With music existing for well over 40,000 years now1, you’d be surprised to know that World Music Day was a fairly recent addition to the list of annual celebrations. It was inaugurated in the 1980s, however, the event spread across the world within a few years of its initiation.
The First World Music Day Celebration
World Music Day was first celebrated as a national musical holiday in France as Fête de la Musique in 1982. It was initiated by the country’s former minister of art and culture, Jack Lange, who came up with the idea with French journalist, music composer, and radio producer Maurice Fleuret who decided on celebrating it every year on the Summer Solstice on June 21st.
The idea behind the festival was to have a day of free concerts and live music wherever people wanted to in the city. A day when everyone could be a part of a fun festival, play music, organize musical events and join in on the celebrations.
Since its inception World Music Day has been promoted with the slogan “Faites de la musique” which means “make music” in French and is also a homophone of “Fête de la Musique” which means “festival of music.” Therefore, World Music Day is also widely known as Make Music Day and International Music Day.2
World Music Day Activities
World Music Day is celebrated in more than 1000 cities across 120 countries! On this day musicians hold events and concerts all over the world and they are accessible to the public for free. Since the pandemic, the festival has slowed down, but here’s how some countries have been celebrating the day.3
Argentina had over 200 free musical events in 2019 which included open classes, workshops, events in schools, bars, studios, and outdoor spaces. The country’s festivities were broadcast live on TV and radio stations. Children were taught how to construct and play instruments across the country and a host of different musical activities were organized at a cultural center in Buenos Aires.4
On June 21, 2019, World Music Day in Australia organized over 150 events in all its states and territories. The celebrations also included a 500-person flash mob choir that performed in Sydney’s largest train station.5
World Music Day was a week-long event with free music lessons offered across the country to people of all ages. The country also saw more than 1,000 online and “balcony” events across the country.6
In 2019, World Music Day in China saw 4,000 events organized in 160 cities featuring 160,000 performers from across the country. The festival was marked with traditional Chinese music at Beijing’s Temple of Heaven, school band performances, and a government-issued Make Music China postage stamp.7
In France, the country where it all began, you can experience more than 17,000 concerts nationwide every year on World Music Day. According to a survey conducted in 2017, 64% of the French population actively participates in the festivities of World Music Day as listeners or as performers.8
How Can you Celebrate World Music Day?
The best part about this day is that music is accessible to all of us. Here are a few ideas to make this day fun and interesting:
- Have your friends over, order some food, and play all your favorite songs. Each person gets 20 minutes of air time!
- Discover some new music. It can be from a new genre, culture, an instrument you never heard before etc.,
- Do some research on the events being organized in your city and attend them. Experience the music first hand.
- If you were planning on learning how to play an instrument, enroll yourself into a music class.
If none of the above are possible, just find a peaceful spot, plug your earphones in and listen to your favorite music and take a moment to thank all the people who create all the beautiful music we listen to today and the people who make it easy for us to access it.
Or, you can enroll for a free trial with BYJU’S FutureSchool and begin your music journey on World Music Day! Learn one-on-one from some of the most well trained instructors who make learning music an absolute adventure! For more interesting articles on music visit the BYJU’S FutureSchool blog.
- Art & Music | The Smithsonian Institution’s Human Origins Program. (n.d.). Retrieved June 20, 2022, from https://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/behavior/art-music
2. Fête de la Musique – Worldwide Music Festival – France | French Affair. (n.d.). Retrieved June 20, 2022, from https://frenchaffair.com.au/fete-de-la-musique/
3. Make Music Day | Worldwide Celebration of Music | June 21st, 2022. (n.d.). Retrieved June 20, 2022, from https://www.makemusicday.org/
4. Argentina | Make Music Day. (n.d.). Retrieved June 20, 2022, from https://www.makemusicday.org/about/around-the-world/argentina/
5. Australia | Make Music Day. (n.d.). Retrieved June 20, 2022, from https://www.makemusicday.org/about/around-the-world/australia/
6. Brazil | Make Music Day. (n.d.). Retrieved June 20, 2022, from https://www.makemusicday.org/about/around-the-world/brazil/
7. China | Make Music Day. (n.d.). Retrieved June 20, 2022, from https://www.makemusicday.org/about/around-the-world/china/
8. France | Make Music Day. (n.d.). Retrieved June 20, 2022, from https://www.makemusicday.org/about/around-the-world/france/