Home » Arts and Entertainment » Music

The Russian Guitar: An Instrument Of The People

Sep 10, 2008
In comparison with the rest of its family, the Russian guitar has a relatively short history. While the Europe has been enjoying the melodious sounds of the guitar in one form or another since the 14th century, the guitar did not find its way to Mother Russia until the end of the 18th century, nearly 400 years later. However, once it arrived, it found a warm welcome, and the guitar has since become an established facet of Russian culture. Interestingly, its story has been inextricably linked with the politics of the country, and the instrument's popularity has risen and fallen with the times.

Firstly, the Russian guitar is different from the classical, or Spanish, guitar. The main and most important difference is that the Russian guitar, or semistrunnaya gitara, has seven strings as opposed to the classical instrument's six. There are also versions with two necks and 11 or 12 strings, but these are less common. The instrument is traditionally played without a pick, using fingers for either strumming or picking. Its invention is attributed to Andrei Sychra, who was born in the late 18th century and wrote over one thousand compositions during his lifetime.

Prior to the revolution of 1917, the Russian guitar was far more common and popular in Russia than the Spanish guitar. Its popularity was at its height during the later half of the 19th century, which may be at least partially attributed to the popularity of "city romance" songs at the time. It was during this period that peasants from the country were flocking to the cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg, and these songs, which were guitar oriented and touched upon the life of the common man, were in keeping with the social movement. However, during the early Soviet eras of Lenin and Stalin, such music was considered bourgeois and fell into disfavor. The old Russian school of guitar, however, continued to be strong and the seven-stringed instrument persisted.

Although the Spanish guitar has gained some popularity in Russia over the past hundred years, especially in genres such as jazz and rock and roll, the Russian guitar continues to be the norm. The emergence of Russian bard music, or music written outside of the Soviet establishment, helped combat the influence of the Spanish instrument. This genre emerged in the 1960s, and its music relied heavily on the same techniques originally used in the "city romance" songs 50 years previously. Such music, and the Russian guitars it required, helped prevent Russian culture from being overrun by Western musical influences like the Beatles and Elvis Presley.

Up until the late 1970s, Soviet guitar factories continued to produce only seven-stringed instruments. Manufacturers began a gradual switchover at that point and today, both types of instrument are available in Russia. The Russian guitar continues to be popular in its homeland, however, probably due to its flexibility, the relative simplicity of some basic chords and the ease of playing alternating bass lines. In fact, the appeal of the Russian guitar is so strong that Russian emigre guitarists living in western countries have been known to modify six string acoustic guitars to seven string instruments.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for guitars, drums, keyboards, sheet music, guitar tab, and home theater audio. You can find the best marketplace at these sites for guitars, Russian guitar, sheet music, guitar tabs, and home theater audio.
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 144
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources