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At the end of the 19th century Russian bells won wide international acclaim. Products by Russian bell foundries were presented at numerous international exhibitions, and their owners took gold and silver prizes.

Since times immemorial bells and bell ringing have been an integral part of the Christian church service.

The late 20th century saw the revival of ancient Russian tradition of playing the semantron (aka bilo). However, the centuries old music instrument was thoroughly studied, developed and perfected.

Semantron (bilo in Russian) is one of the most ancient and simple but powerful music instruments. The resounding spellbinding voice of these ancient Slavic flat bells was known in Russia long before the coming of Christianity.

Pyzhatka is a single-pipe whistle flute traditional for the Kursk Region. This music instrument is a variety of the recorder.

A complex music score and an impetuous ballet that once produced a scandal at the first night in Paris today celebrate 100th anniversary. The German choreographer Sasha Waltz has staged a new version of the ballet at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg.

Nothing brings a special holiday mood as well as New Year and Christmas songs. In this article we'll tell you about the most popular holiday songs among Russian people. These song are usually come from our favourite movies or cartoons and stay with us for many years helping to celebrate merry winter holidays happily. So let's go, the music is waiting for you!

Since the 1980s Sverdlovsk (now Yekaterinburg) has been justly considered the 3rd capital of the Russian Rock and it probably ranks first among Russian cities as per the number of rock stars per capita. Nautilus Pompilius, Chaif, Agatha Christie, Nastya, Chicherina, Smyslovye Gallyutsinatsii and other rock bands from Yekaterinburg are known to millions of Russians. It is in Yekaterinburg where these bands were founded, developed and gained success.

Kalyuka (koluka) a Russian overtone flute - is one of the traditional folk Russian music instruments. It is a hollow tube lacking playing holes is played following the same principles as the overtone flute.

Gudok is an ancient Russian folk music instrument. In spite of its name (meaning hooter in Russian) it is a string instrument. Skomorokhi (wandering minstrel-cum-clowns) used it in a combination with the Gusli. Gudok consisted of an oval or pear-shaped dugout wooden case, a flat sounding board with resonator holes, and a short fingerboard without frets, with a straight or unbent head.

Russian Garmon (garmoshka) is a traditional reed music instrument with bellows and two push-button keyboards. The left keyboard is intended for accompaniment: by pressing a button one makes bass or an entire chord sound. The right keyboard is for playing the melody.

Blatnyak (criminal folklore,) is the song genre that sings of life and customs of the criminal world, originally meant for the milieu of prisoners and people close to underworld. The genre originated in the Russian Empire and spread in the Soviet Union and subsequently in the CIS countries.

The history of guitar in Russia is rich and original, with quite a complicated way of its development.

In the Stalinist epoch the vargan was banned as an adverse vestige of the past, in particular because of its close connection to shamanism. In spite of that, the older generations contrived to preserve the traditions of vargan playing and pass them on their children and grandchildren.

The origin of the word zhaleika remains unknown. Some researchers point to the similarity of the roots of zhaleika and zhalnik, the latter denoting a grave of an ancient Slavic man, and surmise the instrument could have been used at funeral repasts. The timbre of the zhaleika is piercing and nasal, sad and compassionate.

The kuvikly (kugikly) is the Russian variety if the many-piped flute, internationally known as the Pan-flute. The type of music instrument is widely spread in various parts of the world, with every people having its own name for it: in England they call it panpipes or pan-flute, sampogno in Latin America, nai or muscal in Moldavia and Romania, skuchudai in Lithuania, larchemi (soinari) in Georgia, etc.

The Old Russian church singing, just like icon-painting, was anonymous, and yet, some written sources mention the names of the outstanding masters of the 16th 17th centuries; among them are brothers Vasili (Varlaam as a monk) and Savva Rogovs from Novgorod, Ivan (Isaiah as a monk) Lukoshko and Stephan Golysh from the Ural, and Ivan Nos and Fyodor Krestianin (i.e. Christian) who worked at court of Ivan the Terrible.

Rozhok is an ancient Russian folk music wind instrument. According to 18th century descriptions, rozhok producing a very strong and shrill sound was used not only by shepherds at work, but also in taverns for entertainment and in boats to accompany oarsmens singing.

Russian romance means intimate lyrical songs that touch the soul, it is feelings set to music, and poetry that makes one cry and smile. Romance as a music genre is a traditionally Russian type of music creativity: it is in romance that the so-called mysterious Russian soul has found ways of expressing its passions. Just recall the famous "Ochi Chyornie" (Black Eyes)!

Svirel is an old folk Russian wind instrument of the end-blown flute type. In the Old Rus this instrument was made either of hollow reed or cylindrical wood branches. A legend says that Lel, son of the Slavic goddess of love Lada was a svirel player. In spring he would make his svirel of birch branches.

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