Eesti Lõõtspilli leht

About us

Lõõtspill: General term for different types accordions in Estonian. An accordion was

introduced at the end of the 19th century. The diatonic accordion became the most popular 

folk instrument. The factory-made instruments initially came from Germany and Russia 

(Tula and Petrograd). At the same time, local peasants started to experiment with building 

accordions themselves, and the most successful craftsman was August Teppo (1875-1959) 

from south-east Estonia. He developed a special Estonian national accordion called the 

teppo lõõtspill. The accordions are very well made, displaying superb cognition of materials, 

ingenious handicraft skill and accuracy of work. The accordions are richly and artistically 

ornamented, durable and very easy to play. The most important properties of the instrument 

are the sound-richness of overtones and the loud sound. The tuning principle is natural and 

it is possible to play only in major keys. The instrument has three or four rows of buttons 

on the right side and it is played positioned on the knees. Teppo’s accordions have become 

highly appreciated and sought after by musicians. It is believed that, during his lifetime, 

August Teppo made 120-200 instruments. It took approximately six months to make one. 

As he was the creator of a very popular instrument, he had lots of followers who tried to 

make accordions like he did. Nowadays, we can say that the tradition of making and playing 

the teppo lõõtspill is the most vital part of Estonian folk music. One can learn to play this 

instrument in private lessons with a teacher, in courses, in some of the community music 

schools, in the University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy and in the Estonian Academy of 

Music and Theatre. Players of the teppo lõõtspill often perform in pubs, and at social events 

and festivals. The most important gatherings of the players are “The August Teppo Playing 

Competition” in Võru and the “Tartu Diatonic Accordion Festival” in Tartu. 

T. Teinbas: Lõõtspillidest, lõõtspillimängust ja mängijatest (Tallinn, 1994)

T. Noormaa: August Teppo fenomen (Viljandi, 2005)

I. Tõnurist: Eesti Rahvapille (Tallinn, 2008)