Golden Recursion Inc. logoGolden Recursion Inc. logo
Advanced Search
Balalaika

Balalaika

Balalaika is a Russian folk stringed plucked musical instrument with a triangular or oval-shaped body, having from two to six strings.

Balalaika is a Russian folk stringed plucked musical instrument with a triangular or oval-shaped body, having from two to six strings. The characteristic techniques of sound production are rattling and tremolo — blows with the index finger on all strings at the same time.

Russian Russian instrument is the most famous, which has become, along with the accordion and harp, one of the symbols of the musical creativity of the Russian people.

There is no unambiguous point of view on the time of the appearance of the balalaika. It is believed that the balalaika has been widespread since the end of the XVII century. It was "a long two-stringed instrument, had a body about one and a half spans long (about 27 cm) and one span wide (about 18 cm) and a neck-neck at least four times longer."

The balalaika acquired its modern look thanks to the musician-educator Vasily Andreev and masters V. V. Ivanov, F. S. Paserbsky, S. I. Nalimov and others, who in 1883 engaged in its improvement. Andreev V. V. suggested making a soundboard out of spruce, and making the back of the balalaika out of beech, as well as shortening it to 600-700 mm. Made by F. The Paser family of balalaika (piccolo, prima, alto, tenor, bass, double bass) became the basis of the Russian folk orchestra. Later F. Paserbsky received a patent in Germany for the invention of the balalaika. Thus, we can talk about the existence of two instruments: folk and St. Andrew's balalaika.

The balalaika is used as a solo, concert, ensemble and orchestral instrument. In 1887 Andreev organized the first circle of balalaika lovers, and on April 1 (March 20), 1888, the first performance of the "Circle of Balalaika Lovers" took place in the building of the St. Petersburg Mutual Credit Society, which became the birthday of the orchestra of Russian folk instruments.

The first written mention of balalaika is contained in document of 23 (13) Jun 1688 "Memory of the Riflemen of the order in the Ruthenian order", which, among other things, it is reported that in Moscow

"Musketeers the order given arzamasets people Posad Savka Fedorov son Seleznev Yes Shenkursk district Palace Wagashi parish farmer Ivashko Dmitriev, and with them brought balalaika for what they were going to izvozne horse cart in Aussie gate, sang songs and toe balalaika played guard of archers, who stood at the gate Ausky on guard scolded"

Another mention of the balalaika dates back to October 1700 . in connection with the fight that took place in Verkhotursky district. According to the testimony of the coachmen Pronka and Alexey Bayanov, the yard man of the steward of the governor K. P. Kozlov I. Pashkov chased them and "beat them with a balalaika."

The next written source in which the balalaika is mentioned is the "Register" signed by Peter I, dating back to 1714: in St. Petersburg, during the celebration of the mock wedding of the "prince-pope" N. M. Zotov, in addition to other instruments carried by mummers, four balalaika were named.

In the document of 1719, "The Incident at the Alexander-Svir Monastery", denouncing the employees of the Alexander-Svir Monastery near St. Petersburg, among the charges, in addition to drunkenness and smoking, playing horns, pipes, bagpipes, balalaika and domras is cited. Subsequently, musical instruments along with chess were seized and were smashed on a stone in front of the whole brotherhood.

Ya. Shtelin said of Peter I that "from the very young years he had no chance to hear anything other than the rough sound of drums, field flute, balalaika..."

At the end of the XVIII century, the word began to penetrate into high literature, for example, it is found in V. I. Maikov's poem "Elisha", 1771, song 1: "tune me a horn or a balalaika."

In the Ukrainian language, the word was first attested in the diary entries of the beginning of the XVIII century, telling about the "Tatar who played at the balabaika". This form of "balabaika" is also present in South Russian dialects and the Belarusian language.

In the first half of the XIX century, balalaika continued to be made mainly with only two strings. In Nikolai Gogol's "Dead souls" describes a characteristic of his time dwustronny balalaika rounded (oval or pear-shaped) body made from a gourd:

"Approaching the porch, I noticed he looked out of the window almost at the same time two faces: female, hat, skinny, long as a cucumber, male, round, wide, Moldavian like pumpkins, gourds called from performing in Russia, the balalaika, balalaika dwustronnie light..."

Plyushar's encyclopedic lexicon indicates that by the 1830s four-stringed instruments had also appeared, but even in the 1860s Vladimir Dahl wrote equally "about two or three gut strings".

Timeline

April 1, 1888
the first performance of the "Circle of Balalaika Lovers" took place in the building of the St. Petersburg Mutual Credit Society
1887
Andreev organized the first circle of balalaika lovers
1883
To Vasily Andreev and masters V. V. Ivanov, F. S. Paserbsky, S. I. Nalimov who engaged in its improvement
1771
The word balalaika began to penetrate into high literature: in V. I. Maikov's poem "Elisha", canto 1: "tune me a horn or a balalaika."
1688
The first written mention of the balalaika is contained in the document

Further reading

Title
Author
Link
Type
Date

Documentaries, videos and podcasts

Title
Date
Link

Unreal cosmic music that changes the whole idea of the balalaika

January 27, 2016

Virtuoso playing on the balalaika

June 27, 2009

Golden logo
By using this site, you agree to our Terms & Conditions.