Last year I wrote an online piece about the use of music as a psychological weapon, with reference to Suzanne Cusick's disturbing study of the aesthetic dimension of American torture. Lara Pellegrinelli, in the Chronicle of Higher Education, delves at length into the issues raised by Cusick and other authors. New from Indiana University Press is Jonathan Pieslak's book Sound Targets: American Soldiers and Music in the Iraq War, which examines how soldiers have employed music both as an instrument of war and as a kind of defense mechanism. Pieslak discovers that some took to blasting "The Ride of Valkyries" on "thunder runs" through Baghdad, in imitation of the Wagner scene in Apocalypse Now. In a contrasting section, Pieslak interviews the composer-guitarist Jason Sagebiel, who wrote a gently sorrowing piece entitled Salvation while serving in Iraq and who also used his time there to study Arabic music. You can listen to Salvation here. It is, Sagebiel says, in passacaglia form; the recurring theme represents the fact that "violence and war have been the history of the world."