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The domra is a stringed, plucked Russian folk instrument dating back to the 15th century, when it was a favorite instrument of wandering minstrels (skomorokhi or buffoons). In the 15th century under the decree of the Tsar and the Church all the instruments favored by the skomorokhi domra, gusli, balalaika were banned.
  As the story goes, the wandering minstrels were very popular in Russia at that time, traveling throughout the country, playing performances in villages and towns, gathering crowds of people, making them laugh and have a good time. The growing popularity of the skomorokh musicians was strongly resented by the Russian Church, which considered this music harmful. The Church's disapproval resulted in the special decree under which the instruments were banned. The instruments were brought to Moscow and burned in a huge fire. The domra was revived four centuries later, in the late 19th century, thanks to the efforts of composer/ conductor / virtuoso balalaika player Vassily Andreev. The dornra, considered by many to be the balalaika's ancestor, has three strings, and is tuned in fourths.
 
  GUSLI (PSALTERY)
The gusli (psaltery) is the oldest stringed, plucked Russian folk instrument, dating back to the 9th century. Gusli were used in ancient Russia for performing folk songs, ballads, and epic songs. The gusli used in this ensemble (zvonchatye) has 15 strings, tuned diaton-ically, and is played with a plectrum.
 


 
BALALAIKA
The balalaika is a stringed plucked Russian folk instrument. Like the domra, it dates back to the 15th century, and was revived in the late 19th century by Vassily Andreev, who sparked a revolution in Russian musical culture. The body of the instrument is of a triangular shape and has three strings. The ensemble uses the double-bass balalaika, which sets up a basic ground for the musical texture of the group. The instrument is played with a large leather plectrum.
 

  BAYAN
The bayan (accordion) is a reed keyboard pneumatic musical instrument, which became widespread in Russia in the 1890s. The "Jupiter" accordion used in the ensemble is ready-made, and has 15 registers.
In Russia, all of these folk instruments are taught at a professional level, starting from children's music schools up to the conservatory level.