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In 1896, a student of Vasily Vasilievich Andreyev found a broken instrument in a stable in rural Russia. It was thought that this instrument may have been an example of a domra, although no illustrations or examples of the traditional domra were known to exist in Russian chronicles. A three-stringed version of this instrument was later redesigned in 1896, patented, and introduced into the orchestra of Russian folk instruments.
The three-stringed domra uses a tuning in 4ths.
Later, a four-stringed version was developed employing a violin tuning by Moscow instrument maker, Liubimov, in 1905.
In recent times, scholars have come to the conclusion that the term "domra" actually described a percussive instrument popular in Russia, and that the discovered instrument was either a variant of the balalaika or a mandolin.
The basic domra is tuned as follows:
Instruments are made in various sizes including piccolo, prima, alto, tenor, bass, and contrabass.
- Piccolo: b1 e2 a2 (tessitura)
- Prima: e1 a1 d2 
- Soprano: b e1 a1 
- Alto: e a d1 
- Tenor: B e a 
- Bass: E A d 
- Contrabass (minor): 1E 1A D 
- Contrabass (major): 1A D G 
Tamara Volskaya is considered to be one of the leading contemporary performers on the domra. She is a Merited Artist of Russia, a Laureate of the USSR competition, and a Professor at the Mussorgsky Ural State Conservatory in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Other prominent domrists include:
- Tatjana Ossipova
- Michail Sawtschenko
- Viktor Kalinsky
- Victor Solomin
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