• Ian Middleton Department of Music, Universidad de los Andes


The task of increasing trust is central to restorative peacebuilding. Between confidence and faith, trust bridges actions, beliefs and feelings of the past, present and future. Musical interaction can help build trust between participants. This is one of the reasons musical projects can be an effective part of conflict transformation. In this contribution I consider answers to key questions about trust offered by competing universalizing theories and culturally distinct groups of people, before suggesting a broad processual definition. I also show some of the ways music making relates to trust through a consideration of musicological literature and my own research in Colombia.

Author Biography

Ian Middleton, Department of Music, Universidad de los Andes

Ian Middleton is assistant professor of ethnomusicology at Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. He received his PhD in musicology from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign in 2018 and earned master's degrees in musicology and philosophy from the University of Leeds in his native England. His research focuses on music and trust in Colombia and is based on extended applied ethnographic fieldwork with grassroots musical peacebuilding projects. As an active musician he directed the UIUC salsa ensemble Timbalú and community impact project Costas. His award-winning composition La culebra bruja was included on Martina Camargo's 2016 album Paisaje en tambora.