Audiovisual Warfare: Music and International Persuasion in Documentary Films during the Spanish Civil War

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Abstract

During the Spanish Civil War, cinema became one of the most powerful weapons of propaganda. The music of the films, full of anthems and political references, was an essential tool for displaying the documentary's intentions and for influencing spectators’ reactions. Between 1936 and 1939, there was a surge in the production of documentaries targeting international audiences, as they were an invaluable resource for engaging the European countries that had signed the Non-Intervention Agreement against involvement in the Spanish conflict. The objective of this article is to analyse the music of the documentaries set in Spain that were exhibited internationally during the years of the war. We will study the politically tendentious uses of anthems and popular songs on the soundtracks, as well as the importance of the figure of the composer – for those documentaries with original music – attending to the social and political circumstances surrounding their participation in the production.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-260
Number of pages17
JournalTwentieth-Century Music
Volume20
Issue number2
Early online date14 Feb 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2023

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