The Sound of Cultural Transformation

University Dialogue with the Islamic World (DAAD), 2022

The northern Iranian province of Gilan on the Caspian Sea has a diverse musical landscape. Contemporary musical practices have great significance for processes of transformation in civil society.

The project The Sound of Cultural Transformation is funded for twelve months by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) as part of the programme "University Dialogue with the Islamic World". It enables and supports cooperation in the field of ethnomusicological research, teaching and further education between the Center for World Music (CWM) at the Foundation University of Hildesheim and the Department of Music at Gilan University in Rasht. A special focus is the communication and discussion of current international research approaches in applied ethnomusicology and visual anthropology.

The Persian region, central to the cultural transfer between Asia and Europe, is to be brought closer to students in Germany: Direct contacts with teachers, researchers and musicians provide insights into current processes of change in Iranian society and give them access to the Iranian higher education system. The dialogue between the two partners is linked to the long-term goal of developing a joint integrated Master's programme, promoting Iranian-German research on the music cultures around the Caspian Sea and establishing a regional sound archive at Gilan University.

The cooperation between the University of Hildesheim and Iranian partner institutions has already existed since 2012. In the cultural exchange projects "Music Museum of Iran" (2012-2016), which were funded by the German Foreign Office and the Foundation of Lower Saxony, the Music Museum in Tehran and the CWM jointly created a digital sound archive.