Item Details

Diplomatic Notes

Issue: Vol 1 No. 1 (2004)

Journal: Popular Music History

Subject Areas: Popular Music

DOI: 10.1558/pomh.v1i1.37


This article examines the US State Department's use of jazz and classical musicians as cultural diplomats in the Near and Middle East in the period from 1954–60 when the region had suddenly assumed new geopolitical significance. Focusing on tours sponsored by the President's Emergency Fund for the Arts, the article describes the strategic rationale for the programs and analyzes diplomatic assessments of their political value. Operating within the intellectual paradigms of Western canonicity and orientalism, government officials and musicians alike saw music as a positive expression of American national identity even as they extolled its ostensibly universal appeal for local populations.

Author: Graham Carr

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