Domra – slavic folk string instrument played by picking. Domra body has a hemispherical shape. Domra consists of a fingerboard with pegs at the top and from the wooden body with a shield on the bottom. Neck is inserted into the housing and secured therein. On top of the neck is glued pad, at the junction of the head with the neck attached to the nut vulture. On the cover, applied a thin cross-cuts, which are inserted in the metal sills.
The domra has a similar construction to a traditional Neapolitan mandolin and is a member of the lute family. It has a round body with either three or four metal strings and is typically played with a plectrum. Domras were played widely by performers, musicians and singers (skomorokhi) in the 15th-16th centuries in Russia. They were often persecuted by the church and later prohibited from performing when in 1648 and later in 1657, Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich issued ukases (decrees) banning the skomorokhi’s art as profane. Domras started to disappear together with the skomorokhi’s performances. The instruments were ignored and almost forgotten until the late 19th century when, the story goes, a student of Vasily Vasilievich Andreyev, a father of the academic folk instrument movement in Eastern Europe, found a broken instrument in a stable: an abandoned domra. He brought it to Andreyev who then reconstructed it.
Nowadays the domra is an important part of the Russian folk orchestra alongside the more well-known balalaikas, guslis, accordions and percussion instruments. Today, it is the three-stringed domra that is used almost exclusively in Russia. It is played with a plectrum, and is often used to play the lead melody in Russian balalaika ensembles. The four-stringed domra is primarily widespread in Ukraine. The modern domra is typically played with a plectrum, although some performers strum the instrument like a balalaika, but this is uncommon.
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