This article provides a review of literature from a variety of disciplines on the relationship between musical practices and transitional justice in the context of violence and human rights violations. In the first part, I give an overview of selected scholarly works on transitional justice, with an emphasis on truth commissions and commemorations as catalysts for collective memory. I also touch upon the interplay between memory and reconciliation. In the second part of the paper, I focus on the literature that deals with musical practices in the context of transitional justice. Taking into account existing critiques of transitional justice mechanisms as primarily top-down approaches that often do not consider local practices of transitional justice, but also survivors’ needs and expectations, I contend that scholars of music can contribute significantly to putting more emphasis on and increasing the visibility of such local practices and survivors’ voices. By practicing ethnographic methods and sensitivity towards cultural specificities, ethnomusicologists are well equipped to contribute to a better understanding of the culture-specific ways in which people affected by violence engage with a traumatic past. I conclude with some further suggestions for addressing the relationship between music and transitional justice.
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