Music has long played a role in American presidential campaigns as a mode of both expressing candidates’ messages and criticizing the opposition. The 2016 campaign was no exception and was a game changer similar to the development of music in the 1840 campaign, when “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too” helped sing William Harrison into the White House.
The ten chapters in this collection place music use in 2016 in historical perspective before examining musical messaging, strategy, and parody. The book ultimately explores causality: how do music and musicians affect presidential elections, and how do politicians and campaigns affect music and musicians? The authors explain this interaction from various perspectives, with methodological approaches from several fields, including political science, legal studies, musicology, cultural studies, rhetorical studies, and communications and journalism. These chapters will help the reader understand music in the 2016 election to realize how music will be relevant in 2020 and beyond.