Three decades ago, the Communist Party was trying to wipe out Western classical music, but now deems it an essential component of the “advanced culture” it vows to create to make the country a true great power.
With the same energy, drive and sheer population weight that has made it an economic power, China has become a considerable force in Western classical music. Conservatories are bulging. Provincial cities demand orchestras and concert halls. China now has 30 million piano students and 10 million violin students.
The hardware side has also exploded. As of 2003, 87 factories made Western musical instruments. By last year the number had grown to 142, producing 370,000 pianos, one million violins and six million guitars. China dominates world production of all three.
MP: NY Times columnist Thomas Friedman proposed "The Golden Arches Theory of Conflict Prevention," observing that no two countries with a McDonald's franchise had ever gone to war with one another. Perhaps a variation of this is the "Classical Music Theory of Conflict Prevention" - no two countries that both embrace classical music will ever go to war with each other.
(HT to Bob Houbeck.)