2022 Student Research Conference:
35th Annual Student Research Conference

A Brief Analysis of the Industrial Worker's of the World's Little Red Songbook Using Music Psychology and Neuroscience.

Hannah M. Huddleston
Dr. Jesse D. Krebs, Faculty Mentor

During the early twentieth century, music became an especially powerful vessel for the protests of American labor unions, as can be seen by the success of the International Workers of the World’s (I.W.W.) Little Red Songbook. This songbook took advantage of music’s ability to unite various groups of people and revolutionized the use of music in protest. The psychological and neurological foundations of music are what enabled this songbook to be successful, and are what makes music in general such an effective means of protest. This was because of the neurological connections between music and language, the songwriting techniques of I.W.W. members, neurotransmitter reactions, and the way that music encourages group unification and solidarity.  This presentation will explore these neurological connections and demonstrate why the Little Red Songbook was especially successful at capitalizing on them during those impactful strikes for workers rights.

Keywords: International Workers of the World, Little Red Songbook, Music psychology , Musical protest

Topic(s):Interdisciplinary Studies

Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

Session: 201-3
Location: SUB Alumni Room
Time: 10:45

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