Art And Culture

Music industry Defends Its Turf at Annual Event

Music industry Defends Its Turf at Annual EventMusic industry Defends Its Turf at Annual Event

Unauthorized cancellation of concerts, intense campaigns against musicians and the ministry of culture, and even disruptions of performances by opponents arguing that women should not be allowed on the stage in recent months, were enough for musicians and enthusiasts from the music industry to convene in the final days of the Iranian calendar year (ends March 20) to voice their protest and give vent to their complaints.

In their annual meeting at the Music Forum in Tehran on Sunday evening, luminaries and virtuosos of Iranian traditional music as well as pop musicians were unanimous in defending the time-honored art of music against two threats: music piracy and sporadic violation of their performing rights, Iran newspaper reported.

‘’Such meetings are no doubt effective to make ourselves heard by staging a cultural movement against an opposition movement,’’ said Darioush Pirniakan, a tar and setar player and a member of the Music Forum. He said the event should not be politicized and “when a counterculture current is at work, it is expected that the Music Forum would lend its support.”

  Culture Sans Music    

In comments by president of the board of directors of the Music Forum - the body which acts as the Music Industry’s Association - published on its website, Mohammad Sarir expressed his worry about the ‘’obstruction in the way of music ‘’ which has become prevalent in recent years. Sarir also called for the serious implementation of copyright laws which, he said, suffer from glaring loopholes.

Elsewhere during the event, Hamid Reza Noorbakhsh, managing director of the forum slammed what he called ‘’ offenses to the society of musicians’’ by adopting double standards that endorse music when it’s used for political ends  by TV channels but frowned upon and labeled  with derogatory terms when it’s used for artistic joy.

Noorbakhsh also denounced the ban on music in Culture Houses affiliated to the Tehran Municipality saying that despite his several meetings with municipal cultural authorities, the ban has not been lifted. This can imply their systematic opposition to music.

  Political Games

Abdolhossein Mikhtabad, Chairman of the Arts Committee of Tehran City Council and himself a celebrated traditional singer and musician said, while music lovers respect all opinion, nobody has sent the dissenters ‘’invitation cards’’ to attend concerts. “They should leave musicians alone.”

He dismissed the attacks on concerts as ‘’concerted, political schemes’’ that aim to cast aspersions on the government’s amicable relations with musicians and artists and called for the “disengagement of art from politics.”

‘’There are those who seek to impose their views on others’’ Mokhtabad said.  “We tell them that their effort is in trying in vain.”

Alireza Ghorbani, a traditional singer whose two concerts faced cancellations called it a ‘’common tragedy’’ which has struck the whole cultural spectrum. ‘’ Music is facing hurdles and we, more than ever, and need to support each other, said Ghorbani.

In their collective announcement, musicians demanded that the government and the ministry of culture and Islamic guidance to show greater resolve in protection their rights against “music bashing.”


It may be recalled that some time back, Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ali Jannati has stated that the ministry supports all legitimate music programs and would not bow to pressure.

Jannati noted that “certain political groups among the government opposition are trying to manipulate the true religious sentiments of the people to downgrade the art of music and tarnish the face of officials who attempt to boost musical programs by taking positive measures.”

However, his ministry, while observing all religious values and regulations of the Islamic system will encourage the spread of musical art, he stressed.