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Russia

balalaikaA balalaika is a stringed instrument that was developed around 1700 in Russia. It has a long neck, a triangular body, three strings that are plucked with a pick, and adjustable frets. (Frets are ridges in the neck that can be found on many stringed instruments. When you press a string against a fret, it causes the string to vibrate differently when plucked and make different sounds.) It is used both as a solo folk instrument and in balalaika orchestras. There are many sizes of balalaika. One of the biggest -- a double bass balalaika -- is about three feet wide!

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