For the 394,415 inhabitants within the city of Ambon, the capital of the Maluku region in eastern Indonesia, music is not only a source of entertainment, but a way of life. It accompanies them in everyday activities and is often a focal point in celebrations and during the holidays. Almost 90% of people in Ambon, thanks to their participation in choirs and training from an early age, can sing at a professional level, forming an inextricable link between music and the city. Alongside tourism, music is a key source of employment and economic growth for the city, contributing over US$ 700,000 to the economy every year.
With such a deep-rooted musical culture, the city fosters and supports a diverse music scene composing of rappers and guitarists, to choirs and brass bands. With such talented artists, the city activity promotes its music on a national and international scale through events such as the Indonesian Music Conference, the National Music Symposium and the Amboina International Music Convention. These festivals not only aim to celebrate music but also provide an opportunity for musicians and musical communities to discuss musical regulations, collaborate and share traditions both locally and worldwide.
The role of music in fueling Ambon's socio-economic development is also extremely important. Talented musicians, songwriters, and producers are not only a source of pride for the city but also have a real impact on its transformation. Due to its significance, music is at the heart of policy-making. Recent regulations, including the "Regional Regulation on Creative Music", encourages the promotion of music within local establishments and the creation of musical events. Other such policies support fair wages for artists and the prevention of copying and disseminating music illegally, all with the aim of creating a fair and vibrant music industry within the city. Alongside this, new initiatives seeking to empower the voice of young people and plans to create a city development strategy through music based on the 2030 UN Agenda, provide a solid foundation for the "Ambon City of Music" programme that will ensure its sustainability and longevity.
As a Creative City of Music, Ambon envisages:
- fostering interdisciplinary cooperation between the UCCN cities, the exchange of best practices and the emergence of joint projects among the cities of music and other creative fields;
- conducting research with other partners in the network on the role of music education in the development of children and youth, as well as the impact of participation in school music programmes on learning other subjects; and
- strengthening cooperation between different institutional levels, such as NGOs, and private academies, thanks to open meetings, consultations and round tables held by the Ambon Music Office.