عنوان مقاله [English]
This article examines a discussion about Iranian music that emerged during the 1950s and early 1960s. During this period various writers attempted to criticize Iranian music on the basis that it was connected with the Sufi tradition of Iranian culture. Therefore, criticisms of Iranian music appeared in various periodicals such as Muzik-e-Iran. Critiques voiced their opinion against characteristics of Iranian music that they considered to be negative. Most importantly, what they considered to be the “otherworldly” characteristic of Iranian music was stressed upon. Such cultural criticism of Iranian music during this period originated from the writings of two intellectual currents: the writings of the left wing during the Pahlavi period, and the writings of the famous social and cultural critic of the Pahlavi period, Ahmad Kasravi. Therefore, these criticisms in the writings of the left wing and Ahmad Kasravi against Sufism are briefly reviewed. Moreover, responses to such reading and criticism of Iranian music are examined. We have pointed out that during the same time some musicians advocated Sufi-based readings of Iranian music. According to them, Iranian music had Sufi characteristics and such features had to appear in its performance and context. It is also illustrated how this reading of Iranian music was connected to an understanding and practice of music. Furthermore, the concepts of “mahfil” and “bazm” in the cultural history of music performance are briefly examined. What was advocated by those defending a Sufi reading of Iranian music, to a large extent, had its roots in the listening culture and practices of mahfils. Moreover, it is explained that some of these musicians, following the discourse of the “cultivation of people’s taste” during the Pahlavi period, believed music to have a social role. At the end, it is argued how the aforementioned Sufi reading of Iranian music that was tied to a specific culture of listening in the private sphere, along with the debates on the social function of music and its role in nurturing people’s taste, came to be reflected in a radio program of Iranian music, Golha.