The Power of Music to Change the World

Music has been used for centuries to give people a voice to tell stories, entertain and inspire. Perhaps it is the emotional feelings one gets from listening to music that allows so many of us to connect with it. Music can bring us back years ago to an exact time and place within our hearts. Who can forget the words and rhythm of their first dance? Or the music you used to blast in your car during the summer with your windows rolled down? 

The power of music has also been brilliantly used as a voice to garner support of the masses and impact societal change. Protest songs decrying great human injustices such as slavery, apartheid, violence and war, have become powerful tools by musicians to push politicians and governments to making the world a better and more just place.


ONE, a global advocacy organization created by Bono and backed by 3 million members worldwide to fit against global poverty and hunger, has launched a new music campaign called agit8, as a way to use music to push change. Agit8 will inspire people to take action and leaders to make big commitments on figthing chronic malnutrition during the upcoming G8 meeting in Northern Ireland June 17-18th. 


Here Comes the (Moroccan) Band

Moroccan music comes in many genres (ranging from Arab, Berber, Classical and Popular) and is surprisingly diverse. Every region in Morocco has its own type of music thus there

A good site reference for the various kinds of Moroccan music can be found at:

The music we heard today is called “Chaabi” (also known as “shaabi”) which means “popular” or “of the people” in Arabic. The music is pop music that has Arab, African and Western influences and is generally played at large celebrations and events such as weddings.

Here is a fun YouTube Video I found that demonstrates this energetic, rhythmic music.

(Note: I tried to embed the links so you can easily view them but it does not work well using an iPad. Thus you will have to copy and paste the link above into your browser. I will fix them when I return home. The video is worth seeing!)

The musicians use a variety of percussion instruments such as the bender which is a goatskin covered wooden drum, the daff which is a wooden-framed drum, covered entirely with stretched goatskin and played on both sides, the garagab which are metal clackers resembling double castanets (one holds two in each hand), the naggarah which are double kettle drums made of pottery, the taarija which is a kind of handheld drum that is either cone or vase shaped and made of pottery or metal. There are also the tan-tan and tbilat, which are kinds of bongo drums.

Our visit with the band was absolutely fabulous and fun! We had just finished our Moroccan cooking class and were hanging out in the large living room when we heard the loud pounding and thumping of the Moroccan band. They had parked their van outside the Home Base and entering playing loud, rhythmic Chaabi music. Instantly we all smiled and the music brought our energy to a new level. The bank comprised of five musicians all playing different kinds of drum, singing and one playing a variety of percussion instruments such as the “moroccan symbol” which was the axel of a car wheel and he played this by wearing it on his head and pounding it with sticks.

Here are some pictures of our day with the band:

Here is the musician playing the car axel on his head! It was very heavy and he joked around a lot by placing it on volunteers heads and playing it.

The volunteers learning how to dance in Morocco:

Me doing Moroccan dance:

Ken, the sole male volunteer, from Canada, dancing Moroccan:

Wearing the traditional hooded jelaba: