The Power of Music in MENA
September 14th, 2014, Emilene Parry

The Power of Music in MENA

There is no doubt that music plays a crucial role in our everyday lives. People spend hours of their time listening to it and it is present in many areas of life.

In this lab we uncover respondents' listening habits and the many ways in which music touches their lives on a daily basis across the MENA region.

The majority of respondents claim to spend at least three hours listening to music in a typical week, with just under a fifth listening to music for more than 10 hours a week. A third state that they do not attend any concerts in a typical year, while about half attend between one to four concerts a year.

Around half of respondents state they cannot imagine life without music. The majority claim that music is important in their lives, with a third stating that music is 'very important'.

Here are some comments made by respondents as to why music is so important to them:

“It's a way to connect back to your history & past. Sometimes it makes you happy and sometimes it sooths you, but sometimes it makes you sad” Asif, UAE

“Songs give inspirations in our everyday life. Music makes us happy and makes us forget sad things somehow” Brian, UAE

“Music can sometimes be inspirational and can motivate you” Anon

“It's my only consolation in times of sadness. It's always there for me” Anon

“Music is important in my life, because when you listen to it you will forget your problems, your stress will go, and it will give you more energy” Anon

“When I'm on my way to work music is important to me. I feel relaxed before the feeling of busy and stressful work. And when I'm on my way back home, or after work, the stress that I felt in the office goes when I listen to music” Anon

“It calms the nerves, praying and music are my escape, for me to unplug from the world and just "get charged" Ali, Kuwait

About half of respondents claim their favourite place to listen to music is at home, followed by in the car, while driving.

The majority of respondents strongly agree that the type of music they listen to depends on their mood at the time and most also agree they listen to different types of music depending on the time of day. Most respondents agree that music has the ability to change their mood.

It is clear that respondents have varied preferences when it comes to the genre and artists they listen to. Classical music emerges as the top selected music genre preferred by participants, followed by Rap, Pop, Instrumental and Hip-Hop. Some of respondents' favourite music artists include:

“MJ. I love him and his music” Sam, UAE

“Rammstein, I like their heavy, industrial sound. Their look always evolves and they are different and unique, not a carbon copy or commercial band” Anon

“Linkin Park, they are versatile and a total performer” Anon

“Tokio Hotel, because they are unique in everything” Anon

“My favorite music artist is Jennifer Lopez, because she is a talented singer, I like her RNB music and her dance music is awesome because when you listen to it you will want to dance too. She is the most talented singer in the music industry” Anon

“Owl City, because when I listen to their songs, I feel relaxed, refreshed, and peace of mind. When I'm stressed I listen to their songs and I feel peace of mind” Anon

“Eminem, he's just real” Badr, Morocco

“Elvis Costello, I like the words of his songs” Chaimaa, Morocco

“My favorite artist is Shakira. I love her songs because they are lively and make me feel I like I wanna dance” Salve,UAE

“My favourite music artist is Maher Zaïn because his songs are beautiful and lovely” Med, Morocco

“Junaid Jamshed, because of his classical and pop style” Abdullah, Pakistan

Some favourite songs specified by respondents include:

“Times of Your Life by Paul Anka. It's all about a person's ups and downs. From child to becoming a parent. Happy and sad moments of a person” Brian, UAE

“Du Hast - although in German, the lyrics are good and it has a definite, strong sound” Anon

“Capital Cities, Safe and Sound, because I have a lot of memories with this song in Bali” Anon

“Man on the run,Dash Berlin, because I can relate to the lyrics” Anon

“All by myself by Celine Dion. I can relate to the song” Nene, UAE

“La Boheme, Aznavour. It reminds me of an important period of my life” Anon

“Hard to say I'm sorry by Boyz II Men, because its touching” Salve,UAE

“Yesterday, by The Beatles. It reminds me of my youth” Nabih, Algeria

Interestingly, the majority of our respondents believe their taste in music is changing as they grow older and most listen to songs which remind them of certain events/ memories.

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