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World Music day: June 21

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Columnists: Sangeetha Sridhar, Dr.Rajan Philips, Hasan Kamoonpuri

Reflections-By Dr Rajan Philips

World Music day: June 21


( This motivational article was published in Oman Observer , one of the leading Newspapers in Oman. The article is reproduced with the permission of the author )

The World Music day also known as The Fête de la Musique,  is a Music festival taking place on June 21.


The idea was first broached in 1976 by American musician Joel Cohen, then employed by the national French radio station . Cohen proposed an all-night music celebration at the moment of the summer solstice. The idea was taken up by French Music and Dance director Maurice Fleuret for Minister of Culture Jack Lang in 1981 and first took place in 1982.

Why World Music Day is celebrated?

  • Goal of World Music Day festival is to make propaganda of music in various manners.
  • Novice and expert musicians are motivated to give their performances in the streets. 
  • Several music concerts are arranged at free of cost.
  • This concert provides the platform for the public attaining all the musical genres.
  • Though it's not mandatory that musicians also play at free of cost, but many of them do so.
  • There is no restriction for noise during the night of this music festival and it is also allowed by French law.
  • The musicians without getting any fright play their music whole night and neighbors do not have the right to call the cop due to loudness of music.

Article: The Power of Music
(This article was published in Observer, Leading News paper, Oman )

Reflections: By  Dr Rajan Philips -Music is universal and an indispensable element in this world. Even before man appeared, nature and music were intertwined. Every breeze that blew through leaves, made them rustle. The chirping of birds and crickets, the melody of the koels, nightingales and cuckoos, the gurgle of the mountain stream and the roar of the mighty waterfall were a few of the myriad forms of music that reverberated on the earth.

Going forward, every stage of civilisation and culture has been inextricably associated with music. The observance today of World Music Day provides us an opportunity to reflect on the rich legacy of music that enlivens and enriches our life.

World Music Day is celebrated annually on June 21, which marks the summer solstice (and the longest day of the year). The initiative began in France in1982 and Paris rightly remains the focal point of the celebrations.

The French call it the Fête de la Musique, a major annual cultural event for the city and marked by unrestrained night-long festivities. Hundreds of amateur and professional musicians perform every kind of music in the streets, bars, railway stations, boats and cafés of Paris.

On a more sober note, classical concerts, lectures by leading composers, musical contests and exhibitions are held. All performances are free. The Day is now observed in more than 110 countries.

These celebrations reiterate that music is with us in times of sorrow or joy and in every season and clime. We celebrate joyous occasions like victories, weddings and anniversaries with lively and spirited music. A child is put to peaceful sleep by the mother’s lullaby. The anthems of countries reinforce national identity, pride and loyalty. Likewise, soft and slow music can soothe us and lift us out of our depression.

I recall reading about the band that played on the Titanic. They entertained the passengers on the maiden voyage with cheerful tunes that added to the merriment. But as the ship began sinking to its tragic doom, the band calmly stayed on and switched over to spiritual songs that filled the desperate passengers with a measure of courage and comfort.

That brings me to the vital aspect of the healing power of music. Light and melodious music reduces muscle tension, decreases heart rate, lowers blood pressure and help us sleep better.

Music has very specific therapeutic effects. It is used to treat prematurely born babies. Listening to music during chemotherapy reduces anxiety and tension.

One hospital in Hawaii reportedly carried out the bold experiment of exposing a patient to piano music inside the operation theatre during the entire surgery. Don Campbell in his book The Mozart Effect shows how music brings relief in a variety of ailments like depression, cancer, autism and Alzheimer’s.

During World War II doctors exposed wounded and shell-shocked soldiers to music to enhance their rehabilitation rates. Today, the systematic use of this healing power of music is growing. That explains the remarkable presence of 5,000 registered and certified music therapists, in leading hospitals in the US alone.

Great music pleases the ears, stimulates the mind and nurtures the soul. It instils hope, expresses our joys, kindles our love and soothes us when we are lost in despair. Music is truly an oasis in the journey of life through a desert.

l Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life”
— Red Auerbach
l He who sings scares away his woes. — Cervantes
l Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music — S Rachmaninov

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