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Essay: Music and radio propaganda in World War II

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  • Published: 15 October 2019*
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  • Words: 1,014 (approx)
  • Number of pages: 5 (approx)
  • Tags: World War II

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Music has become part of the human culture development in every single activity for example war. In war music is very useful in intimidating the enemies or just for boost up morale of the soldiers itself and it called propaganda.
World War II was the first conflict to take place in the age of electronically mass distributed music. Many people in the war listened to long playing records en masse and radio, By 1940, 96,2% of Northeastern American household had radio. Similar in the Europe, rates of electronically mass distributed music is very high. During the Nazi rule, radio ownership in Germany rose from 4 to 16 million household. Also during the pre-war period, sound was introduced to cinema and musicals were very popular.
In World War II was a unique situation for music and it’s relationship between warfare. It became a propaganda against enemy “Your wives and girlfriends are probably home in nice warm building, dancing with some other men. You’re over here in the cold”  Dent Wheeler on Axis Sally during the battle of the Bulge.
“there is no ‘Tokyo Rose”; the name is strictly a GI (a private soldier in US army) invention. The name has been applied to at least two lilting Japanese voices on the Japanese radio” The U.S office of War Information in 1945.
During World War II often cut off troops or isolated outposts found themselves exposed in the radio range of enemy soldiers, which used popular music as a means to attract listeners and provide the propaganda messages. This type of propaganda was performed by both side Axis and Allies in some of the earliest mass psych-ops. Often the propaganda became popular with the other side, and there is an evidence even just a little that these had any impact, except the Axis faction participants were often detained and if originally from allied country prosecuted, while the Allied broadcasters were seen as legitimate. Again we see it shows the way music is understood in the context of World War II is from winners point of view, where as Tokyo Rose (Iva Ikuko Toguri D’Aquino) and Axis Sally (Mildred Gillars) face years of persecution after the World War II. Again as we can see there can really be little in the way of an objective history of music in World War II. The Historical context since the war, and the ultimate victory of the consumer society foretold in the songs impose a context upon the events like viewing a star through the lens of telescope.
There is different genre of music in the World War II but the messages are always the same whether the context of music for propaganda or morale boosting or even for peace, and that is the communication between the audio or music in war as we can see propaganda it is just like speech or song that makes the peoples or soldiers scares and even the propaganda can make a morale boosting for some of them.
Propaganda it just like a messages from the higher command or the leader of faction give fear to the peoples that they are wants to attack, and it become the morale boost for the soldiers that in the side of the propaganda coming from, it become clears if the radio, or recording tools are not exist the propaganda itself does not exist too.
And the impact of that is make an effect like the morale of the soldiers will decrease over time and the nation that want to attack can’t make other nation scared because of the propaganda.
There are some music propaganda in World War II, from Germany the Propaganda Music genre most of all are Jazz. Why Jazz? Because it only played at cabarets and can be broadcast from Germany to UK and United States trying to convert civilians to Axis side. There is one such song, that the song is redone by Charlie and his orchestra, but broadcast as Eddie Cantor. The song itself was claim to be rewritten by the Eddie Cantor because the jews ask it, which was a lie. Because this song is about demonizing Jews and shows how bad they are. The United States have propaganda music too, but the meaning of the song is about patriotism, so there’s more people wants to join the army very different from Nazi propaganda song which spread fear and hatefulness to jews.
We see that the communication here often makes an impact to the peoples who hear it, like if you are Americans in that day you will want to join the army no matter what happen, and if you are Germany or someone that easy to provoke you will want to attack the jews. The content in the songs is very strong that can make people got the influence of the music, and from time to time music always be an easy way to make propaganda and morale boost for something, like to protest the government or some institution, and if we see football match the supporters make chants to boost the morale of the team that they are support, the culture of propaganda itself from time to time is growing and can adapt in any situation from war era to this day.
Like Marshall Mcluhan says “The medium is The Message” the form of a medium embeds itself in the message, creating a symbolic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived. The propaganda is the medium and the contents are variant, it can be song, speech, or picture (posters). But the propaganda creating a symbolic relationship that can give influences how the propaganda is perceived by the people.
The propaganda in nowdays still exist like the song that make people want to bring peace in this world, or a posters that want to stop government for being unfair, and make stereotype to some of kind of people. Propaganda can be a positive thing if we use it wisely  but it can be a negative thing if we use it to hate people or destroy something.

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