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Music and Culture of Peace

an article by Maisoon Ateem, Nurana Rajabova, and Philomena Modu

Music knows no borders - it can be understood everywhere without any language. Some say it is the universal language as it cuts through all cultures. Since the beginning of human history music has always been part of the people used to express their feelings and ideas. Music has the soothing feature that makes one calm when angry or in discomfort. It is also used as a means of therapy for people who suffer in mental problems of something. Thus in the promoting of the culture of peace many festivals/ organisations such as up with people use music in the promotion of learning different cultures.

click on photo to enlarge

Every culture is known for its unique aspects of music which could be used as a means of communication and social organisation. In Africa it is a tool that is widely as a form to cleanse the community after clashes or wars where the spirits could be appeased and the dead sent to sleep peacefully. So as Sudan has diverse ways of how they use music to mobilise inform and sensitise the community. For example the sounds of drums could be used to indicate the reconciliation among different peoples in their specific regions.

In the north they use "nugara" a type of drum that is used to call people to peace and negotiation. It is used after the war to bridge the gap and promote harmonious living to create a platform where the people could discuss the issues. Further, other instruments like "tumbour" which is like the kind of wood with plastic strings that is played by the hand to produce sound during weddings which are used as a tool to bring together different groups of peoples in a bond through marriage for the promotion of peaceful coexistence.

Since music has a profound impact on people it is always an effective tool that is necessary to be used in our communities to sustain the culture of peace.


Question(s) related to this article:

What place does music have in the peace movement?,

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(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. . ...more.

This report was posted on August 10, 2011.

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