During World War II, the early sound of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and the rhythmic association between its opening notes and the Morse code representation of the letter V were propagated by London BBC radio and other media instruments as a symbol of the desire to victory that affected and led the allies to the heroic effort against the expansion of German Nazism. The cinema played an important role in spreading this fighting sentiment among viewers, and the presence of the Fifth’s theme in the music tracks, often in opposition to themes by composer Richard Wagner, can be seen in the American animations Education for Death (1943), Scrap Happy Daffy (1943), Out the Frying Pan into the Firing Line (1942). Hitler’s stated predilection for Wagner may justify their association in these soundtracks, but why did we choose Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony as a symbol of the allies? Considering the justification of the diagrammatic similarity of the beginning of music with the letter V in Morse as insufficient, this study sought new elements that could have motivated this choice. Through literature review and score analysis, aspects of the musician’s life and work, especially the Fifth, were important justifications for its connection with feelings of overcoming and victory. The arguments presented aim to increase the reflections on the alliances between art and politics that actually occurred in the period of World War II.
Este trabalho encontra-se publicado com a Licença Internacional Creative Commons Atribuição 4.0.
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