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Published: 05 August 2014

By Andy Ross

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Music in times of conflict

The sad truth of the world, no matter where you live or when, is that conflict happens. Here are some links to music from those times.

Some of the first music that I sang professionally were songs from the pen of George Butterworth - A Shropshire Lad. George was a promising young English composer who died in the trenches of World War One but his sometimes melancholic and always lovely music lives on in songs like Loveliest of Trees and The Lads in Their Hundreds.

Of course there are the biggies - Britten's War Requiem and Tippett's use of Go Down, Moses in the oratorio A Child of our Time  amongst them. And in these times of unrest, people use music both for rallying cries and for spreading peace. Do you remember Tahrir Square a few years ago (warning: some of these images may upset you) or the project which showcases the musicians of Palestine to "let the world know that the country exists." And of course there is my favourite singer of all time, Miriam Makeba who sang for the world during her exile from the apartheid-ruled South Africa. 

The world is a complicated place but at least we have a universal language in the music that we all love.