Theme

In Harmony

Where shall the three of us meet?
Three together, four in unison.
Three chanting in sync,
Four joining the chorus,
Five bursting into song.
From Karksi

XXVIII Viljandi Folk Music Festival concentrates on cooperation, the tradition of making music together, accords, harmony, humane consideration of others and mutual respect.

For the eighteenth year in a row, Viljandi Folk Music Festival focuses on a certain aspect or characteristic of traditional music that inspires our guests. We’ve enjoyed enchanting rhythms, masterful soloists, manly song and female voices, looked into the role of music while celebrating important events and many other topics. Now, it’s time to enjoy ensemble playing – playing together in harmony!*

Traditional music has always been functional and determined, filling a certain purpose. Traditional music is played to accompany dancing at celebrations, to make the working day more enjoyable or journey go faster, etc. All of these are acts that are naturally taken together.

It seems that more people, communities and nations feel isolated despite the unprecedented number of opportunities to stay in contact. The reasons for this are varied but many people are left with a similar feeling. Isolation can lead to ostracizing, distrust, loneliness and even bad blood.

Traditional music is a natural opportunity to get together, do something collectively and stand united. Playing music together – singing and playing instruments - is like an invisible ointment which helps people find strength, joy and harmony from each other both literally and metaphorically. The joy of being together with others, yourself and your roots.

In 2020, Viljandi Folk Music Festival showcases interesting and captivating ensemble examples from around the world, from both near and far. Be it delicious examples of pub jams from the British Isles, vigorous violin bowing from Scandinavia, sizzling brass instrument sounds from the gypsies and enchanting rhythms from all continents. And we’ll also add our own magnificent runo songs, instrument groups and dance orchestras.

Harmony and ensemble are the main themes of XXVIII Viljandi Folk Music Festival. Let’s meet up in Viljandi on July 23-26!

*In harmony means being in tune but also sometimes just having fun to reach a higher ground. Hopefully.