Persian music owes partly its maturity to the significant efforts made by accomplished female musicians, instrumentalists and vocalists throughout the history.
Persian women musicians in Ancient Iran
Pictures of women playing musical instruments can be seen in many Persian paintings, miniatures, and sculptures that remain from ancient times, showing the long history of women in traditional instrumental Persian music.
Iranian women musician in modern time
Since the Iranian revolution
, Iranian female solo vocalists are only permitted to perform for all-female audiences. Some women have also been allowed to conduct classes for female students in private homes. Female vocalists may perform for male audiences only as a part of a chorus, never individually. The prominent classical singer Fatemeh Vaezi
, has given concerts accompanied by a female orchestra. She has also performed widely in Europe and the United States. Parisa (Ms. Vaezi's stage name
) has also assembled a five-piece female orchestra. The well-known classical and folk singer Sima Bina
, who is also a visual artist, has taught many female students to sing. She has also been permitted to give concerts for women in Iran, and has performed widely abroad.
Ghashang Kamkar teaches both male and female students. Both Ghashang and Parisa have criticized the patriarchal power structure for its primitive treatment of female artists.
A choir for Iranian women with fifty-eight members was established under the Armenian male conductor Gorgin Mousissian. Mousissian's choir, with its repertoire of National songs and folk melodies, performed recently for a mixed male and female audience at Vahdat Hall in Tehran.
Persian classical music
Qamar ol-Molouk Vaziri
is believed to have been the first female master of Persian music to introduce a new style of music and receive a positive reputation among masters of Persian music during her own lifetime.
Several years later, Mahmoud Karimi trained several female students who later became masters of Persian traditional music.
- Arfa Atrai, Santur musician and writer
- Soosan Matloobi, Master of Persian classical music
- Fatemeh Vaezi or better known as Parisa, Master of Persian classical music
- Masoomeh Mehr-Ali, Master of Persian classical music
- Soosan Aslani, Master of Persian classical music
- Shakila, singer, winner of Persian academy award.
- Simin Ghanem
- Soodabeh Salem, musician and conductor
- Afsaneh Rasaei, member of Hamavayan ensemble
- Pirayeh Pourafar, founder of Nava Ensemble and Lian Ensemble
- Mehrbanou Goudarzi
- Mahsa Vahdat
Persian symphonic music
Iranian popular music
Many female pioneers in Iranian pop music were initially trained in classical Persian music. Maestro Ali Tajvidi in particular trained many female students (e.g.Hayedeh) that later on shifted to popular music. Some pioneers are:
Non Iranian popular music