Music education has long been a controversial issue in Saudi Arabia since many deem it haram (unacceptable in Islam).

Though a few universities recently started offering music courses to their students, the country still lacks an official music academy or national conservatory. However, it looks like that's about to change.

On Thursday, the new head of the kingdom's Entertainment Authority, Turki Al Al-Sheikh, said officials are currently working on launching the country's first-ever music conservatory.

"I want to announce a surprise. The art council, part of the cultural authority, is studying the possibility of issuing a permit to establish a musical institution, by the will of God, soon," he said

Al-Sheikh's announcement was made during an event held to honor late Saudi singer Abu Bakr Salem.

Al-Sheikh's revelation went viral on Twitter soon after it was reported by local media outlets, leaving Saudis sharply divided.

Some felt that launching a music conservatory would go against the ultra-conservative kingdom's customs and traditions. But, there were many who celebrated the long-awaited announcement. 

"This isn't a great achievement"

"Music was never a reason behind the advancement of countries!!!"

"An unwelcome move"

"If this were an institution to teach the holy Qur'an or religious courses it would've been better." 

Despite the negative feedback, thousands are thrilled with the news

"Excellent... good luck." 

"Better late than never"

"Music doesn't harm anyone"

"I am going to be the first one to register"

The kingdom's academic institutions are opening up to music

Music continues to be excluded from curriculums at the majority of schools and higher academic institutions across the kingdom.

Many claim the ban on music classes stems from religious edicts which state music is haram. But recent months have seen a shift when it comes to the controversial issue.

Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia's Taif University announced that its Arab Poetry Academy opened submissions to their first-ever extra-curricular music and performance program.

Speaking to MBC News, the university's official spokesman Saleh Al Thubaity explained that though the new course isn't part of an academic track, it has been a hit among students.

The popularity of the course will certainly encourage more universities to consider offering similar classes.