College group tracks music on campaign trail

College group tracks music on campaign trail

Out on the campaign trail, you may think the most important thing to listen to is what a candidate says

But, a group at Georgia College says there's something else that's almost as important.

Dillon Richards talked to the people at Trax on the Trail to find out why they say music can tell you a lot about a politician.

It might be a performance written just for the occasion, or a song that fits just right with a politician's message.

Either way, Dana Gorzelany-Mostak says if you listen closely, you might hear something about a candidate you didn't know before.

“Even though I don't think it necessarily translates to the polls, I think it's interesting to study ways in the 21st century that people find of participating,” says Gorzelany-Mostak.

One of those ways is by not just listening to the music, but making it too.

Sam Campbell is listening to a parody song about Bernie Sanders.

She runs social media for Trax on the Trail. She says the music people make about politicians can be just as telling as the music they choose themselves.

“I mean he's probably not thrilled by the existence of that parody, but people relate to music,” says Campbell.

That's why Gorzelany-Mostak created Trax on the Trail.

She says lots of research has been done on what candidates say, but not as much on what they play.

“Sound also plays an integral role in how we understand a candidate and how they shape their identity,” says Gorzelany-Mostak.

With the help of Georgia College students, she created a database where you can search by date, political party, candidate name and even genre of music.

Campbell says that's more important than you'd think.

“Unknowingly, someone's music choice or parodies you've heard a lot of can definitely influence how you vote,” says Campbell.

So next time you watch a campaign rally, you might want to pay attention to what you hear before the candidate even opens their mouth.

Trax on the Trail follows theme songs, songs in commercials, parodies and the candidate's Spotify playlists.

You can visit their database here.


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