Music is an integral part of American culture, no matter what state you live in. Some states, however, were founded on the basis of music or have extensive support communities making them more desirable to music lovers.
A recent study done by Mecart, a modular studio manufacturer, used Google Trends to analyze specific music-related search terms. Mecart then ranked each state, based on the number of searches, with a “musicality score” out of 100.
The best and worst states for music lovers are based on interest-based searches done between May 2021 and May 2022.
Top 5 Music-Loving States in the U.S.
#1 – Tennessee
It comes as no surprise that Tennessee tops the charts when it comes to music lovers. Nashville is, after all, known as Music City USA. Home to America’s longest-running radio show, the famous RCA Studio B, the Ryman Auditorium, and the Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville was built on the foundation of music.
And let’s not forget about Memphis, TN, and its early influence on blues, gospel, soul, rockabilly, and jazz. In addition, both Nashville and Memphis have vibrant downtown areas dedicated to their music-rich cultures.
#2 – Utah
Utah came in second place, only lacking in searches for phrases like “recording studio” and “iTunes.” Utah’s music scene is vast and diverse, producing famous musicians like Imagine Dragons, The Piano Guys, and Lindsey Stirling. There are quite a few musical cities in the state that annually host concerts and outdoor festivals, including Salt Lake City, Ogden, Moab, and Provo. After a two-year COVID hiatus, many of these festivals are back in action this summer.
#3 – Georgia
Georgia, a state with a rich musical history, ranked third this year with high scores in searches for “music studio” and “Apple Music.” Some of the most influential cities include Atlanta, Savannah, Macon, and Athens, Georgia, spanning almost every genre. Chart-toppers like Ray Charles, Gladys Knight, Luke Bryan, and Andre 3000 were born and raised in the peach state. Georgia’s commercial music industry is a large supplier of jobs and economic growth.
#4 – Washington
The birthplace of grunge and a few world-famous musicians, Washington state places 4th in the ranks with an extensive search volume for “Spotify” and “music studio.” Known for homegrown sounds from musical genii such as Bing Crosby, Jimi Hendrix, and Nirvana, Washington’s experimental music scene has influenced many of today’s genres. While notable artists hail from all over the state, Seattle has played the most extensive role in the state’s musical heritage.
#5 – Colorado
Ranking 5th, Colorado’s performing arts and music settings are as colorful as its landscapes. According to the Mecart study, Colorado music lovers are googling “guitar lessons” and “Spotify” quite frequently. Folk and traditional music are both important to the state’s musical roots. Colorado has produced popular musicians such as John Denver, The Lumineers, and One Republic.
Other renowned musical performers include the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Opera Colorado, and the Colorado Bluegrass Music Society.
5 States With Low Musicality Scores
#46 – Wisconsin
While Wisconsin comes in near the bottom of the charts, Wisconsinites are searching for the digital music service “Spotify” most often. The Badger State is also no stranger to the music world, producing famous performers such as Les Paul, Violent Femmes, and Steve Miller Band.
As part of an initiative to increase the state’s cultural development, the Create Wisconsin foundation holds an annual concert on June 21, celebrating the Summer Solstice with music. The program invites performers of all types to perform on stages across the state for a day.
#47 – North Dakota
North Dakota’s musicality score was especially low for search terms such as “recording studio” and “guitar lessons” compared to other states. However, the state has seen its fair share of famous musicians, including Peggy Lee, Lawrence Welk, Jonny Lang, and Whiz Khalifa.
From musicals to state fairs and outdoor festivals, North Dakota’s intimate music scene, especially in Fargo, is alive and thriving.
#48 – South Dakota
South Dakota scored relatively low for searches such as “recording studio” and music studio,” however, the Mount Rushmere state scored moderately high for “guitar lessons.” The South Dakota Symphony Orchestra in Sioux Falls is one of the many popular sounds of the community, and the town of Vermillion is home to the National Music Museum.
According to reports, 54.5% of adults in South Dakota attended some type of musical performance in 2021. Rock, folk, Native, indie, country, and hip-hop are just a handful of the genres popular in the state.
#49 – Iowa
Iowa came in second to last with a low volume for “recording studio” searches but a higher volume of “Sportify” users. The Hawkeye State has a large volume of Rock’ n Roll Hall of Fame inductees and has a sizable number of orchestral ensembles. The famous rock bands Slipknot and Stone Sour also came out of Iowa. Popular annual festivals include the Iowa Arts Festival, the Des Moines Arts Festival, and the 80/35 Music Festival.
#50 – Wyoming
Although the Cowboy State came last, Wyoming music lovers frequently search for the Apple Music app “iTunes.” And while the Wyoming music scene may be small, it’s not dead. The Wyoming Arts Council created the Wyoming Independent Music Initiative, which strives to strengthen the state’s musical presence. Each year the organization releases a popular Wyoming road trip playlist that highlights everything from country, blues, and folk to indie and hard rock.
While some states have more opportunities than others for music lovers, states with low musicality scores still have a thriving music scene. So be sure to support your local music and arts community and enjoy a performance or two this summer music season wherever you live.
Image Credit: Pexels.
Alex Sumuel is the founder of Wander With Alex, where she provides vacationers and travel enthusiasts with trip ideas, travel guides, and itineraries. She travels to experience, eat, and explore-- and, on occasion, escape! She's a proud Virginia native who has also founded the Explore Coastal Virginia website. Alex’s mission is to help people travel better.