T&T is unique with an ethnically heterogeneous society where citizens claim to share a common identity, while maintaining degrees of difference.
This uniqueness as a nation is unprecedented. Music is the best of our culture which portrays this theme. It mixes, fuses and integration of ethnic and western sounds and rhythms represent primarily our multifaceted identities with alarming fluidity. We advocate in the Road to Recovery programme, that cultural planning includes archiving/preservation/digitisation of all our music. The establishment of an all-inclusive Music Museum is a means of contributing to a knowledge society and promoting development of a national identity.
Today, the most pervasive sentiments are accorded to three music forms:
T&T is the Land of Calypso
T&T is the Land of Steelpan
T&T is the home of Carnival.
These genres express the highest values of our musical cultural heritage. Yet, we must pay attention to also preserve other distinctive genres and artefacts of music and performances which are linked through African cultures, generated in T&T.
Together they all need professional/sentimental attention together. That is, they as well need institutionalisation for collection, preservation, documentation, digitisation, protection and recognition as accounting for our musical cultural heritage in T&T.
Museums today serve as nurturing and inspirational tools. Many which choose to employ a collaborative approach are most likely to contribute best to human capital. That is, they use strategies to emancipate social environments grounded in intangible and tangible cultures.
This method mainly encourages and acknowledges human skills of creativity, communication, as well as establishes analytical and problem solving ones. It also engages communities in building and developing their respective sites as part of the main administration.
It provides the means for consolidating meaning of diverse identities while sharing the fundamentals of nationhood. An example is the development of panyards into a specific sites to link to a comprehensive paradigm of national musical cultural heritage museum.
Museums also form an integral part of the culture industry. Culture industries are the fastest growing sectors globally. They are one of the few industries which continue to perform well even during global economic downturn.
Culture industries, and by extension, museums add to the GDP of the economy and provide employment and sustainable growth. A National Museum of Musical Cultural heritage can increase the national economy through integration with the tourist industry, the performing arts/culture industry, corporations and education/research institutions. It can also engage in cultural exportation on demand from like organisations, regionally and internationally organisation.
Social effects of museums can be found in provision of learning experiences, as well as, maintenance of community involvement to enrich the lives of our citizens. It is in our music that we have demonstrated how innovative, creative and entrepreneurial we are as a people.
In our Road to Recovery as a nation, we should seek to move beyond the fixed mindset of inaction and blame towards one that aims to seek solutions, promote development and enact social change. Now, more than ever, creative hubs are needed to foster this dialogue and develop human capital.
In conclusion, many citizens love and enjoy the derivatives of historic music art forms, which have been configured as the genesis of a musical cultural heritage. Yet, our country has not developed significant means for looking back at evidence of pitfalls and achievements which are ineffaceable in our music.
The role is paramount of museums in training younger generations in the knowledge of our narratives of identity, in order to encourage life-long learning.
With what else can we move forward but with music, to enjoy the strength of our intangible culture? Music sweet, sings Shadow. Everybody could dingolay.
A national all-inclusive Museum of Musical Cultural Heritage of T&T will adopt the collaborative approach, appropriate to capture and display the cultural richness of our nation which is a mix of identities and experimentations to cause differences to coagulate in T&T.