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date: 19 May 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This article has been commissioned as part of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Music Revival edited by Caroline Bithell and Juniper Hill. This chapter examines two revival movements in Iranian classical music, the first emerging in the 1960s and 1970s and the second following the 1979 Iranian Revolution. The chapter discusses some of the reasons for the emergence of revivalist thinking in Iran, the key individuals who spearheaded these two movements, and the prevailing discourses that underpinned them. Iranian classical music provides an interesting case study in that these two movements were very distinct: the first invoked notions of “purity” and “authenticity,” drawing on the music’s nineteenth-century heritage to validate contemporary practices; the second, by contrast, was forward-looking and appealed to notions of “revival as renewal.” Each resonated with the sociopolitical landscape of the time. Despite the differences, however, the second revival was arguably only made possible through conditions established as part of the first. The chapter concludes by considering the postrevival implications of these two movements for contemporary Iranian classical music.

Keywords: Iranian classical music, revival, renewal, postrevival, authenticity, purity, Iranian Revolution

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