Why Ambon Is UNESCO's Creative City of Music

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Markus Wisnu Murti

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  • Music concert illustration.

    Music concert illustration.

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated the city of Ambon, the capital of Maluku, as one of the world’s creative cities on October 31, 2019, in the music category. 

    Citing the website of the Ministry of Education, Research, and Culture, Ambon joined 65 other world music cities and the Creative Cities Organization Network consisting of 256 cities in the world. 

    The Ministry wrote that Ambon committed to placing culture at the center of their development strategy. It aded it was the result of determination and efforts by the government and the entire Ambonese community in making music a unifying medium inseparable from their daily lives.

    UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay said each and every city has their own strategies in making cultural pillars as more than an accessory, saying that it supports socio-political innovation that is greatly important for the young generation. 

    For the 394,415 inhabitants within the city of Ambon, as cited from the UNESCO website, music is not only a source of entertainment, but also a way of life that accompanies them in everyday activities and is often a focal point in celebrations and during the holidays. 

    Nearly 90% of people in Ambon, thanks to their participation in choirs and training from an early age, can sing at a professional level, forming an inextricable link between music and the city. Alongside tourism, music is a key source of employment and economic growth for the city, contributing over US$700,000 to the economy every year.

    With such a deep-rooted musical culture, the city fosters and supports a diverse music scene from rappers and guitarists to choirs and brass bands. 

    With such talented artists, the city activity promotes its music on both national and international scales through events such as the Indonesian Music Conference, the National Music Symposium and the Amboina International Music Convention. These festivals not only aim at celebrating music, but also providing an opportunity for musicians and musical communities to discuss musical regulations, collaborate and share traditions both locally and worldwide.

    Read: Copyright Royalty Regulations Protect Singers, Musicians: Govt 

    HENDRIK KHOIRUL MUHID | EK | UNESCO