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Audience Perception of Framed Music during Times of War
Unformatted Document Text:  Music During Times of War 6 allows the communicator to “select and highlight some features of reality while omitting others” (Entman, 1993, p. 53). Specifically, the focus of this study is the framing of themes throughout music. Music enables the communicator to frame a specific theme, embedding it in the fabric of lyrics. This framing allows a song to present a certain aspect of this theme, but not fully paint an entire picture of the theme. In fact, many music theorists agree that “when a personally relevant or amusing lyric is transmitted in music, it often becomes a focal point for listeners, sometimes overriding the physical and emotional attractiveness of the beat” (Lull, 1987, p. 146). Music audiences are drawn to messages that somehow relate to their lives, distract from reality, or provide encouragement through hardships. For the audience, music is an outlet in which they can select to hear certain messages (Lull, 1987). Many scholars have agreed that framing of themes in music allows a particular message to impact a large receiving audience – although, there is not an absolute effect of music themes on the public (Entman, 1993). While framing conveys a theme to an audience, symbols are a means of representing a theme. In fact, the most common manner of conveying a musical theme is through the use of symbols. Symbols within music are a successful method of affecting the listening public, and musical symbols readily affect an audience (Lull, 1987). The effect symbols have on listeners is largely due to their openness for interpretation. Listeners are able to translate these symbols. Therefore, researchers have acknowledged that symbols are highly effective, both in timed response and emotional effect (Supicic, 1987). Furthermore, music theorists argue that since music is transmitted to such a large audience, symbols and themes can appeal across so many boundaries, triggering tremendous collective audience response (Supicic, 1987). Within the framing model of communication, there exists the communicator, the text, the receiver, and the culture (Entman, 1999). For the purposes of this paper, I will primarily focus on the text which is framed, and the culture in which it is framed. These four aspects of framing are entirely represented in music. The author of a song is the communicator, and has the unique power to convey a message and entice an audience through “catchy” tunes and strong lyrics. The text is the actual content

Authors: Graham, Erica.
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Music During Times of War 6
allows the communicator to “select and highlight some features of reality while omitting others” (Entman,
1993, p. 53).
Specifically, the focus of this study is the framing of themes throughout music. Music enables
the communicator to frame a specific theme, embedding it in the fabric of lyrics. This framing allows a
song to present a certain aspect of this theme, but not fully paint an entire picture of the theme. In fact,
many music theorists agree that “when a personally relevant or amusing lyric is transmitted in music, it
often becomes a focal point for listeners, sometimes overriding the physical and emotional attractiveness
of the beat” (Lull, 1987, p. 146). Music audiences are drawn to messages that somehow relate to their
lives, distract from reality, or provide encouragement through hardships. For the audience, music is an
outlet in which they can select to hear certain messages (Lull, 1987). Many scholars have agreed that
framing of themes in music allows a particular message to impact a large receiving audience – although,
there is not an absolute effect of music themes on the public (Entman, 1993).
While framing conveys a theme to an audience, symbols are a means of representing a theme. In
fact, the most common manner of conveying a musical theme is through the use of symbols. Symbols
within music are a successful method of affecting the listening public, and musical symbols readily affect
an audience (Lull, 1987). The effect symbols have on listeners is largely due to their openness for
interpretation. Listeners are able to translate these symbols. Therefore, researchers have acknowledged
that symbols are highly effective, both in timed response and emotional effect (Supicic, 1987).
Furthermore, music theorists argue that since music is transmitted to such a large audience, symbols and
themes can appeal across so many boundaries, triggering tremendous collective audience response
(Supicic, 1987).
Within the framing model of communication, there exists the communicator, the text, the
receiver, and the culture (Entman, 1999). For the purposes of this paper, I will primarily focus on the text
which is framed, and the culture in which it is framed. These four aspects of framing are entirely
represented in music. The author of a song is the communicator, and has the unique power to convey a
message and entice an audience through “catchy” tunes and strong lyrics. The text is the actual content


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