The Atlanta Balalaika Society

The Russian Folk Orchestra

The contemporary Russian Folk Orchestra found today across the globe was created by Russian nobleman Vassili V. Andreyev at the end of the nineteenth century. He combined aspects of Russian folk music with European salon music much in vogue with Russian nobility to create an ensemble and a repertoire that would be accepted by the elite but was rooted in local peasant culture.

The Russian Folk Orchestra relies on two plucked string instruments for its characteristic sound: the domra (with three strings and a round back played with a pick) and the balalaika (with three strings and a triangular body). Each instrument comes in several sizes to provide a full range of sound from high to low. Other instruments, including the gusli (similar to a zither), the zhaleika (a peasant wind instrument), and Russian percussion instruments are used to add color. For pictures and descriptions, see the informative websites of the Washington Balalaika Society and the Sierra Nevada Balalaika Society.



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2007 Atlanta Balalaika Society