Music of Estonia
The Estonians are related to the Finns, and their music shares some similarities. Zithers are perhaps the most popular musical instrument, while runo-song is the distinctive national folk music
Estonian runo-song has been extensively recorded and studied, especially those sung by women. They can come in many forms, including work songs, ballads and epic legends. Much of the early scholarly study of runo-song was done in the 1860s by Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald, who used them to compose the Estonian national epic, Kalevipoeg By the 20th century, though, runo-song had largely disappeared from Estonia, with vibrant traditions existing only in Setumaa and Kihnu.
Traditional wind instruments derived from those used by shepherds were once widespread, but are now more rarely played. Other instruments, including the fiddle, kannel, concertina and accordion are used to play polka or other dance music. The kannel is a native instrument that is now more popular among Estonian-Americans than in its homeland. Nevertheless, Estonian kannel musicians include Igor Tõnurist and Tuule Kann.
In the 1960s, the Soviet government began encouraging folk art from its constituent republics. Local ethnographic bands were formed after Leiko, a choir from Värska, came together in 1964, while a less regionally-distinct form of Estonian folk music was soon promoted, beginning with the formation of Leigarid in 1969. The 1950s and 60s also saw the publication of Herbert Tampere's Eesti rahvalaule viisidega (Estonian folk songs with melodies), a collection of folk songs. The first LP of traditional music, Eesti rahvalaule ja pillilugusid (Estonian folk songs and instrumental pieces) was released in 1967. In the 1980s, a series of festivals took place that helped stimulate increasing agitation for freedom of expression; these included the 1985 conference of CIOFF, the 1986 Viru säru and 1989's Baltica.
These celebrations of traditional life have inspired multiple later composers who modernized traditional music, including Olev Muska and Coralie Joyce, Kirile Loo, Veljo Tormis and the Estonian-Australian choir Kiri-uu.
(solisti) Igor Tõnurist and Tuule Kann, Olev Muska, Coralie Joyce, Kirile Loo, Veljo Tormis
(cordofoni) Zithers - fiddle - kannel
(ancia libera) concertina - accordion