Did you know that June 21st is not just the longest day of the year but also 'World Music Day'? Every year, over 1,000 cities around the world throw music celebrations.
39 years ago France’s Ministry of Culture dreamed up an idea for a holiday where free, live music would be played everywhere: from street corners to rooftops and from parks to mountaintops.
Amazingly, this dream has come true. France now shuts down on the summer solstice and musicians take over. Almost 8% of the country (that's 5 million people!) have played an instrument or sung in public on 'World Music Day'.
30 years later, this day is now celebrated in 120 countries around the world including the UK. Take a look at the official website to see what's going on today near you.
In celebration of 'World Music Day' I've compiled my top 5 amazing musical instruments that you've (probably) never heard of along with a video so you can see and hear them being played. Have a watch, they are all amazing!
Why not play the videos to your kids or grandkids and get them inspired to make their own music today...
This is a double reel wind instrument from South India. It is one of the world's loudest non-brass acoustic instruments! It is a key instrument played at almost all Hindu weddings and temples in South India.
This is a traditional Chinese musical instrument. Yunluo can be translated as 'cloud of gongs'. It is made up of a set of gongs of varying sizes held within a frame and is played using sticks. It has existed for around 650 years and was traditionally played at weddings and funerals.
A Zither is a stringed instrument that is traditionally found in Germany and is played by plucking or strumming the strings. It works like a guitar where the body of the instrument acts as a resonating chamber (it makes the sound louder) but unlike a guitar it doesn't have a neck.
This is an ancient wind instrument that is traditionally made from clay or ceramic. It is played by blowing into a mouthpiece and has a series of finger holes which can be covered to produce the different notes. You may have heard of this one as it features in the Nintendo game 'The Legend of Zelda'.
The Rubab is the national musical instrument of Afghanistan where it is known as 'the lion of instruments'. Its body is caved out of a single piece of wood and is covered by goat skin. It is played similar to a guitar, by plucking the strings.
Wow what an amazing list! I hope you enjoyed listening to them. Which was your favourite?
The illustrations in this article are all from my A-Z Musical Instruments print.
It would be great for a child's nursery or bedroom. As well as helping them to recognise letters it will ignite their curiosity about the world of music. A perfect gift for a music loving family!
I hope you can enjoy listening to or even make your own music wherever you are in the world today!
Lots of love,