The Translation of World Music Day

By / 19 June 2016 / Professional translation

The Translation of World Music Day into practice: highlighting the joy of living together

The English word “solstice” comes from the Latin, “sol”, meaning “sun” and the past participle “stitium” meaning “standing still” [1]. People celebrating World Music Day won’t be standing still though!

In France, World Music Day has officially taken place since the 1980s on the 21st June, the same day as the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere and the celebrations were initially spearheaded by French politician Jack Lang. The translation of World Music Day into practice is the expression of a common will to use music as a way of gathering together, of “living together” (take a look at the official poster in France [2]). At least that is the guiding ideal Fleur Pellerin, the French minister for culture, has suggested it tend toward this year.

The Translation of World Music Day - Poster for 2015

The Translation of World Music Day – Poster for 2015

The Translation of World Music Day: laying down democracy in sheet music

The idea behind celebrations designed as a way of pooling and sharing everyone’s talents and instruments is fundamentally democratic and this adds to the symbolism of any unrestricted move to occupy public spaces.

World Music Day builds on the emotional awakening afforded by music by laying the foundations for events accessible to all kinds of people, hence highlighting the significance of coming together. The translation of World Music Day into practice is a translation of key democratic values into practice. Tangibly, musicians of all talents and ability, fans of all styles of music can play, on a voluntary basis, in streets, parks and other open spaces, as well as in places usually closed to the general public such as hospitals for example.

The Translation of World Music Day: ever louder

World Music Day sets town and country villages swinging just as much as capitals (New York, Berlin, Mexico, etc. [3]) as if works of art stored in museums had been translated into public squares and cheerfully displayed there for free and all to see.

According to the event’s official website, “over 120 countries celebrated World Music Day in 2014” [3]. The English translation of World Music Day sometimes uses the French pun on “Fête de la musique”, hence giving “Make Music Day” (the translation of “Faîtes de la musique”) [4a]. In Italian and Spanish, the translation of World Music Day is respectively “Festa della Musica” and “Fiesta de la Música [4b; 4c]. Sometimes, the French title isn’t translated at all. That’s how these students in Brisbane were able to celebrate a truly French “Fête de la Musique” [5].

The Translation of World Music Day - Schoolchildren singing for the Fête de la Musique - Brisbane City Council (2010)

The Translation of World Music Day – Schoolchildren singing for the Fête de la Musique – Brisbane City Council (2010)

Every year, the amount of new events organized around the world has an impact on the number of these translations. That’s more work for the ever-growing community of Mytranslation’s professional translators!

Sources and photo credits

[1] – Online Etymology Dictionary: solstice
[2] – Official poster in France for World Music Day in 2015
[3] – ­ World Music Day: a national holiday become a popular music event all over the world (webpage in French, a Mytranslation language)
[4a ; 4b ; 4c] – Musicday.org.uk ; France.fr: Festa della Musica (webpage in Italian, a Mytranslation language) ; France.fr: Fiesta de la Música (webpage in Spanish, a Mytranslation language).
[5] – St Michael’s School Choir (Brisbane City Council – Flickr)

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