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Tracing the origin of World Music Day to Fete de la Musique

Friday, 21 June 2013 - 7:18pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA Web Team
With the 21st of June marked as 'World Music Day', dna shares with you how the festival originally started as the "Fete de la Musique"
It's only fitting that the longest day of the year should be filled with tunes from all corners of the world isn't it? Different cities are all prepared for World Music Day, an annual festival on June 21st. The origins of this special day dedicated to music, is a rather interesting story that are tracked back to France, where it is more popularly known as the"Fête de la Musique".
 
According to their official website, it was famous French compopser and music journalist Maurice Fleuret who can be accredited with founding the idea. In 1982. He stumbled upon a study conducted on the cultural habits of the French, says the website, where it was documented that five million people, and one out of every two children, played a musical instrument. Learning this, Fleuret began to dream of a way to bring these people out on the streets to share their common passion. 
 
Therefore, after a few week with the help of the Minister of Cuture Jack Lang, the Fête de la Musique was launched on June 21, 1982, the day of summer solstice. The website records that the festival was immediately successful, despite being rather spontaneous, as it brought together scores of professional and amateur musicians who were given a chance to explore forms of rock, jazz, and traditional music, alongside the so-called "serious music".

From these humble origins was born a French cultural tradition, as the free concerts, the SACEM’s support, the help from the media and territorial municipalities and increasing number of participants made the festival a hit.
 
Fête de la Musique says this French model then started to be "exported" in 1985, which happened to be the European Year of Music. In another fifteen years, the Fête was recorded as having been taken up in over one hundred countries throughout the five continents.

It was mostly popular in European cities including Berlin, Budapest, Barcelona, Istanbul, Liverpool, Luxemburg, Rome, Naples, and Prague that all signed what was known as the "Charter of the partners of the European Festival of Music".

Other countries in which the festival has left its mark is Britain, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Israel, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, Pakistan, Philippines and USA.

 
Besides being featured in these big cities, the Fête says that what has been a real winning point for them is how the festival has spread to several other parts of these countries. It reaches out to "prisons, it shares the lives of hospital patients and personnel, brings together educational establishments and music schools, creates links between cities and suburbs, brings a fresh breeze to rural communities and highlights the months of efforts of an individual, a group, an association, or even an entire community".
 

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