The Global Music Centre is one of Finland’s musical institutions. Its key task is to collect record and distribute information about musical cultures from around the world. The Centre organizes training and musical events, produces sound recordings and other publications, supports links between other actors in the same field both in Finland and abroad, carries out development cooperation projects involving music, provides consultancy services, takes part in research activity and publishes information about news and events in the field of music. The Centre has its own library and archives which are open to all.

The Global Music Centre was founded in 1979 and until 1991 operated under the name the Institute of Workers´ Music. The Centre is maintained by a foundation of the same name, the Global Music Centre Foundation. GMC has three member organizations KSL Civic Association for Adult Learning, the Finnish Society for Ethnomusicology and the Finnish Society of Composers and Lyricists.

The Global Music Centre Foundation is allowed to accept donations and bequests.

Consulting and research

The Global Music Centre provides a consulting and information service. The Centre can be consulted about suitable Finnish or foreign artists for different events and productions, or more extensive themed packages.

Alongside musical research, the Global Music Centre focuses on research-to-order dealing with cultural-political issues and the music industry.

Development Cooperation

The Global Music Centre has carried out development cooperation projects in many Southern African Development Community countries, in Senegal in West Africa, and in Cuba. In 2009, a project dealing comprehensively with the music field as a whole, but focussing on the library and archive sector, was launched in Tadzikistan in cooperation with the Bactria Cultural Centre. Currently the Global Music Centre is doing preparatory work on a project involving the Taghreft Tinariwen organization in Mali and on the next project based in Kirgizstan in Central Asia.

Within the framework of a project, the Global Music Centre can provide its partners with expertise on areas such as culture management, sound reproduction and studio operation, or library and archiving work.


The main event produced annually by the Global Music Centre is the Etnosoi! Festival Etnosoi! was held for the first time in 1988 and is Finland’s premier festival of world music. The festival, which is held in November, is intended to expand the Finnish public’s field of musical experience by including the music of lesser-known artists and music cultures in the programme. The Festival takes place principally in Helsinki, but since 2010, Etnosoi! concerts have also been organized in Tampere.

The Centre also arranges one-off concerts and joint productions, and takes part in ethno-musical and other events in Finland and abroad. Details of current events can be found in our News/Current Events section.

Field recordings

The Global Music Centre has made numerous field trips for recording purposes. The Centre’s Global Mobile Studio has visited various countries including Ethiopia, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Setumaa, Udmurtia, Mordova, Cuba, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Tuva and Senegal.

International activities

International cooperation lies at the heart of Global Music Centre activities. The Centre’s international activities include development cooperation, participation in international musical events and provision of expert services in development projects of various kinds. The Global Music Centre is a founder member of the European Forum of Worldwide Music Festivals, EFWMF. In the Nordic countries, the Global Music Centre is an active partner in development projects dealing with issues such as multi-cultural musical education and making the music of minority groups better known.

The Global Music Centre’s partners in its international activities include:
- The Bactria Cultural Centre, Tadzikistan
- The Udmurti Ministry of Culture
- The University of Saranski, Mordva
- The Bagamoyo College of Arts, Tanzania
- CIDMUC, Cuba

Training and workshops

The Global Music Centre offers training and workshop activities associated with different musical cultures from around the world to children and adults throughout Finland. Training and workshops tailored to meet the needs of the client can be supplied to order. Since 2010, the Centre has also carried out training and workshop activities focussing on global music and dance in conjunction with the Tampere-based Culture Cooperative, Uulu, which can provide cultural services of various kinds. For more information about Uulu services, visit

The Global Music Centre has been involved in various projects aimed at bringing global music into the curriculum of schools and music schools. The idea is to encourage and develop multicultural music teaching and increase the diversity of musical education both in comprehensive schools and upper secondary schools, and in music schools as well. For example, the Global Music Centre organizes theme weeks in Helsinki nursery schools on West African and Spanish music, and carries out multicultural education projects.


The diversity of music is heard, seen and flourishing in Finland.
The World Music Centre plays a strong role in facilitating the activities of individuals and communities, and in strengthening musical identities.
Freedom of expression
The World Music Centre promotes musical diversity, supports freedom of expression and serves as an expert influence in society.
  • Our activities support the diversity and equality of the world’s music cultures.
  • We offer our experience, knowledge, and fresh experiences related to the world’s music.
  • We encourage musicians from various backgrounds, including amateurs, to be creative and tell their own stories through music.
  • We contribute to increasing the involvement of musicians from different backgrounds in the field of music and cultural policy decision-making.
  • All our operations are based on the principles of a sustainable future.