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Russia

A large country in Northern Europe and extending into Asia. Once a Slavic country it became the Soviet Union before dissolving again to constituent parts.

There is a strong Folk Tradition with distinctive Tunes, Instruments and Dances which date back to the Slavic occupation. They follow the common theme of either Calendar Events (e.g. Harvest) or Family Ritual (Weddings etc.) and there are Songs which are in the Epic mould.

Although the Balalaika is thought of as the typical Russian Instrument, Pipes, Horns and Drums are common. Particular instruments are the Gusli (Zither or Psaltery) and the Gudok (a three-stringed Fiddle), the Doudka (end blown Flute) and Rozhok (Hornpipe) and the Bayan (Accordian).

Folk Dances include the Troika (Sleigh) performed in groups of three, Maitelitza also sets of three and Korobushka - a copule dance including Schottische moves.