Religious and demographic indicators of music preference in a Turkish sample


MUSICAE SCIENTIAE, cilt.19, ss.23-43, 2015 (SSCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier

  • Cilt numarası: 19 Konu: 1
  • Basım Tarihi: 2015
  • Doi Numarası: 10.1177/1029864914558965
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.23-43


The attitude of people with various religious and faith orientations towards music is likely to be influenced by the teaching of their religion and the way they hold their faith. In this study, the connections of music preference with religiosity and with the way faith was held by participants were surveyed. The sample consisted of 259 university students (140 men [54%] and 119 women [46%], M-age = 20.29 years). Participants listened to 10 pieces from different music genres. Next, their music preference was measured using music feeling scales and single-item music-liking questions. In addition, participants also completed the scales of religious attitude and faith development. Demographic variables included gender, age, income, residency type, and frequency of listening to music. Factor analyses determined 5 music types from 10 musical genres, including Western sophisticated (jazz and classical), Western energetic (rock and metal), Western pop, traditional (Turkish folk, Turkish classical, religious music), and melancholic-rebellious (arabesk and rap). It was found that religious attitude correlated positively with traditional music and negatively with some of the Western music, including rock-metal and jazz. It revealed no correlation with Western classical music. In contrast, faith development correlated positively with Western classical, jazz, and rock-metal music but negatively with religious music, Turkish folk, and arabesk music. It was found that religiosity had an effect on music preference. In terms of demographic variables, women tended to prefer pop and rock-metal more than men, and men tended to prefer Turkish folk, arabesk, and rap more than women. More sophisticated musical genres were favoured more by somewhat older participants. In addition, whereas Western classical, Turkish classical, and jazz music tended to be preferred by participants from urban areas, arabesk and rap music tended to be liked more by participants from rural areas.