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Abstract

This paper analyzes the impact of the camp music program on American participants in World War I. First, it describes the formation and purpose of the Commission on Training Camp Activities (CTCA). This was a commission developed within the War Department in 1917 that was tasked with raising and maintaining troop morale by organizing constructive recreational activities, such as the music division. Second, this paper explores the soldiers’ experiences with song and how they accepted the practice of singing and used it as a form of expression. This paper argues that the CTCA effectively utilized singing to increase unit cohesion and maintain troop morale, while the soldiers, in turn, validated the music program through their adoption of song as form of expression.

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