The balalaika is a musical instrument stringed plucked Russian. It is a lute to handle long the fund typically triangular. The word comes from Russian balalaika balakat, which means chatting, joking, teasing.

When in 1648 the Tsar of Russia Alexis Mikhailovich decreed by an edict banning play an instrument or to have one, all musicians, troubadours and bards were persecuted and then sent into exile, and their instruments burned. Then qu'apparut balalaika, the musical instrument that everyone can make. The first written traces of its existence date back to 1688, when the Kremlin guards, then fortress of Moscow, have arrested two serfs drunk playing the balalaika. For the fury that caused this instrument, the tsar had no other choice but to dissolve the edict and bring back music in the Russian traditions.

The ancestor of the balalaika called domra and date of the sixteenth century. It was introduced in Russia by the Tartars. It is played with a plectrum and comes in several sizes. The most common, prima, has four strings granted as a violin. It is often associated with orchestras balalaikas.

Initially, the balalaika has a hemispherical shape. Then it was easier to build a triangular on the left side of hemispheric for it. It has three strings (nylon and metal), which usually two granted in unison and a handle fretté as a guitar. The soundboard has a small circular hearing off and a large easel.

As in the family of violins, there are different sizes balalaikas: seven models, the piccolo the subcontrebasse can create orchestras balalaïkas, called balalaikastromusas. The three most commonly used sizes are prima balalaika (granted mi, mi, la), secunda, more seriously, rather used to make agreements accompaniment, and bass.

The seven models balalaikas are:

* Balalaika Piccolo, as she has a son entering despite its small size, piccolo can perform many variations at a prodigious rate. It is rarely used and is found mostly in small orchestras.

* Balalaika Prima is the most played all balalaikas. As it has extensive technical efficiency, it can play quickly, while producing a sound fiery. On this model, the thumb hits the 3rd rope and the other fingers, the 1st and 2nd. This is the only one to be played with the hands. The agreement is the prima: mi - mi -.

* Balalaika Secunda: a little larger than the prima, it is mainly used to accompany an orchestra.

* Balalaika Alto: slightly larger than the secunda, it is also a support.

* Low Balalaika: in an orchestra, she plays some sort of rattling marking the harmony and rhythmic accompaniment to a melody voice.

* Balalaika bass: bigger than the previous one, it occupies the same place in an orchestra that low except that it does not rattle in harmony, but a more serious.

* Balalaika Subcontrebasse is the largest model balalaika and has the same function as the bass, except that it is larger than the latter.

She plays the finger to the prima and with a plectrum for other sizes. A directory has been developed for this instrument also flexible enough to adapt to all types of music.

Some virtuoso:

* Ivan Khandochkine (1747-1804) was the first virtuoso of the balalaika and was nicknamed the Russian Paganini.
* Vassili Andreïev (1861-1918) is the father of modern balalaika. He created the first orchestra balalaikas, developed and popularized the instrument balalaika anywhere in the world.


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