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Bayan - Russian button accordion - баян

The bayan is a type of chromatic button accordion developed in Russia in the early 20th century. It was in Petersburg from the 1770's to the 1790's where Kratzenstein, Kirsnik, and Vogler were inspired to build the first free-reed instruments. It was in Tula where mass production of accordions began in the 1830's. It was in Vyatskaya in the 1840's where the first double-action accordion was built. It was in Tula where the first chromatic three-row button accordion was built in 1870 by the Russian musician N.I. Beloborodov. It was in Kiev where the first conservatory program in bayan was established in 1927. It was in the U.S.S.R. where the first two concert for bayan were written in 1937 by Rubtsov and Sotnikov. The word bayan was taken after the name of the ninth/tenth-century poet, artist and musician (The Bayan) who first appeared in a troubadour poem, "The Story of the Igoreve Regiment". At first the name was used to refer to the ancestor of the modern bayan, the Russian harmonica. The instrument developed with the addition of bellows, register stops, a left-hand manual which later became standardized to include both stradella and free-bass (convertor), and a right-hand manual which increased the number of button rows from three to five... read more

BAYAN - Russian button accordion description

BAYAN - Russian button accordion - differs from western chromatic button accordions in some details of construction: the differences between a Bayan instrument and Western Chromatic Button accordions. Register switches may be operated with the chin on some larger models and Converter switches to go from standard pre-set chords to free bass (individual bass notes) are common on the larger instruments. These may be common characteristics of the Bayan instrument, but they are not unique characteristics that differentiate the Bayan. Both chin switches and converter bass switches (from stradella to free bass) are commonly found on both Button Chromatic and Piano Keyboard accordions, usually of the professional caliber instruments. As far as chin switches go, just like on the larger Bayan instruments, on CBA and Piano Keyboard instruments, you will often see chin switches on the largest, often custom built instruments used by professional (classical) players and those still participating in competitions. The Bayan seems to be becoming the standard, but Piano Keyboard and Western Chromatic Accordions are still in use. Likewise, the standard seems to be Free-Bass or converter system for competing and professional performers. Giulietti was one of the “pioneers” implementing the converter system on the piano accordion back in the 60’s. Having said all that, there is still nothing that compares to the sound of the Bayan. I was fortunate to hear many great bayan players including Victor Danilochkin among others. Reeds are broader and rectangular. Reeds are often attached in large groups to a common plate (rather than in pairs); the plates are screwed to the reed block (rather than attached with wax). The melody-side keyboard is attached near the middle of the body (rather than at the rear). Reeds are generally not tuned with tremolo. Register switches may be operated with the chin on some larger models. The diminished seventh chord row is shifted, so that the diminished seventh G chord is where one would expect the diminished seventh C chord in the Stradella bass system. Converter switches to go from standard pre-set chords to free bass (individual bass notes) are common on the larger instruments. Newer instruments may feature a register, where every tone played actually produces a perfect fifth. The differences in internal construction give the bayan a different tone color from western instruments, especially the bass has a much fuller sound. Because of their range and purity of tone, bayans are often the instrument of choice for accordion virtuosi who perform classical and contemporary classical music.

Russian button accordion BAYAN video

Russian "Two Step Dance" - «Девочка Надя»

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Russian dance and music ensemble Barynya from New York and bayan virtuoso Gennady Gutkin videoclips from various performances.


Bayan virtuoso Victor Danilochkin and New York based ensemble Barynya performers: Alex Siniavski, Leonid Bruk, Sergey Ryabtsev and Irina Zagornova.

russian music video
My Darling lives in high-rise
Живёт моя отрада в высоком терему
russian song video
We were riding a small boat
Мы на лодочке катались

Victor Danilochkin performes with New York based Cossack song, music and dance during the concert in Brooklyn, New York on Saturday, June 23, 2007.

Victor Danilochkin
Bayan virtuoso Victor Danilochkin 2 min 8 sec on Google Video
Russian bayan solo
Russian bayan solo 1 min 55 sec
cossack trio
Cossack Song "Yagodka Krasna" 42 sec
Google Video
cossack trio
Cossack Song "Pchyolochka Zlataia" 2 min
Google Video

Valentina Kvasova
Russian Cossack dance solo 56 sec
Google Video
new york cossack trio
Cossack folk song "Dorozhka" 41 sec
Google Video

Cossack dance and music trio
Russian Cossack song "Babochka" 1 min 48 sec on YouTube
Russian table song
Russian table song "Kakim Ty Byl" 55 sec

Cossack Trio New York
Cossack Song "Iz-Za Gorochki" 1 min 10 sec
Cossack folk song
Cossack song "Vo Sadu-Sadochku" 35 sec

Russian folk button accordion GARMOSHKA video

director of Russian dance and music ensemble Barynya Mikhail Smirnov performes Russian folk song Korobushka on Russian folk accordion GARMOSHKA.

Russian bayan accordion video

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Bayan - Russian button accordion
Bayan virtuoso Victor Danilochkin from New York
Bayan virtuoso from Texas Vladimir Kaliazine
Bayan virtuoso Gennady Gutkin from Brooklyn, New York
Bayan virtuoso Yan Khmel from Brooklyn, New York
Bayan virtuoso Nikolai from New York City, USA
Russian garmoshka player and singer Mikhail Smirnov from New Jersey
Accordionist Yuriy Lemeshev NYC
Accordionist Andrei from New York
Bayan player Pasha from New York City
Singer, bayanist, actor Vitali Baganov from New York City
Bayan player and singer Nina Tritenichenko
Russian Bayan Club Show


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