A Survey of Two Iranian Journals of Music

The history and content of two well-known Iranian journals of music, Majalle Musiqi and Mahnameh Rudaki have been surveyed in this article. Majalle Musiqi began its publication in 1938 and lasted, under three different and distinct editorships, until 1978. Its original editor and publisher, Golam Hossein Minbashian, who was mainly interested in introducing his western-oriented views on Iranian music, was able to elicit the cooperation of a number of young Iranian artists and writers of the time, including Sadeq Hedayat, Mohammad Zia' Hashtrudi, Mojtaba Minovi, Mas'ud Farzad, Abdol Hossein Nushin, and Nima Yushij. At the outset, the journal focused mainly on cultural and literary issues and only a small part of it was devoted to music. Thus, the author believes, Majalle Musiqi in its early period was mostly known by, and influenced, the Iranian literary circles rather than students and practitioners of music. It was only in its third phase, begun in 1957, that the journal concentrated almost totally on matters of music. Its tendency, however, to devote most of its articles to the presentation and discussion of mostly western classical music at the expense of Iranian classical and folk music did not help its standing with its readership.

Majalle Rudaki was published in 1971 as a cultural quarterly focusing mainly on music. In its format, choice of articles, and editorial policies this journal opened up new vistas for its readers. While it strived to adhere to high professional standards it gained and preserved a degree of popularity rare for journals of its genre. Not unlike the first phase of Majalle Musiqi, many articles on artistic or cultural issues were also published in Majalle Rudaki. Indeed, the most prominent and popular of Iranian writers and poets were often eager to have their works published in the journal. According to the author, despite the fact that Majalle Rudaki was the publication of a governmental institution, it enjoyed a considerable degree of editorial freedom in presenting divergent points of view; a fact which was not overlooked by the dissenting intellectual community of the period. : From Berlin to Munich

Mahmud Khoschnam
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