1st place - Karina Stellato

The war on score, by Karina Stellato

During the Great War (1914-1918), Canada experienced a boom in sheet music production to aid the war effort. This project proposes to examine the sheet music and cover art that widely depicted static traditional roles of wife and family that remained popular despite the evolution of women’s roles that took place on the home front at the time. In sheet music covers, lyrics, songs and the general iconography of Canada’s ‘war machine’, references to wife and family were designed to reinforce traditional roles in a conflict that was anything but traditional.

My research will focus on Canadian sheet music produced during World War One in an effort to understand not the well-documented conflict occurring overseas, but the conflict between traditional and modern social gender roles that raged on the home front. I aim to understand how the thematic portrayals of women in music, coupled with the realities of the role of wives, daughters and the family unit at home could have coexisted. Specifically, my study hopes to examine the creation and duration of this dislocation in society.