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Where words fail, music speaks.

Hans Christian Anderson

Music is the light of life for many people. It inspires, encourages and brings people together. Studies even show that music is good for the health and the brain, providing positive physical, mental and emotional responses when people simply listen to music as well as when they play or sing it. 

History of International Music Day

Music occurs within nature and humans have been recreating it probably since the beginning of time, as singing or humming seems to be a natural part of human development. Babies can even begin to sing as early as three months old!

While music has its unique attributes based on the culture and area of the world it comes from, it is a human activity that is exclusive to the human race and part of every culture in the world. Music unites human beings!

With that in mind, in 1949, the International Music Council was created as an associate organization of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Its purpose was to express solidarity between human beings in the global music ecosystem. Connecting, encouraging and providing access for musicians around the world, this organization started International Music Day

Initiated in 1973 by the 15th General Assembly of the International Music Council, the first International Music Day was celebrated in 1975. The intention behind the day was to promote musical art among all sectors of society as well as applying the UNESCO ideas of peace and friendship among people.

Many methods of teaching music have been embraced all over the world, some of these specific to certain cultures. In Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa and other places, children are often taught different versions of music in schools including singing and the playing of instruments such as recorders or percussion like drums and bells.

Whether a professional musician or novice, whether an opera singer or someone who really can’t carry a tune, International Music Day encourages people all over the globe to join in with five goals:

  • To allow children and adults to express themselves freely through music.
  • To give opportunities for children and adults to learn musical skills and languages.
  • To provide access to musical involvement for all.
  • To allow musical artists to develop and communicate through media and using proper facilities.
  • For musical artists to obtain recognition and fair remuneration for their work.

International Music Day Timeline

Paleolithic Period

Musical instruments are used 

Some of the oldest musical instruments, beginning with flutes, are believed to be from this period of time, millions of years ago.[1]

1400 BC

Music is first written down 

The earliest form of musical notation is dated from this time, written in a cuneiform tablet.[2]


International Music Council (IMC) is formed

The world’s largest network of institutions and organizations working in the field of music is created.[3]


IMC General Assembly in Lausanne 

At the 15th General Assembly of the International Music Council, a resolution is made to establish an International Music Day.[4]


International Music Day is founded 

Started by the International Music Council, this day is initiated by Lord Yehudi Menuhin to encourage and promote music in society.

How to Celebrate International Music Day

International Music Day offers tons of opportunities to enjoy and celebrate everything to do with music and all of the amazing benefits it has to offer. Consider some of these ideas for getting involved:

Listen to Music

Whether it is classical music that promotes brain development or modern music that makes your body want to move and dance, International Music Day can be celebrated by putting on some tunes. Turn up the volume in the car or pop in those headphones at work and join in on all the fun and benefits that music has to offer.

Create some playlists on an online music platform, turn on the car radio, toss some vinyl on that vintage record player or grab some of those old CDs and get playing. Many different opportunities exist to enjoy listening to music in celebration of the day!

Learn About the Benefits of Music 

Many people don’t realize that music is not only fun, it’s actually good for you. International Music Day is the perfect time to learn a little bit more about the benefits of music and how it improves the lives of billions of children and adults all over the world.

  • Music is good for the heart

    Studies have shown that the blood flows better when music is played. Playing music can lower the blood pressure, reduces the heart rate, decreases cortisol and promotes healthy substances in the blood.

  • Music can help with weight management

    Many people don’t know that playing soft music in the background while eating (and dimming the lights) can encourage people to slow down while they are eating which, ultimately, can lead to eating less food and promoting healthier eating habits.

  • Music improves the mood

    Listening to happy music has been shown to make people (and also pets!) happy. Music can promote the release of good hormones into the bloodstream, such as serotonin and endorphins, which helps people to relax, relieve feelings of anxiety and depression, and promote positive emotions.

  • Music helps to ease pain

    Research has proven that music can be used in healthcare situations, especially with geriatric people, to reduce the severity and intensity of pain, particularly in palliative care or intensive care patients.

Attend a Musical Event

This is the time to go out and listen to some live music! Whether related to International Music Day or just part of the cycle of music that happens all year round, attending a concert or other musical event in celebration of the day would be loads of fun!

Grab a seat at the local high school’s musical production. Pop into the local bar and listen to an open mic night. Attend an orchestra concert at the local chamber hall. Or get tickets to that rock star you’ve been dying to see! Music is all around so get ready to join in on it in whatever way possible.

Learn to Make Music

Been thinking about learning how to play the guitar or wondering if now is the time to take piano lessons again? International Music Day might be just the right motivation to get started! Join the rest of the world in learning to make music or improving those music skills by finding a teacher, taking a class or joining a local music collective. Even for those who are not prolific, learning and growing in making music brings joy and delight all over the world.

International Music Day FAQs

Is music good for you?

Yes! Research shows that music can provide health benefits like reducing blood pressure, minimizing anxiety and improving mental capacity.[1]

Does music affect your mood?

Studies have shown that listening to upbeat music can make people feel happier and improve their mood.[2]

Can music help you focus?

Certain types of music can increase brain power through motivation, increased focus and better memorization.[3]

Did music come before language?

Some researchers believe that music came before language, using the study of infants as a basis.[4]

Should music be taught in schools?

Many people agree that the benefits of teaching music in schools are myriad, including assisting in social skills, improving academic performance, and providing a creative outlet for development.[5]

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