City Research Online

Jazz and its Social Meanings in Iran: From Cultural Colonialism to the Universal

Nooshin, L. (2016). Jazz and its Social Meanings in Iran: From Cultural Colonialism to the Universal. In: Bohlman, P., Goffredo, P. & Jackson, T. (Eds.), Jazz Worlds/World Jazz. (pp. 125-149). USA: Chicago University Press.


How is it that musical styles acquire particular social meanings in specific times and places? This chapter explores the case of jazz in Iran, examining various aspects of jazz and its social meanings in Iran from the 1950s onward, focusing in particular on the period of cultural liberalism that followed the election of the reformist president Mohammad Khatami in 1997. When Euro- American popular music continued to be branded as a form of cultural imperialism, jazz remained largely outside this category. Instead, the positioning of jazz since the late 1990s has served to define its meanings largely through the metaphors of music “as art” and, more recently, as a form of “universal” musical expression.

Publication Type: Book Section
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Performing Arts > Music
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