Motivational music has been used by the military for centuries, but in modern wars, soldiers are taking along their own playlists It was a throwaway statistic in an article about the heavy metal band Slayer that got Jonathan Pieslak thinking. During the Gulf war, he read, some 40% of the band's fan mail came from soldiers stationed in the Middle East. Professor Pieslak is a music theorist at the City College of New York. Over the past few years he has interviewed US soldiers about the music they listen to and - more importantly - what they listen to it for. You wouldn't expect much Chris de Burgh or Barry White to come floating over the barbed wire fences around military camps in Iraq or Afghanistan, and Pieslak's research confirms the hunch. The playlists are dominated by Slayer, Metallica,...
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