The Five Music Rights are a set of values developed by the International Music Council (IMC). These core beliefs have guided IMC, its regional groups and members worldwide in all of their work and actions, from their foundation until today.
First proclaimed at the International Music Council’s General Assembly in Tokyo in 2001, the Five Music Rights are inspired by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, the PEN charter and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
The Rights have been widely adopted by the music ecosystem, notably making their way across the Atlantic when singer, songwriter and poet Patti Smith read them aloud during her acceptance speech at the American Eagle Awards.
In 2009, nearly a decade after the Rights were publicly proclaimed, the Music Rights Awards were launched by the IMC to recognise projects and programmes that uphold one or more of the Five Music Rights in an exemplary way. The Music Rights Awards are given out every two years through nomination and the results are widely disseminated to increase awareness for these initiatives. Past recipients include
► Orchestra of Indigenous Instruments and New Technology (Argentina),
► Music and Resilience for Palestinian refugees of Lebanon,
► Remix the Orchestra (New Zealand),
► The Fayha Choir (Lebanon),
► Teaching Music in Pakistan (Pakistan),
► Festival sur le Niger (Mali),
► Give Music a Future (Europe),
► Music Play for Life (Australia),
► Hearts in Harmony in Barcelona (Spain),
► Teaching Cantonese Opera in Hong Kong Schools (China),
► Freemuse (Denmark),
► the Musical Programme of the Centro Andino para la Educación y la Cultura - CApEC (Argentina),
► Revival of Music Education in Afghanistan (Afghanistan).
In 2016, the Five Music Rights were given fresh impetus when the IMC appointed several dedicated individuals to serve as Five Music Rights Champions. Through them, the Five Music Rights travel the world, landing ‘on the radar’ of musicians and music-lovers worldwide and inspiring them to action.