Aleksander Nõgu

The songmaker Aleksander Nõgu. Photo: H. Tampere 1956. ERA, Foto 2634.

We concentrated mainly on the local village songmakers and their oeuvre, that's why our informants were mostly men. A couple of songmakers (Konstantin Tuttav and Aleksander Nõgu) had already been visited some years ago, therefore, we asked for additional data, recorded with better equipment and also filmed. Unfortunately, the men themselves had grown older, Tuttav was no longer able to sing, Nõgu did it with a great effort and his voice did not allow us to recreate the style of his performance in his younger years. (From the chapter "The situations and purposes of collection"; Rüütel 2015: 20)

Aleksander Nõgu was already 87 years old, but his memory is still good. He knows by heart his own songs, but songs learned from published sources have been mostly forgotten. We wrote down a couple of songs, which had not been written down so far. We recorded as much as our tape supply allowed. The quality of the recordings is not very good, for he sang very unevenly - at times very loudly, and then softly. We had to constantly tune our magnetic tape recorder. We agreed that we would come back on Sunday to film and continue to recording. (From the field work diary of O. Kõiva, June 8, 1961; Rüütel 2015: 177)

The songs of the farm owner Aleksander Nõgu of Laimjala municipality of Pöide parish were created between the years 1920–1930 and they reflect in a humorous manner the village life of that time. (From the description of the video "Songmakers, singers and instrumentalists"; Rüütel 2014: 28)

Unlike K. Tuttav, A. Nõgu has been an outstanding singer and also an instrumentalist. He was often asked to perform his songs at family events, communal work efforts and other gatherings, where he was especially invited to perform. A. Nõgu's songs were formerly popular mostly in his own performance, yet others in the near neighbourhood also sung them and they are remembered to this day. (From the chapter "The verse-smith of Audla village Aleksander Nõgu"; Rüütel 2015: 68)

See also the chapter "The verse-smith of Audla village Aleksander Nõgu (Peerna Sass)" (Rüütel 2015: 65–69).


Aleksander Nõgu, 1874–1966, Audla village [Pöide parish]. Filmed by R. Hansen in 1961.



Asva village (Pöide)

Audla village (Pöide)

Haeska village (Valjala)

Kalma village (Pöide)

Kiriku village (Valjala)

Kungla village (Valjala)

Kõiguste village (Pöide)

Kõnnu village (Valjala)

Liiva-Putla village (Püha)

Loona village (Püha)

Mässa village (Jämaja)

Orinõmme village (Pöide)

Oti settlement (Pöide)

Pahavalla village (Pöide)

Ridala village (Pöide)

Soonda village (Muhu)


Turja village (Valjala)

Tõnija village (Valjala)

Veere village (Pöide)

Võhma village (Pöide)

Sound recordings


Online edition

Editors Janika Oras, Kadi Sarv
Translation into English Inna Feldbach, Olga Ivaškevitš
Selection of photos Aivo Põlluäär
Project co-ordinator Risto Järv
Web design Lorem Ipsum
Cover photo Ingrid Rüütel 2007 (private collection)

Sponsors of the web publication

Ensemble Trad.Attack!
Ministry of Education and Research (projekt IUT22-4)
The European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (Centre of Excellence in Estonian Studies)
The Cultural Endowment of Estonia


ELM Scholarly Press, 2018
© and ℗ Estonian Literary Museum, 2018
© Ingrid Rüütel
ISBN 978-9949-586-57-8

Online edition is based on

Saaremaa rahvamuusikat ja kombeid /
Traditional Music and Customs of Saaremaa

Collected and compiled by Ingrid Rüütel.
Recordings from the Estonian Folklore Archives 8. Tartu 2014

[CD, DVD and textbook]
Sound production and CD mastering Jaan Tamm
DVD editing and mastering Jaan Kolberg
Editor Janika Oras
Translation into English Inna Feldbach
Design and text book layout Krista Saare
Print Kruuli Trükikoja AS
Replication Baltic Disc AS

Rüütel, Ingrid. Saaremaa laule ja lugusid. Mis on jäänud jälgedesse I
[The Songs and Tales of Saaremaa. What Remains in Our Traces I]

Tartu: ELM Scholarly Press 2015

Editor Asta Niinemets
Music transcription Ingrid Rüütel, Ludmilla Toon, Edna Tuvi
Notation editing Ingrid Rüütel, Edna Tuvi
Sheet music graphics Edna Tuvi
Texts transcription Erna Tampere, Ingrid Rüütel
Dialectic texts editor Ester Kuusik
Translation of summary Inna Feldbach
Layout and design Krista Saare
Print OÜ Greif Trükikoda