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Background information
GenresFolk rock
Folk music
Folk pop
Progressive rock
Psychedelic rock
Years active1969–2003
(currently about five different bands claim this name)
Associated actsVerasy

Pesniary (also spelled Pesnyary, Belarusian: Песняры, [pʲesʲnʲaˈrɨ]) was a popular Soviet Belarusian folk rock VIA. It was founded in 1969 by guitarist Vladimir Mulyavin.[1] Before 1970, the band was known under the name Liavony (Лявоны).[2]


Pesniary combined various types of music, but mostly Belarusian folklore though often with various rock elements and later rock as well. Several of Pesniary's songs were composed by Aleksandra Pakhmutova. The surprising influence of early Frank Zappa was also notable. The band often used lyrics from the famous Russian and Belarusian poets of the past. Pesniary's favourite was Yanka Kupala. The band adapted his poems into stage musicals twice: Pesnia o Dole (Song of Fate, 1976) and Guslar (1980), the latter also released as a concept album.

Among their best known songs are "Kasiu Jas Kaniushynu", "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", "Belorussiya," and "Alesia".


Pesniary was the best-known Soviet group from the Belorussian SSR. It was one of the very few Soviet bands (and possibly the first one) to tour in America in 1976. They toured the American South with folk band The New Christy Minstrels. 1974-1980 is considered the Golden Age of the band when it achieved top popularity in the USSR, Eastern Europe and other countries.

In 1979, after the success of the rock opera Guslar, the whole band was awarded the honorary title Merited Artist of the Soviet Union[citation needed], and Mulyavin personally received a higher title of People's artist.

After Mulyavin's death in a car accident on 26 January 2003, the original Pesniary split. About five different bands claim to be the official descendants of the original Pesniary and tour and perform original Pesniary songs.[3] These are:

  • Belarusian State Ensemble Pesniary – a state-produced band under the Ministry of Culture of Belarus, consisting mostly of young musicians.
  • Belorusskie Pesniari – led by former Pesniary saxophonist Uladzislau Misevich.
  • Pesniari – led by former Pesniary vocalist Leanid Bartkevich.
  • Liavony – the band, which split from Bartkevich’s Pesniari in 2008, consisted of young musicians, none of whom participated in Pesniary until 1998.
  • Until 2006, the Liavony-Pesniary ensemble existed under the direction of the classical line-up drummer Alexander Demeshko. The band broke up in 2006 in connection with his death. The keyboardist of the old squad Vladimir Nikolajev also participated in the group.


1971 Ты мне вясною прыснiлася Ty mnie viasnoju prysnilasia I dreamt of you in spring
1974 Алеся Aliesia Alesya
1977 Перапёлачка Pierapiolachka The Quail
1979 Волoгда Vologda Vologda
1980 Гусляр Husliar Guslar
1982 Зачарованная моя Zacharovannaya maya My Enchanted (live album)
1984 Через всю войну Cherez vsyu voynu Throughout the Whole War

The band also released dozens of singles.


The lineup of the band changed frequently. Among the most notable and long-lived band members were:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ «Песняры» в квадрате
  2. ^ Программа «Во весь голос» — виртуальный музей ансамбля Песняры
  3. ^ Жданович, Анна (2014-03-17). "Опыт и молодость "Песняров"" (in Russian). Belorusy i rynok. Archived from the original on 2020-04-09. Retrieved 2020-04-09.
  4. ^ Звание заслуженного артиста БССР Владимир Мулявин получил в Чувашии

External links[edit]