Erkki Ala-Könni

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Erkki Ala-Könni recording a Finnish folk musician in 1956.

Martti Erik (Erkki) Ala-Könni (2 February 1911, Ilmajoki – 2 September 1996, Tampere) was a Finnish ethnomusicologist, researcher, and recorder of Finnish folklore. He received a doctorate degree in folk music in 1956 from the University of Helsinki with a dissertation Die Polska-Tänze in Finnland and directed the Department of Folk Tradition (currently the Department of Music Anthropology) of the University of Tampere in 1965–1976.

Erkki Ala-Könni accumulated a significant collection of traditional Finnish musical instruments, folk music, and hymns, and took more than 100,000 folklore-related photograph slides and negatives.[1] Together with Martti Pokela he contributed to the revival of the Finnish traditional musical instrument kantele when folk music began its resurgence in the 1960s.

Ala-Könni, known for his motto "Magnum animum labori inspira",[2] was from Ilmajoki where he has a memorial,[3] and he remained as an active friend and supporter of the Ostrobothnian culture throughout his life. He was one of the founders of the Kaustinen Folk Music Festival.


  1. ^ Sinisalo, Hannu: Erkki Ala-Könni: muuttuvan elämän kuvaaja. (University of Tampere.) 13 November 2009.
  2. ^ Laitinen, Heikki: Erkki Ala-Könnin kivinen kantele. 13 November 2009.
  3. ^ Laitinen, Heikki: Erkki Ala-Könnin kivinen kantele. 13 November 2009.

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