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Question: What place does music have in the peace movement? CPNN article: Sold Out America
CPNN Administrator
Posted: Dec. 31 1999,17:00

This discussion question applies to the following articles:

Sold Out America
The "New Songs for Peace" Project
The Story of Peacesong
Peace through Music in the Middle East
International Jazz Festival Promotes Peace
Cat Stevens Awarded Peace Prize
Music for Peace Project
Concert Co Exist
A musical project dedicated to 'Friendship', 'Peace' and 'Love'
Music and Culture of Peace
Complexe Culturel Moulay Rachid à Casablanca : Une Tournée Concours pour les Musiques Alternatives
At the Cultural Compex Moulay Rachid in Casablanca : A Festival-Contest of Alternative Music
Réconciliation nationale en Côte d’Ivoire: Les artistes chantent pour la paix
National Reconciliation in Côte d’Ivoire: Artists Sing for Peace
Desde la Musicoterapia Comunitaria a la Paz
From Community Music Therapy to Peace
Bob Marley documentary approved by family of reggae legend
Los españoles Andy y Lucas cantan a la paz en la sede de la ONU en Nueva York
Spanish Singers Andy and Lucas Promote Peace at the United Nations
Un atelier de rap forme de jeunes artistes
Rap workshop trains young artists
Daniel Barenboïm: La musique comme langage universel
Daniel Barenboim: Music as the Universal Language
Malindi music festival promotes peace, co-existence
Venezolano José Antonio Abreu recibe Premio a la Cultura de Paz en Japón
The Venezuelan José Antonio Abreu is awarded the Culture of Peace Prize in Japan
Rochy Ameneiro a favor de una cultura de paz (Cuba)
Rochy Ameneiro promotes a culture of peace (Cuba)
Norman Granz: L'homme qui se servait du jazz pour la justice
Norman Granz : The man who made justice through jazz
One song, One Message, Many Voices: A message song to victims of Bullying!
Le rap au secours de la paix dans les Grands Lacs d’Afrique
Rap for Peace in the Great Lakes Region of Africa
La 2è édition du Festival Amani fixée en mi-février à Goma
The second edition of the Amani Festival fixed for mid-February in Goma
Colombie: Rock al Parque 2015 – Una Tendencia del Siglo XXI
Colombia: Rock in the Park 2015 – Music for the 21st Century
Goma, Nord Kivu, Congo: clôture de la 3è édition du Festival Amani
Goma, Nord Kivu, Congo: Third edition of the Amani Music Festival
Paris: Un orchestre debout !!!
Paris: A standing orchestra !!!
USA: Refugee Orchestra Project Showcases Refugees” Impact through Music on World Refugee Day
Bob Dylan: “Masters of War”

For articles since 2016, click here .
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CPNN Administrator
Posted: Oct. 11 2003,07:11

It has been said that music is the universal language of peace.  This is supported by recent articles in CPNN, including the AIDS concert in South Africa and the music of Ani DiFranco that reach an audience of millions around the world, especially young people.
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Posted: Dec. 27 2003,16:12

Ok, here is a clue, to how music can really make a difference in the movement. People need to start doing "improvisational singing". One person starts a riff, another adds something that fits in, and so on, until everyone is creating music spontaneously without a leader. Its very powerful.
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Posted: July 01 2004,09:23

To the immediate question of "What place does music have in the Peace Movement", the answer is "Not enough".  What we should be asking is "How can it have it's proper place?"  In the sixties, music had a high role in the Peace Movement in that everyone knew the songs of Peter, Paul and Mary, and Pete Seeger, Guthrie(s), and the others.  Everyone - regardless of their opinions on segregation or Viet Nam or whatever.

Regrettably, today one only knows the Peace Songs like The Bell and those in this forum if one is entrenched and deeply embedded in the Peace subculture.  Popular stations don't play what's popular any more - they only play what was popular.  And the few that do play popular songs are so narrow in their scope that it will appeal only to a few into rap, or jazz or whatever.  

I live near Boston and when I go to a great place like Club Passim, one the foremost coffee houses for folk music in the country, I don't hear music for regular folk, but rather music by the musician folk.  Folk songs have been restricted to the music of the singer-songwriters.  I will go and hear nothing that I have ever heard before, and will never hear again unless I become a groupie of that individual or group.  Folk songs used to be songs that were familiar to the listeners.

We need a new paradigm to try to determine how music can be made popular to the masses regardless of their subculture interests.  It needs to be presented to everyone and not only available to those who actively seek it.  That means repeated exposure to a few songs rather than a multitude of exposures to a multitude of different songs.  And exposure to the masses - not just the Peace choir.

Any suggestions?

May your days be such that your nights are filled with joyful dreams.
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CPNN Administrator
Posted: Aug. 10 2004,19:16

Lion and Lamb Music

proudly announces it's NEW NAME...


While we are the same download-and-print internet distributor, our new site features a brand new simple, user-friendly catalog and a growing collection of new musical scores for choruses, choirs and vocalists that emphasize PEACE, JUSTICE, DIVERSITY and the ENVIRONMENT.  
Please drop by...take a LOOK and a LISTEN...spread the word (and our new URL!) ...and always...SING PEACE!

Jim Ahrend
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Posted: Aug. 11 2004,03:13

This is a response to curious...

I think it is great that you hear unique music.  I really enjoy seeing live shows myself.

In response to your comments I thought about the current paradigm that exists in the western world that promotes pop music which has many messages in its lyrics and presentations that are not in accord with the 8 keys.  I think if that already established system could be used to promote the 8 keys youth would really respond.  
The difficulty arises when people are taugh and pressured or uninformed about acting in accordance with the keys.  So they get drunk, and eat junk food, instead of respecting their own body.  But if a positive and truthful message could be put out I think the generation that grows up on that music will have a lot of common sense.

So folk music communities like the ones you may participate in are great.  If there is truth behind what the community is saying and doing and its teachings apply to the people in it, then naturally it will grow.

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Posted: Nov. 17 2008,09:48

I see that this is an old thread, so I don't know if any of the original posters are still around, but...

I think the main problem music and the arts in general have within conflict resolution and peace initiatives is that there is a general belief that music has some magical unknowable property that will somehow trigger a mass conversion of negative conflictual behaviour into happy hugging smiley people. Not enough research has been conducted into how this might occur, what does music mean to those in conflict? Are some types of music better than others? How does time fit in; are some types of music only better than others at certain times? Is listening as effective as participation? Is participation as effective as creation? Are the lyrics important in conflict transformation or do they simply illustrate some the thoughts of an existing social group? How can music used in such initiatives affect those beyond the direct participants?

My general point here is that the process of music-making, performance, and proliferation needs to be demystified. It's amazing how many people, including the musicians themselves, fans and otherwise rigourously intellectual people deify musical activity. It is possible to observe how music has worked (or not) in various CR situations and form a theory of how it could work in a more systematic manner. I am currently conducting research into this field and have thus far proposed that music can play a definite, constructive, systematic and reproducable role in CR situations if the following criteria are met:
1. Both sides of a conflict need to desire a transformation
2. A third party mediator is required to assist the process but not lead it
3. The process needs to take place at the community level, not from a directive
4. The process needs to take place in a neutral environment
5. Music is a particularly effective means in which to conduct mediation since it contains within it the cultural values and power structure of the societies that created it.
6. New music would need to be created rather than listening or performing pre-existing music.
7. The third party would need to help the parties identify cultural and musical commonalities on which to build a hybrid form of music. This hybrid would need to contain cultural elements that both sides felt were equally important to them.
8. Both sides would need to collaborate equally
9. The form and style of music would need to contain desirable ie) equal power structures. Possibly improvisation or group composition
10. Once a new form of music had been developed to represent a new identity, it would need to be propagated amongst the represented communities through performances and education.
11. Passive listening is less powerful than active participation so education and encouragement of the communities to continue creating and performing the new music is critical for lasting effect.

To my knowledge no music-based CR initiative exists that meets all of these points and I suggest that this is a possible reason why they tend to have limited success despite the deep feeling by many that they should be widely successful. This forms the core of my current research.

If anyone would like to email regarding my research or any (all) of my suggested criteria, please feel free to do so at cr264@exeter.ac.uk.

Many thanks,

Craig Robertson
PhD Candidate
Sociology of Music
Exeter University
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Posted: Nov. 17 2008,11:03

Hi Craig,  here's an example for you.  No matter who, any Jamaican with whom I speak can tell you about the great One Love Peace concert of Bob Marley.  I think it was in 1978 when he brought the two candidates for President,  Michael Manley and Edward Seaga, on stage and raised their hands together in the air to signal unity in a campaign marked by many killings.  It did not bring about peace immediately, but is still the symbol of peace for all Jamaicans.
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Posted: Nov. 17 2008,13:40

Rama - Thanks for that. Yes, that event was a key moment that illustrated a possible future for Jamaica, but was it really the music that did it? Is it possible that it could have happened with a different musician, or a famous sports person instead, or any other popular figure in front of that many onlookers? Music was the medium in this case in which an event and media-moment was staged to positive effect, but the music itself on that occasion did not do much. It is possible to say that from that moment reggae took on a newer and more profound meaning to a number of Jamaicans as they took it to represent their collective identity and this followed them whether or not they stayed in Jamaica or immigrated to other areas, New York for example, where dancehall reggae culture provided the platform for the emergence of hip hop, which is a closer example of music working somewhat towards reducing conflict, at least until the original message became appropriated for other, opposite means. So I'm afraid that saying music creates peace or even fosters it is just not accurate in the case of Bob Marley.
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Enrica Tifatino
Posted: Mar. 10 2012,22:13

(See below for English translation)

Nuestra investigación sobre la Musicoterapia Comunitaria se ha desarrollando a  partir del inquietud siguiente.

“La violencia social es frecuentemente la expresión de la insatisfacción experimentada por un sector de la población que se ve privado del derecho de formar parte de esa sociedad y cultura del bienestar a la que tienen derecho” (Petrus, A. 1997)

Vivimos en un momento de instabilidad política, económica y social. La violencia y los conflictos son las consecuencias de tal instabilidad.

Desde la Segunda Guerra Mundial, hemos sufridos más de 150 conflictos armados, la mayoría de los cuales se han desarrollados en los países más pobres. A lo largo de esto siglo han muerto más de 110 millones de personas a causa de guerras injustificadas y sin sentido, en que el 90% de las víctimas son civiles, en particular mujeres y niños.

Y a parte de la violencia directa hay otros tipos de violencias cotidianas: una violencia estructural que incluye hambre, analfabetismo, discriminación de las mujeres, racismo, precariedad, etc.

En nuestro mundo nos recuerdan que “si quieres la paz, prepárate para la guerra”.  

Pero, son siempre más las personas que están rebelándose a esta realidad.

El interés en esta área está ligado a una búsqueda constante de encontrar una solución real para resolver tal situación. El mundo necesita de paz y una sociedad más justa. No se debería aceptar y contemplar el dolor y el sufrimiento de personas inocentes, cuando el mundo está gritando desesperadamente su necesitad de paz.


Our investigations about Community Music Therapy has developed out of the following concerns.

“Social violence is frequently the expression of the dissatisfaction of a sector of the population that is itself deprived of the benefits of that society and its culture of well-being for which they have right” (Petrus, A. 1997)

We live in a time of political, economic and social instability with violence and conflicts as a consequence.

Since World War II, we have undergone than 150 armed conflicts, most of which have been developed in the poorest countries. Throughout this century more than 110 million people have died because of unwarranted and senseless wars. 90% of the victims are civil, in particular women and children.

And in addition to direct violence there are other types of daily violence: structural violence that includes hunger, illiteracy, discrimination of women, racism, uncertainty, etc.

In our world they say that “if you want peace, prepare for war”.

But, there are always some who refuse to accept this.

What is needed is a constant search for a real solution to this situation. The world needs peace and a more just society. We cannot accept the pain and the suffering of innocent people, while the world is shouting desperately for peace!.
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David Adams
Posted: July 14 2014,06:59

As of now, there are 33 CPNN articles on this theme, which shows the great extent to which music is the universal language of peace!
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