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The U.S. State Department has a plan to use music as part of foreign policy in 2024

Soft power–the use of culture and consumer goods in international relations–has been a big part of American foreign policy for decades. Back in the 1950s, the U.S. Government engaged the Cold War dance partly by exporting music, dance, movies, and TV shows to nations around the world. Show the people of, say, the USSR, what they were missing out and they’d eventually rise up and overthrow the commies in power.

The use of soft power continues today. shows us how.

“Nicholas Burns, the U.S. ambassador to China, said in an email, ‘The pandemic had separated the American and Chinese people, with no in-person cultural exchanges for nearly four years.’ The Philadelphia Orchestra’s tour ‘turned the page on that period of estrangement.’

“Matías Tarnopolsky, the orchestra’s president and CEO, recalled that the last time the musicians visited China, in 2017, he sat for a very stiff meeting with a senior Chinese official. But at the end, the official led him aside and urged him to keep making these tours. The official recalled how much his parents talked about the event when Ormandy and the orchestra came in 1973, and what it meant for hopes of contact with the rest of the world. “At times,” the official told him, ‘these cultural exchanges are the only thing that works.'”

Read the whole article here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38449 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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