Music and Peace
Studies that have been pursued by music scholars examining the contributions of music to peacebuilding as well as the role of music in controling violence. There are existing efforts that relate music and peacebuilding.
Music is a connecting experience. American singer and social activist Peter Seeger once said, “The idea of using music to try to get the world together is now all over the place.” (https://blog.oup.com/2014/02/pete-seeger-power-of-song-social-justice/
A number of well known celebrities have curated a Peace Day Playlist available through streaming services. Among the recognizable songs are Michael Jackson’s Heal the World, Joan Baez’s We Shall Overcome and John Lennon’s Imagine.
Did you know that in 2017 World Championships held in Helsinki, the theme was Unity and singing champions from different parts of the world all sang Imagine together!
Music is a form of communication. There are many songs lyrics that strengthen the message of peace and unity.
When you sing, you become the artist who creates a version of a song and share your message, ideas and experiences.
Music can be a means of resistance for confronting the cruelty of the world, generating values of solidarity, non-violence and dialogue. It's a living process of creation and dynamism, of dreams and emotions sometime only possible thorugh singing.
Music is also a means of intergenerational and intercultural communication. It allows us to rethink the world of yesterday, today and tomorrow, giving us the opportunity to learn from the past. Music can unite people, enhance communication, break down barriers to promote peace and unification as it creates a sense of belonging to both the singer and the audience.
Quoting from George Kent, professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Hawaii,
“Music is peaceful or unpeaceful not because of the inherent character of the music itself, but because of the way it is used. Whether or not music is peaceful depends on context, but it also depends on how it is heard. If it is used to glorify evil, it is not peaceful. Music can contribute to peace, but that contribution is limited so long as it is held captive by those in power” (Urbain, et ál. 2008: 104-107).
In pop-rock, many songs have been created with themes related to peace and artistes have become involved in concerts with social causes, making their music a kind of instrument for peace. Music has and will always be a powerful means for bringing people together in building a culture of peace.
Here are some music events that have been related to peace. KWC would like to make its mark by created a music festival that celebrates music for peace, unity and well-being:
Concerts for peace and against war:
1969- Festival de Woodstock.
1978- One Love Concert, Jamaica.
2005- War Don Don, The peace Festival. Freetown. 2008- La paz sin fronteras.
Concert for disarmament:
1979- No Nukes.
Concerts for humanitarian crisis:
1971- Bangladesh Concert. 1979- kampuchea Concert.
1985- Live aid concert. 2003- A birr for a compatriot. 2005- Live 8.
1992- Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness.
2004- 46664 Give one Minute of your life to stop AIDS.
For the situation of children around the World:
2004- We are the future.
Concerts for the human Rights:
1986- Conspiracy of hope. 1988- Human Rights Now!
To denounce political situations and demanding freedom for victims of political regimes or for those condemned to death:
1985- Artists United Against Apartheid.
1986- Freedom Festival on Clapham Common. 1988- Nelson Mandela 70 Th Birthday Tribute Concert.
1997- Benefit Concert for Mumia Abu-Jamal
For the Independence:
1996-1999-Tibetan Freedom Concert
Music and singing are such unique vehicles to amplify the message of peace and bring together peoples in unity. Karaoke World Championships (KWC) Asia stands with the Global Prosperity and Peace Initiative in pursuing the agenda of peace through music.
"This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before."
- Leonard Bernstein
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