Music Scene in Saudi Arabia

How’s the music Scene in Saudi Arabia. Is it really frowned upon? Read more here.

Young musicians in Saudi Arabia risking everything for music

For young musicians in Saudi Arabia, rocking and rolling can mean risking everything.

The last three years have seen an explosion in the kingdom’s underground music scene, with bands playing everything from hip-hop and rock to punk and death metal. There are currently more than 40 bands quietly rocking the nation, playing gigs in private homes, in residential compounds that house foreign workers and in tents in the middle of the vast Saudi desert.

But rocking in Riyadh and moshing in Mecca have their risks. The dreaded Mutaween — the Saudi religious police tasked with enforcing Shariah, the nation’s strict Islamic law, feel you have to suffer if you want to sing the blues. They’ve arrested band members for holding concerts without permits, and they’ve charged some concert organizers with money laundering, according to Saudi musicians and human rights organizations that monitor the oil-rich kingdom.

The threat to the Saudi regime isn’t the music itself, but rather the kingdom’s teenagers and young adults, who have grown up with computers, iPhones and satellite TVs, said human rights advocate Ali Alyami. Read more here…

Is It Okay to Play Piano in Saudi Arabia?

We all know that Dubai is the most liberal of all the Gulf / middle-east countries, but how is Saudi Arabia when it comes to music? Is it okay to play the Piano in Saudi Arabia?

Going by some of the threads and comments that we have read on the internet, it seems it is fine as long as you take care not to play it very loudly and disturb your neighbors.

What are your thoughts on this? If any of you have any experience, please share it here.

Answers
I think many Arabs consider it as Haram, so it is frowned upon. – Anonymous

But then there are stores that sell pianos, which I don’t think are illegal and seem to be the more legitimate ones. – Zep

I am keenly following this thread as I have recently come to Saudi, on my work assignment with a petrochemical company. I have been playing the piano for several years now and it has always been a stress buster for me. A Bach or Beethoven or another classical piece on the piano is the best form of relaxation for me. This is the first time I will be without my piano for a long time, and I’m actively searching for a dealer that has used pianos (I want a better one so that’s why not keen on a new one). And I think it’s okay to have one, at least that stays inside the house and used just for practicing. But I have not been able to locate any yet; I read the comment about importing from Dubai but I’m not sure if it’s possible, though it’s a good option if it doesn’t raise the price a lot by ways of import duties. – Chris

Mohammed Abdu is a well-known Saudi singer and composer of Khaleeji music (music of the gulf) and has performed all over, so music as such is not banned completely. Here’s one of his videos. – Anonymous

Pianos, Guitars & Musical Instruments Dealers in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

If you know of dealers in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia that stocks acoustic & digital Pianos, let us know here. For those who have recently moved to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and bought a piano, let us know from where you bought it. In case, you bought a used / second hand piano, please let us know if there is any classifieds section in local newspapers or any local website where people buy and sell pianos.

Answers
Have recently moved to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and am looking for a Claviova or any other good piano for my children to practice. I have seen several names in Dubai (on this thread/site) but am looking for a reputed dealer in Riyadh Saudi Arabia. I am even fine if the ones in Dubai are willing to export it here in Riyadh, but do they? Thanks. – Tom Butt (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)

There’s a family here who want to sell off their 2 year old Clavinova CVP-409 piano, but he is unsure of how much to ask and so has asked me to make an offer. Even I don’t have any idea and am looking for suggestions for what could be a reasonable price, something that is not too little, and not too high as well. I know it is difficult but any help will be appreciated. Thanks – Sian

In Riyadh, there’s a music shop at Al Fasiliyah which has a good selection of Yamaha and Casio keyboards. Not sure about the pianos, you can check with them. – Andrea

Digital Piano Keyboard, Guitar, Music Gear Repair in Saudi Arabia

Are their technicians or dealers who help to get repair work done?

I have owned a Technics piano for several years now but of-late it has been giving problems. I am not a technician and I have no idea how to diagnose the problem. Please provide me the details where i can repair my digital technics piano in saudi arabia. – George (Saudi Arabia)

Answers
I have Yamaha PSR 410 Model (made in Japan), which is quite a few years old and had originally bought it when I was in Saudi Arabia. Though I play it often, I need to keep it for its sentimental value. I was wondering if there is any way of storing the songs that I create on the computer, or can I attach a pen drive it so that I can quickly save and load the files. Please let me know if any equipment is available for doing this. – Rafiq Shaikh (Karachi, Pakistan)

The Accompaniment feature (ACMP-SYNC button) on my Yamaha PSR I425 keyboard is not working. It use to work, suddenly it is not working. Is there any setting which will make this working or is there any problem with instrument? I like this feature as once I choose the style and voice I like, I only have to press any chord and the accompaniment starts. I have got used to playing this way now and I miss this function. Please help. – Imran (Al Jubail Saudi Arabia)

Rafiq, You need to check if your keyboard has the slot to connect pen drive. You can always connect it to a computer. You can read here for more information.
Jameel, You can check in your user manual for the factory reset option, but it looks as if the buttons have got bad…happens if the keyboard is quite old. – Ben

3 Comments

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  1. Piano playing is legal within the Kingdom and it is sold in many musical stores, including Yamaha, in mainstream shopping outlets. However, music in public is not permitted thus it must be kept privately in residence, as I assume it would be anyway.

  2. Dear Sir,

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  3. Hi Salam…my name is ali absar…Age 21.
    Now i m here in ryadh in malaz…I m from pakistan karachi…I m musician guitarist singer keyboardist drummer. I can play this all instrument…Now i m bored here i wana do music…Wana join music bands and groups..
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