One of the most difficult times and things for countries and individuals to go through is war. History has shown us that music, was used as a way to help soldiers cope and deal with the traumas, stress and issues brought on by war. While some may think that music was first used during WWI or WWII only, that is not the case. The truth is that music was used during wars dating back thousand of years ago. While the instruments and tools may have changed, the message of music during the wars itself, has remained the same.
Use Of Music During Ancient War Times
Although technology did help play a major role in how music was expanded, the use of it goes back to biblical times. In many books found in the bible we read about how music was used by soldiers to help them win important battles. The greeks were also said to be led by flutists who played songs in order to lift up the military.
George Washington, who was the first president of the United States, used music as a way to keep his troops in check. Later on, as the first World War came about, music played a much bigger role. Patriotic songs were an integral part of the war since it helped remind people and soldiers what and why they were fighting for.
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Music During WW II & Vietnam
The use of music during World War II changed dramatically from previous wars. This time around, it was used as an instrument of propaganda, not just entertainment. Still, in army camps, factories and hospitals, music blaring from the radio helped lift the spirits of soldiers every day. Concerts were also used to boost both civilian and military morale.
As times changed, music experienced a dramatic change as well. Unlike classical, jazz and other music used during previous wars, the Vietnam war changed all of that. It was now time for Rock and Roll and protest music. Most artists during that time were widely opposed to the vietnam war. They used music as a way to tell their message to world. In addition, it was also used to send words of encouragement, frustration and resistance to soldiers who were fighting the war.
Songs such as “Born In The USA” by Bruce Springsteen were specifically written about the plight of soldiers who died during the war. It also protested the hardships veterans faced once they came back from the war. Other songs were “Chain Of Fools” by Aretha Franklin and “Purple Haze” by Jimmy Hendrix. These were just some of the many songs written specifically because of the war.
Music And Wars In Modern Times
Unlike the wars of earlier times, music is now used differently today because of technology. These days, soldiers have access to smartphones, computers and many other gadgets. This allows them to listen to music in a much bigger way. Because of these options, music is now used as a way for them to cope and deal with the stress of war. Soldiers use music in the same way most of us do when we feel sad, hurt, happy or in need of some comfort. It is also used as a psychological tool to keep soldiers from being distraught.
One of the problems many soldiers face today is post traumatic syndrome which causes some of them to never be quite the same. Those soldiers who use music as a tool to stay in touch with the outer world and family members, tend to fare far better than others who do not. No matter the genre, music has played a major role in how wars were lost and won. Both by the countries and individual soldiers.