Poster or Presentation Title

Music in Japanese Prisoner of War Camps

Student Author Information

Zerai ThorntonFollow

Access Type

Open Access

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

April 2019

Abstract

During World War II, both the Axis and Allied powers held enemy soldiers and civilians in prisoner of war (POW) camps with little recreational activities. Although some Japanese POW camps did not allow their prisoners to engage in recreational activities, inmates transformed songs into acceptable performance practices. With the intent of improving music pedagogy, the purpose of this research was to investigate music in Japanese POW camps. The particular problems of this study were to (1) examine traditional practices in Japanese POW camps; (2) determine how music developed a Japanese POW camp; and (3) create a POW camp song, entitled Moonlight Sonata.

POW camps hired strict guards, who enforced rigid rules. Margret Dryburgh and Norah Chambers developed the idea of vocal orchestra to give the ladies of the Women’s Barracks Camp in Sumatra hope through the war. I transcribed Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata in C# Minor, into a vocal orchestra composition for women’s chorus. The creation of this vocal orchestra work increased the repertoire for a cappella music available for women’s choirs and provides a model to assist educators in transforming/transposing instrumental music for vocal ensembles.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Ramsey

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Apr 10th, 11:30 AM

Music in Japanese Prisoner of War Camps

During World War II, both the Axis and Allied powers held enemy soldiers and civilians in prisoner of war (POW) camps with little recreational activities. Although some Japanese POW camps did not allow their prisoners to engage in recreational activities, inmates transformed songs into acceptable performance practices. With the intent of improving music pedagogy, the purpose of this research was to investigate music in Japanese POW camps. The particular problems of this study were to (1) examine traditional practices in Japanese POW camps; (2) determine how music developed a Japanese POW camp; and (3) create a POW camp song, entitled Moonlight Sonata.

POW camps hired strict guards, who enforced rigid rules. Margret Dryburgh and Norah Chambers developed the idea of vocal orchestra to give the ladies of the Women’s Barracks Camp in Sumatra hope through the war. I transcribed Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata in C# Minor, into a vocal orchestra composition for women’s chorus. The creation of this vocal orchestra work increased the repertoire for a cappella music available for women’s choirs and provides a model to assist educators in transforming/transposing instrumental music for vocal ensembles.