Have you ever wondered what would happen to the state of popular music should a war ever break out? .
It's hard to determine exactly what roads popular culture will travel down in the best of times, under the most pleasant of circumstances. Forecasting such a metamorphosis under dire circumstances, or under an environment of stress or flux is even more difficult. .
Popular culture is a living thing. it mutates, grows, adapts, and other biological junk. It's constantly "evolving" and shifting around, as and more and more cultures clash or contrast or meld, the resulting forms of, say, art, end up reflecting really wacky aesthetics. Look at the whacked-out infusion Japanese culture had on everything from high fashion to Duran Duran music videos in the 1980s for such an example. .
Popular culture and its natural process of development can be and is affected by virtually everything from other cultures (the recent Latin influence on American popular music), the weather (would Morrisey have happened in a country that didn't get as much rain?), and of course.politics. This stuff all goes without saying, but at the same time, it isn't even that obvious. Political, climactic, and cultural (to use previous examples) influences have a total subconscious affect on any human being, let alone the artist. For all you know, the copy written on the back of the cereal box you opened this morning was written by someone in a miserable, rainy and humid country, working for a corrupt corporation bent on global breakfast domination, who was listening to a lot of Nepalese chanting when he/she wrote said copy. Did it affect what you read / what they wrote? It's hard to tell. .
Having said that, we can guess something as catastrophic as a war would have much greater impact on culture in its most diverse incarnations. When it comes to popular music in a North American setting, there is some precedent that we can examine.