Music to put you to sleep

  • 2010-05-20
  • By Ella Karapetyan

TALLINN - Definitions of music vary according to culture and social context. To many people in many different cultures, music is an important part of their way of life. Music was an important part of cultural and social life in many different cultures, and it was an important part in preserving the Estonian nationality as well.

Songs have been handed down from generation to generation. Traditional music has evolved in oral transmission; it is characterized by continuity between the past and present, by variation based on the creative impulse of an individual or a group, and by social choice defining the musical form. It is the living communicative tradition of a community.

These days, it doesn’t seem like anyone can really pin down an exact definition for folk music. Folk music is a community-based style of music that is largely topical and full of social commentary. Actually, folk music is a term for musical folklore which originated in the 19th century. It has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by word of mouth, music of the lower classes, music with no known composer. It has been contrasted with commercial and classical styles. Since the middle of the 20th century the term has also been used to describe a kind of popular music that is based on traditional music. Folk music has always been held in high regard in Estonia, and it is closely connected with old customs and traditions of the nation.

Folk songs have always accompanied Estonians in their daily lives. In the middle of the 19th century, urged on by the national awakening, the Estonian people started gathering and preserving folk music. The Estonian Literary Museum music archives contain approximately 100,000 recordings. Many cultures feature children’s songs, lullabies and verses that are passed down by oral tradition from one generation to the next, either from parent to child or from older children to younger children.

Lullabies can be found in every human culture and seem to have been used at least from the ancient period. The English term lullaby is thought to come from the “lu lu,” or “la la” sound made by mothers or nurses to calm children, and “by” or “bye bye,” another lulling sound, or a term for good night. Until the modern era lullabies were usually recorded incidentally in written sources. Lullabies, or berceuse, a French word which means “cradle song,” is believed to have emerged from the 19th century. Lullabies have been handed down from generation to generation and they will continue to live in our hearts and memories. Tranquil melodies create a calm, soothing sense of peace, where a subtle blend of shimmering harmonies inspire a feeling of calm, while sensual rhythms refresh your soul.

A huge collection of Estonian lullabies and nursery rhymes CD has recently been created to help keep alive the traditions of mums and dads singing their children to sleep. Tartu music studio Musaklubi released an album called “Suisu, Suisu Lapsukene” (“fall asleep, child”), which contains Estonian traditional evening songs and lullabies. This album features the most beautiful lullabies from different Estonian counties. Furthermore, the lyrics contain as much of the local dialect as possible. The album is unique because all the songs were sung together by the child and his mother, father or some person close to him.

“We released this record because we believe that it will help to preserve and introduce Estonian traditional music. We hope that this will encourage some adult listeners to sing together with their children,” said Pille Siht, who was one of the album release organizers. She explained that the idea to release this album came from the realization that old lullabies have been forgotten in Estonia, even though once they were an important part of everyday life. Nevertheless, Siht claims that there is a major demand for lullabies. “Parents with who we have worked together have noticed the positive effect of these lullabies when trying to calm their children down. Thus, these songs are not only nice to listen to, but they are also practical.”

The exclusive lullabies collection creates a special feeling of love and contentment as your baby naturally calms, relaxes and falls asleep to the soothing and comforting magic of music.