In a world where so many different cultures each with their own sets of values – some of which conflict – must co-exist, it’s easy to focus on what separates us, rather than what unites us as a species.
We might not all share the same political, religious or cultural beliefs, but that’s just part and parcel of living in a world that’s essentially one big melting pot. That said, the beauty of having so many cultures around, each with their own individual styles and quirks, means that we’re exposed to a lot of fantastic art and activities. And if we’re willing to keep an open mind, there is much joy and education to be found in embracing and appreciating diversity.
They say that music is a universal language – one which can shape and reflect a society, unite people under the umbrella of solidarity and even just bring some much-needed joy to people’s lives. When Bob Marley hosted the One Love concert in 1978, he joined the hands of bitter political rivals Michael Manley and Edward Seaga and, in those moments, they co-existed.
Even when you go to a concert, rave or festival, your inhibitions are let go and you find yourself in unison with fellow punters, appreciating the simple, yet powerful, joy music can bring. That’s the purpose behind World Music Day, aka Music Day, aka Fête de la Musique.
So what’s it all about? Well, essentially, World Music Day is a series of events which take place every year on the 21st June all around the world.
Formed in France in 1982, the annual festivities have garnered momentum to the point where we now have 120 countries and 700 cities taking part. That’s pretty cool, and given the dark times we’re living in at the moment where people have lost their lives recently for attending and enjoying concerts, this year’s is arguably the most important one yet. Society is divided in many ways, but if there’s one thing that can bring some unity back it’s this, and you’ll be pleased to know that there are events taking place in Glasgow and Edinburgh to celebrate the occasion.
Lanarkshire Guitar and Mandolin Association: 05:00 PM – 09:00 PM (East Mains United Reformed Church, 11 Old Coach Road)
This is a cool event if you play an instrument – mandolin, guitar or violin to be specific. Basically, this is your chance to show up and make a complete racket in an open rehearsal space, or even learn how to play something half decent with some like-minded folk and meet new friends as a result.
Your mate Bazza who loves the Bucky might not share your passion for mandolin, but you’ll find plenty of people here who will. The event, like every other one taking place to celebrate the day, is completely free. This could be a great opportunity to start a wee cheeky band as well.
Come and Sing: 05:00 PM – 07:00 PM (Grassmarket Public Realm Space Edinburgh)
What’s better than listening to music? Singing on the street with a bunch of complete strangers, that’s what. This Come and Sing event will take place in the capital and is open to anyone who loves to sing.
Led by Stockbridge Colonies Choir and Jennifer Sterling with guitar accompaniment, the event will host some friendly people singing some well-known songs and being taught a few harmonies for good measure. So, if you’re planning to audition for X-Factor later this year because you have dreams of becoming a big pop idol, then this could be the practice you need.
InChorus: 01:00 PM – 02:00 PM (Grassmarket Public Realm Space Edinburgh)
InChorus are a celebrated choir from Peebles, and they’ll be bringing their beautiful harmonies to Edinburgh in celebration of Music Day. Since forming in 2008, the choir has performed at festivals all around the world, from our own rainy shores, as well as more exciting places like New York and Dublin.
That said, Edinburgh is still an exciting places as well – hence why tourists visit it everyday – so you’re bound to have a lovely time if you show up to this one. The choir apparently have a special fondness for performing here as well, so you can bet that they’ll be giving it their all.