From the ‘Sultan’ to the Persian Side:: Jazz in Iran and Iranian Jazz since the 1920s

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Jazz has long played a marginal but significant role in Iran’s music and sociocultural scenes. It has been linked variously with the country’s relations with ‘the West’, especially the United States, notions of ‘modernisation’, visions of freedom, sociability through collaboration, identification with oppressed people internationally and a form of national or cultural expression through fusion with Iranian art and regional music.2 With its turbulent modern history, intersected by a colonial dynamic, Iran presents distinctive problems in the analysis of its relationship with jazz. The country has experienced a succession of regimes with totalitarian tendencies, in that they have sought to exercise control over cultural practices, including music.3 The reasons for these controls have varied with the agendas of the successive regimes and, while jazz has rarely been completely suppressed, the possibilities open to particular practitioners of jazz in Iran have been deeply affected by those various agendas. The understanding of jazz itself has been in flux since it first arrived in Iran, illustrating the complex heterogeneity of the relationship between the music and totalitarianism.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationJazz and Totalitarianism
EditorsBruce Johnson
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9781315713915
ISBN (Print)9781138887817, 9781138887824
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameTransnational Studies in Jazz

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