed triangular instrument and even to make your own balalaika was pretty easy. And the sounds it made were pleasant and joyful.

Balalaika was popular among peasants, jesters, and rural youth. So, gradually it regained its popularity.

Emergence of Guitar

About two centuries ago in Russia a seven-string guitar emerged, which almost displaced balalaika from urban homes. Balalaika retained its position is rural areas, but after mass migrations of people to cities balalaika began to disappear.

Devotees of Russian Folk Music

Perhaps, the fate of balalaika would have been sad, if not for a number of folk music fans, who are carefully preserving Russian folk music traditions.

Alexey Arkhipovsky

Probably, Alexei can be considered one of the best balalaika players in modern Russia.

Combining traditional tunes with new ones create bubbly and energetic mixes. We recommend you listen to it at least once yourself.

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Eastern


The Barrel Organ


Lullaby

 

Balalaika has first been popular with princes, and then – with common people. Today balalaika is loved and respected by Balalaika musicians who carefully preserve Russian traditions and with the use of balalaika open new creative horizons.

To discover Russia with Alexey Gureev

pic: фотобанк Лори

Comments

3 responses to “Russian Folk Music: Balalaika”

  1. Baronation says:

    Brilliant! I think I want one to play 3 chord punk songs on of course.

  2. Jessica Agin says:

    Where can I find a balalaika orchestra in Russia? We are planning a trip spring of 2017

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