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EFN Newsletter May 2024 #24


Welcome to the new edition of this communication and outreach initiative of the EFN. Feel free to forward it to your friends and colleagues. Receiving this newsletter is open to anyone for free, here. Read to the end to find out how to submit content for future editions.

This is what you'll find below:

🔸News from EFN: more details about the 2024 EFN Annual Conference in Finland + European Folk Day: EFN is happy to renew the partnership with EBU for European Folk Day 2024 & Call for the Music Repository

🔹News from our members: A Summer of Traditional Tunes for Tiny People. by Live Music Now Scotland

🔸Our next featured member is Muziekmozaïek

🔹Special content: Scythian arfa (Scythian harp) - a unique instrument which was reconstructed from the drafts into a cool working instrument.

✍️ Do you want to participate? At the end of the newsletter you will find how you can contribute to future editions, whether you are an EFN member or not. And of course EFN is always looking for new members and at the end of this newsletter there is a note about how and why to join, with links to the membership pages of the website and the application form. 


Thanks for your attention, have a fruitful reading and, please, forward this to any person who could be interested!


News from EFN

🔸EFN Conference 2024 

Registration is now open for the 2024 EFN Conference in Kaustinen, Finland on Tuesday 24 and Wednesday 25 September.The EFN conference is open to everyone - EFN members of course, but also non-members, including students of traditional arts. 

The link to registration and info on travel and accommodation and an outline schedule of conference timings is at the end of of this article.

Visiting Kaustinen is an adventure into the heart of Finland and the heart of traditional culture and this year it's an adventure to celebrate European Folk Day. Deep in Ostrobothnia, Western Finland, Kaustinen is a very special centre for the living traditions of intangible cultural heritage and folk arts and home to our hosts and EFN members the Finnish Folk Music Institute and the Kaustinen Folk Festival. For the 2024 conference EFN and Kaustinen offers a unique opportunity to explore this remarkable part of rural Finland and its importance to folk traditions, whilst meeting and sharing ideas with a host of other people and organisations active in the folk arts from across Europe - and experiencing music and dance each evening, to celebrate European Folk Day 2024.The 2024 conference programme will include items on intangible cultural heritage, pedagogy, education in the traditional arts, and opportunities for delegates in discussion groups on EFN's future actions and working groups. Plus delegates are invited to pitch their own ideas and interests in the Open Mic session.

To register for the conference go straight to the Registration page on Eventbrite or for info on travel, accommodation and outline timings for each day plus the registration link, go to 

🔸EFN is happy to renew the partnership with EBU for European Folk Day (EFD) N2024

EFN is happy to renew the partnership with EBU for EFD 2024. In 2023, over 25 radio channels (see the list below), all members of the European Broadcasting Union – EBU, dedicated a special part of their radio programming to mark the first ever European Folk Day.For more information about their activities related to the EFD 23, check their website. This picture below is their banner for 2023’s edition:

🔸Call for the Music Repository

Like in 2023, we are collecting artists’ favourite songs and tunes from their repertoire in a public repository accessible to the general public and to the media. The pieces collected during 2023 are available here

How to submit your music?

Send us your song or tune in mp3 to Tell us your name, where the piece is from and a statement that "the submitter of the pieces present here confirm that they have the rights to the tune they submit and any performers rights are cleared for such ‘making available’ through existing agreed contracts, agreements, or consent which covers the usage required, that is to be accesible on the website


News from the members

🔹A Summer of Traditional Tunes for Tiny People

By Malena Persson, from Live Music Now Scotland


As summertime is just around the corner, Live Music Now Scotland is all set to bring music and storytelling to the wee ones and their grown ups. “Traditional Tunes for Tiny People’ is a LMNS project where Scotland’s rich diversity of traditional music is presented with interactive participation. The fun and engaging performances are specially designed to introduce traditional Scottish songs and stories to young children and their parents/carers in an informal and accessible way. 

This summer the sessions are delivered in both Edinburgh and the Scottish Borders by several LMNS musicians: Sun 30th June, Holy Cross Church, Edinburgh: Breanna Wilson & Sophie Joint; Tue 23rd July, Music at Paxton, Scottish Borders: Roo & Neil; Sun 28th July, Holy Cross Church, Edinburgh: Josie Duncan 

The concerts are free to attend, and for the Edinburgh performances there's no need to book. Free tickets for Music at Paxton are available here.


Featured Member: Muziekmozaïek Folk & Jazz vzw

When they became a member in 2019, they explained that:  

"Muziekmozaïek wants to inform and inspire people and send them on a voyage of discovery to the adventures of Folk. We do this through our printed periodical Folk, our website, facebook page...

We also offer amateur musicians the possibility to perform on stage. And finally we take care of artistic development by offering workshops and courses.." 

When asked about what they thought would be the benefits of membership for them, they answered that "Since we are the only organization in Flanders that actually works with and for the amateurs of folk music, both musicians and listeners, we offer a unique view on the folk scene in Flanders. Our periodical, the events we organize not only focus on the local scene, but bring inspiration from abroad to the Flemish community as well."

For more information, check their website.


Special content:

Scythian arfa (Scythian harp) - a unique instrument which was reconstructed from the drafts into a cool working instrument

This content was suggested by our member Daryana Antipova and it has been written by Naryshkina Tatiana. At the bottom you have several videos in which you can see and listen to the instrument being played. The picture of Tatiana is from her Facebook profile. The picture of Valery Naryshkin playing the instrument has been provided by Daryana.

By Naryshkina Tatiana

How interesting it is sometimes to hear an instrument that has long lost its voice and disappeared into history! 

Let me tell you about "Scythian harp" – the unique instrument and the only existed copy. The reconstruction was based on the article by V. N. Basilov "The Scythian harp – the oldest bowed instrument?" from 1991, where the archaeologist accurately describes the find found in a mound on the Ukok plateau (Altai Republic, Russia). 

However, the tool that Valery Naryshkin, Vedan Kolod musician, turned out is not an exact copy, or, as they say now, a reconstruction. During the work, the main priority was not museum accuracy, but the possibility of using the instrument on stage. Therefore, modern materials were used in some places. 

Scythian harp is exactly a bowed instrument (despite the fact that most masters who tried to recreate it somehow persistently make it in the form of a plucked harp). It has two strings and traces of bow playing. Our instrument is as close as possible to the original dimensions (81.5 cm), while the length of the found rook body was 83 cm. It has smoother resonator angles and is painted red, just like the original. Instead of genuine leather, we used the “oxford” material, which many modern craftsmen use to manufacture tambourines. 

When creating the design of the tool, some details had a special mystery. So, for example, the preserved string holder has two holes – round and triangular. And if the purpose of the round hole did not cause any questions, then many people simply try not to notice the triangular one. And no details have been preserved in addition to those found. And since none of the masters tried to find any use for this hole, Valery Naryshkin (he also owns Narval workshop where he’s making a lot of folk instruments from different countries and cultures to many musicians) had to develop the design himself from scratch. The torsion bar suspension was taken as a basis.

The instrument has two strings stretched crosswise. The closest instrument to such sound production is the Chinese erhu. Because the marks on the case, according to the article, say about the game at an angle of almost 80 degrees to the case, in the narrowest part of the eight-shaped case. However, threading the bow between the strings had to be abandoned, since the instrument lost all timbre color, and volume at the same time. The arrangement of the strings came out because of the lying neck, in the original it is slightly higher. 

Another feature of the tool is that it is completely collapsible. This is due to the fact that the Scythians led a semi-nomadic lifestyle. And it is simply impossible to carry a tool of this.

The third feature of the instrument is that the 8-shaped shape was invented in order to play while squatting. Because you can hold an instrument between your knees and play either this way or on a chair (and the Siberian Scythians did not have chairs), but not on the floor, just like modern Asian musicians play musical instruments. 

The so-called plectrum made of a horn was also found with the instrument. Perhaps it was used in the same way as when playing slide guitar. However, you can use a bone stick only with plastic strings, but not with metal strings from a cello, which we settled on through long experiments.

The golden figures on the ends of the neck and the string holder are our free assumption. Although it is written in the article that there were gilded figures on the tops, however, they were not found, since the mound was looted in ancient times. As you know, the Scythians loved to decorate themselves and their belongings with gold figurines. Those who were richer wrapped wooden carvings with gold foil. This decoration attracted the robbers, which is why the tool was broken.

This is not the final version of the tool. We will explore and refine it further, but for now, it is already sounding from the stage and sounds in the new album “Birds” of Vedan Kolod group released on CPL-music in Germany.

Why create long-forgotten tools at all? After all, many of its features do not echo any of the ethnographic instruments currently known and look rather strange. The fact is that practically no collapsible tool exists. And even more so did not exist in the world of antiquity. And despite this, it sounds quite modern. 

Vedan Kolod, Pava with Scythian harp

Valerii Naryshkin on Scythian harp reconstruction

Valerii Naryshkin on Scythian harp reconstruction



Are you already a member? Then, remember that you can submit contents for this monthly newsletter. Email your content to, for these sections:

· News from EFN Members. Brief announcements – of around 100 words and a link. 


· Featured artist. - It will be present again in the next edition - A profile with around 200 words, an embedded video and one link. Members are invited to submit profiles, considering solo and ensemble living or not living artists who have achieved lifelong artistic and technical quality or historical significance in the field of folk art from or developed in or settled in Europe. If you have any artists in mind that you'd like to feature, please ask in advance, just to be sure there is no other member already doing it.

And whether you are a member or not, you can participate in this section:

· Special sections. For instance, an interview with someone from an institution that is not a member or a thematic article by a guest writer or anything that can appear and be considered as interesting. This section can also host guest writers that are not members.

If you'd like to share any content, contact us in advance to schedule it by emailing


Of course, self promotional articles lacking interest won't be accepted. In case of doubt, the EFN board will be consulted and will decide. 

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