Afghan Music

The Taliban systematically made sure that Afghanistani society did not participate in playing Pashto songs, music, or dance. Musical expressions were completely banned from Afghanistan. Most of Pashto and other Afghan singers left the country for neighbouring Pakistan. As the provinces of Pakistan have numerically less Pashto speakers they were not able to find their voice. Even if they did manage to compose music they were not able to get to the ordinary Afghan people.

The Taliban “Ministry for prevention of vice and the promotion of virtue” hanged television sets in public to remind that they were not going to tolerate any entertainment. Music shops where closed down, recordings studios and performance stages were closed, people dealing with CD and tapes where ordered to close or face the consequences. The Pashto singers who decided to stay in Afghanistan had to close their music business and promised that they will never sing. Such was the fate of Pashto and Afghan music. Those who refused to comply with the Talibanisation where taken away. Clearly there intention was to transform the cultural values of Afghan people.

Today, as the country has been freed of the Taliban, Pashto music seems to be in a revival mode. The singers are back, music stores are openly selling tapes. Music schools have opened and young talented musicians are busy taking training. The Taliban has no authority to close them down at least in the capital Kabul. The Kabul Music School now cannot keep up with the demand for young Afghans to enroll. This is a rare and fascinating development. Once banned, music in Afghan is being restored to its former glory. Once again ordinary Afghans can listen to Pashto songs on their national radio. The Afghan nation, the melting pot of cultures of Europe and Asia is on the road to cultural freedom.

The glorious musical culture of Afghanistan is an amalgamation of both European and Asian tradition. During the Taliban rule, music was banned but with their demise, the country is on the road to recovery. Alan has travelled to Afghanistan for several business occasions to Afghanistan. He is very fond of Pashto Songs . Even though Afghan music had to suffer major survival issues, Alan believes that music lies in the very heart of Afghani people that cannot be easily removed.

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