The History of Music in Afghanistan
Afghanistan belongs to a historical region previously known as Aryana and Greater Khurasan. It has one of the most rich and interesting histories of music making in the world, despite the tendency of musicologists to neglect its independence and important contributions to the music of the surrounding area. Since prehistoric (Vedic-Avestan) times, music in Afghanistan clearly indicates that the country due to its central location, was an important contributor to the reciprocal development of music with people of Central Asia, Persia and the Indian subcontinent. The subsequent historical, cultural and religious developments such as Greek, pre-Islamic Buddhist, Islamic, Ghaznavid, Timurid and Hindustani, further demonstrates the intercultural development of music in the region.
Attempts to introduce music education date back to 1924 when the first music school attached to the military college was founded and an effort was made to include music as a subject in the overall curriculum of the secular schools. In 1934, the music college within the Afghan Army was re-established and taught Western notation and wind instruments by Turkish instructors. Attempts to establish music education outside the Army goes back to the establishment of music appreciation classes through the Ministry of Education in 1959 by Austrian musicians. After their departure in 1974, the classes were converted into a secondary vocational School of Music run by the Government o of Afghanistan. In 1988, this school merged w with the School of Fine Arts, and operated until 1 1992, when civil war consumed Afghanistan. It w was during this unfortunate period that the supp pression and even banning of music was implem mented. The traditions of Afghan music were f forced to migrate along with the refugees or go ‘ ‘underground’ within the houses and propon nents of music who remained inside the count try. After the social-political changes of 2001, t the music department within the School of F Fine Arts reopened in 2005 with many limit tations and existed only by name.