Skip to Main Content

Collecting Persian Music

Courtesy of the MLA Resource Sharing and Collection Development Committee

In Iran, female singers do not have the right to sing solo in public performances. Furthermore, Iran's Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance does not allow the production or sale of recordings that contain the female solo singing voice. Women can sing solo for female audiences in private settings. They can also sing publically in choirs or when accompanied by other singers (male or female). Considering that vocal music is at the core of the Persian classical music, no music collection would be complete without a fine representation of female voices. Many such recordings that were recorded prior to the 1979 revolution are available online or through vendors active outside of Iran (see also the Golha database under the online open access resources section).

Suggestion: Perform Google and YouTube searches to find recordings by Qamar-al-Moluk Vaziri, Hengameh Akhavan, Parisa, Roohangiz and Moluk Zarrabi. Additionally, I was able to find a number of these prominent singers' recordings available for purchase on the Ketab Book Store's website.

Today, several Iranian female singers have active performing and recording careers outside of Iran. Two examples are:

One of Iran's most prominent folk singers; a number of her recordings can be purchased directly from her website.

An active scholar and singer of Persian classical music; her discography has links to commercial vendor sites.