This article provides an overview of how music is defined in Afghan culture, describes the instruments that are key to understanding Afghan music and culture, and compares Afghan folk music with classical and art music forms. The article recounts the sweep of history that saw Afghanistan’s “Golden Age” of music followed by a “Dark Age,” ushered in by the Soviet Invasion in 1979 and culminating under the rule of the Taliban, and then followed by a new “International Age” of music in the 21st century. 


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Association for Asian Studies


Education About Asia: Afghanistan: Multidisciplinary Perspectives/Volume 17, Number 2/Fall 2012; Music in Afghanistan by Hiromi Lorraine Sakata. Reprinted with permission of the Association for Asian Studies, Inc., www.asian-studies.org/EAA

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