Music Manipulation: Annotated Bibliography

Hargreaves, D. (1997). The Social Psychology of Music. New York: Oxford University Press.

The effects that music has on social behavior is the key idea of this source. Social psychology identifies how music can effect social environments as well as the emotions created within spaces. This source relates to my question of how music physically affects us and gives specific cases. This context has many examples of case studies which evaluate a wide range of reactions; from consumer buying habits, product perception, and emotional responses to environments, these studies show how music controls our connotations with the world around us.

Chapter 14 directly related to Music and Consumer Behavior. The case study within this chapter states “classical conditioning implies that pairing a product with a liked piece of music should produce an association between the two, and therefore liking for the product.” In this particular instance 79 per cent of subjects chose the pen that was associated with music the liked music (taken from the film ‘Grease’) rather than the unliked (classical Indian music) (270).

This source provides insight to how music has failed at creating positive responses to products. Through trial and error of products combined with music, companies have suggested that this positive connotation with music and a product is absent when products are ‘very personal, controversial, and anything but boring’ (270). This source will allow me to make connections between the psychologies of advertising such as classical conditioning along with the avenues corporate companies use within their advertising campaigns which are found in The Buying Brain. This book responds to my question of how music combined with our subconscious can change one’s views and perceptions.

Perris, A. (1985). Music as Propaganda. Westport: Greenwood Press.

On page one of this book Perris suggests music “does not shape our daily lives. It is not a profound social issue, like public health or military expenditures.” (1) I argue that music does in fact construct our daily lives, that subconsciously we are unable to control the power music has over daily decisions. However, he does state that “music reaches us from the home stereo and in our cars… and it sounds behind the action of films and television plays, playing subtly with our emotions and our will” (1). This source will allow me to explain how music has been used historically in many instances. Chapter three’s title is: Wagner, Hitler and the German “Race”.

This chapter provides an excellent example as to how music can influence minds and can cause a trickling effect. Richard Wagner is a European composer from the 1800s. “Whether music historians or opera fans wish to accept the fact or not, the perception of his music has been further altered by the political life of a man whom Wagner never knew: Adolf Hitler” (46). Music as Propaganda allows me to create the argument that the ideals portrayed in Wagner’s compositions empowered Hitler. This book will be in conversation with Music, Power and Politics (MPP) because MPP describes how Hitler used music within his dictatorship to engender the youth with his beliefs and ideals. Making the connection between these two sources will be vital to the argument; how the subconscious effect of music can be used to cause social influence.

Pradeep, A. (2010). The Buying Brain. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

The key ideas of this source are the tools in which corporate companies use within their marketing campaigns. This book is a guide for entrepreneurs to build successful brands through the use of neuromarketing such as using consumers subconscious to benefit the company’s profit and overall identity. This source will allow me to build connections and see similarities between modern day use of music in advertising and the historical references and how music has been implemented to gain power within cultures. “The human brain is emotional at its very core. While women process messaging with more emotion than men, both genders must be engaged emotionally for a message to be remember and acted upon. Advertisements must uncover the key emotional triggers” (20). This statement speaks to my questions, why is music effective when implemented into advertisements.

Speaking to emotions relates sources, The Social Psychology of Music and Mind and Music. The combination of these sources begins the dialogue of; what emotions are created through music, how they are created and what happens when they are “tapped” into. This source states, “sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell are important when stores develop shopping experiences” (184). Overloading the visual cortex with too much similar or identical data gives way to repetition blindness. Music is a way to strengthen our Memory Retention because music can be a powerful mnemonic device which enables us to retain something we normally would forget. This book makes me want to find articles on how particular songs, jingles, or tunes have effected companies’ profit margins within specific marketing promotions.

Randall, A. (2005). Music, Power, and Politics. New York: Routledge.

This is the source that will be in conversation with Music as Propaganda. As stated in the introduction, this book “traces the operations of power— social, economic, and political— through the medium of music and through discourses about music.” This book is compiled of many essays of various authors lending diverse perspectives of the controls put on music and the treatment of music within different cultures.

The chapter I am most interested in my research is chapter four “The Power to Influence Minds: German Folk Music during the Nazi Era and After” by Britta Sweers. Britta explains the Nazi’s implemented propaganda songs into his mandatory youth create. Also created was a songbook the youth would sing and a major portion of the HJ/BDM’s song material was adapted from preexisting sources. Hitler used music to psychologically imprint on the younger generation. In addition to playing NS games simulating plane attacks and war games, songs glorifying Hitler, and war songs were performed (75).

This perspective and information will allow me to connect with the history of the power or music as well as introducing the negative effects that can associated with such psychological manipulation. I relate how Hitler treated his dictatorship and his need for supporters to coincide with the needs of corporations to stay alive. This book speaks to the my question, what long term impact music can music have on an individual and/or among a society. I question if corporations use these same ideas and mind manipulation within their campaigns to market to their intended consumers. Building the precedence portion of my research will enable me to connect these historical events to modern day marketing objectives and motives.

Storr, A. (1992). Music and the Mind. New York: The Free Press.

Understanding the brain and its physical responses to music is important in understanding the more emotional responses. This understanding will explain how music can be influential. Music and the Mind gives evidence of how the brain reacts to music. This text explains the music causes increased arousal in those who are interested in it and who therefore listen to it with some degree of concentration. The arousal referred to is a condition of heightened alertness, awareness, interest, and excitement: a generally enhanced state of being.

This source helps to describe the more medical and physiological vocabulary needed to understand the changes happening inside the brain while listening to music. How does the psychology of music effect our perception? From Music and the Mind, “Music has the effect of intensifying or underlining the emotion which a particular event calls forth, by simultaneously coordinating the emotions of a group of people” (Storr 24). This statement already begins to show how our deep connection to music can form how we feel about certain events or groups depending on the music they play or enjoy. Generally, music increases arousal such as, alertness, awareness and excitement (24). This arousal can cause your pupils to dilate as well as, heighten blood pressure and heart rate (25). These are involuntary effects give us knowledge as to how music taps into our deeper sub-conscious. Music and the Mind generates questions such as; how are companies implementing music, through using the idea of mental arousal, within their advertisements and what happens to people with mental disabilities, are they still effected by music the same?


Hargreaves, D. (1997). The Social Psychology of Music. New York: Oxford University Press.

Perris, A. (1985). Music as Propaganda. Westport: Greenwood Press.

Pradeep, A. (2010). The Buying Brain. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Randall, A. (2005). Music, Power, and Politics. New York: Routledge.

Storr, A. (1992). Music and the Mind. New York: The Free Press.


One thought on “Music Manipulation: Annotated Bibliography

  1. annawallace003 says:

    Hi Katelyn,
    I was unaware of your research topic until Friday’s class and I think that it is an excellent pick! Your first source is great because it severs the purpose of supporting two different viewpoints on what music does to advertisements. It is always important to include sources like this because it will strengthen the argument throughout your final paper. In the next source, the case studies that you were able to find are key to your topic so I am glad that you included an annotation for this type of data. I feel like there are may different studies out there on this topic so it would be beneficial to further investigate what is out there and to make sure that you have gathered the most appropriate data relating to your topic.
    I noticed that you have included certain details from specific chapters and page numbers, which is a great addition to your work. I also noticed that your entry was formatted very nicely!
    Overall your sources are very intentional in purpose and as a reader I could clearly see a connection between the five. Another suggestion that would have been helpful for me would have been to include your research question somewhere on the annotated bibliography so as a reader I could gain a clear understanding of your question. Again, you have done a great job here and I look forward to seeing what you do with the topic and hearing your presentation.



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