To raise awareness and strengthen its market expertise, the Society Of Music Merchants commissions [studies and surveys from] various scientific institutions and market research companies such as the Association for Consumer Research (GfK). An ongoing, close cooperation with these organisations allows for monitoring and analysing the constantly changing MI industry market. The Society of Music Merchants can examine relevant market issues by means of surveys. A professional analysis of the market and survey data collected enables SOMM to quickly identify situations and innovations, look into them and pass the information along to members and industry participants. This allows for responding to trends at an early stage with the appropriate investments.

SOMM’s Study: Instrumental music making in Germany

In April 2012, the SOMM – Society Of Music Merchants e.V. again commissioned the GfK (Society for Consumer Research, German Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung) with a representative household survey of the German population as a whole on the topic of “instrumental music making”. Around 11,000 people were questioned, by means of a questionnaire (GfK Panel Services), about their personal attitude towards active music making. The sample constitutes a representative profile of all German households, and in this respect constitutes a true-to-scale image of the German population.

The aim of the investigation was to identify the attitude of the German population towards the active making of instrumental music and the characteristics of music-making and no longer music-making households. For this end, knowledge, attitude and behavior towards music, musical instruments and the active music making were collected through written surveys of heads of households.

Through the survey of sociodemographical and socioeconomic features of the questioned household members, such as age, gender, income and family size, a segment-specific differentiation of the sample with corresponding analyses was possible.

In summary, the study comes to the result that almost 46 percent of the German consider themselves to be musical. Opposed to that, nearly eight out of ten people surprisingly have the opinion that one has to be talented in order to make music. If the actual number of active players in Germany is regarded, it can be established that in one of six household a musical instrument is played. This corresponds to 7.2 million German households, and thus 14.5 million Germans who actively make music1.

Music-related topics are very popular leisure time occupations: 87.4 percent of all surveyed regularly listen to music, 37.8 percent go to concerts and 35.9 percent of the German are interested in musical instruments. Further, in every third household (33.1 %) a musical instrument is found (possession of musical instruments). An active playing of musical instruments takes place in 17.7 percent of the households. This result allows concluding that, in the remaining 6.2 million households (15.4 %), the available musical instruments are not (actively) used.

At last, it should still be mentioned that also the basic interest on music making of the people who do not actively play an instrument at present was inquired. Here, it became clear that about one third of the surveyed (29.3 %) would like to play a musical instrument (again). When questioned about the main reasons for their interest in music making, the surveyed mention fun (79 %), being creative (24.7 %), having a meaningful leisure activity (22.7 %), the acknowledgement of others (4.8 %), and in order to play in a band (1.9 %) (see Fig.: Reasons for playing musical instruments).

1 Source: Microcensus, Federal Statistical Office (40.4 million households in the Federal Republic of Germany; 81.7 million inhabitants, with an average of 2.02 persons per household).

Fig.: Reasons for playing musical instruments

The study “Instrumental music making in Germany” can be purchased from the SOMM against the payment of a nominal charge.*

Costs for SOMM Members: 100.00 EUR plus 19% VAT
Costs for non-SOMM Members: 700.00 EUR plus 19% VAT


*Reproduction of the study is prohibited. Publication of the study is only possible after consultation and permission of the SOMM – Society Of Music Merchants e.V.


Professional continuing education for the MI industry. More ...

Germany makes Music - play along!

Please find more information about the action day here... 

European School Music Prize 2019

Learn more about the prize and how to enter. More ...

We promote culture

We support numerous projects to promote music.


Members’ area