From Yankee Doodle to Kendrick Lamar – The Next Melody

During my BCM325 lecture we discussed Trajectories and Planning and in my role of exploring historical trends in music and predicting the future, we will be examining the role Music can play in propaganda.

Joseph Goebbels was the Minister of Propaganda between 1933 and 1945 and the organiser of Hitler’s the propaganda machine, which used print, radio, and film as well as the recently invented television, to advocate for extreme discrimination and the extermination of Jews in the Holocaust. The Nazis were able to plan their next piece of propaganda by utilising their access to nationwide media platforms.

However, During the American Revolution The Old Guard Fire and Drum Corp created a masterpiece of American patriotism: Yankee Doodle Dandy. A common misconception is that George M. Cohan was the mastermind behind the song.

During my search on Yankee Doodle I found a music centred Journal explaining the Trajectories and planning of Yankee doodle. This journal that examines Yankee Doodle Dandy and certain aspects of its production history as artifacts of pre-Office of War Information wartime propaganda.

Let us start by considering the historical scope of the movie and particularly its musical components from the perspective of American nationalism. James Cagney’s performance as George M. Cohan altered the actor’s image both within the Hollywood community and for the American audience, if briefly. By grafting his portrayal of the patriotic Irish-American song-and-dance man onto his well-established tough-guy persona, Cagney created an alternative mythologized American hero. The significance of this American involvement of wartime propaganda is that prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor, films dealing with war themes avoided direct reference to any American involvement in the current overseas conflicts, however, this has changed. 

In future cultures we explore the past and predict the future. I believe Trajectories and Planning will always be a part of music and in the future, I believe it will become more subtle as our population is becoming increasingly more aware. Music and Art in the past have effectively spread propaganda, however, artists nowadays are creating more protest songs to combat current injustices in society. This in predominately evident in Hip Hop and the #BlackLiveMatter movement. It’s evidence to see the effect music can have on social settings. Hip Hop DX recently realised an article titled “Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Alright,’ Public Enemy’s ‘Fight The Power’ & More Rap Protest Songs Hit Streams Spike”.

From Yankee Doodle to Kendrick Lamar Music is can do miracles, thank you reading, and keep up with The Next Melody.

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