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Audience Perception of Framed Music during Times of War
Unformatted Document Text:  Music During Times of War 1 Audience Preference of Popular Music During Times of War Introduction Immediately following the September 11 th terrorist attacks, the “War on Terror” began and Americans found themselves surrounded with a steady influx of rally-around-the-flag messages, as reflected in decreased partisan politics and newscasts molded around American political agendas. While research has focused on such messages disseminated through the conventional news media, relatively little has examined these important messages as framed through music. This study examines the extent to which Americans reacted to the attacks through their preference for popular music. This study is under girded by the assumptions of popular music as a text that conveys a political message to the public. Political messages can be framed into the fabric of popular songs, and while not all songs convey a specific message, many songs capture a theme central to daily life. As such, the political messages found in music can influence civic culture which as understood by one generation, does not encompass the same concept to the next generation who has grown up in a different world, with a different mindset, different focuses, and different ways of expressing public opinion (Bennett, 1998). Musicians set political theories into motion by crafting them for the ear of the listeners (Lull, 1987), and the audience listens to political themes embedded within music. This paper focuses on the audience response to attacks through their selection of popular music and examines the broader concept of political communication during times of war. This study compares the time surrounding the attack on the World Trade Center with the time surrounding Pearl Harbor. This comparison examines the purpose music can serve and how Americans respond in their music preference after the attacks on America. In an effort to evaluate whether American music preference shifted as a result of the attack, I compare the music surrounding the World Trade Center attack with the music surrounding the attack on Pearl Harbor. In these two instances, the United States engaged in wars which are similar and dissimilar in many ways. As a result of these attacks, the American audience may have shifted in their preference of popular music.

Authors: Graham, Erica.
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Music During Times of War 1
Audience Preference of Popular Music During Times of War
Introduction
Immediately following the September 11
th
terrorist attacks, the “War on Terror” began and
Americans found themselves surrounded with a steady influx of rally-around-the-flag messages, as
reflected in decreased partisan politics and newscasts molded around American political agendas. While
research has focused on such messages disseminated through the conventional news media, relatively
little has examined these important messages as framed through music. This study examines the extent to
which Americans reacted to the attacks through their preference for popular music.
This study is under girded by the assumptions of popular music as a text that conveys a political
message to the public. Political messages can be framed into the fabric of popular songs, and while not
all songs convey a specific message, many songs capture a theme central to daily life. As such, the
political messages found in music can influence civic culture which as understood by one generation,
does not encompass the same concept to the next generation who has grown up in a different world, with
a different mindset, different focuses, and different ways of expressing public opinion (Bennett, 1998).
Musicians set political theories into motion by crafting them for the ear of the listeners (Lull, 1987), and
the audience listens to political themes embedded within music. This paper focuses on the audience
response to attacks through their selection of popular music and examines the broader concept of political
communication during times of war.
This study compares the time surrounding the attack on the World Trade Center with the time
surrounding Pearl Harbor. This comparison examines the purpose music can serve and how Americans
respond in their music preference after the attacks on America. In an effort to evaluate whether American
music preference shifted as a result of the attack, I compare the music surrounding the World Trade
Center attack with the music surrounding the attack on Pearl Harbor. In these two instances, the United
States engaged in wars which are similar and dissimilar in many ways. As a result of these attacks, the
American audience may have shifted in their preference of popular music.


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