- Takes note that France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Italy have nominated Musical art of horn players, an instrumental technique linked to singing, breath control, vibrato, resonance of place and conviviality (no. 01581) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:
The musical art of horn players, an instrumental technique linked to singing, breath control, vibrato, resonance of place and conviviality, brings together the techniques and skills used to play the horn. The pitch, accuracy and quality of the notes produced are influenced by the musician’s breath and the instrumental technique is based on the players’ body control. The timbre of the instrument is clear and piercing, especially in high notes, and the instrument’s sound range is based on natural resonance with rich harmonics. With twelve notes, its range enables compositions with a singing melody, accompanied by a second voice and harmonized with a bass score; as an integral part of the art of playing horns, singing enables players to develop cohesion and convivial solidarity. Playing the horn is a performative art open to musical creativity and practised on festive occasions. Drawn together by their shared fascination for this instrumental music, players come from all backgrounds. This great social mix is one of the hallmarks of current horn practice. Education in the practice is traditionally oral and imitative. Players rarely learn alone, however musical practice is often acquired in horn schools. Horn music maintains a vast, lively musical repertoire constantly enriched since the seventeenth century. A great sense of belonging and continuity stems from interpreting this common repertoire, encouraging intercultural and international dialogue.
- Considers that, from the information included in the file, the nomination satisfies the following criteria for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:
R.1: The nomination file highlights the characteristics of the bearer communities and the different roles of the community members, and clearly explains the inclusion of women and youth. The element is transmitted orally and imitatively as well as through courses at ‘horn schools’, with the associated knowledge passed on from experienced players to new learners. Community members are brought together by their shared fascination with this instrumental music, with no specific linguistic, ideological or financial criteria for admission to the practice. The social functions and cultural meanings of the element are valued by bearers from all social and professional backgrounds.
R.2: The nomination states that the inscription of the element will make citizens aware of the wide-scale fragility of intangible heritage due to changes in legislation, the effects of fashion and developments in society. It further states that, at the international level, recognizing the musical art of horn players would help draw attention to musical practices based on a range of instruments with shared principles: they are all simple to make, easy to access, have essentially oral-based modes of transmission, and have a creative repertoire open to new compositions.
R.3: The viability of the element has been ensured by the horn federations and associations, as well as by all the States Parties concerned, which have supported the horn groups through budgetary contributions or administrative and legal measures. The four States Parties have proposed five safeguarding measures, namely: 1) transmitting the practice to new players; 2) strengthening research and documentary processing to enrich the repertoire and knowledge of the musical practice; 3) raising awareness about the issues associated with intangible cultural heritage through the horn; 4) extending revitalization actions to other regions; and 5) entrusting the monitoring of safeguarding measures to a dedicated entity. In each of the submitting States, the practitioners concerned were involved in the safeguarding process from its initial stage onward, which involved identifying and recording the practices of horn players.
R.4: The nomination process relied on the participation of most of the relevant federations and associations from the States Parties concerned, with a very strong presence of the French International Federation of Horns. This was a lengthy process, involving many activities and opportunities for participation. The file also contains a large number of letters of consent that attest to the importance of the nomination.
R.5: Between 2014 and 2019, the element was inscribed in the national inventory of each State Party by the national agencies in charge, with a unique reference number ascribed to each element in the inventory. The inventories and documentation of cultural aspects related to Musical art of horn players are conducted with the active participation of the communities, groups and non-governmental organizations concerned. In all four States, mechanisms are in place to regularly update the inventories, overseen by the relevant bodies.
Decides to inscribe Musical art of horn players, an instrumental technique linked to singing, breath control, vibrato, resonance of place and conviviality on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.