Iran: Report from Tehran where banned tunes thrive

“Cab rides in Tehran reveal how many flout the rules banning music genres including metal, R&B, hip-hop and kooche-bazaari,” wrote the British newspaper The Guardian on 7 May 2013.

Iman Hojjat

The anonymous writer of the article in The Guardian mentions that Iman Hojjat — one of five Tehran musicians who were arrested in January 2013 on charges of collaborating with USA-based Iranian musicians and satellite channels — has been tried in court and that he was fined for recording illegal music in his studio and released.

The other four, including well-known songwriter Roozbeh Bemani, are on bail and awaiting trial. They face fines of up to US$ 15,000 (£9,700) and possible bans on producing and even writing music. Read more…

Banned music is popular
“As far as the Iranian censors are concerned, there are only three genres of music acceptable in the Islamic republic: Iranian folk music; Iranian classical or “traditional” music; and Iranian pop music,” reported The Guardian:

“From rock to electronica to jazz, all other genres are officially prohibited, including the pop music produced by émigré musicians — very similar to the sanctioned domestic brand — many of whom live in and around Los Angeles.”

“In contrast to several neighbouring countries where the people are more religious than their governments, the Iranian people in general, and Tehranis in particular, cannot live without their tunes — an observation confirmed over a series of conversations around the capital.”

The Guardian – 7 May 2013:
Iranians pump up the volume for banned tunes