Congratulations! You have landed on the website dedicated to Seto leelo – the unique and ancient style of singing in Setomaa, Estonia. Here you can find answers to questions such as: What is Seto leelo? How is it sung? Is any song in the Seto language a leelo? What are the requirements for the lyrics or the melodic variations? All these topics are covered in more detail under the links to the relevant pages.

What is seto leelo?

Seto Singing Heritage

Singing has always held a very important place in Seto culture. Why, when and how it was sung in Setomaa? How has Seto leelo changed over time? What other genres of singing are there besides Seto leelo?

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Seto Leelo Melodies

Seto leelo is always polyphonic. How is the polyphony constructed in Seto leelo? What is killõ or lower torrõ? How has Seto leelo developed over time and why is it good to know the scales of Seto leelo? What is the one-three-semitone scale and why has it become so scarce in contemporary singing??

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Listen and sing along

How did Seto leelo sound 20, 50 or 100 years ago? How difficult is to sing along with a traditional leelo choir? How many heterophonic variations can one find in a single song of Seto leelo? What are the multi-channel recordings and how do they help to learn Seto leelo? What are the most popular songs sung at village parties today?

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What video materials can be found about Seto leelo? How did the older experienced lead singers – the song mothers – talk about singing and traditions in the interviews? What is the singing style of the Seto community in Siberia and how has the Seto culture affected the songs of the Orthodox church in Setomaa?

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