Info for students

Before you contact us, please read this

A quick guide on how to use this site
Censorship of music is a complex issue that takes time to study! We have tried to present the content of this site in a clear and manageable way. In the ‘sort content by’ top menu, we have divided all content into three categories: Country/region, Artists, and Subjects.
All texts on this site are at your disposal. Feel free to print, copy and use all texts – but please credit Freemuse / the author concerned.

Students and others asking for help
You are most welcome to contact us, but students please note: We are not here to do your homework for you!
All our compiled information on music and censorship can be found at this site. Freemuse is first of all a documentation centre. The guidelines for Freemuse are the principles outlined in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights as they apply specifically to musicians and composers.

If you in your questions ask for our point of view, we will refer to the UN Declaration of Human Rights. The rights stated there are, so to say, our view points.
So, by studying the material on the Freemuse website, as well as the UN Declaration of Human Rights, and The United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights:  you should be able to find some answers there keeping in mind that you can’t always find an easy answer to the music and censorship issue.

We only answer student requests if you include your full name, the name and address of your school, the name of your teacher as well as information about the purpose of your inquiry.
We need this information in order to keep track of the statistical side of the many requests we receive. We are also interested in hearing about the possible outcome of your work.

Visit our 9/11 section
Visit our September 11 section

Visit the UN
Read the UN declaration on human rights

Special section on the USA
Special USA section. Click the flag

Browse this site geographically
Music censorship is global! Try a geographical approach

The basics
For a general introduction to the issue of music censorship, we recommend the following basic texts;

Music censorship – an introduction
Speech at UNESCO Stockholm, March 31st 1998, by Ole Reitov, Freemuse

What is music censorship?
What is music censorship and who are the censors?

Music – a human right
In-depth on the connection between human rights, music, and freedom of speech 

Timeline of music censorship incidents world-wide

About Freemuse
The history, goals and organisation of Freemuse

Sounds of Dissent – external link
Comprehensive theme issue on music and politics from the acclaimed New Internationalist magazine (August 2003)

In case you are looking for material specifically concerning the United States of America, see our US section.

Read more:

3rd Freemuse World Conference on Music and Censorship
200 professional musicians, scholars, and composers from 22 countries met at the 3rd Freemuse World Conference on 25-26 November 2006 in Istanbul, Turkey
9/11: Is protest music dead?
Music used to be the dominant voice against war. Now it’s easier to shut up and get paid. What’s really going on? Extensive article on 9/11 effects and media concentration, by Jeff Chang
About music censorship
Why is music censored? – and who are the censors?
Here is a general introduction to the issues of music censorship.
Afghanistan report Post Scriptum, 2003
Post Scriptum by John Baily to the report: “Can you stop the birds singing?” The censorship of music in Afghanistan
Afghanistan: The talibans have banned all music
Mr. Naim Majrouh’s speech at the 1st Freemuse World Conference on Music and Censorship in 1998
Aiab Gul Delshad
Video interview with the head of Afghanistan’s Music Union, who is a famous folk singer. He was arrested once, and imprisoned and tortured another time, because of two songs
The ‘Freemuse Ambassadors’ are typically musicians or music promoters who support the Freemuse cause
‘Anti-gay’ lyrics inquiry starts
The government is considering banning reggae star Sizzla from the UK. Meanwhile detectives are investigating claims that lyrics penned by eight leading reggae artists incite violence against homosexuals and are therefore illegal.
Aung Zaw: Music censorship in Myanmar / Burma
Video interview with journalist Aung Zaw about music censorship in Myanmar/Burma. Recorded in April 2004
Aziz Ghaznawi
Video interview with an authority on music administration in Afghanistan. He talks about how music was censored within Radio Television Afghanistan