Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Stanford University Press, 2017
Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.3 x 22.9 cm
Music was one of the first casualties of the Iranian Revolution. It was banned in 1979, but it quickly crept back into Iranian culture and politics. The state made use of music for its propaganda during the Iran–Iraq war. Over time music provided an important political space where artists and audiences could engage in social and political debate. Now, more than thirty-five years on, both the children of the revolution and their music have come of age. Soundtrack of the Revolution offers a striking account of Iranian culture, politics, and social change to provide an alternative history of the Islamic Republic. Nahid Siamboust closely follows the work of four musicians—a giant of Persian classical music, a government-supported pop star, a rebel rock-and-roller, and an underground rapper—each with markedly different political views and relations with the Iranian government. Taken together, these examinations of musicians and their music shed light on issues at the heart of debates in Iran—about its future and identity, changing notions of religious belief, and the quest for political freedom.
Nahid Siamdoust is a Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer at Yale University’s MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies. She has taught at Oxford University and New York University, and previously worked as a journalist based in Iran and the Middle East for Time magazine, Der Spiegel, and Al Jazeera English TV.