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WikiProject Russia / Technology & engineering / Performing arts / Demographics & ethnography (Rated B-class, Top-importance)
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Regarding the following sentence under the "History" section:

The first written reference to a balalaika was on an arrest slip for two serfs in 1688, accused of being drunk and disorderly outside the Kremlin in Moscow, playing the balalaika.

I would very much like to see a citation to the source of that statement. Having played Russian music for years, and knowing the temperament of balalaika players, it seems almost too funny and unbelievable to be true. - Sensor 02:23, 9 August 2005 (UTC)


«В нынешнем в 196 - м году июня в 13 день в Стрелецкий приказ приведены арзамасец - посадский человек Савка Федоров сын Селезнев, да Шенкурского уезду дворцовой Важеской волости крестьянин Ивашко Дмитриев, а с ними принесена балалайка для того, что они ехали на извозничье лошади в телеге в Яуские ворота, пели песни и в тоё балалайку играли и караульных стрельцов, которые стояли у Яуских ворот на карауле, бранили…»

so, in source did not writen, what they were drunk, but it is very possible. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:36, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

Why no mention of balalaikas' ban in U.S.? (Sorry if I just missed it) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Katerinci (talkcontribs) 20:08, 22 March 2011 (UTC)


I have my doubts that it will be anything more than a fad. Does anyone know anything more? AshbyJnr 18:06, 6 July 2007 (UTC)


Serfs did not travel freely in those days, so they might have been arrested for being away from where they were supposed to be. I do not think there were serfs in Moscow. There was a time, when playing balalaika was not allowed, but that was because the players were travelling minstrels who sang disrespectful songs. We have been involved with balalaika music for many years, but so far all history I have heard on this topic is not supported by hard evidence. One thing, however, is clear: The peasants who built balalaikas did not have the tools and technology to bend wood like is needed for guitars and violins, hence the straight pieces in balalaika construction/design. (Ally Hauptmann-Gurski (talk) 05:16, 31 July 2008 (UTC))


Discussion of the infobox that just showed up is at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Musical Instruments. __Just plain Bill (talk) 23:19, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Triangular shape and International balalaika day[edit]

"A popular notion is that the three sides and the strings of the balalaika represent the Holy Trinity." The shape is probably more influenced by the conditions in the times when there were first made. The triangular shape meant that timber did not have to be bent, like for instance for a guitar or a violin. Any old piece of wood that poor serfs and peasants found could have been used for an instrument. It takes water, skill, and a bit of technology to bend timber which was not available to these people. There were also no roads, even the tracks were often impassable because of summer rains and ice in winter. So communication was very limited, hence sizes were only standardized by Andrevev.

Since 2008, the International Day of the Balalaika is celebrated with a competition in Sebastopol. (talk) 02:04, 19 October 2016 (UTC)

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