Traditional Russian Instrument
How the balalaika thanks to evil people found herself in this world
Once upon a time, 300 years ago, in the 17th century it was, grandmother Domra was still in this world. She had a long wooden body and a beautiful large round head. And I wish, dear children, you could hear her sound! You knew right away what kind of mood she was, if you should dare to come home or stay in the fresh air a little bit longer!
Because of her beautiful sound, kind people often took her to the city. They liked to play on her 4 strings, they sang with her, simply, with grandma Domra has always been fun! These people often dressed in different costumes, sometimes they were animals, sometimes wizards! Oh, are you now scared a little bit, dear children? There is no reason to be, really! They were good people and grandma liked them a lot.
As it always happens, though, not all people are so good and cheerful, and it happened that some people did not like this fun anymore. I am sure you know the tale of a sad kingdom, don’t you? Well, these evil people have forbidden to good people and grandma Domra to make the world a happiest place to live. And so Grandma Domra had to disappear. Oh, do not be sad, dear children. No one forgot about my grandmother, exactly the opposite!
Soon people became very sad. “What was it that made our world nicer and cheerful?” they tried to remember. What a fortune that good people didn’t forget about grandma Domra and her beautiful sound. They still remembered her cheerful voice very well. And so, my dear children, I have appeared in the world.
I am very similar to my grandma I am as cheerful as her, and people started to call me balalaika. Are you asking why? No to be divulged as evil people would forbid me too! And so, instead of big cities I started to play and made people happy in the villages. I have three strings, sometimes four, just like my grandmother! The only thing… well, dear children, do you remember grandma Domra’s big round head? People secretly made me at their homes so they wouldn’t have long time during evenings. And as it was much easier to cut sharp shapes of wood, so I look like – like a triangle!
Remember, dear children that when you see a Russian round guitar, you can call it Domra. Grandma liked to be tickled with a bird feather or a short wooden mallet. While me, triangular balalaika, feel free to tickle me with your finger! However, this was in the 18th century. Today, you can see me in different shapes, but the triangular one is still the most common, not only in Russia!