Tearful oriental songs and the role they play among adolescents

Ehud Bodner, Dafna Fradkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The current study explored a new musical trend, "Tearful Oriental Songs" (TOS), which are associated with social marginality. The participants were 313 high school students who completed a sociodemographic questionnaire, Beck Depression Inventory and a survey on their attitudes toward TOS. They then listened to 14 oriental songs and TOS, and were asked to decide whether each song was a TOS or not, to score the song's familiarity and likeability, and to choose words they associate with the song. Adolescents who were familiar with TOS differentiated between TOS and common oriental songs (OS), reported coming from an oriental ethnic origin and living in development areas, and were more prevalent in earlier grades. Musical analysis demonstrated that TOS have characteristics which resemble Turkish Arabesk songs. Analysis of associations supported this conclusion. Participants reported mood improvement after listening to TOS. No significant difference in depression was found between adolescents who listen and those who do not listen to TOS. TOS can be considered a genre, which reflects Arabic cultural influences on the Israeli culture. It may also be regarded as a musical remedy for adolescents from the lower classes, and can be used as a therapeutic means by music therapists.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-349
Number of pages21
JournalPsychology of Music
Issue number3
Early online date15 Dec 2011
StatePublished - May 2013


  • Arabesk music
  • adolescents
  • biographical movies
  • music of minorities
  • oriental music
  • tearful songs


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