Music in Iran suffers from inherent patriarchy

Music in Iran suffers from inherent patriarchy
ID : N-3503 Date : 2018/11/23 - 10:00

(Persia Digest) – The leader of an Iranian women’s music ensemble says: “Music in Iran suffers from an inherent patriarchy. Most women musicians have tried very hard for their careers, but most men musicians are easily accepted simply for their gender.”

Persia Digest (PD) reports that there are many women and girls in Iran who have a professional career in music and have their own fans. The Rastan ensemble will be performing at the Vahdat Hall in Tehran on 24 November, led by Azadeh Amiri with the vocals of Fatemeh Saghari for an all-women audience. Although this is a significant event, it does not lift limitations imposed on women in music.

Women musicians face overwhelming hurdles on the music scene, such as fighting patriarchy, obstacles in finding performance halls, high rentals, lack of sponsors, and the inability to advertise on billboards.

Azadeh Amiri, leader of Rastan ensemble who is a master of string instruments in Iran, talked about the challenges faced by women musicians with Persia Digest.

She rejects the idea of music being male or female, and says: “That said, music in Iran suffers from an inherent patriarchy. Many of my friends tell me “how manly you play”, which is more of an insult to a woman musician rather than a praise.”

She does not consider this claim to be scientifically justified because music is a technique that does not require any physical fitness at all.


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Azadeh says: “Patriarchy in music forces women musicians to constantly prove their abilities and skills; most of the musicians and performers who stage concerts are men, and this supports the claim that male musicians are somehow more trustworthy.”

Patriarchy in music is to the extent that it is said the experience of such and such a male musician is more than the woman musician. This is why Azadeh emphasizes: “If women musicians have less experience, it is because they have not had the opportunity to record in the studio or go on stage as often as men.”

She goes on to pinpoint the limited number of venues as a hurdle for women, adding: “Women vocalists can only perform in two venues, namely Vahdat Hall and Niavaran Cultural Center; and these two venues are usually fully booked and highly priced.”


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She added: “Also, when a woman sings with an orchestra, this orchestra in fact loses half of its audience who are men, because the law prevents them from attending. But the rental price for the hall remains the same. For this reason, arrangements should be made and special concessions given to women's concerts, because this is a very clear argument.”

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