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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award

Spring 2018

Document Type

Masters Thesis (Campus-Only Access)

Degree Name

Master of Music (MMus)



First Advisor

Van Boer, Bertil H.

Second Advisor

Roulet, Patrick

Third Advisor

Camacho, Gustavo, (Musician)


Music and dance have been used as a powerful asset for social resistance almost everywhere in the world throughout history. Since the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979, music and dance have been banned in order to replace the ancient Persian culture with Islamic culture. The fundamental reasons for such a ban are based on anti-Western policies, common fallacies used by mullahs against music and dance, and especially religious dogma based on Hadith from the prophet Mohammad and Imams.

When it comes to women’s singing, and their presence on the stage, the anti-music rules become far stricter. As a result of such bans, many musicians and dancers have been systematically imprisoned, tortured, and even assassinated. The unsuccessful attempt of Iran’s regime to ban music has led to the creation of vigorous social movements, and especially women’s movements against the compulsory hijab, all of which have been inspired by thousands of songs, poems, and musical slogans composed to create unity and calm resistance against the brutality of Iran’s regime. One example is the production of hundreds of memorial songs to commemorate the mass executions of more than thirty thousand political prisoners in the red summer of 1988, who were all buried in unmarked mass graves.





Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Music and dance--Iran--History; Music--Religious aspects--Islam; Dance--Islam--Religious aspects; Women (Islamic law); Women--Legal status, laws, etc.; Muslim women--Conduct of life; Human rights in the Hadith; Iran--History and criticism

Geographic Coverage





masters theses




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