This article argues that ethnomusicology offers an important approach to understanding issues of participatory humanitarian safety and protection. Using music and dance as a means to better understand people’s ways of life can give insight into the larger cultural contexts that shape people’ lives. Performance activities may be discursive sites where social structures and cultural meanings are (re)negotiated. Specifically in the humanitarian context, music is a form of communication that can enable the sharing of experiences that are not otherwise easy to convey, and can give voice to the voiceless.