Community Music


  • Phil Mullen


Over the last two decades community music has grown from differing local activities into a global field of study and practice. Despite this development, the term still lacks an agreed international definition. Building on over three decades as a community musician, I will give an understanding of community music values and methods as they are practiced in Ireland, the UK and increasingly internationally. Additionally, I will link community music values and characteristics to aspects of peacebuilding, specifically initiatives that are bottom up. I will also talk about how I used these community music methods over eight years working in Northern Ireland on projects to further peacebuilding.

Author Biography

Phil Mullen

Phil Mullen is one of the world’s leading Community Music trainers and has worked for thirty-three years developing music with people who are socially excluded. He spent eight years working in Northern Ireland using music as a tool for peace and reconciliation. Phil has a Ph.D. from Winchester University and has written several book chapters on musical inclusion including for the Oxford Handbook of Community Music (2018).