Music as armor, statement, and salve

children_of_the_stone photo
Cover photo from “Children of the Stone: The Power of Music in a Hard Land ” (Bloomsbury, 2015). The book, by Sandy Tolan, is in bookstores now.

Music, occupation, hope, despair, healing, and the terrible weight of history are all the subjects of Sandy Tolan‘s rapturously reviewed new book, Children of the Stone: The Power of Music in a Hard Land.  While you wait for your copy, you can check out two related pieces that are online today. has published an excerpt, “When the occupation is over, then I’ll allow myself to dream.” The melody of the piece – the stories of young Palestinians using music to assert their personhood and bolster their spirits – runs over an ominous drumbeat of failed negotiations, raids, arrests, and clashes.

Over on The Daily Beast, you can read “How music shields a child’s psyche in a time of war.” The article, adapted from the book, looks at the power of music – and the limits of that power – in times of conflict.

There are more excerpts on Sandy’s blog, Ramallah Cafe. You can follow Sandy on Twitter at @Sandy_Tolan and on Facebook.