Library of Congress

Authorities & Vocabularies

The Library of Congress > Linked Data Service > LC Medium of Performance Thesaurus for Music (LCMPT)

From Library of Congress Medium of Performance Thesaurus for Music


balalaika orchestra


  • An ensemble consisting largely or wholly of balalaikas and domras of different sizes, usually including other Russian or Ukrainian folk instruments, percussion, woodwinds, and one or more bayans.

  • URI(s)

  • Instance Of

  • Scheme Membership(s)

  • Collection Membership(s)

  • Broader Terms

  • Sources

    • found: The Balalaika and Domra Association of America (BDAA) WWW site, December 10, 2013(the invention of the balalaika orchestra is attributed to Russian nobleman and musician Vassily Vassilievich Andreyev who in the late 1800s undertook to have a family of balalaikas of different sizes (soprano to low bass) made for performance along the lines of the string instruments of the symphony orchestra. Continuing to experiment, he added domras of different sizes and the gusli. Tours of his orchestra in the early 20th century, as well as Russian immigrants, helped popularize balalaika orchestras outside of Russia. Over the years, and particularly during the Soviet period, non-folk instruments such as the flute and oboe came into use in the balalaika orchestras, along with the bayan. The instruments played in traditional Russian folk instrument orchestras typically include three-stringed domras of various sizes, balalaikas of various sizes, bayans in several voices, guslis, flute, oboe, optional clarinet and bassoon, and percussion. In the United States, four-stringed domras are favored, while in Ukraine, four-stringed domras are standard and Ukrainian instruments such as the bandura, kobza, and tsimbali are included)
    • found: Garland encyclopedia of world music. Vol. 8, Europe, c2000:p. 775 (Russian Vasily Andreev (1861-1918) began collecting folk instruments with the aim of restoring instrumental folk traditions to the Russian people. He soon realized that these were ineffective when presented on stage, so he tried to improve the situation by having the instruments rebuilt in sizes from soprano to bass and played in sections along the lines of a symphony orchestra. Well-received by the pre-revolutionary intelligentsia, these orchestras became the hallmark of Soviet-period staged folklore and were later adopted by all Soviet republics)
    • found: Grove music online, December 10, 2013(The success of the balalaika is attributed to Vasily Vasil'yevich Andreyev (1861–1918) who, assisted by the instrument makers V. Ivanov, F. Paserbsky and S. Nalimov, produced a metal-fretted chromatic version in a family of sizes. Andreyev's Society of Lovers of Balalaika Playing gave its first public performance in Russia in 1888 and in 1889 the Society performed at the Paris Exposition Universelle. By 1896 Andreyev had reorganized his instrumentalists as the Grand Russian Orchestra, which between 1909 and 1912 toured Europe and America. Balalaika orchestras were soon formed in Britain and the USA)
  • General Notes

    • An ensemble consisting largely or wholly of balalaikas and domras of different sizes, usually including other Russian or Ukrainian folk instruments, percussion, woodwinds, and one or more bayans.
  • Change Notes

    • 2013-11-25: new
    • 2014-02-24: revised
  • Alternate Formats