Sudan has been in an almost constant state of war since independence. The Sudanese government’s Antonov planes bombard the rebel army in the conflict regions, but hit civilians, too. Every day, people living in the Blue Nile and Nuba Mountain regions face the possibility of death and the destruction of their dwellings and possessions. Musical traditions gain a new and vital significance in this time of war. We watch as traditional musicians build and play the rababa, a stringed instrument, getting whole villages to join in the dancing and singing. A musicologist explains it as follows: “The nature of the music allows everyone to write lyrics. Anyone is allowed to sing, anyone is allowed to drum. You can use a bucket. Not a problem.” We hear lyrics inspired by life during wartime. They keep the people alive, in body and in spirit. “If a plane attacks while people are sleeping it will be devastating. So these youth stay up and play the rababa and dance until the plane comes.” Beats of the Antonov scrutinizes the national identity and assigns a defining role to the music, offering a new perspective on the Sudanese conflict.