Monday, August 2, 2010

Music and Iran

Hugh Hewitt linked to this article about the Iranian regime's stance on the study and performance of music.

"Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said today that music is 'not compatible' with the values of the Islamic republic, and should not be practised or taught in the country."

"Khamenei has rarely expressed his views on music publicly, but he is believed have played a key role in the crackdown on Iran's music scene following the revolution. When Khamenei was president, he banned western-style music, forcing many stars to go into exile. Houshang Asadi, a former cellmate of Khamenei before the Islamic Revolution said: 'He hated the music from the beginning.'"

While Khamenei believes that "It's better that our dear youth spend their valuable time in learning science and essential and useful skills and fill their time with sport and healthy recreations instead of music," I tend to agree with Plato's thoughts on the subject:

"...musical training is a more potent instrument than any other, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the sound, on which they mightily fasten, imparting grace, and making the soul of him who is rightly educated graceful, or of him who is ill-educated ungraceful: and also because he who has received this true education of the inner being will most shrewdly perceive omissions or faults in art and nature, and with a true taste, while he praises and rejoices over and receives into his soul the good, and becomes noble and good, he will justify blame and hate the bad, now in the days of his youth, even before he will recognize and salute the friend with whom his education has made him long familiar."

"...for what should be the end of [the study of] music if not the love of beauty?"

(Excerpted from The Republic)

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