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Keywords

World War II, Patriotism, American Music, Music History, Military Music

Abstract

When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on the morning of December 7, 1941, they little realized what a formidable foe they had aroused. An enraged America immediately declared war on Japan. As a result, Germany declared war on America. Now facing enemies on both fronts, America mobilized her troops for action and prepared weapons of mass destruction. The unity experienced by the American people during this time had never been and would never be matched. Both soldiers and civilians launched themselves into the war effort. This great national endeavor called for anthems of reflection and encouragement. While they continued to sing national favorites such as "The Star-Spangled Banner" and "America the Beautiful," contemporary musicians wrote pieces that directly pertained to the country’s present trials and triumphs. New works remembering Pearl Harbor, praising the soldiers and comforting the sweethearts saturated the airwaves and were featured in performance venues. Music gave a tangibility and expression to the deeply felt emotional turmoil of the American people. They identified with and drew comfort from the subject matters it explored. Musicians such as Artie Shaw, Glenn Miller and the Andrews Sisters took tours entertaining troops at home and abroad, giving them courage and strength for the daunting fight they faced. When victory was finally achieved for the Allies on September 2, 1945, the people again turned to music as an outlet for their jubilant celebrations. Thus, music played a significant part in boosting American patriotism and troop support throughout the entirety of World War II.

Article Number

2

DOI

10.15385/jmo.2018.9.1.2

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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