World Music Day, also called Fête de la Musique due to its French origins, is an international celebration of music, observed every year on the 21st of June. It is a day to celebrate music from around the world and highlights the universality music has. Music can be enjoyed by anyone, even those who do not play any instruments or sing, and it can often cross-cultural borders.
Beginning in France, the World Day of Music came about when Maurice Fleuret became the Director of Music and Dance at the Ministry of Culture in October 1981. From a study written in 1982 on French cultural habits, Fleuret discovered that every one out of two people played a musical instrument. He was inspired by this fact to bring people together on the streets with music, and so the first Fête de la Musique took place in Paris in 1982.
This first event promoted music by encouraging new as well as professional musicians to perform in the streets. It was an organization of free concerts that covered all genres, exposing the public to different and new kinds of music they otherwise may have never discovered. The first festival put a lot of emphasis on everything being free for the audience, and this idea translated into Music Days in other cities.
Today the festival has gained international popularity and is now celebrated in more than 120 countries around the world. It has evolved from a festival in Paris to the World Day of Music, or International Music day. Social media has played a major role in popularizing the holiday as well.
This year the festival is celebrated on Tuesday June 21st, in countries including Italy, India, Australia, China, the United States, Japan, and Malaysia. Events and concerts can be found all over the United States in celebration of this day. Over the years it has helped dying genres be revived, new artists be discovered, as well as bring people together.