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  • 01 Lovesong From Herat
  • 02 Shah Kokojan
  • 08 Ghichak Solo
  • 10 Babolale, Lovesong from Kh
  • 16 Shah Kokojan

A Journey to an Unknown Musical World

Shortly before Afghanistan was struck by the disaster of a war which has all but extinguished the country’s traditional musical culture, a team from the German broadcasting corporation WDR travelled the length and breadth of the land, making 200 individual recordings and documenting the vast diversity of local and regional styles. As the most detailed musical documentation ever to have been conducted in Afghanistan, it has saved the country’s musical heritage from total oblivion.

Afghanistan’s musical styles are as diverse and fascinating as the many different ethnic groups who inhabit this country of contrasts. Through the centuries, at the crossroads of major cultures, Afghanistan has developed not only a virtuoso singing tradition, but also a highly sophisticated string instrumental style and exciting percussion styles.

From the vast collection of the WDR archives, we have selected some of the most heart-rending ballads, the most trance-like violin and percussion cycles and the most bluesy call-and-response vocals.


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