Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Music in Wars:
The role of music in World War II was significant probably unlike any other in history; in the context of the largest war in history, the Modern States engaged in combat on all dimensions to win the war, including art and music. In understanding the meaning of music in World War II it is important to reflect upon the use that States would make of music, and the ends to which private individuals would use music to give meaning to their situations. It is also significant to mode that this was the first mass media war, with radio and movies spreading not only tunes and songs, but often specific voices and bands, and with songs ranked in nations for popularity.States took a massive effort in broadcasting and producing music generally for three reasons:To boost the morale of troops and civilians suffering under the war.To attract enemy troops to propaganda programs.To express a vision of the nature of their regimes.For the humans drawn in to the war the motivations would be more honest. Songs would provide nostalgia for peace, to motivate them, or to promise a better future. In the case of Germany, which took an active role in defining proper music, the act of listening to music took on a political role it did not in the United Kingdom or the USA. For example, listening to jazz in Germany could be an act of political opposition since so many Jazz musicians were African Americans or Jews. But despite a long history of hostility towards Jazz in the United States the troops and young people suffering the hardships of war were fed a mass of black inspired music with no political demand that men about to risk their lives listen to proper white music.Also one must never forget that the Allies won and the Axis lost, and the history of the music will reflect that, with the music of the Allies becoming more and more heroic with time, even when it was originally swing music intended for wild nights out, where as Nazi music is now held in dispute and many composers music is criticized for being supported by the regime even, in the case of Wagner, after their death.