Arne Oit

December 3, 1928 Tallinn – November 28, 1975 Tallinn
Member of the Estonian Composers' Union since 1958

Composer and accordion player Arne Oit was the grand master in song writing. In order to develop this field, he initiated the song competitions of Estonian Radio and Philharmonics.
Arne Oit graduated from the Tallinn 22nd Secondary School, Tallinn Music School (1950) and Tallinn State Conservatory in composition under Mart Saar and Heino Eller (1956).

Being an autodidact in accordion playing, he started to perform as an accordionist in Erik Kõlar’s ensemble Rütmikud in 1947, he played accordion also in several other popular or jazz ensembles and orchestras, including Variety Orchestra of Estonian SSR State Philharmony (1951–1955) and Estonian Radio Instrumental Ensemble directed by Emil Laansoo (1955–1974). On accordion, Oit was one of the most valued jazz improvisers.

Oit published articles on popular music and compiled various sheet music compilations: books of accordion pieces "In Dance Rhythm" ("Tantsurütmis") and "Invitation to Dance" ("Kutse tantsule"), as well as popular songbooks "Sing Along!" ("Laulge kaasa!") that he put together from 1967 till his death.

Oit initiated the competition concerts of popular songs organised by Estonian SSR State Philharmony and also Estonian Radio song contest "Tippmeloodia".

Arne Oit has mainly written popular music. His oeuvre consists of hundred songs mostly on texts by Heldur Karmo, Arvi Siig and Juhan Saar, for which he has gained numerous awards at the Estonian song competitions: "Our Mall" ["Meie Mall", 1959], "Log fire in prairie" ["Lõke preerias", 1964], "Miniskirt" ["Miniseelik", 1967], "I have to listen to you with heart" ["Ma pean sind südamega kuulama", 1969], "Circus" ["Tsirkus" , 1971], "Everything is so far" ["Nii kaugel kõik", 1972], "Old melody" ["Vana meloodia", 1971], "Summer Night" ["Suveöö", 1972], "Wind of the fields of ash" "Tuhaväljade tuul", 1972], "On the river of oblivion" ["Unustuse jõel", 1973], "And the joy lives" ["Ja elab rõõm", 1974] and many others. The wide range of subjects brings out lovesongs, jolly and witty songs as well as songs related to home place ("Tallinn", "Rocca al Mare", "Ristna, little harbour", "Emajõgi"). Oit’s songs extraordinarily rich in melodies and with fresh harmony were sung by all erstwhile renown singers like Jaak Joala, Voldemar Kuslap, Vello Orumets, Georg Ots, Andres Ots, Artur Rinne, Heli Lääts, Uno Loop, Kalmer Tennosaar, Helgi Sallo, Ahti Nurmis, Marju Kuut. Arne Oit has written also instrumental music, songs for children and stage music (Weird adventures of Muhu people [Muhulaste imelikud juhtumised], The Beautiful Galatea [Imekaunis Galatea], Lillebror and Karlsson-on-the-Roof) and others.

Arne Oit’s music have been released on several albums: "Arne Oit. 45 best songs" (Hitivabrik, 2003), "Kaks kuukiirt. Laule Arne Oidi sulest" (Two Moonbeams. Songs by Arne Oit, Politseiorkester, 2006), "Lauluveski" (Song Mill, Estonian Public Broadcast, 2013), "Unustuse jõel" (On the River of Oblivion, Hitivabrik, 2001).

In 1972, Oit was ascribed the title of Estonian SSR Merited Worker of Art, for his music he has been awarded Estonian Music Annual Award (1973), Literary and Art Award of the Leninist Young Communist League of Estonia (1976, posthumously), and A. Aleksandrov Silver Medal (1972).

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