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Title: Music worth fighting for : the role of American popular music in the United States and the United Kingdom during World War II
Author: Beeny, Martyn
ISNI:       0000 0004 2710 3675
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis examines the relationship between (primarily) American popular music, as defined within the thesis, and World War II society in the United Kingdom and the United States. The hypothesis is that such music was affected by wartime society in both positive and negative ways, increasing its occurrence in day-to-day lives, but stifling its natural progression. Equally, such music influenced the conduct of the war by shaping the use of music within the military and how music was perceived and used by the two nations' populations during wartime. While the main focus of the research is American popular music, it was necessary to include a discussion of parts of the popular music industry in the United Kingdom due to the large numbers of American troops stationed on British soil and the prevalence of American music in British civilian daily life. The thesis examines the music itself, developing a description of what constituted popular music, as well as providing examples of that music affecting, and being affected by, the war. An examination of the popular music industry in the United States provides details as to how that successful sector of industry reacted to the war, and how it attempted to find its role within the conduct of the war. The increasingly important role of popular music within the American armed forces is addressed pointing to the inclusion, for the first time, of popular music as an elemental part of the soldier's well-being. The British side of the interaction is addressed through a discussion of the pertinent parts of the music industry, the forces' use of music in the United Kingdom, and the provision of mass entertainment for troops, war workers and civilians for the first time during war. Research for this thesis was drawn from archives, libraries, newspapers and firstperson accounts from the United Kingdom and the United States.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: M Music