Coronavirus isn’t first time music used as weapon

(L to R) Jenn Day Thompson, Rebecca Day/The Crazy Daysies photo by Mike Hamilton, This Guy Multimedia
(L to R) Jenn Day Thompson, Rebecca Day/The Crazy Daysies; photo by Mike Hamilton, This Guy Multimedia.

An article dating to 2013 indicates music may be a weapon of sorts when it comes to the Coronavirus. That shouldn’t surprise.

The power of music has surfaced repeatedly in international politics. If you lived through the 1970s, you likely have shared memories of popular anti-war songs. I remember seeing Country Joe and the Fish do their “Vietnam Song” at a concert, and it made me feel profoundly the hopelessness of a war that escalated because of a lie.

The US government has used music as a weapon. Perhaps the best known example of that was the bombardment of General Manuel Noriega who controlled Panama in the 1980s. Noriega was literally blasted out of hiding in an embassy and into US custody by way of music. The BBC did a fairly recent article on that music as weapon:

“The troops’ playlist came care of the Southern Command Network, the US military radio in central America. It featured hits picked for their irony value, including I Fought The Law by The Clash, Panama by the stadium rock band Van Halen, U2’s All I Want Is You, and Bruce Cockburn’s If I Had A Rocket Launcher.”

Now The Pittsburg Gazette is calling attention to an article published in 2013. It seems music can boost your immune system, among other benefits:

“According to a 2013 review in the journal Brain Behavior and Immunity, the emotional and psychological effects of listening to music have direct impact on biomarkers and hormone levels. Immunoglobulin A, which plays a crucial role in immune functions, was cited as being “particularly responsive to music.” There is also general consensus among researchers that listening to music reduces cortisol levels…”

Music has long been used to persuade the masses via group think and to inspire troops in war dating to antiquity, so I guess it stands to reason it can influence your immune system too.

I can personally say music soothes me when I’m flustered, and when I do housework, upbeat tunes seem to make my vacuum work better. Conversely, when I’m on hold with a company’s customer relations department and I hear that synthetic stuff some call music, it makes me want to pull my hair out. I figure companies know that, and it’s a useful tool for reducing their customer service calls.

(Kay B. Day/April 20, 2020)

CD by Nancy Wilson Buckler
CD by Nancy Wilson Buckler

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