Music Cold War Music
by
Peter Schmelz
  • LAST MODIFIED: 22 April 2013
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199757824-0131

Introduction

Contemporary music undeniably received attention during the Cold War—roughly the period between 1945 and 1991, from the end of World War II to the fall of the Soviet Union. Yet it was not until the Cold War’s end that musicologists and historians began investigating in earnest the impact of the worldwide conflict on musical composition, performance, and reception. Their research addresses a diversity of topics. The Cold War acts as more than a temporal demarcation: it helps frame specific relationships, interactions, and modes of thinking fostered directly and indirectly by the sharing (and opposing) of information around the globe. The most fruitful studies engage with these transnational aspects of the conflict, the pushing and pulling of ideas by both state and nonstate actors. Scholars thus have focused a great deal of attention on music that was explicitly politicized by either the sender or the receiver. But this process was far from one-sided, and far from clear. Armed with new theoretical perspectives and archival findings, and not beholden to the rigid binary oppositions of the Cold War, scholars have begun developing more sophisticated accounts of how musical actors (intentionally or not) conveyed, implied, received, and inferred political meanings on many levels, ranging from the very public to the more intimate. Music scholars and historians in particular have been interested in the ways in which governments employed (or attempted to employ) composers and performers to fit their own ideological and political agendas. Archival research relating to US cultural exchange programs featuring both jazz, art music, and ballet/modern dance have proven especially profitable. Musicologists have also dealt with other ideological aspects of musical production, usually by region, focusing particularly on the United States, western Europe, eastern Europe, and the Soviet Union. Among these regional studies, a number of scholars have drawn attention to the musical responses to the McCarthy campaign against Communist sympathizers in the United States. In this context and others, the uses of “abstract” music, namely twelve-tone and serial techniques, in addition to other avant-garde developments, as a shield against Communist co-optation have also been explored. What remains is to study these issues beyond the traditional US/Soviet framework and to look at what historian Odd Arne Westad calls the “Global Cold War.”

General Overviews

A number of general studies of Cold War culture help begin articulating music’s roles during this period. Hixson 1997, Prevots 1998, and Caute 2003 all focus on the cultural diplomacy efforts of the United States and the Soviet Union. Stonor Saunders 2000 (cited under Cultural Politics and Cultural Diplomacy) probes the activities of the Congress for Cultural Freedom, including its links to the US Central Intelligence Agency. Other useful introductions include Whitfield 1996, which considers American Cold War culture more broadly, and Boyer 1994, which investigates the impact of atomic weapons on the American popular imagination. Shreffler 2003 offers necessary background for understanding the historiography of the period, in both Germany (East and West), but also by extension in the United States, the Soviet Union, and elsewhere. Schmelz 2009 presents an assessment of the field of Cold War musical studies after its first decade of activity. For general introductions to the diplomatic and political history of the Cold War, see also the General Overviews section in the Oxford Bibliographies: International Relations article The Cold War.

  • Boyer, Paul. By the Bomb’s Early Light: American Thought and Culture at the Dawn of the Atomic Age. 2d ed. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1994.

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    Covers the period 1945–1950, giving a rich account of American responses to the atomic bomb. Although music receives only passing mention, the discussions of other cultural forms (including literature and film) provide ample background for future musical discussions of the topic.

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  • Caute, David. The Dancer Defects: The Struggle for Cultural Supremacy during the Cold War. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.

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    A highly readable, comprehensive survey of the arts—stage and screen, ballet and music (both classical and jazz). In addition to a wealth of secondary sources, Caute also draws upon research at archives in the United Kingdom, Paris, Berlin, the United States, and Moscow. A useful introduction to the topic.

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  • Hixson, Walter. Parting the Curtain: Propaganda, Culture, and the Cold War, 1945–1961. New York: St. Martin’s, 1997.

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    Focuses on US efforts at psychological warfare and cultural exchange with the Soviet Union during the Truman and Eisenhower administrations. Draws on documents from both American and Russian archives.

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  • Prevots, Naima. Dance for Export: Cultural Diplomacy and the Cold War. Hanover, NH: Wesleyan University Press, 1998.

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    Considers US ballet and modern dance cultural exchanges organized between 1954 and 1962, the period during which ANTA (American National Theater and Academy) administered the programs. Although focused on dance, Prevots’s research often touches upon music.

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  • Schmelz, Peter J. “Introduction: Music in the Cold War.” Journal of Musicology 26 (2009): 1–16.

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    A brief overview of Cold War musical studies, presenting a history of the topic and outlining possible directions for future study. Also includes a selected bibliography.

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  • Shreffler, Anne C. “Berlin Walls: Dahlhaus, Knepler, and Ideologies of Music History.” Journal of Musicology 20 (2003): 498–525.

    DOI: 10.1525/jm.2003.20.4.498Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Lucidly details the influences on one of Germany’s most influential music historians during the postwar period, Carl Dahlhaus. Demonstrates how his historiography reacted against the Marxist-informed history preached and practiced in East Germany. An important study.

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  • Whitfield, Stephen J. The Culture of the Cold War. 2d ed. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996.

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    A pioneering overview of American culture during the Cold War that reveals the many manifestations of anti-Communist anxiety in American society. While it overlooks music, its discussions of theater, film, and television provide helpful context for musical research.

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Textbooks

Up through the end of the 20th century, few music history textbooks addressed the Cold War in a substantive manner. Taruskin 2010 was the first to engage seriously with the impact of the Cold War on the production and consumption of late-20th-century music. Weiss and Taruskin 2008 also includes a number of pertinent primary source readings about music’s role in the Cold War.

  • Taruskin, Richard. The Oxford History of Western Music. Vol. 5, Music in the Late Twentieth Century. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.

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    The final volume of Taruskin’s sweeping history is “governed” by “the cold war and its as yet insufficiently acknowledged . . . impact on the arts” (p. xix).

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  • Weiss, Piero, and Richard Taruskin, eds. Music in the Western World: A History in Documents. 2d ed. New York: Thomson Schirmer, 2008.

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    Includes a useful selection of Cold War–related musical texts, ranging from Prokofiev’s response to the 1948 “Resolution on Music” in the USSR and proclamations from the Congress for Cultural Freedom to artistic manifestos and testimonials about the role of the composer in society by Britten, Babbitt, Rochberg, and Ligeti.

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Bibliographies

Given the relative novelty of the field, few bibliographies specifically devoted to Cold War music exist. Schmelz 2009 provides a preliminary introduction, including some items absent from the present list.

Collections of Essays

Aside from the special journal issues listed elsewhere in this article, the most germane 21st-century collection of essays, Adlington 2009, deals with music and politics in the 1960s, and by extension with the Cold War, both directly and indirectly.

Multimedia Resources

Geerhart and Sitz 2005 includes a broad range of American popular songs and film clips relating to the Cold War, alternately (and often simultaneously) humorous and terrifying.

  • Geerhart, Bill, and Ken Sitz. Atomic Platters: Cold War Music from the Golden Age of Homeland Security. CD. Hamburg, Germany: Bear Family Records, 2005.

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    A wonderful compedium of popular songs (primarily American) dealing with atomic weapons and related Cold War phenomena. Accompanied by a DVD including representative public service announcements from the 1950s, including those advising young children to “duck and cover” in the event of nuclear attack.

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Archives

There exist several repositories of documentation related to US cultural diplomacy (and the United States in general) during the Cold War. The major holdings have already seen much activity and include those at the Special Collections Division of the University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville (see the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Historical Collection and the J. William Fulbright Papers) and in the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in College Park, Maryland (US Department of State). But these are only the tip of the iceberg. Other potentially relevant collections include those at the various US presidential libraries, among them the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, and the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum. Comparable archival work on cultural exchange, as well as other aspects of Cold War music, still remains to be done in other countries around the world (including most significantly in Russia and other republics of the former Soviet Union). For basic information about Russian archives see the International Institute of Social History (in English), and the Federal Archival Agency (in Russian). The Hoover Institution at Stanford University includes an extensive collection of materials (including microfilmed documents from Russian archives) related to the Soviet Union and eastern Europe, many of which pertain to propaganda activities during the Cold War.

Periodicals

There are no music journals that focus exclusively on the Cold War. Nonetheless, Music and Politics often features articles related to the topic. In 2009 the Journal of Musicology published two special issues devoted to music in the Cold War; and Diplomatic History has also recently addressed the topic in a special number.

Cultural Politics and Cultural Diplomacy

One of the most fruitful areas of research related to music and the Cold War has concerned state funding of cultural diplomacy, whether clandestine (the CIA funding of the Congress for Cultural Freedom) or overt (US State Department tours). These issues have been researched almost exclusively from the American side. Save for Richmond 2003, the equivalent Soviet programs have yet to receive significant attention. The early introductions to music and Cold War cultural diplomacy, including Coleman 1989, Wellens 2002, and Stonor Saunders 2000, sometimes tended toward the sensational, focusing on the CIA links behind the Congress for Cultural Freedom, although all provided much needed, previously unknown material. They have been followed by Fosler-Lussier 2012 and Gienow-Hecht 2012, which include more considered theorizing of the intentions and effects of US State Department tours. Richmond 2003 surveys the cultural Cold War from the Soviet side, assessing the role that exchanges between the US and USSR played in ending the conflict. Osgood and Etheridge 2010 provides a detailed introduction to the recent literature on diplomatic history and public diplomacy.

  • Carr, Graham. “Diplomatic Notes: American Musicians and Cold War Politics in the Near and Middle East, 1954–1960.” Popular Music History 1 (2004): 37–63.

    DOI: 10.1558/pomh.1.1.37.56025Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Focusing on State Department–sponsored cultural ambassadors to the Near and Middle East, this survey by a historian conveys a sophisticated account of the means and ends of US Cold War exchanges. Considers a range of musicians, from Dizzy Gillespie and Dave Brubeck to the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra.

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  • Coleman, Peter. The Liberal Conspiracy: The Congress for Cultural Freedom and the Struggle for the Mind of Postwar Europe. New York: Free Press, 1989.

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    Gives a useful introduction to the “Congress’s various activities around the world, about the plans and intentions of the people associated with it, and about their knowledge of any secret funding” (p. xii). Lacks the detailed research of Stonor Saunders 2000 or Wellens 2002, but draws upon unique oral historical interviews.

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  • Fosler-Lussier, Danielle. “Music Pushed, Music Pulled: Cultural Diplomacy, Globalization, and Imperialism.” Diplomatic History 36 (2012): 53–64.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-7709.2011.01008.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A well-considered theoretical article, it asks: “What work did US cultural presentations do, and in what ways did they promote US interests?” (p. 55). Looks at the “how” and the “why” of these programs alongside the “flows of power and culture” they opened.

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  • Gienow-Hecht, Jessica C. E. “The World Is Ready to Listen: Symphony Orchestras and the Global Performance of America.” Diplomatic History 36 (2012): 17–28.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-7709.2011.01005.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    By a leading diplomatic historian, this article suggests “that symphony orchestras sent on tour by their governments serve, and continue to serve, to perform the nation” (p. 18). Focuses special attention on Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic’s 1959 tour to Europe and the Soviet Union.

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  • Osgood, Kenneth, and Brian C. Etheridge. “Introduction: The New International History Meets the New Cultural History: Public Diplomacy and U.S. Foreign Relations.” In The United States and Public Diplomacy: New Directions in Cultural and International History. Edited by Kenneth A. Osgood and Brian C. Etheridge, 1–25. Leiden, The Netherlands and Boston: Martinus Nijhoff, 2010.

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    A short but detailed overview of recent literature pertaining to diplomatic history and public diplomacy. Its extensive footnotes are well worth mining for further sources on the topic.

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  • Richmond, Yale. Cultural Exchange and the Cold War: Raising the Iron Curtain. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2003.

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    Argues that Soviet exchanges with the West greatly contributed to ending the Cold War. Considers several types of exchanges, including scholars, scientists, journalists and diplomats, nongovernmental organizations, and the performing arts. An accessible introduction to the topic written by a practicing diplomat, it gives a more detailed account of the Soviet perspective than any other source.

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  • Stonor Saunders, Frances. The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters. New York: New Press, 2000.

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    A breezy, often sensationalistic, yet informative account of the Congress for Cultural Freedom’s activities (including musical activities) from 1950 to 1967. Usefully supplemented by Wellens 2002 and Coleman 1989. Also published in the United Kingdom as Who Paid the Piper? by Granta in 1999.

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  • Wellens, Ian. Music on the Frontline: Nicolas Nabokov’s Struggle Against Communism and Middlebrow Culture. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2002.

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    A useful companion to Stonor Saunders 2000, focusing more specifically on Nabokov’s “ideas on music and politics” and “the rationale for his CCF (Congress for Cultural Freedom) festivals” (p. viii).

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Jazz

A central component of US cultural diplomacy efforts involved strategic deployment of jazz musicians. Davenport 2009 and Von Eschen 2004 both focus on the large-scale program of jazz tours organized by the US State Department. Crist 2009 examines the specific case of Dave Brubeck, considering his experiences as a State Department performer in the USSR. Cohen 2010 treats Ellington’s tours to the USSR. Monson 2007 examines the program as part of a larger study of jazz and the US civil rights struggle. Fosler-Lussier 2010 uniquely examines a non-marquee ensemble, the University of Michigan Jazz Band, exploring the complexities of the actual interactions between guests and locals and the ways in which official State Department propaganda wishes were conveyed, miscommunicated, or ignored.

  • Cohen, Harvey G. Duke Ellington’s America. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010.

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    Includes two chapters devoted, respectively, to Ellington’s 1963 and 1970s State Department tours. Although the research is drawn almost exclusively from the American side of the tours (including US embassy cables and other internal records), it provides a compelling portrait of Ellington’s activities on behalf of the US government.

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  • Crist, Stephen A. “Jazz as Democracy? Dave Brubeck and Cold War Politics.” Journal of Musicology 26 (2009): 133–174.

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    A detailed examination of Dave Brubeck’s 1958 US State Department sponsored tour of the Soviet Union, as well as his subsequent 1988 performance in Moscow during the Reagan-Gorbachev summit. Based on extensive archival research.

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  • Davenport, Lisa E. Jazz Diplomacy: Promoting America in the Cold War Era. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2009.

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    Based on a 2002 dissertation from Georgetown University. Employs data gleaned from thorough archival research to survey jazz cultural exchange from the mid-1950s to the late 1960s. Useful in conjunction with Von Eschen 2004 and Monson 2007.

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  • Fosler-Lussier, Danielle. “Cultural Diplomacy as Cultural Globalization: The University of Michigan Jazz Band in Latin America.” Journal of the Society for American Music 4 (January 2010): 59–93.

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    A valuable investigation of the lived realities of cultural exchange programs, based on oral historical interviews with members of the University of Michigan Jazz Band who toured Latin America in 1965. Reverses the familiar “top-down” perspective on cultural exchange.

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  • Monson, Ingrid. Freedom Sounds: Civil Rights Call Out to Jazz and Africa. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.

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    By a leading jazz scholar, this book surveys a wide range of materials relating to jazz and the civil rights movement. The fourth chapter discusses the State Department Cultural Presentations Program, and especially the roles played by Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, and Art Blakey. A useful counterpoint to Von Eschen 2004.

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  • Von Eschen, Penny M. Satchmo Blows up the World: Jazz Ambassadors Play the Cold War. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004.

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    This well-researched, highly readable examination of the role of jazz in US cultural diplomacy has become a touchstone for subsequent studies of the topic. Traces the touring of jazz musicians worldwide from the 1950s to the late 1970s, focusing on racial politics. Monson 2007 covers similar terrain from a different perspective.

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Classical/Art Music

As Ansari 2012 reveals, statistically more art music composers than jazz musicians received funding from the State Department in the 1950s and 1960s. Nonetheless, the jazz tours have received the bulk of scholarly attention. Ansari 2010 and Ansari 2012 address the roles of classical musicians in the official Cold War programs. Fosler-Lussier 2009 considers the participation of avant-garde musicians in US Cold War cultural exchange.

  • Ansari, Emily Theodosia Abrams. “‘Masters of the President’s Music’: Cold War Composers and the United States Government.” PhD diss., Harvard University, 2010.

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    Using archival documents and interviews, considers US musical diplomacy from the composer’s perspective, emphasizing how composers advocated for specific styles, and their own careers, in addition to the official government goals. Focuses on the ANTA Music Advisory Panel, and four representative composer-panelists: Aaron Copland, William Schuman, Virgil Thomson, and Ulysses Kay.

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  • Ansari, Emily Abrams. “Shaping the Policies of Cold War Musical Diplomacy: An Epistemic Community of American Composers.” Diplomatic History 36 (2012): 41–52.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-7709.2011.01007.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Distilled from Ansari 2010, this article provides a succinct introduction to the main arguments of that work concerning the ANTA Music Advisory Panel and the agendas individual composer-panelists pursued through their deliberations.

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  • Fosler-Lussier, Danielle. “American Cultural Diplomacy and the Mediation of Avant-Garde Music.” In Sound Commitments: Avant-Garde Music and the Sixties. Edited by Robert Adlington, 232–253. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.

    DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195336641.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Uses new archival findings to consider the roles of avant-garde music in US cultural diplomacy efforts in the 1960s. Also discusses some avant-garde jazz figures (Charles Lloyd), in addition to the rock group Blood, Sweat, and Tears.

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Studies by Region

Music during the Cold War in the United States, Europe, and eastern Europe has received the most scholarly attention. The Soviet Union (Russia as well as the other republics), Latin America and the Caribbean, and Africa and the Middle East, to say nothing of Asia, have yet to receive comparable treatment.

Comparative

Much writing on the musical Cold War necessarily involves border crossings of one form or another (both figurative and actual). But some studies, chief among them Fosler-Lussier 2007, truly demonstrate a comparative approach, in this case pinpointing varied reactions to Bartók’s music on both sides of the Iron Curtain.

France

As a prime site for debates over Soviet and American ideals, France has provided rich material for musicological investigations. Carroll 2003 paints a broad picture of the Cold War ideological skirmishes surrounding music in postwar France (and Europe more broadly), while Sprout 2009 homes in on similar issues in France during the fraught transition from World War II to the early Cold War. Shreffler 2005 presents a careful account of discussions of freedom and control surrounding serialism and the premiere of Stravinsky’s Threni at the 1952 Congress for Cultural Freedom festival in Paris. Alten 2000 surveys musical debates within publications of the French Communist Party (PCF) during the early Cold War.

  • Alten, Michèle. Musiciens français dans la guerre froide (1945–1956). Paris: L’Harmattan, 2000.

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    Surveys musical debates within publications of the French Communist Party (PCF) during the early Cold War. Considers especially the impact in France of Soviet proclamations, including those by cultural apparatchik Andrei Zhdanov.

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  • Carroll, Mark. Music and Ideology in Cold War Europe. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2003.

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    A wide-ranging consideration of music and the Cold War in Europe. Centering on postwar France, it discusses, among other topics, Nicolas Nabokov and the Congress for Cultural Freedom’s May 1952 festival, L’Oeuvre du XXe siècle (“Masterpieces of the Twentieth Century”).

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  • Shreffler, Anne C. “Ideologies of Serialism: Stravinsky’s Threni and the Congress for Cultural Freedom.” In Music and the Aesthetics of Modernity. Edited by Karol Berger and Anthony Newcomb, 217–245. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005.

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    Based on archival documents, this foundational study engages with the premiere of Stravinsky’s serial Threni at the 1952 Paris festival, L’Oeuvre du XXe siècle (“Masterpieces of the Twentieth Century”), sponsored by the Congress for Cultural Freedom. Addresses fundamental questions of music and politics, and freedom and control in postwar political (and musical) discourse.

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  • Sprout, Leslie. “The 1945 Stravinsky Debates: Nigg, Messiaen, and the Early Cold War in France.” Journal of Musicology 26 (2009): 85–131.

    DOI: 10.1525/jm.2009.26.1.85Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Trenchant, careful reading of the transition in French music from World War II to the early postwar/Cold War period. Overturns many assumptions about the period, especially those concerning Boulez’s purported participation in demonstrations against Stravinsky in 1945. Attention instead centers on Serge Nigg and the role of Communist sympathies at the time.

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Germany (East and West)

Divided Germany, and especially Berlin, served in many respects as ground zero for ideological and cultural battles during the Cold War. Like much of the best 21st-century Cold War musical research, Beal 2006 was founded on careful archival digging alongside oral historical work and reveals the many implications of US funding and promotion of new music (especially new music by American composers) in West Germany. Thacker 2007 gives a detailed overview of music and politics in both East and West Germany during the transition from World War II to the Cold War. Janik 2005 offers a detailed sociocultural examination of “serious” music in Berlin (both West and East) in the immediate postwar period. Calico 2009 adopts an innovative transnational approach that reveals postwar West Germany confronting its painful recent past through performances of Schoenberg’s A Survivor from Warsaw. Related concerns emerge in Poiger 2000, which demonstrates the important roles played by American popular culture—film, fashion, jazz, and rock and roll—in both East and West Germany during the 1950s. Brown 2009 considers rock and left-wing politics in West Berlin in the early 1970s. Silverberg 2009 addresses the arguments surrounding modernism in East German music in the 1950s and 1960s, as it details how “modernism in the GDR arose within a socialist framework rather than in opposition to it” (p. 45).

  • Beal, Amy C. New Music, New Allies: American Experimental Music in West Germany from the Zero Hour to Reunification. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006.

    DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520247550.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A multilayered study that uses archival evidence and informant interviews to trace the impact of advanced American music in Germany following World War II. John Cage receives special attention, as does the American funding of the Darmstadt summer courses, other state-funded festivals, and radio.

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  • Brown, Timothy S. “Music As a Weapon? Ton Steine Scherben and the Politics of Rock in Cold War Berlin.” German Studies Review 32.1 (2009): 1–22.

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    An engaging account of the music and politics of the West German group Ton Steine Scherben in the early 1970s. Considers the impact of left-wing politics on the band’s music and message.

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  • Calico, Joy H. “Schoenberg’s Symbolic Remigration: A Survivor from Warsaw in Postwar West Germany.” Journal of Musicology 26 (2009): 17–43.

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    A novel example of reception history that illuminates postwar Germans wrestling with the legacy of the Holocaust, as well as the mass emigration of creative figures (such as Arnold Schoenberg) sparked by World War II.

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  • Janik, Elizabeth. Recomposing German Music: Politics and Tradition in Cold War Berlin. Leiden, The Netherlands: E. J. Brill, 2005.

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    A detailed sociocultural examination of “serious” music in Berlin (both West and East) in the immediate postwar period. By a historian, it seeks “to illuminate the boundaries and assumptions of German musical tradition” (p. xiv), revealing the sociopolitical wrangling that led to its redefinition in the Cold War.

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  • Poiger, Uta G. Jazz, Rock, and Rebels: Cold War Politics and American Culture in a Divided Germany. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000.

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    Uses archival, oral historical, and other key sources to trace the reception of American popular culture in Germany (both East and West) during the 1950s. Considers the roles that American movies, fashion, and especially music played as Germans constructed new identities for themselves after World War II.

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  • Silverberg, Laura. “Between Dissonance and Dissidence: Socialist Modernism in the German Democratic Republic.” Journal of Musicology 26 (2009): 44–84.

    DOI: 10.1525/jm.2009.26.1.44Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    An astute consideration of music in East Germany during the 1950s and 1960s, focusing on compositions by Hans Eisler (Lenin Requiem, 1937) and Paul Dessau (Appell der Arbeiterklasse, 1962). Provides nuanced discussions of dissidence and conformity. Usefully read in conjunction with Jakelski 2009.

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  • Thacker, Toby. Music after Hitler, 1945–1955. Aldershot, UK, and Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2007.

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    A lucid, detailed study of music and politics in both East and West Germany in the postwar and early Cold War period, from the end of World War II until the end of Allied occupation. Based on thorough study of archival documents.

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Soviet Union and Eastern Europe

Studies of American Cold War culture significantly outnumber studies of similar phenomena in the USSR and its satellites. Nonetheless, important research has been published on postwar music, society, and politics in Hungary, Poland, and the Soviet Union. Beckles Willson 2007 considers the evolving careers of two leading postwar Hungarian composers: Ligeti and Kurtag. Thomas 2005 surveys music making in Poland after World War II, while Jakelski 2009 concentrates on the turbulent reception accorded Górecki’s Scontri following its 1960 premiere at the Warsaw Autumn Festival. Schmelz 2009a uses Schnittke’s oratorio Nagasaki as a case study of the vagaries of Soviet musical practice and propaganda, while Schmelz 2009b investigates the reception of serialism and other “new” techniques in the USSR during the Khrushchev Thaw of the 1960s. Although most of this research focuses on art music, Ryback 1990 assesses rock music across the Eastern Bloc, while Zhuk 2010 points to the subtle impact of Western popular music behind the Iron Curtain. Szemere 2001 explores rock music after the fall of Communism in Hungary, providing a good introduction to popular music trends in the late 1970s and 1980s.

  • Beckles Willson, Rachel. Ligeti, Kurtág, and Hungarian Music during the Cold War. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

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    An informative discussion of the two leading postwar Hungarian composers both inside and outside of the country—hence a national study with important transnational dimensions. Uses “sociological observations and discourse analysis” alongside careful considerations of the “presence” of musical works (p. 5). Fosler-Lussier 2007 (cited under Comparative) acts as a helpful companion.

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  • Jakelski, Lisa. “Górecki’s Scontri and Avant-Garde Music in Cold War Poland.” Journal of Musicology 26 (2009): 205–239.

    DOI: 10.1525/jm.2009.26.2.205Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Carefully considers the complicated reception accorded Górecki’s composition Scontri following its 1960 premiere at the Warsaw Autumn Festival. Demonstrates how the Polish reception of Scontri “provided a means by which avant-gardism could be normalized, however contortedly, within a socialist environment” (p. 238). Usefully read in conjunction with Silverberg 2009 (cited under Germany [East and West]).

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  • Ryback, Timothy. Rock Around the Bloc: A History of Rock Music in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990.

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    Although a bit dated, this book still offers the best comprehensive overview of the subject. A good starting point and a useful companion to Zhuk 2010 and Szemere 2001. There are other studies of Soviet rock, in particular, during the 1980s, but none provides as broad a perspective on the topic.

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  • Schmelz, Peter J. “Alfred Schnittke’s Nagasaki: Soviet Nuclear Culture, Radio Moscow, and the Global Cold War.” Journal of the American Musicological Society 62.2 (2009a): 413-474.

    DOI: 10.1525/jams.2009.62.2.413Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Based on archival documents and other primary sources, this article describes the tangled compositional and reception history of Schnittke’s oratorio Nagasaki. Originally criticized by Soviet officials, it was later broadcast to Japan (and within the USSR) to mark the fifteenth anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bombs.

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  • Schmelz, Peter J. Such Freedom, If Only Musical: Unofficial Soviet Music During the Thaw. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009b.

    DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195341935.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Explores the varied reception accorded serial and other Western avant-garde musical techniques by young composers in the USSR (among them Schnittke, Gubaidulina, Pärt, Silvestrov, and Denisov), pointing out the sociopolitical resonances their music achieved.

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  • Szemere, Anna. Up From the Underground: The Culture of Rock Music in Postsocialist Hungary. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2001.

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    Although primarily focused on rock music after the fall of Communism in Hungary, sociologist Szemere also provides a good introduction to popular music trends in the late 1970s and 1980s.

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  • Thomas, Adrian. Polish Music Since Szymanowski. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2005.

    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511482038Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A detailed survey of music composed in Poland from World War II to the death of Lutosławski in 1994. Thomas discusses developments in the institutional and social framework surrounding new music in Poland (namely, the Warsaw Autumn Festival), as well as changes in compositional style—although he spends more time on the latter.

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  • Zhuk, Sergei I. Rock and Roll in the Rocket City: The West, Identity, and Ideology in Soviet Dniepropetrovsk, 1960–1985. Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson Center, 2010.

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    A valuable case study, it reveals the ways in which Western culture, especially British and American culture, penetrated Soviet society in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. Includes detailed discussions of popular music (alongside film and literature). Based on thorough archival and oral historical research.

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United States

Brody 1993 represented the first serious consideration of musical composition from the perspective of the Cold War, detailing Milton Babbitt’s exposure to leftist thought in New York in the 1930s and its impact on his subsequent compositional/theoretical career. Much of the later writing on music in the United States during the Cold War necessarily deals with McCarthyism, linked as it was with perceived infiltration of American society by Communist agents of the Soviet Union (or China). DeLapp-Birkett 2008, drawn from a 1997 University of Michigan dissertation, broke new ground in its consideration of Aaron Copland’s early 1950s appropriation of serial devices and his clashes with McCarthyism. Crist 2006 considers operas by Copland and Bernstein in light of McCarthyism, while Gentry 2011 uses Bernstein’s Second Symphony, “The Age of Anxiety” to further probe the “poetics of the McCarthyist period” (p. 327). Ford 2009 examines the unreality—indeed “hyperreality”—and anxiety that characterized much of 1950s American culture, a manifestation and cause of which were the McCarthy hearings. Klein 2003 takes a different tack, addressing representations of the Orient in American postwar culture, especially in musical theater and film. Paul 2006 considers the evolving representation of the iconic American composer Charles Ives by the younger experimental composer Henry Cowell, demonstrating how Cowell’s views of Ives shifted in the 1950s according to the new ideological demands of the Cold War.

  • Brody, Martin. “‘Music for the Masses’: Milton Babbitt’s Cold War Music Theory.” Musical Quarterly 77 (1993): 161–192.

    DOI: 10.1093/mq/77.2.161Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The first musicological study to engage seriously with the Cold War. Carefully traces Milton Babbitt’s formative political experiences with leftist politics in the 1930s and their implications for his later theorizing and composing.

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  • Crist, Elizabeth Bergman. “Mutual Responses in the Midst of an Era: Aaron Copland’s The Tender Land and Leonard Bernstein’s Candide.Journal of Musicology 23 (2006): 485–527.

    DOI: 10.1525/jm.2006.23.4.485Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Examines the “ambiguous politics” of these two 1950s operas, demonstrating how they responded both directly and indirectly to McCarthyism while reflecting each composer’s former leftist ideals. Ultimately, these operas “suggest what happened to the progressive social vision in a repressive political clime” (p. 487).

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  • DeLapp-Birkett, Jennifer. “Aaron Copland and the Politics of Twelve-Tone Composition in the Early Cold War United States.” Journal of Musicological Research 27 (2008): 31–62.

    DOI: 10.1080/01411890701807682Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    An important study of American music during the Cold War. DeLapp-Birkett considers Copland’s adoption of twelve-tone techniques in light of his own clashes with McCarthyism in the 1950s and his own engagement with leftist causes in the 1930s.

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  • Ford, Phil. “Music at the Edge of the Construct.” Journal of Musicology 26 (2009): 240–273.

    DOI: 10.1525/jm.2009.26.2.240Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    An innovative exploration of music and social life in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s, focusing on several case studies featuring music and film: A Star Is Born (1954), Shadows (1957–1959), and The Manchurian Candidate (1962).

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  • Gentry, Philip. “Leonard Bernstein’s The Age of Anxiety: A Great American Symphony During McCarthyism.” American Music 29 (2011): 308–331.

    DOI: 10.5406/americanmusic.29.3.0308Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Addresses the compositional history of Bernstein’s Symphony no. 2, “The Age of Anxiety” (based on the Auden text) as a case study of the “poetics of the McCarthyist period” (p. 327). Considers especially the symphony’s conclusion, and the differences between the original 1949 score and Bernstein’s 1965 revision.

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  • Klein, Christina. Cold War Orientalism: Asia in the Middlebrow Imagination, 1945–1961. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003.

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    An engaging survey of depictions of Asia in American culture in the first decades after World War II. Among other cultural artifacts, Klein focuses much of her attention on several musicals (stage and screen), including South Pacific, The King and I, and Flower Drum Song.

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  • Paul, David C. “From American Ethnographer to Cold War Icon: Charles Ives through the Eyes of Henry and Sidney Cowell.” Journal of the American Musicological Society 59 (2006): 399–457.

    DOI: 10.1525/jams.2006.59.2.399Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    An archivally driven investigation of Charles Ives’s shifting image. Demonstrates that by the 1950s (and thus the Cold War) composer Henry Cowell was pushing Ives as a rugged individualist standing alone rather than engaging with the world around him—“a fundamentally social artist”—as had been the case in the late 1920s and 1930s (p. 400).

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Latin America and the Caribbean

Despite its vital role in American foreign policy in the postwar era, there has been relatively little scholarship on music and the Cold War in Latin America or the Caribbean. Exceptions include the examination of the University of Michigan Jazz Band’s 1965 tour of Latin America in Fosler-Lussier 2010, and the discussion in Hess 2006 of the varied reception accorded the Argentine composer Ginastera’s opera Bomarzo in the late 1960s. Payne 2007 also considers the musical effects of pan-Americanism and the Cold War, and especially Ginastera’s shift away from his earlier nationalistic style toward a more “universal” one based on serial techniques. Neptune 2007 offers a provocative examination of musical responses to colonialism and nationalism during the American occupation of Trinidad from 1941 to 1947. Although at the periphery of the Cold War as it has been framed previously in music studies, it offers a possible model for other research on the global Cold War.

  • Fosler-Lussier, Danielle. “Cultural Diplomacy as Cultural Globalization: The University of Michigan Jazz Band in Latin America.” Journal of the Society for American Music 4 (January 2010): 59–93.

    DOI: 10.1017/S1752196309990848Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A groundbreaking “bottom-up” consideration of US cultural diplomacy, this article provides a participant-centered perspective on the University of Michigan Jazz Band’s 1965 tour of Latin America. Among the momentous events the young musicians encountered were the upheavals in late April that provoked the United States’ invasion of the Dominican Republic.

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  • Hess, Carol A. “Ginastera’s Bomarzo in the United States and the Impotence of the Pan-American Dream.” Opera Quarterly 22 (2006): 459–476.

    DOI: 10.1093/oq/kbl016Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A valuable study of the reception of Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera’s opera Bomarzo (1967) and Pan-Americanism, the United States’ goal of hemispheric unity as a defense against Soviet encroachment during the Cold War.

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  • Neptune, Harvey. Caliban and the Yankees: Trinidad and the United States Occupation. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007.

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    This study of the American occupation of the British colony of Trinidad from 1941–1947 includes an interesting discussion of calypso, colonialism, and self-fashioning (chapter 5). At the margins of the Soviet/US Cold War opposition both temporally and geographically, the study suggests how that traditional opposition might be inflected and expanded.

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  • Payne, Alyson. “Creating Music of the Americas During the Cold War: Alberto Ginastera and the Inter-American Music Festivals.” Music Research Forum 22 (2007): 57–79.

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    Considers the musical effects of pan-Americanism and the Cold War, and especially Ginastera’s shift away from his earlier nationalistic style toward a more “universal” one based on serial techniques. Details Ginastera’s String Quartet no. 2 and its performance at the First Inter-American Music Festival in 1958.

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Africa and the Middle East

Despite its prominent role as a Cold War battleground, little work has been done on Cold War music in Africa. Similarly, although it has dominated headlines for several decades now, the Middle East has received almost no musicological scrutiny from a Cold War (even a late Cold War) perspective. Monson 2007 discusses US jazz ambassadors in the Middle East and Africa against the backdrop of the US civil rights movement. Carr 2004 provides a general consideration of US sponsored tours (both jazz and classical) to the Near and Middle East in the late 1950s, while Von Eschen 2007 addresses Ellington’s 1963 tour to Baghdad. Much work remains to be done on both regions.

  • Carr, Graham. “Diplomatic Notes: American Musicians and Cold War Politics in the Near and Middle East, 1954–1960.” Popular Music History 1.1 (2004): 37–63.

    DOI: 10.1558/pomh.1.1.37.56025Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A sophisticated account of the means and ends of US Cold War exchanges, focusing on the tours to the Near and Middle East in the mid- to late 1950s. Considers a range of musicians, from Dizzy Gillespie and Dave Brubeck to the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra.

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  • Monson, Ingrid. Freedom Sounds: Civil Rights Call Out to Jazz and Africa. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.

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    The fourth chapter of this important study of jazz and the American civil rights movement discusses the tours of Dizzie Gillespie in 1956 to Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey, and also mentions Louis Armstrong’s 1956 tour of Ghana, among related topics.

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  • Von Eschen, Penny. “Duke Ellington Plays Baghdad: Rethinking Hard and Soft Power from the Outside In.” In Contested Democracy: Freedom, Race, and Power in American History. Edited by Manisha Sinha and Penny Von Eschen, 279–300. New York: Columbia University Press, 2007.

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    Asks important questions about the “hegemonic projects of post-1945 America” as it investigates Ellington’s November 1963 US State Department sponsored visit to Baghdad (p. 280). This was a time of upheaval in the country: an unsuccessful coup d’état occurred during the visit, while a successful coup took place three days after Ellington’s departure.

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Asia

Surprisingly, very little research has been conducted directly on the impact of the Cold War on music in China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, or other hot spots of the Cold War in Asia. Although the Cold War is not mentioned explicitly, Baranovitch 2003 surveys pop music in China during the late 1970s and 1980s, offering a useful starting point for others interested in considering this music against the larger global context of late Cold War musical production and consumption. Geduld 2010 does not discuss music in any real detail, but her examination of Martha Graham’s tours in Asia in 1955 and 1974 includes useful accounts of the reception of, in particular, Appalachian Spring, with music by Copland.

  • Baranovitch, Nimrod. China’s New Voices: Popular Music, Ethnicity, Gender, and Politics, 1978–1997. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003.

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    Does not address the Cold War directly but provides information about Chinese popular music at the end of the conflict. It would prove a useful starting point for others interested in considering the impact of the Cold War on Chinese music making.

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  • Geduld, Victoria Phillips. “Dancing Diplomacy: Martha Graham and the Strange Commodity of Cold-War Cultural Exchange in Asia, 1955 and 1974.” Dance Chronicle 33 (2010): 44–81.

    DOI: 10.1080/01472520903574758Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A good overview of the planning and reception of Martha Graham’s US State Department sponsored Asian tours featuring the ballets Appalachian Spring (with music by Copland), Cave of the Heart, and Night Journey.

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Composers

In many respects, Aaron Copland and Dmitri Shostakovich clearly stake out the opposing sides of the musical Cold War, representing American and Soviet accessibility. Pollock 1999 remains the standard biography of Copland, and provides a fine introduction to his House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) testimony. Fay 2000 is the standard Shostakovich biography (in any language). Fairclough 2007 and Levi 2008 both give helpful accounts of Shostakovich reception during the Cold War in the United Kingdom and Germany, respectively. Leonard Bernstein has also received significant attention for his Cold War activities as both McCarthy victim and cultural ambassador. Seldes 2009 provides a full account of the domestic politics behind both roles. This list acts as but a brief introduction. Other composers and musicians could certainly be cited, among them Milton Babbitt, Benjamin Britten, Elliott Carter (Taruskin 2010, cited under Textbooks), György Ligeti, Pierre Boulez, and Luigi Nono. Many composers, if not a majority, had some engagement with Cold War cultural policies in the postwar period. (For more on Shostakovich, see the Oxford Bibliographies: Music article on Dmitry Shostakovich, especially the Reception Studies section.)

  • Fairclough, Pauline. “The “Old Shostakovich”: Reception in the British Press.” Music and Letters 88 (2007): 266–296.

    DOI: 10.1093/ml/gcm002Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Focusing on British responses to Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony from the late 1930s to the present, this valuable article calmly assesses the changing fortunes of Shostakovich’s music with British critics and listeners. Although the article treats the Cold War explicitly only in passing, the conflict’s effects can be felt throughout.

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  • Fay, Laurel E. Shostakovich: A Life. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

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    The standard account of Shostakovich’s life (in any language). A sober, balanced tracing of his life and creative activities, including his many actions on the frontlines of the Cold War.

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  • Levi, Erik. “A Political Football: Shostakovich Reception in Germany.” In The Cambridge Companion to Shostakovich. Edited by Pauline Fairclough and David Fanning, 287–297. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2008.

    DOI: 10.1017/CCOL9780521842204Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A brief overview of Shostakovich’s reception in Germany over the course of his lifetime. The section concerning the Cold War discusses the highlights of that reception in both East and West Germany, and provides a useful starting point for further investigations.

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  • Pollock, Howard. Aaron Copland: The Life and Work of an Uncommon Man. New York: Henry Holt, 1999.

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    The standard biography of Copland. Presents a useful introduction to his collisions with Cold War cultural politics in the United States, especially during the McCarthy period when he testified before HUAC.

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  • Seldes, Barry. Leonard Bernstein: The Political Life of an American Musician. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009.

    DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520257641.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A very informative account of Bernstein’s lifelong engagement with political causes, based on scrutiny of the Bernstein collection at the Library of Congress and Bernstein’s FBI file. Primarily concerned with domestic politics, it also affords new insight into Bernstein’s relationship with the State Department and its cultural propaganda activities.

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Other Arts in the Cold War

Considerations of Cold War culture were first initiated by art scholars. Guilbaut 1983 holds primarily historical interest, but still contains helpful background information for current assertions and debates. Frascina 2000 includes other important early discussions alongside helpful commentary. Perhaps a counterintuitive addition to this bibliography, Dickstein 2002 presents “a more varied, less familiar picture” of postwar American life, arguing against Guilbaut 1983 and Stonor Saunders 2000 (cited under General Overviews) and a perceived tendency in recent scholarship to “demonstrate that nearly every cultural phenomenon of those years, from genre films and literary criticism to abstract art, was somehow a reflex of the Cold War” (p. 2). Such reactions underscore the need to carefully parse connections between music and the Cold War, paying close attention to both elements. Shaw and Youngblood 2010 is a unique study that presents a model for comparative study of American and Soviet cultural responses to the Cold War.

  • Dickstein, Morris. Leopards in the Temple: The Transformation of American Fiction, 1945–1970. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2002.

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    Originally published in 1992. An astute, opinionated account of postwar American fiction. Most useful for its urging of caution in investigating connections between Cold War culture and American life.

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  • Frascina, Francis, ed. Pollock and After: The Critical Debate. 2d ed. London and New York: Routledge, 2000.

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    Originally published 1985. A useful anthology collecting and commenting upon many of the early essays about abstract expressionism and the Cold War, among them Eva Cockroft’s “Abstract Expressionism, Weapon of the Cold War.”

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  • Guilbaut, Serge. How New York Stole the Idea of Modern Art: Abstract Expressionism, Freedom, and the Cold War. Translated by Arthur Goldhammer. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983.

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    An influential, if controversial, early study of the “political apoliticism” of abstract expressionist painting. Its central argument is that “avant-garde art succeeded because the work and the ideology that supported it . . . coincided fairly closely with the ideology that came to dominate American political life after the 1948 presidential election” (p. 3).

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  • Shaw, Tony, and Denise J. Youngblood. Cinematic Cold War: The American and Soviet Struggle for Hearts and Minds. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2010.

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    An innovative approach to studying film (and potentially other art forms) in the Cold War. Two scholars, one of US film, one of Soviet film, provide an overview of the topic alongside paired case studies drawn from different moments in the evolving conflict (e.g., Nine Days in One Year and Fail-Safe).

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