Early twentieth-century scholars of religion, especially in Europe and the United States, cultivated a curious understanding of ‘history’ when they named their field ‘the history of religions’.

The adage ‘History is written by the victors’ is commonly attributed to Winston Churchill. In fact, the sentiment predates Churchill, with pronouncements closely resembling it made by various people in the nineteenth century.

In 1973 a young British couple, Veronica Doubleday and her ethnomusicologist husband John Baily, arrived in the city of Herat, western Afghanistan, where Baily planned to spend a year researching the local music tradition.