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New musics in Iran | Stephen Jones: a blog

I’ve been attempting to get an impression of the underground music scene in Tehran.

While this sub-culture naturally attracts journalists and film-makers, this isn’t merely unique ornament for our jaded palates, however a manifestation of pressing points confronting younger folks in Iran—in explicit, the choices for girls to precise themselves inside tight constraints (cf. Persepolis). This various scene makes an outlet for frustration (cf. GDR, China)—and infrequently a path to emigration.

Your go-to authority on the number of musicking of Iran is Laudan Nooshin. Further to her survey in The Rough Guide to world music (2009), she has revealed considerably on the favored music scene— [1] a scene, after all, that continues to evolve. 

A couple of vignettes that I’ve noticed by way of the media: [2]

On the underground metallic scene, right here’s the incisive brief function movie Forbidden to see us scream in Tehran (Farbod Ardebili, 2020) (see e.g. right here, right here, and right here):

Earlier movies embody Not an phantasm (Torang Abedian, 2009) and No-one is aware of about Persian cats (Bahman Ghobadi, 2009):

Here’s an excerpt from No land’s track (Ayat Najafi, 2014; wiki, right here, and right here):

Sanam Pasha

For Sanam Pasha (who selected to stay in Iran) and her all-female rock band, right here’s an interview from 2018:

A associated scene is rap and hip-hop (e.g. right here and right here)—right here’s Salome MC (wiki, and right here):

And there’s a sub-culture of electronica.

Of course all this a minority tradition (even in Tehran, not to mention Iran), however the endeavours such musicians face are simply a number of the myriad challenges confronted by men and women there day by day.

On the broader soundscape, the Sonic Tehran venture has a lot fascinating materials.

For extra on Iran, see beneath my roundup of posts on West/Central Asia. See additionally Punk: a roundup.

[1] E.g.

  • “Subversion and countersubversion: power, control, and meaning in the new Iranian pop music”, in Annie J. Randall (ed.), Music, energy, and politics (2004)
  • “Underground, overground: rock music and youth discourses in Iran” (2005)
  • “The language of rock: Iranian youth, popular music, and national identity”, in Mehdi Semati (ed.), Media, tradition and society in Iran: living with globalization and the Islamic State (2007)
  • “ ‘Tomorrow is ours’: re-imagining nation, performing youth in the new Iranian pop music”, in Laudan Nooshin ed., Music and the play of energy in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia (2009)
  • “Whose liberation? Iranian popular music and the fetishization of resistance” (2017).

[2] Some basic introductions embody


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