UNESCO: Intangible World Heritage Organ building and -music

On 14th of September 2018 a ceremony was held to recognize "organ building and organ music" as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. The Commissioner for International Cultural Policy in the Foreign Office Irmgard Maria Fellner handed over the UNESCO certificate to the Association of German Organ Builders (BDO), the Society of Organ Friends (GdO), the Association of Organ Experts of Germany (VOD) and the Federal Guild of Musical Instruments Craft as an award that organ building and organ music as intangible cultural heritage of humanity.

Organ building and organ music: 400 organ building companieswith about 2,800 employees, 180 apprentices and 3,500 full-time and tens of thousands of honorary organists characterize the craft and art of organ building and organ music in Germany. More than 50,000 organs are currently in use in this country. The Intergovernmental UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Committee included the cultural form in the UNESCO list in December 2017 in Jeju, South Korea. The organ, organ building and organ music were invented more than 2,000 years ago in Hellenistic Egypt and reached Byzantium to Europe,where they have been developed since the Carolingian Renaissance as a cultural asset to the present day. Since the Middle Ages, organs from Europe, where most organs are built, are exported to many countries worldwide. Germany is one of the world's most important countries for the further development of organ building and organ music. In organ building, knowledge in dealing with nature and traditional craftsmanship combine with innovative technology of the respective epoch. Organ music has also been part of the liturgy of the churchsince the Middle Ages. She has inspired many composers, such as Bach, Liszt or Mendelssohn-Bartholdy in Germany and beyond.