UNESCO recently announced recognition of Belgian carillon culture as best practice in protecting intangible cultural heritage.
The carillon came into being in the south of the Netherlands around 1500 and is the oldest musical mass medium in history. Today the carillon is the largest musical instrument in the world.
The recognition includes the carillon repertoire, education, concert traditions and stories about carillon music. UNESCO values the years of experience and campaigning in Belgium to pass on and develop carillon culture, praising it as a model for heritage communities all over the world.
An important centre for carillon culture is Mechelen, home to the Royal Carillon School "Jef Denyn".
In 1922, when the school was founded, it was the first carillon school in the world. Since then it has become world famous, with students still coming from far and wide to take lessons in Mechelen. Read about the Royal Carillon School Jef Denyn in this yearbook article.