The music of Iran – Guides, Interviews and Features | Songlines

Iran Profile

Iranian music presents both ancient and modern faces. The Persian classical tradition with its mystical and contemplative melodies remains an intimate part of the culture and has undergone a renaissance in recent years, performed with an almost blues-like intensity.

As you’d expect from a huge and predominantly rural country, there are also numerous folk traditions, from the epic bards of the bakshi in north-eastern Iran to Kurdish players of the tanbur (long-necked lute with two or three strings).

Pop music was banned for almost 20 years after the 1979 revolution but a burgeoning scene now exists at home as well as abroad.


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