B34 The decision of the Federal Office of Culture

UNESCO's narrow focus on customs would have made it possible to include the process of organ and piano tuning in the list of living traditions - as well as musical-liturgical celebrations - but not the underlying educational content of harmony theory, be it physical or musical -, theological or ethical nature.

This reduces the intangible cultural heritage to the rituals, practices and actions carried out, whereby the so-called steering group has the discretion to define the boundaries in each individual case. Direct democracy was included in the list - not just the repetitive walk of citizens to the polls.

In a video conference, the author was informed that, in principle, historical matters did not belong in the list, and religious matters did not belong there either, unless they were distinct living traditions. In addition, an adjustment to society needs to be made. As can be seen from the expert group's report, the proposals are based on strategic considerations that take Switzerland's interests into account. We want to consciously refrain from evaluating (ranking) the individual traditions we live. Furthermore, it cannot be ruled out that a renewed application could be accepted in 5 years, as the list is not intended to be exhaustive.

Questionable process

The low number of accessed articles on this page in April 2023, combined with a stay time of only a few minutes, was disconcerting. There were no new visitors from Switzerland in May, June and July. The decision was made on May 11 and validated by the cantons in July. An independent familiarization with the new research area, which is nowhere presented as compactly as on this page, was therefore not recognizable and there were no questions asked.

The importance of a cultural heritage can be seen in the multitude of its branches, in its influence on other disciplines over the centuries and in its geographical distribution. The Western theory of harmony is part of the Catholic worldview - katholikós 'all-encompassing' - the largest format conceivable given its name.

It comes to light in the lived customs of church services - where organ and church singing cannot be missing - as well as in the art of the fugue by J.S. Bach or on the occasion of the use of devotional instruments such as those presented on this page. Their sacred majesty extends far into the secular realm. Festival halls and concert halls become places of pilgrimage with adequate architectural furnishings.

Elbphilharmonie Hamburg: Music and architecture merge with the sky

With regard to the liveliness of the customs, the academic view is misleading, because the Enlightenment and the French Revolution had an influence on the state teaching institutes, which have no longer taught the content since then, but not on the liturgical processes within the church. Therefore, in 2015, Benedict XVI was able to comment on Western music as shown in blog B2. The existence of a Pontificio istituto di musica sacra speaks for itself. Who, if not the Church itself, would have to decide which branches of the Catholic worldview should be considered dead and therefore no longer able to produce living traditions?

Current reference

The daily news informs us of a living global tradition of warfare and also of the living tradition of exploiting natural resources to maintain and increase wealth. The theory of harmony as a global ethos is therefore ranked first in terms of its global importance for humanity, because even the best democracy would be worthless without synergy competence. Quite a few democracies and alliances of states become unstable because this is exactly what they lack.

History is full of bitter truths that must not be ignored! One of them is this: for 2,500 years now, Harmonia, the Greek goddess of harmony, has confronted people with their own failures. The theory of harmony stands in opposition to strategic thinking.

Has she now had to accept another instance of non-compliance? What role did religious neutrality play in the decision-making process, the importance of which was specifically pointed out? In order to gain clarity on these questions, a specific query was sent to the Federal Office of Culture for the occasion - particularly in light of the public discussion about the acceptance of religious symbols in classrooms. The reply letter dated October 3rd, 2023, in which the theory of harmony is honored on a par with the Swiss flag and the national anthem, is reproduced below:

Please klick to enlarge

The following map shows the area of distribution of Christianity, which contributed significantly to the popularity of the Western sound system - which in turn also enjoyed great popularity in other countries - as can be seen, among other things, in the production figures of corresponding instruments, e.g. in Japan and China. For this reason it is appropriate to speak of a world cultural heritage. Does the Federal Office's decision mean that he will never be granted this role?

World map of Christianity, as of 2012