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Background information
Origin BSSR
Genres Folk rock
Folk music
Folk pop
Progressive rock
Psychedelic rock
Years active 1969–2003
(currently three different bands claim this name)
Labels Melodiya
Associated acts Verasy

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 it mostly used Belarusian folklore though often with various psychedelic rock elements and later rock as well. Several of the Pesniary's songs were composed by Alexandra 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 concept album.

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


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

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

After band's leader Vladimir Muliavin death in a car accident on 26 January 2003, the original Pesniary split. Currently, three different bands laid claims to be the official descendants of the original "Pesniary" band. They are:

  • Belarusian State Ensemble Pesniary - state-produced band under 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.

All three keep touring and performing original Pesniary songs.


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

There are also dozens of singles.


The lineup of the band was changing frequently. Among the most notable and long-living band members were:

See also[edit]


External links[edit]