In October 1978 a folkmusic sector was established as a part of the Language and Literature Institute. Since the 1st of February 2000 it was reorganised into Estonian Literary Museum‘s ethnomusicology department. Part of the personnel is still located in Tallinn, Roosikrantsi 6, tel (2) 6444650. The department‘s personnel consists of six researchers with a scientific degree, a computer engineer and an audio engineer, an editor and an assistant.
the department's subject fields are collecting, researching, publishing and promoting estonian and its related ethnic groups‘ folkmusic. Folklore is being researched in a more general social- and culture anthropological context. In the course of fieldworksthe changes in tradition are being observed (for example on the island of Kihnu, Setumaa, Mulgimaa etc.) and supplementary material for current researches and publications are being collected. Besides the historical phenomenons, secondary traditions and contemporary festivities are also fixated and researched. Modern-day audio- and video recording technology has created possibilities for more adequate recordings of folkmusic in the live presentation situation. Besides music, also games and dances are recorded. Collected material has been used besides researches and publications also for music records, cassettes, tv-programs and films.
The Department of Ethnomusicology of the Estonian Literary Museum was closed in 2014.