Here are a couple of nice sites pertaining to different aspects of traditional music from Afghanistan, which, before its descent into mass chaos and warfare in the waning days of the Cold War, was home to vibrant traditions of music reflecting the nation’s ethnic and cultural diversity.

The Afghan Music Project is the result of efforts by two Berkeley students to collect recording of traditional musicians in the post-Taliban Afghanistan; their site includes a nice video detailing their project.

Music in the Afghan North is a collection of material collected before the Soviet invasion and subsequent destruction of much traditional culture- first by the Soviets (folk ballads and such can be quite subversive of international socialism) and later by the Taliban. The music quality here is naturally somewhat lo-fi, but some of the pieces are quite enjoyable and accessible, besides their cultural and historical significance.

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