Sounds of War: conflict and music

Exploring the role of music in the military and in society during periods of conflict. Understanding the impact that war can have on musical development and historical memory.
• Learn about the military uses of music – bugles, bands and drums
• Listen to, analyse and describe examples of music used for information and instruction, for morale and for remembrance
• Investigate changes in music as a result of war
• Reflect on how music can affect their mood and attitude

Music and war are intrinsically linked, from bugle calls to soldiers’ songs. We will use original recordings to work out how music was used to inform and motivate and sometimes to mislead. The impact of war has always influenced composition and performance, from the birth of jazz to the creation of War Requiems or Big Band music. Using case studies of the likes of George Butterworth, Vaughan Williams and Glenn Miller we will track the influence and changes in music over time.

Resources involved: Recordings of military bands and bugle calls, trench gramophones, soldiers’ songs, classical music, national anthems, works by George Butterworth, Vaughan Williams, Benjamin Britten and the influence of civilian musical fashions, such as jazz and swing, on the wartime playlist.
• An awareness of the different roles that music has played during conflict over time
• An understanding of how conflict and culture influence one another
• Comparisons between modern and historical music from times of conflict