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BalalaikaA Russian three stringed fretted instrument with a triangular body and a short neck. It is gut or nylon strung and developed from an earlier Lute (Dombra) played in Central Asia and brought to Russia by the Mongols. The Dombra is still played in Kazakhstan.

It is found in a variety of sizes although the prima, secunda, alto and bass are the commonest with the prima as probably the most common. The prima is tuned EEA and played with the fingers. It is considered bad form to play with a Plectrum.

Pictured: Traditional Balalaika from Abydos Enterprises