#91 Denver Dill on the Arts and Music

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The Cognitive Crucible is a forum that presents different perspectives and emerging thought leadership related to the information environment. The opinions expressed by guests are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of or endorsement by the Information Professionals Association.

During this episode, US Army Sergeant Major Denver Dill discusses how music and the arts can be used as tools of influence. Our wide ranging conversation covers the role of music in military operations to the theme park experience to movies to sports.


  • Cognitive Crucible Podcast Episodes Mentioned
  • The Twenty-Six Words That Created the Internet by Jeff Kosseff
  • Jeff Kosseff’s website
  • West Point SS493 Music & Influence Reading List
    • The Social Psychology of Music, Edited by David J. Hargreaves & Adrian C. North
    • Music and Conflict Transformation Harmonies and Dissonances in GEO Politics, Edited by Olivier Urbain
    • Jazz Diplomacy, Promoting America In The Cold War Era, Lisa E. Davenport
    • Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, Douglas Hofstadter
    • Propaganda and Persuasion New and Classic Essays, Garth S. Jowett & Victoria O’Donnell
    • Chronicles of a black musician, Charles Jones
    • Game Theory and Strategy, Philip D. Straffin
    • 33 Revolutions per minute: A History of Protest songs from Billie Holiday to Green Day, Dorian Lynskey
    • Playing for Change: Music and Musicians in the service of social movements, Rob Rosenthal and Richard Flacks
    • Talkin’ ’bout a revolution: Music and social change in America, Dick Weissman
    • Mr. Lincoln’s T-Mails | How Abraham Lincoln Used the Telegraph to Win the Civil War, Tom Wheeler
    • Tracking the Audience – The Ratings Industry from Analog to Digital, Karen Buzzard
    • Radicalism & Music, Jonathan Pieslak
    • Slave Songs of the United States, unknown author – Forgotten Books
    • American Ballads and Folk Songs, John A. Lomax and Alan Lomax
    • The American Songbag Carl Sandburg

Link to full show notes and resources


Guest BioSergeant Major Denver Dill is a member of the West Point Band and an instructor of American Politics at the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York. He has developed the course SS493 Music & Influence which he teaches in the Department of Social Sciences.  He also serves as a co-founder and researcher in the West Point Music Research Center and as the Army Music Analytics Team Leader.  He has taught and assisted in several departments including the Department of Mathematical Sciences, Department of Systems Engineering, Department of English and Philosophy as well as with the Army Cyber Institute. As a trumpet player Sergeant Major Dill has been a prize winner in several national and international competitions. Additionally, Sergeant Major Dill has appeared as both a soloist and a principal trumpet player with the New York Philharmonic and has performed with the Metropolitan Opera Brass. Prior to coming to the United States Military Academy Sergeant Major Dill was a doctoral teaching assistant at the Eastman School of Music. He holds degrees from Juilliard and Eastern Kentucky University and holds certifications in: Lean Six Sigma, Security+, and Influence in Special Operations.

About: The Information Professionals Association (IPA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring the role of information activities, such as influence and cognitive security, within the national security sector and helping to bridge the divide between operations and research. Its goal is to increase interdisciplinary collaboration between scholars and practitioners and policymakers with an interest in this domain.

For more information, please contact us at communications@information-professionals.org.

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Check out this episode!