Soundtrack of the Revolution: The Politics of Music in Iran

Nahid Siamdoust. Stanford Univ., $24.95 (344p) ISBN 978-1-5036-0032-4
Siamdoust, a journalist and media professor at New York University, compiles an in-depth history and analysis of music in post-revolutionary Iran, beginning with the Shah’s 1979 ouster and ending with the 2009 Green Revolution. After the Islamic Republic’s emergence under Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979, music was banned for a few months before being granted shaky legal status. As a way to understand modern Iranian music’s relationship to the state, Siamdoust examines four prominent artists and their musical styles: Mohammad Reza Shajarian’s classical Persian-influenced folk singing, Alireza Assar’s pop music, Mohsen Namjoo’s rock, and YouTube star Hichkas’s social justice–oriented rapping. Siamdoust’s extensive history and astute analysis come from interviews with the artists and Iranian politicians, personal experience, and research. She shows how music reflects the people and political exigencies of the time, and can also serve as a subversive and powerful form of protest. She also covers revolutions in music that defied censorship, from the rise of public concerts to the continued presence of women vocalists, who are repressed by the state. Impressive in its scope and depth, this book will fascinate those interested in modern Iran’s complex history and politics, as well as its music. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/28/2016
Release date: 01/01/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 368 pages - 978-1-5036-0096-6
Hardcover - 368 pages - 978-0-8047-9289-9
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