2014Europa – National Music Instruments - First Day Cover
2014 Europa – National Music Instruments - First Day Cover for only GBP £2.28
The Estonians, a Nordic nation, are closely connected with music. All their life and beliefs go in the same step with folk music, starting from rocking the baby in the cradle until sending him into the beyond. Everything had its regularity, harmony and traditions. Folk musical instruments have not been simply tools to make music, but magical means used at important moments of life, by which in addition to the joy of music people attempted to influence the further course of their lives – to avoid bad luck and increase wealth.
Also the old Estonian musical instruments were made from materials found in nature – the herdman’s horn, the pipe, the whistle, the reed pipe, the leaf whistle and the buckhorn. As part of Europe also musical instruments of foreign origin have become Estonian folk musical instruments, including the bagpipe, hiiu kannel and the through fiddle. Väikekannel and the Teppo accordion, which have been featured in the two stamps, are today some of the most popular and at the same time some of the most characteristic Estonian folk musical instruments.
Väikekannel, the oldest type of Estonian zither, has been in use in this region for at least two thousand years. Its six to 12 strings are made of horsehair, catguts and later of copper wire. The first written document concerning väikekannel in Estonia dates from 1579 when a brawler hit another man on the head with a non-German harp in an inn fight. The accordion, also called lõõts, härmoonik, korts or põrguorel (hell’s organ), arrived in Estonia with seamen and traders only in the 19th century but became rapidly popular here. Earlier, good accordion players used to be highly popular in case of festivities, such as weddings, and because of that even the date of the festivity could be changed.