Balalaika (photo: Arild Storaas).The balalaika is a stringed instrument that comes from Russia. It has three strings and a triangle shaped body. The instrument was popularized by the film Dr. Zhivago which used the balalaika in its theme song.

Photo: Three stringed balalaika (Creative Commons: Arild Storaas).

Balalaika Performance: Lara’s Theme

Video: The State Orchestra of Folk Instruments of the Tatarstan Republic performs Lara’s Theme.  (source: YouTube).

Origin of the Balalaika

The balalaika goes back to 1688 when it is first mentioned in historical records. The instrument is likely to have evolved from similar instruments in the Caucasus, Kazakhstan or Mongolia.

The instrument usually has three strings, but variations do occur. There are many versions of the balalaika. These versions vary in size, shape and pitch.

Although it was played solo, today it is commonly part of a larger orchestra.

Lara’s Theme

The song Lara’s Theme was written for the movie Dr. Zhivago in 1965. The songwriter was Maurice Jarre. The movie and song were a success. Lyrics were later added to the theme song and it was released as ‘Somewhere My Love.’ That version of the song produced by Ray Conniff rose to number nine in the Billboard charts.

Improving Your Reading and Thinking Skills

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Russian Traditional Music Instruments, Russia IC.


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4 comments on "Balalaika: Lara’s Theme from Dr. Zhivago"

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Webster Gabiana

Ang kanta ay isinulat sa pamamagitan Dr.Zhivago.

Webster Gabiana

The song was written by Dr.Zhivago.The Although it was played solo.The one who written the song is Dr.Zhivago.

Ronand Abella

Ang isang lalaki ay nag tagumpay.Sa kanyang kagalingan at ka inindig niya.Pero meron sakanya ang tibay ng loob sa katawan.

Ronand Abella

Rusia has an instrument that is called balalaika.These instrument has only three strings and has a triangular shape the instrument is similar to a guitar.It becomes popularized by Dr. Zhivago. In 1965 Dr. Zhivago write a song called Lara’s theme.