The balalaika (Russian: балала́йка, pronounced [bəɫɐˈɫajkə]) is a Russian stringed musical instrument with a characteristic triangular wooden, hollow body and three strings. Two strings are usually tuned to the same note and the third string is a perfect fourth higher. The higher-pitched balalaikas are used to play melodies and chords. When balalaikas are used to play melodies, since the balalaika does not naturally sustain very long, held notes are usually rapidly strummed to produce the effect of a sustained note. Balalaikas are often used for Russian folk music and dancing. MORE
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