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Social Power of Music

June 29 & 30, 2019

If humanity survives another century,
it will be because of music.

The 2019 Smithsonian Folklife Festival takes as its animating theme the “social power of music.” Be it the lilt of a lullaby, the syncopated rhythm of a sacred drum, or the wail of a funeral dirge, music conveys cultural values while expressing an unlimited range of meanings and emotions.

When music compels us to engage and exchange, it displays a remarkable capacity to promote shared understanding, transcend difference, and fuel social cohesion. During moments of protest and resistance, it can express rage and hope in equal measure. Music’s power—its social power—resides in its ability to transmit knowledge while synchronizing activities that create, sustain, and, occasionally, break bonds within and between cultures.

The 2019 Festival comprises two days of concerts, music workshops, and audio demonstrations. See the full schedule and upcoming related events.

What Is the Social Power of Music?
The Social Power of Music
The Social Power of Music from Smithsonian Folkways Recordings

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