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Balalaika-contrabass, bass balalaika, балалайка-контрабас, бас балалайка

Balalaika-bass and contrabass balalaikas (Russian: балалайка-контрабас, бас балалайка) are the biggest in size, the strongest and deepest in sound of all traditional Russian music instruments used by New York based Russian folk dance and music ensemble Barynya.

Leonid Bruk
Balalaika Contrabass player Leonid Bruk

"Felt Boots" - "Valenki" - "Валенки"

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"Kamarinskaia" - "Камаринская"

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Somewhere My Love Lara's theme from "Dr. Zhivago" motion picture

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July 2010, Minneapolis, MN

Leonid Bruk and Russian music ensemble Barynya performances during the Balalaika and Domra Association of America conference-2010. The conference took place at the Sheraton Bloomington Hotel in Minneapolis, Minnesota in July 2010. Musicians: Elina Karokhina (balalaika), Leonid Bruk (balalaika-contrabass), Mikhail Smirnov (guitar, vocals). Camera - Sergey Rogozin, video editing - Leonid Bruk. All videos and photos from this performance.

Alfred Shnitke - Fugue

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Sailor's Dance

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Watch full recording of this concert here

June 2010, Brooklyn, New York

Contrabass balalaika virtuoso Leonid Bruk from Brooklyn, New York is pictured as a Russian bear who plays the bass balalaika. More costumed characters are available for hire.

Leonid Bruk as Russian Bear who plays balalaika-bass

Contrabass Balalaika performances

Russian "Two Step Dance" - «Девочка Надя»

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Contrabass Balalaika photos

Barynya Barynya Barynya Barynya
more pictures from Barynya concert at the University of Texas-Pan American

First string: D, minor octave.
Second string: A, major octave.
Third string: E, major octave.

The instrument size and form require from the musician to play it in standing position. A metal pin is attached to it from below, which abuts against the floor. So neither the instrument body nor its sounding-board touch the performer's dress, and this causes great resonant effect, resulting in powerful, long and deep sound. To make the string sound well, musician has to press the strings correctly and tightly by one-two fingers of the left hand, and strike with the right hand softly, but deeply and with strength.

There have been no considerable changes since the time of Vasily Vasilievich Andreyev, but the playing technique is being constantly developed and improved.

Bass Balalaika
25 seconds clip
Waltz Daydreams performed by Balalaika Russian Folk Music Trio
This waltz composed by "father" of Russian balalaika Vasily Vasilievich Andreev (born 186l). Solo by balalaika virtuoso Alex Siniavski, Mikhail Smirnov-guitar, Leonid Bruk-balalaika-bass.
1,94 MB video mpeg file


First string: D, major octave.
Second string: A, contra octave.
Third string: E, contra octave.

The playing method is the same as the playing method of the balalaika bass. However, the arpeggio is not used here.

To obtain a harmonious and powerful tremolo without rattling, it is recommended to use a big and solid leather plectrum. The balalaika contrabass is the foundation of the orchestra and its' harmonious and rhythmic support. The balalaika contrabass plays the same role in the orchestra as the bass.

Leonid Bruk with contrabass balalaika, Alex Siniavski (balalaika) and Mikhail Smirnov (guitar). Kings Plaza Macy's, Brooklyn, New York City

Balalaika-contrabass, bass-balalaika
Bass-balalaika and Russian folk dancer Valentina Kvasova


bass balalaika
bass balalaika for sale
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Balalaika players, ensembles and virtuosos

Balalaika virtuoso Alex Siniavski from Pennsylvania
  Alex Siniavski balalaika and Gypsy guitar virtuoso from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

New York Balalaika Orchestra
  New York Balalaika Orchestra performs at Russian Orthodox weddings, fundraising balls, large scale social events, Doctor Zhivago's style corporate parties.

Russian Balalaika Duo
  Russian Balalaika Duo: Alex Siniavski and Mikhail Smirnov with program of Russian, Ukrainian, Gypsy, Cossack, Klezmer, and international music and songs performed on balalaika, garmoshka and guitars. New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania.

Brooklyn Balalaikas
  Brooklyn Balalaikas - Russian Folk Music Trio from Brooklyn, New York. Artistic Director Leonid Bruk.

Russian Band
  New York Russian folk music band specialty is Russian folk music and songs. All band members are top professional musicians. Choice of Gypsy, Ukrainian, Russian (2 different sets) and Cossack costumes. Extended repertoire (by faith at tforge). Formal concert, background music or music for dancing party. Our main instruments are balalaika, domra, drums, garmoshka (Russian button accordion), Gypsy guitar, classic guitar, contrabass balalaika, cello and vocals.

Balalaika Russian Dance and Music Trio
  Balalaika Russian Dance and Music Trio - Russian Cossack dance, balalaika and garmoshka music from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Balalaika contrabass Leonid Bruk
  Balalaika Contrabass player Leonid Bruk from Brooklyn, New York.

New York Balalaika Duo
  New York Balalaika Duo - balalaika player Lev Zabeginsky and Mikhail Smirnov (vocals, garmoshka, guitar).

Kalinka Duo: Sergey Vashchenko-balalaika, Vladimir Kaliazine-bayan, Austin, TX
  Kalinka Duo - Sergey Vashchenko-balalaika, Vladimir Kaliazine-bayan from Austin, TX.

San Fransisco Balalaikas
  San Fransisco Balalaikas - Russian music ensemble from California. video

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