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Audience Perception of Framed Music during Times of War
Unformatted Document Text:  Music During Times of War 9 Another hypothesis is relevant in this investigation. In times of war, people may have a desire to escape into their music, rather than face larger issues. The music can serve as a means by which they can shy away from more pressing issues in their lives. As noted by previous scholars, history has described periods when subcultures of people looked to different segments of music as a means of escaping from their everyday concerns (Supicic, 1987). While searching for an escape from times of war, Americans may prefer popular music framed in terms of security or comfort. H2: Popular music during wartime would step beyond simple patriotism, and provide citizens with a means of security and comfort – a restore to order which can distract people from everyday concerns. James Lull argues that popular music is that which allows people a sense of escapism, and a chance to ignore reality (Lull, 1987, p. 172). With a desire to ignore the harsh reality of war, the American public may be reacting to an escapist theme embedded within songs in an effort to avoid the intensity of war. Methods and Data Time Frame Although this study deals with two wars, I narrow my focus on the music immediately surrounding each attack on America. Within the scope of the two attacks, I collected the popular songs from the six months prior to, and the six months after the attack. This time frame allows enough time for audience shifts in music selection of popular songs. Popular Song Selection For the aspect of this study relating to the music around the attack on Pearl Harbor, Variety Magazine provided a weekly list of the Top 25 Popular Songs. This list was compiled from the NBC- CBS totals of song request. From each week list, I selected the ten most popular songs. For the study surrounding the War on Terror, Billboard Magazine published a “Hot 100 List,” which weekly released the most popular 100 American songs. This list was compiled from radio playlists, retail stores, mass merchants, and internet sales. From each week list, I selected the ten most popular songs.

Authors: Graham, Erica.
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Music During Times of War 9
Another hypothesis is relevant in this investigation. In times of war, people may have a desire to
escape into their music, rather than face larger issues. The music can serve as a means by which they can
shy away from more pressing issues in their lives. As noted by previous scholars, history has described
periods when subcultures of people looked to different segments of music as a means of escaping from
their everyday concerns (Supicic, 1987). While searching for an escape from times of war, Americans
may prefer popular music framed in terms of security or comfort.
H2: Popular music during wartime would step beyond simple patriotism, and provide
citizens with a means of security and comfort – a restore to order which can distract
people from everyday concerns.
James Lull argues that popular music is that which allows people a sense of escapism, and a chance to
ignore reality (Lull, 1987, p. 172). With a desire to ignore the harsh reality of war, the American public
may be reacting to an escapist theme embedded within songs in an effort to avoid the intensity of war.
Methods and Data
Time Frame
Although this study deals with two wars, I narrow my focus on the music immediately
surrounding each attack on America. Within the scope of the two attacks, I collected the popular songs
from the six months prior to, and the six months after the attack. This time frame allows enough time for
audience shifts in music selection of popular songs.
Popular Song Selection
For the aspect of this study relating to the music around the attack on Pearl Harbor, Variety
Magazine provided a weekly list of the Top 25 Popular Songs. This list was compiled from the NBC-
CBS totals of song request. From each week list, I selected the ten most popular songs.
For the study surrounding the War on Terror, Billboard Magazine published a “Hot 100 List,”
which weekly released the most popular 100 American songs. This list was compiled from radio
playlists, retail stores, mass merchants, and internet sales. From each week list, I selected the ten most
popular songs.


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