How to Play Kalinka on Balalaika Definition

 


The balalaika school

Here it is, the balalaika, a Russian folk instrument, small and delicate and so modest with its three strings - and yet so versatile: it can - like the guitar, and well together with it - accompany songs with chords and the singing is typical of these give a Russian sound, but their strength lies clearly in the playing of the melody: jingling a cheerful dance song so playfully, singing longingly about lonely birch trees and lost love, playing the kasachok so whippingly that no one can sit still - only the balalaika can do that.


The Prim-Balalaika introduces itself

Its full name is called "Prim-Balalaika" because it has, from the somewhat larger secondary balalaika up to the head-high bass balalaika, five bigger sisters who play together in the balalaika orchestras.

But every balalaika has this characteristic triangular shape. It originated in the 17th century as the popular replica of the old Russian domra, that fine three-stringed lute played at court with its almost circular, very elaborately crafted sound body - the common people could not afford this precious instrument and built it for themselves with a simple one triangular sound body. From the beginning, the balalaika has been an instrument of the people, the farmers and craftsmen, fishermen and fur hunters, and in the balalaika songs tells of the life of ordinary people, of their work, their joys and worries, of love and longing, of bondage and liberation ...

The Prim-Balalaika originally had three strings made of gut or, more recently, nylon, but today it is mostly built with six steel strings: This takes the balalaika away from its typical timbre, but gives it a more radiant, fuller sound. The double strings, which are close together in pairs, are practically treated like a single string: They are both always tuned to the same note and both are fingered at the same time. Therefore, if the "three strings" of the balalaika are mentioned here in the course, the same applies of course to the "three double strings".


Mood, touch and handles of the balalaika

In the past, the balalaika often only had two strings: "While playing, both strings are torn with the finger or a spring spool, the melody tones are only picked on one string while the other always purrs on in the same tone" - is how "Meyers Konversations describes it Lexicon "from 1874 that classic balalaika game. That explains a lot about the peculiar mood and playing style of our balalaika, even if it has three strings today and needs to be played a little more demanding.

Right
If two of the three balalaika strings or double strings are on the same note, namely both on the note E "- that is the tone of the high E string of the guitar.

To keep your balalaika always in the best mood, you could get yourself a guitar tuning flute, blow the highest note on it and tune the electric strings of your balalaika to this note.

To then tune the A string, press one of the two E strings on the 5th fret: This is how you get the tone A "- the tone of the third balalaika string.

Beaten
the strings between the sound hole and the base of the neck, usually with the fingertip of the right index finger.

You can also strike the strings with a plectrum made of felt or plastic: Some balalaikas then sound clearer - and some index fingers are very grateful for it.

The hand position shown here does not change when striking. The movement happens exclusively from the wrist, very loosely. Only the hand moves up and down, the arm does not move, and the finger position of the hand does not change either. The fingers are loose, by no means cramped; You can only hold a plectrum so tightly that it does not slip away when you play.

The striking technique of the balalaika is similar to that of other stringed instruments. So if you already play guitar, banjo, ukulele, mandolin, etc., you will not have any problems with the following introduction to striking techniques. Please participate anyway! Let's start right away: Hold the balalaika in the playing position!

The left hand is only supposed to hold the balalaika's neck, that's all it has to do here; their fingers shouldn't even touch the strings.

The right hand hovers expectantly over the strings between the base of the neck and the sound hole, because it is all about it here - we can concentrate fully on the right hand.

For playing chords the beats are important. Anyone who dares to venture into a sociable group with his instrument should master this, where his balalaika game awakens the desire to sing and he suddenly has to accompany all sorts of songs in chord playing. The balalaika can also accompany a German folk song, an English sea shanty or an Italian dance song and, with its high pitch, nicely complement guitar or accordion music. The corresponding chord fingerings for all common keys can be found later in the fingering table in the appendix - but now let's concentrate on the striking technique:

  • If you strike the string chords in time, the hitting hand strokes the strings from top to bottom and is then pulled back upwards without touching the strings, in order to pluck the strings again on the next downstroke. We now strike a four-bar, i.e. four even downward beats per bar - count with:

    One - two - three - four - one - two - three ...

  • In four-time, the 1st and 3rd beats are usually emphasized, the 2nd and 4th beats sound a little quieter. Count and emphasize the one and three as you speak and hit:

    one - Two - Three - Four - one - Two - Three ...

  • In order to loosen up the strict beat, the beating hand can also stroke the strings during the upward movement - here, for example, after the 4th beat. Count and move your hand over the strings from bottom to top for "and":

    one - Two - Three - Four and one - Two - Three ...

  • We can also double up all unstressed strikes. If we practice this beat rhythm vigorously and can soon play it quickly and precisely, it sounds like a horse gallop:

    one - Two and Three - Four and one - Two and Three ...

Which of these beat techniques you choose, or whether it is better to invent your own new beat - that depends entirely on the character of the song and the rhythm of the respective melody.

When playing the melody the attack of the strings is even more determined by the course of the melody, because each note of the melody has its own beat. You can set the melody tone ...

  • "Pluck" as a single tone, whereby only the one string with the melody tone is torn individually with the thumb or a plectrum from top to bottom, or
  • Strike as a chord, with the melody and accompanying notes being struck simultaneously with a downward strike across all strings, or
  • Strike with a "tremolo": The hand moves up and down at lightning speed and tears the strings with every downward and also with every upward movement, so that the attacks follow one another very quickly and the impression of a long-lasting sound is created. The tremolo strike can be performed over all three strings and let a chord sound or just a single note on a single string.

Try out all of these techniques once, and what doesn’t work so well, you can practice over and over again in the course of this course.

As a balalaika player, you should master the tremolo in particular. Start right now and make sure that your right arm does not move and that all movement comes only from the wrist, that your wrist remains absolutely loose and that only the hand is fast, and faster, and even faster Swings up and down until you have achieved this sustained, evenly whirring typical balalaika sound - you can use the tremolo in the songs as you wish and thus make your song performance interesting and varied.

Grabbed
is done with all five fingers of the left hand, including the thumb.

Here the thumb and forefinger grip the neck of the balalaika and press the two outer strings, the outer E-string and the A-string, at the third fret, while the middle E-string resonates empty when struck.
Try it! When all the strings sound clear, the notes make up a C major chord.
With this grip, too, the thumb and forefinger grip around the neck of the balalaika. The thumb lies over both E-strings on the third fret, while the index finger presses the A-string on the second fret.
Try this grip as well until all notes are clear. This is the G major fingering on the balalaika.

In addition to the hand drawing, both handles are also shown schematically as a handle image. From now on, such a fingering will be placed above every note of our songs and will show you how you can grasp the relevant note of the song on the balalaika.

Now try switching between these two handles:

Grip in C major
and check:
Do all the strings sound?
Well! Then ...
Grip in G major
and check:
Do all the strings sound?
Well! Then ...
Grip in C major
and check:
Do all the strings sound?
Well! Then ...
Grip in G major
and check:
Do all the strings sound?
Well ... etc.

Changing the fingering in time is also a good exercise: Hit a four-measure in the C major fingering, the next one in the G major fingering, the following measure again in the C major fingering, and so on. Keep counting and keep changing on one:

C. - Two three four - G - Two three four - C. - Two three four ...

If you can hold on to the beat without changing your fingering, then you can already accompany our first song:


Our first song: "The evening bells"

We accompany the song here with the two chords of C major and G major.

 

The evening bells
arranged for the accompaniment with two stops

 
     
 

Vetsherni zvon,
vetsherni zvon,
kak mnOga dum
navOdit on ...

The sound of the evening bells
the sound of the evening bells,
how many thoughts
he exclaims ...

 

This cozy song is played slowly. Strike each note at a moderate tempo with a simple downward strike. This gives you enough time to change the position of your fingers when you change the grip so that the new grip can sound clear and pure the first time you hit it.

Please play the song over and over again - it has many verses! Soon you will be able to change the handles without delay and ultimately without looking.

You can hum or sing the melody and: Sing in Russian! The German translation only serves to explain the Russian text and is not singable itself - Russian songs want to be sung in Russian.

In order to be able to represent the Russian language with our letters, the internationally customary transcription is used here. Give your fingers a break from playing and read through the notes on the Russian pronunciation of texts in the appendix before nasty mistakes creep in.

And if you can finally concentrate entirely on the Russian text and the grip changes work perfectly anyway - then we can continue.


Our first song "The Evening Bells" - this time with four handles

For a more demanding accompaniment to our little song, we still have to learn two fingerings, because for a proper song accompaniment in C major you always need these four fingerings:

C major

G major

G7

F major

We already know the fingerings for C major and G major. Only the G seventh chord "G7"and the F major chord are new and need to be practiced a bit before you dare to try the new accompaniment for our little song:

 


The evening bells
arranged for song accompaniment with four stops

 
     
 

Vetsherni zvon,
vetsherni zvon,
kak mnOga dum
navOdit on ...

The sound of the evening bells
the sound of the evening bells,
how many thoughts
he exclaims ...

 

With these four fingerings you can now accompany practically any song that can be singed and played in the key of C major - or "in C" as the pros say.

Flip through any songbook that has guitar fingerings above the sheet music and you will find a whole host of songs to accompany you with these four fingerings. And if you make music in a singing and play group, ask to play the songs "in C" if possible, and have a friendly guitarist announce the change of fingering, then you can really keep up.

Perhaps you would like to try different ways of striking the strings: First a beat on each note, then perhaps a small tremolo on the long whole notes ...

With this we have developed our little song for playing chords and are now daring a first step into the high art of balalaika playing: playing melodies.


Our first song "The Evening Bells" in the melody game

If you want to find a little song for playing the balalaika melody, you always start by picking up the melody tones on the balalaika and practicing them until you can pluck the melody away in quick succession.

Finding out the melody is always the first step, and once you become a balalaika virtuoso, you will do it exactly the same way.

Have you ever tried to pluck the "evening bells" melody on your balalaika? Try it The following fingering notations show you where the notes are. Tear with your thumb - or, as shown here, with a plectrum - always only the one string on which the respective note is located:

 

The evening bells
Plucking the melody tones

 
     
 

Vetsherni zvon,
vetsherni zvon,
kak mnOga dum
navOdit on ...

The sound of the evening bells
the sound of the evening bells,
how many thoughts
he exclaims ...

 

Practice plucking a little until you can play the melody smoothly. Perhaps you should also try a tremolo on one string - in the balalaika orchestra the prim-balalaika very often plays the leading part of the melody, and even in solo recitals you can easily play a part on just one string.

If you can pluck the melody on the balalaika is the second step always to find a handle for each of the melody notes that adds a suitable chord accompaniment on the other strings.

From the chord accompaniment we know: C, G, G7 and F are the chords of the "evening bells" melody, and we keep these chords even when playing the melody. But on the long fingerboard of the balalaika there are many ways to finger these chords - depending on where on the fingerboard the melody tone lies that we want to incorporate into the chord:

This one
C major handle
do we know:

And this too
are
C major handles

This one
G major handle
do we know:

And this too
are
G major fingerings

This one
G-seventh grip
do we know:

And this too
is a
G-seventh grip

This one
F major handle
do we know:

And this too
is a
F major handle

Have you tried the new handles? Practice them a little, because we need them for our melody playing.

We will now introduce each note of the "evening bells" melody individually and explain when and why we use these fingerings:

chord
Note image
Melody-
volume
Melody-
Handle
Explanation
C.
The first note of the "evening bells" melody is on the E string on the third fret. It should be added to a C major chord. We could use our old C major fingering, but to reinforce the melody tone, we grab it twice and place our thumb over both E strings.
F.
The second melody note on the E string at the fifth fret is to be embedded in an F major chord. Here, too, we put the thumb over both E-strings and find a suitable accompaniment for the index finger on the A-string on the third fret.
G
We have to add the third note of the melody on the third fret of the E string to a G major chord. The normal G major fingering is ideal, as it grips the melody tone on both E strings anyway and makes it sound beautifully strong.
C.
The fourth note is the lowest that the balalaika can play: the open E string. It should also sound on both E strings in order to be emphasized as a melody tone. The index finger on the A string on the third fret adds the sound to a C major chord.
C.
The next note of our melody is fingered again on the E string on the third fret. Here, too, we modify the normal C major fingering by placing the thumb over both E strings to emphasize the melody tone.
C.
Now let's use a little trick: Because the melody only makes a jump up here and then returns, we leave our hand in the C major grip position and grab the high melody tone with our little finger on the A- String.
C.
Here the melody has jumped back, and we only had to lift our little finger off the strings from the previous fingering: the index finger is already there where the next melody note is fingered, and the C major chord is already prepared.
G
The melody on the fifth fret of the A string calls for a new fingering. To do this we have to shift the whole hand. We grab the melody tone with our index finger and place our thumb on the seventh fret over both E strings to create a G major chord.
G
The next note of our melody is on the E string on the third fret and should be added to a G major chord. Our well-known G major grip is suitable for this. We could perhaps strike the two strings on which the thumb picks up the melody tone a little harder.
G
Here we simply leave our fingers in the G major grip, because they also grasp the next melody note on the second fret of the A string. Now maybe we could strike the A string a little harder to bring out that melody tone.
G
Here, too, the hand remains in the G major grip position, we transform our well-known G major grip just a little and grab the next melody note on the fifth fret of the A string with our ring finger.
G7
Now we have to move our hand to a new position, but we can almost keep the finger position to add the melody tone in the eighth fret of the A string to a nice G-seventh fingering.
G
So, the finger acrobatics are over - now there are only grips that we already know well. We grasp the melody tone in the third fret of the E string with our G major grip again.
F.
Here the melody is in the fifth fret of the E string. As at the beginning of the song, we add it to the F major fingering with the index finger on the second fret of the A string.
G7
Our well-known G-seventh fingering picks up the melody on the A string on the second fret.
C.
And with our good old C major fingering, we grab the last note of our melody on the A string on the third fret.

Now it is only a small step to join the melody chords and let the melody sound on your balalaika. Here is - for the last time, and now also with the full text - the beautiful Russian folk song "The Evening Bells", arranged for the high art of balalaika: playing the melody!

 


The evening bells
edited for melody play

 
     
 

Vetsherni zvon,
vetsherni zvon,
kak mnOga dum
navOdit on ...

The sound of the evening bells
the sound of the evening bells,
how many thoughts
he exclaims ...

 
 

O yunýkh dnyakh
f krayu bikeOm,
gdye ya lubyil,
gdye Otshi dom.

About the days of youth
in home circles,
where i loved
where my father's house was.

 
 

I kak ya, snim
navyek prastyas,
tam slýshal zvon
f pasledni ras.

And like me, from him
forever saying goodbye
there the sound
last heard.

 
 

I skOlkikh nyet
uzhe v zhivýkh,
dayda vesyOlýkh
maladýkh.

And how many
are no longer alive
those happy back then
and were young.

 
 

I krepok ikh
likeilný son,
nye slýshen im
vetsherni zvon.

Is fixed
her sleep in the grave,
the sound of the evening bells
don't hear them anymore.

 
(Notes on Russian pronunciation in the appendix!)  

It sounds very nice when your melody is accompanied by another instrument, e.g. a second balalaika or a guitar that simply plays the chords that are shown here with red letters above the notes.

However, these chords are binding. Your companion cannot simply replace them with other chords that they think fit better. You would then have to both agree on the new chords. It is entirely possible. We have seen that you can very well accompany a song in different ways:

You will remember that we only accompanied the "evening bells" melody with two chords - that wasn't wrong, just a little simple. With our four accompanying chords you can give the song melody much more expression. Just - What you want to express it, that is something very individual: the very personal understanding of the song.

In the way that someone plays a song, he always expresses his own personal interpretation of the song, and that extends to the harmonies in which he embeds the melody. The chords given here in our song examples are therefore not the only possible ones. What has already been said above about striking techniques and fingering combinations also applies to the chord accompaniment: The way our songs are played here is only a suggestion, not a regulation!


Our second song: "Stenka Rasin"

This catchy melody has also long been known beyond Russia. Friends of Russian vodkas have made drinking songs in many languages ​​like "Vodka, Vodka, drink of heaven, Vodka, Vodka, drink of hell" out of it, and we have also given German texts to the tune on various occasions, e.g. in 1920 for the comical, scary robber ballad Related to "Huywald's deepest reasons" or in 1960 even for the hit song "Who invented divorce".

But in reality our new song tells of a Russian folk hero, the Cossack ataman Stepan ('Stenka') Timofejewitsch Rasin, who with his Don Cossacks in 1667 led the biggest peasant uprising that the Russian Empire has ever experienced. From the Ukraine to the Volga, from the Black Sea to Central Russia, the peasants rose up against serfdom, exploitation and feudal tyranny. It was not until 1671 that the tsar's armies were able to bloodily suppress the uprising, Stenka Razin was captured and quartered on Red Square in Moscow. But he stayed alive in the legends of the people, in novels and films, in symphonies by Glazunov and Shostakovich - and in this song in which Stenka Razin, as a grimly determined freedom fighter, proves very drastically that he can do everything, love and life sacrifice is ready for the fight against bondage and oppression.

You could now actually work out this melody yourself without further explanation, because only our known chords are used here. But some fingerings are new, and the fingerings are a bit tricky, so we will now discuss line by line before we then introduce the song as a whole. If you play along right now and practice each line individually, it will be easier for you!

In the first line of the song we are already familiar with all the chords. As in all lines of this song, the first two melody tones are played with the thumb on the E-strings, the other notes of the line, however, with the fingers on the A-string. In order to emphasize the melody, we could therefore strike the E strings more intensely on the first two melody tones in each line and emphasize the A string on the following tones.

We begin the second melody line, like the first, with our G major fingering, where we prefer to strike the E strings. Then, however, the melody makes a big leap up and we move the whole hand: the thumb slips from the third to the seventh fret and stays there while our fingers grasp the melody notes on the A-string. Only on the last note does the thumb change to the eighth fret and, together with the index finger, grasp a new C major handle that we want to remember.

The thumb can stay on the eighth fret for almost the entire third line. This time, too, he grips the melody notes with the first two fingerings, which is why we are again striking the E strings more intensely. After that, the tone of the thumb is only an accompanying tone for the melody play of the fingers on the A string. In our notation, however, it slips briefly into the seventh fret on the penultimate note so that a nice G major chord can be heard before it returns to the eighth fret and concludes the line with our new C major fingering.

We start the last melody line again with our G major fingering and strike the melody tone more intensely on the E strings. Then the hand follows the melody as it leaps up into our new C major fingering, picks up the following melody notes with fingerings that we already know, and returns to the starting position for the last two notes of the song.

Take your time working out each line. You will notice that many a melody tone that occurs several times can be fingered in very different ways, because we always choose the most favorable combination.

In addition, we try to change the position of the left hand as little as possible, because sliding along the neck into a new position takes time and special attention every time.

And did you notice the famous technique of leaving your thumb on an accompanying note and using nimble fingers to pick up the melody notes? This technique is typical for playing balalaika and you will come across it again and again in the following songs. Because the thumb holds the accompanying note, we have four fingers free for the melody: This enables us to play quickly and, over time, effortlessly.

If you now string the four melody lines together, you can play the whole song without any problems:

 

Stenka Razin

 
     
 

Iz za Ostrova na strezhen,
cheersOr ryetshnOi volný
výplývayut raspyisnýe
ostrogrudnýe tshelný.

Behind the island on the river
on the wide expanse of the waves
swim brightly painted
Boats with a pointed bow.

 
 

Well pyeryednem Styenka Rainterest
obnavshis sidyit s knyazhnOi,
svadbu nOvuyu spravlyayet,
on vesyOlý i khmelnOi.

Stenka Razin sits on the first,
holds the princess embraced,
he is celebrating his new wedding,
he is happy and intoxicated.

 
 

Posadi ikh slýshen rOpot:
"Nas na babu promenyal!
TOlko notsh s nyey provozhalsya,
sam well utro baboi stal! "

A murmur can be heard behind them:
"He exchanged us for the woman!
He only spent one night with her
and in the morning he became a woman himself! "

 
 

E.dead rOpot i nasmeshki
slýshit grOzný ataman,
i on mOshtshnoyu rukOyu
Obnyal persianki stan.

This murmur and ridicule
hears the grim ataman,
and with a mighty arm
it includes the figure of the Persian woman.

 
 

BrOvý tshOrnýe soshlisya,
nadvigayetsya graza,
buinoi krOvyu nalilisya
atamanový glaza.

The black eyebrows pull together
a thunderstorm is approaching
hot blood shoots
in the eyes of the ataman.

 
 

"Fsyo otdam, nye pozhaleyu,
buinu gOlovu otdam! "
razdayOtsya gOgo from leftastný
po okrestným byeregam.

"I want to give everything, I will not regret it,
I want to give up even my wild head! "
echoes his mighty voice
over the neighboring banks.

 
 

A ata, patupya Otshi,
nye zhýva i nye myertva,
mOltsha slushayet khmelnýe
atamanový slava:

And she, with downcast eyes,
more dead than alive
silently hears the intoxicated
Words of the ataman:

 
 

"VOlga, VOlga, mat rodnaya,
V.Olga, ruskaya ryeka,
nye vidala tý padarka
ot donskOvo kazaka!

"Volga, Volga, dear mother,
Volga, you Russian river,
you haven't seen a present yet
from a Don Cossack!

 
 

I shtob nye býlO razdOra
myezhdu vOlnými ludmi,
V.Olga, VOlga, mat rodnaya,
na krasavitsu, primi!"

And so that there is no discord
among free people,
Volga, Volga, dear mother,
because of a beautiful girl - take it! "

 
 

M.Oshtshným vzmakhom podýmayet
on krasavitsu-knyazhnu
i za bort yeyO brosayet
v nabezhavshuyu volnu.

He lifts with a powerful swing
the beautiful princess high
and throws them overboard
in the approaching waves.

 
 

"Shtosh vý tshOrtý priumýli?
Ey, tý, Filka, schut, plyashi!
Griyanyem, bratsý, udaluyu
na pomyin yeya dushi!"

"What are you devils hanging their heads on?
Hey, you, Filka, come on, dance!
Let us sing, brothers, something daring
in memory of your soul! "

 
 

Iz za Ostrova na strezhen,
cheersOr ryetshnOi volný
výplývayut raspyisnýe
Styenki Razina tshelný.

Behind the island on the river
on the wide expanse of the waves
swim the brightly painted ones
Barges Stenka Razin.

 
(Notes on Russian pronunciation in the appendix!)  

The song in honor of the great folk hero is always performed slowly, almost solemnly. So you have time to place all your fingers safely before you strike a handle, and then listen carefully: you should only be satisfied with yourself when the handles change quickly and safely and all the strings sound clean.

And so that the chord accompaniment is not forgotten either: Accompany this song with the chords that are in red letters above the notes. Here are the fingerings you need for an accompaniment "in C":

C major

G major

G7

F major


Our third song: "Moonlight"

This happy, exuberant dance song consistently uses the splendid technique of playing melodies with nimble fingers over sustained tones of the thumb. The fingerings are not that easy at first, but after a little practice they allow you to quickly play the melody. That is also necessary, because this is where the post goes ...

Different versions of the text are known and all of them are funny, mischievous, cheeky. Due to the current situation, you can quickly add a few new verses, because the texts are quite undemanding in form and content.

That is probably the reason why this song is often only performed instrumentally - more important than the lyrics is the snappy melody. Hardly any balalaika orchestra takes the opportunity to shape this song in its own way. The song performance always begins slowly and increases the tempo from verse to verse until the fingers whirl over the strings ... Only when the last dancer gives up, breathlessly, a long tremolo of the balalaika catches the rapid tempo, and a last verse, emphatically slow and with a flirtatious accented rhythm, celebrates the pretty melody one last time, then quickly increases to a hurricane again and ends abruptly with a mighty blow.

 

Moonlight

 
     
 

Mnye nye spitsya, nye lezhitsya,
i son minya nye biryOt.
Ya s-khadil by k pashe v gOsti,
da nye znayu gdye zhývyOt.

I can't fall asleep, I can't lie down
sleep does not want to come.
Now I would like to visit Sascha,
but I don't know how to get there.

 
 

Ya s-khadil by k pashe w gOsti,
da nye znayu gdye zhývyOt.
Paprosil by tovarisha
moi tovarish dovidyOt.

Now I would like to visit Sascha,
but I don't know how to get there.
I could ask my friend
that would certainly lead me there.

 
 

Paprosil by tovarisha
moi tovarish dovidyOt.
No tovarish lutshe, krashe,
bayus, S.ashu atabyOt.

I could ask my friend
that would certainly lead me there.
But my friend is better, more beautiful
I'm scared he's going to steal Sascha away from me.

 
 

Svetit myesyats, svetit yasný,
svetit byelaya zarya,
osvetila put'-darOshku
vdol do Sashina dvora.

The moon shines, it shines so clearly
it seems white and bright,
and he illuminated my way and path
all the way to Sasha's homestead.

 
 

Padkhazhu ya k Sashe, k dOmust
no agnya u Sashi nyet.
Pastutshal ya pod okOshkom -
mOya Sasha krepko spit.

And how I get to Sasha's house
I see there is no more light on.
I knocked on the window -
my Sascha slept soundly.

 
 

"Stýdno, stýdno tibye, S.asha,
so vetshera rano spat '! "
"A tibye, moi drug, stýdnyeye
do polunotshi gulyat '! "

"Shame on you, shame on you, Sascha,
to sleep so early in the evening! "
"But you, my friend, should be ashamed of yourself
to move around the houses by midnight! "

 
(Notes on Russian pronunciation in the appendix!)  

Perhaps you didn't even notice: we suddenly entered the new key of A major. Here are the fingerings for a chord accompaniment in A major:

A major

E major

E.7

D major

You should already know the chord fingerings for A major, because the root of this key is A, and that is also the root of the balalaika melody string. This is why many melodies can be played quite advantageously in A major. As a practice, accompany the "moonlight" melody with just chords.


Our fourth song: "Like juniper on the mountain"

Here comes a brisk dance song again. It also has this characteristic two-quarter time, which we already got to know with "Mondschein". Practically every beat is emphasized in time - there is no breathing space, no rest, the melody comes along in quick succession and shakes everyone up with its distinctive rhythm that recurs in every line of the song.

The text reveals to us an ancient love spell: "Kalina", the masculine-bitter wild juniper, and "Malina", the feminine-sweet raspberry, guarded in the garden were the sacred plants of the goddess Lyuli, which in the ancient Slavic heaven of gods next to the sun god Dashd- Bog, the god of thunder Perun and the shepherd god Weles was responsible for the earth, for fertility and growth and spring and love - and thus apparently the favorite goddess of the Russian peasant people, because she is still today in the widely known song "Kalinka" and sung about in many other Russian folk songs.

So the friendly pagan goddess was able to happily survive a millennium of the Russian Orthodox state church, because the people did not let their ancient customs and songs spoil their fun: "Whose business is it ...?"

Here the young girls go up the mountain in spring, break fresh juniper branches, sprinkle them on the path - and the understanding goddess Lyuli knows what girls want: a daring lad rides over them and winks at them ...

We also play this melody in A major. Sometimes it glides over in E major harmonies, which is why the fingerings for an E major chord accompaniment are briefly presented here:

E major

B major

H7

A major