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Music used in Psy war in Asian countries

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Offline ryan.ucsd

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Music used in Psy war in Asian countries
« on: February 18, 2014, 05:42:14 PM »

I am doing research on music and it's functions in battle in Asian countries.  I am primarily interested in finding examples of musical instruments used (1.) during battle and (2.) music used to affect an enemy soldiers effectiveness on the battlefield, as in psychological warfare. 

Perhaps, it's best to begin with the Vietnam War.  It has been relatively easy to find examples of Americans using music for psychological warfare during the Vietnam War, (see operation wandering soul) but I'm having trouble finding examples of the Vietcong or NVA using music to affect American forces in similar ways.  In "Wandering Soul" traditional Korean music was played over loudspeakers attached to helicopters to stir up emotions in religious enemy troops.  Obviously, the parallel won't be exactly the same -- I know that the vietcong didn't have helicopters with loud speakers -- but I'm confident that music must have been used in a psychologically impactful way against Americans.  Do examples exist of the NVA trying something like this, i.e., American folk/popular music used to stir emotions in Americans?

If there are no known examples of music used as psychological warfare against americans in the Vietnam war, perhaps, someone will know of some examples from other Asian countries in any war.  Here are some things I have found that are at least slightly related to what I'm interested in learning more about. 

*Trumpets were used by the Chinese to communicate during battle.  This is referenced often in history books, especially "The Last Stand of Fox Company" which are said to have often had a demoralizing or intimidating effect on American soldiers.

*The Chinese used loudspeakers to dispense propaganda to American troops during the Korean War -- (this is referenced in "The Last Stand of Fox Company" -- while it wasn't music, it seems likely that if speakers were used music probably was, too.

*The affect of "Axis Sally" on American service men in WW2

There are so many functions of music in warfare in western civilization.  Music used for communication, propaganda, celebration, defeat, etc.  There are even examples of musical instruments used in 'extra-musical' instances throughout the history of war.  For instance, in WW1, 'gongs'  were used in the trenches to warn of a gas attack.  Stuka Dive bombers sometimes fitted with "Jericho Trumpets" which 'wailed' as they descended on would be targets.  The American Paratroopers use of the "D-day cricket" for communication (I know this isn't music exactly, but the crickets were 'sonic toys').  Trumpets were used by the Chinese for intimidation / communication during the Korean Conflict.  Etc, Etc, Etc. 

It has been so much more difficult to learn the history of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean instruments and their involvement in warfare than their western counterparts.  I'm certain this history exists but it has been hard to discover.  One more example of things I've been 'chewing on'.  If one were to look back hundreds of years, did the Samurai not use musical instruments to intimidate their enemies? Did chinese gongs and cymbals not get used on the battlefield? It seems very likely that they did…I would love to learn more about these topics!

I'm sorry for this long post!  Any comments or tips would be SOO appreciated!


Online der Chef

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Re: Music used in Psy war in Asian countries
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2014, 03:04:27 AM »
Welcome Ryan and thanks for the interesting post.
Not Asian, but only yesterday I was talking about the music used on the clandestine radio station Soldatensender Calais that made extensive use of Jazz and American dance songs. Many were especially remastered with German, French and Italian lyrics by OSS for use on the Soldatensender.

Examples can be heard here:
der Chef

Online Bertf

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Re: Music used in Psy war in Asian countries
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2014, 09:42:25 PM »
I just told another poster to read my article.




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