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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Persian pop music refers to pop music with songs in the Persian language or other languages of Iran. Although Persian pop music originated in Iran, it is also listened to throughout Afghanistan, Tajikstan, Republic of Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and notably by the Iranian diaspora in America and Europe.


Early history

Persian pop music originated during Qajar dynasty in 19th century. However after the invention of radio in 1920, it grew rapidly in Persia (Iran).[1]

Contemporary Persian Pop in Iran

In the 1990s, Iranian officials decided to produce and promote a "decent" pop music to compete with the informal mainstream Persian pop music, mostly produced in California (so-called "LA-type" music). Ali Moallem (a poet)[2] and Fereydoun Shahbazian (a renowned musician) headed a council at IRIB that supervised the revival of domestic pop music.[3] Singers such as Shadmehr Aghili, Khashayar Etemadi, Mohammad Isfahani, were among the first singers who got significant support, including promotion by national TV, to produce new pop songs. Domestic pop music received a warm welcome by many people, while it was criticized by the elites as "superficial music" (in the sense of lyrics, music, and the cultural impact). Unhappy with common trends, Shahbazian decided to quit and officially join the critics of this music after a while.[4]

Recently, as a result of easing cultural restrictions within Iran, a number of Persian pop singers have emerged from within the country.

At the end of 2009, Sirvan Khosravi was the first (domestic) Iranian artist to get high-rotation airplay on a regular radio station in Europe[5]. He made his debut with the title song of his second album Saate 9[6], which also made headlines in the Iranian on-line media[7].

Another brand of Persian pop music is represented by work of figures like Alireza Eftekhari. Eftekhari among a few others put significant effort in forming a new genre of Iranian pop music. Referring to the difficulties in this way, he once stated: "In order to introduce pop music to Iranian music culture, I have made myself a scapegoat."[8]

Some major contemporary Persian pop artists in Iran include:

Arian Band, the first Persian Pop music band, was formed after Iranian revolution and have had huge success since then. Aryan band started a new chapter of Iranian pop music. Their debut album, "Gole Aftabgardoon" (The Sunflower) was released in 2000. The album had huge success in Iran.

Also, Persian pop music has enjoyed a renaissance in Tajikstan, being influenced by both Western techno music and some Russian styles, as well as its own local Central Asian tradition. Some famous artists include:

However, Tajik artists enjoy relatively little of the visibility and popularity afforded Iranian artists, to a large extent because of the country's diminutive role in the Persian-speaking world.

Since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, the Afghan music scene has begun to re-emerge. The most notable Afghan pop singers of late 20th century are. Afghan pop music, even in the Persian Dari, sounds less Iranian or Central Asian, and is heavily influenced by Indian and Pakistani musical tradition:

Contemporary Iranian pop in the United States

Irish pop singer Chris de Burgh joined Arian band on their 2007 Album.

In the 1980s and 1990s, a number of Persian pop stars (mainly) based in Los Angeles, many of whom were born out of Iran or had lived the majority of their lives outside of Iran, began to gain fame. This new wave of Persian pop music often combined elements of American music and culture, as well as Latino culture, to form a new blend of music distinct from earlier periods. The influence of Techno music especially has been very strong.Some major artists include:

The Golden Age of Persian Pop Music

In Iran, before the emergence in the early 1950s of Vigen Derderian, the music industry was dominated by Persian classical singers.Then Vigen, known as the "Sultan of pop", ushered in a revolution that coincided with the emergence of a new, western-influenced middle class.[10]

Persian pop music was developed by the 1970s, using indigenous instruments and forms and adding electric guitar and other imported characteristics; the most popular musician of this period was Googoosh. The Golden Age of Persian pop music did not last very long, though, and was banned within Iran after the 1979 revolution.

Many Iranians fled to foreign countries, especially Los Angeles in the United States, and many continued to sing in exile. Top figures of the golden era of Iranian pop music include:



  1. ^ Pop music in Iran
  2. ^ Ali Moallem on Pop music
  3. ^ An interview with Fereydoun Shahbazian
  4. ^ Shahbazian criticizing pop music
  5. ^ Iraanse popster Sirvan Khosravi deze week de diXte of FunX Radio
  6. ^ Sirvan Khosravi - Saate 9 | Music Review |
  7. ^ ستاره پاپ ایران در رادیوی هلندی
  8. ^ Music Should Keep Up With the Times
  9. ^ Eftekhari: Popular and classical vocalist.
  10. ^ Vigen Derderian: Pop idol of a musical revolution in Iran

See also

External links



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