Skip to main content

Iranian TV breaks taboo on music performance

Although musicians on a TV show on Jan. 19 were only shown for a few seconds, it has created a stir and rekindled debates about Islam and music.
Read in 

Iranian TV viewers hear music but never see musical instruments. Just as the quest for underlying meaning prompts thoughts of metaphor-filled Persian literature, the act of listening to music begs imagining seeing it performed.

The morning of Jan. 19 is now regarded as a milestone in the history of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB). On the TV morning show “Sobh bekheir Iran” (“Good Morning Iran”), the band Avaye Baran was seen performing for — according to most sources — a few seconds. Almost instantly, the Internet was abuzz and speculation began, interpreting this as a "turning point" following President Hassan Rouhani's efforts to break through rigid regulations.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.