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‘Cultural diversity’, ‘European cultural identity’ and ‘inclusion of minority cultures’ are nowadays top priorities for many music organisations in Europe. Cultural operators and political decision makers are conducting a significant discussion on European cultural identity and diversity – including influences from outside Europe. How can we bridge the seemingly unbridgeable contradiction between a common European identity and cultural diversity in Europe?

With the EU funded project ‘ExTra! – Exchange Traditions’ the European Music Council and its partners take part actively in this debate and offer concrete activities to promote cultural diversity integrating minorities in a sensitive and respectful way.

In many parts of Europe, traditional music belongs to a living, everyday culture. It is a crucial factor for the cultural identity of the individual citizen. The project ‘ExTra!’ will enhance the understanding of the culture of each other’s neighbours. The aim of ‘ExTra!’ is to stimulate exchanges between different music traditions present in today’s multicultural Europe. The project focuses on musical traditions of migrants in Europe and their interaction with cultures already existing in the European countries.


The EMC has gathered co-operation partners from different European countries for the ExTra! project, focusing on different aspects in the field of music such as education, production, musicology, socio-culture and new media. With this multifaceted consortium of partners, a broad approach from different perspectives can be guaranteed.

The project offers a wide range of activities: a research study will identify music traditions that are part of the day-to-day life of people in Europe. The production of traditional music in concerts and recordings will contribute to the promotion of different musical traditions; a download platform will enable worldwide dissemination of sheet music, recordings and relevant publications from the field. Tools for music education will be developed in order to integrate traditional music in the curricula for amateur musicians as well as in the professional training programmes; workshops and summer academies for musicians on all levels will offer the opportunity to meet with other musicians and to learn (more) about different musical traditions. Encounters for cultural operators will provide possibilities to exchange information, to share knowledge and to develop ongoing cooperation projects.

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European Music Council (EMC)