Best and worst states for American music lovers

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Music is an integral part of American culture, no matter what state you live in. However, some states were founded on music or have extensive support communities, making them more attractive to music lovers.

A recent study by Mecart, a modular studio maker, used Google Trends to analyze specific music-related search terms. Mecart then ranked each state with a “musicality score” of 100 based on the number of searches.

Best and worst states for music lovers are based on interest-based searches conducted between May 2021 and May 2022.

Top 5 Music Loving States in USA

#1 Tennessee

It’s no surprise that Tennessee tops the charts when it comes to music lovers. After all, Nashville is known as Music City USA. Home to America’s longest-running radio show, the famed 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 Memphis, TN, and its early influence on blues, gospel, soul, rockabilly, and jazz. Additionally, both Nashville and Memphis have vibrant downtown areas dedicated to their music-rich cultures.

#2 Utah

Utah came in second, missing out only on searches for terms like “recording studio” and “iTunes.” Utah’s music scene is huge and diverse, producing famous musicians like Imagine Dragons, The Piano Guys and Lindsey Stirling. There are a few music cities in the state that host concerts and open-air festivals annually, including Salt Lake City, Ogden, Moab and Provo. After a two-year COVID hiatus, many of these festivals are back in action this summer.


Georgia, a state with a rich music history, ranked third this year with high scores for searches for “music studio” and “Apple Music.” Some of the most influential cities are Atlanta, Savannah, Macon and Athens, Georgia covering almost every genre. Chart-topping artists such as Ray Charles, Gladys Knight, Luke Bryan and Andre 3000 were born and raised in the Peach State. Georgia’s commercial music industry is a major provider of jobs and economic growth.


As the birthplace of grunge and some world-renowned musicians, Washington State ranks 4th with extensive search volume for “Spotify” and “Music Studio”. Known for native sounds from musical geniuses like Bing Crosby, Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana, Washington’s experimental music scene has influenced many of today’s genres. While notable artists hail from across the state, Seattle has played the most extensive role in the state’s musical heritage.


Ranked 5th, Colorado’s performing arts and music venues are as colorful as its landscapes. According to the Mecart study, Colorado music lovers google “guitar lessons” and “Spotify” quite often. Folk music and traditional music are both important to the country’s musical roots. Colorado has produced popular musicians like John Denver, The Lumineers and One Republic.

Other renowned musicians include the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Opera Colorado and the Colorado Bluegrass Music Society.

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5 states with low musicality scores


While Wisconsin ranks at the bottom of the charts, the most common search for Wisconsinites is the Spotify digital music service. The Badger State is no stranger to the music world either, producing famous artists such as Les Paul, Violent Femmes and the Steve Miller Band.

As part of an initiative to increase the state’s cultural development, the Create Wisconsin Foundation hosts an annual concert celebrating the summer solstice with music on June 21st. The program invites artists of all kinds to perform on stages across the state for a day.


North Dakota’s musicality score was particularly low compared to other states for search terms such as “recording studio” and “guitar lessons.” 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 county fairs to open-air festivals, North Dakota’s intimate music scene, particularly in Fargo, is vibrant and thriving.


South Dakota had relatively low scores for searches like “recording studio” and “music studio,” while Mount Rushmere state had moderately high scores for “guitar lessons.” The South Dakota Symphony Orchestra in Sioux Falls is one of the community‘s many popular sounds, and the city of Vermillion is home to the National Music Museum.

Reportedly, 54.5% of South Dakota adults attended some type of musical performance in 2021. Rock, folk, native, indie, country, and hip-hop are just a few of the genres popular in the state.

#49 IOWA

Iowa was second to last with a low search volume for “recording studio” but a higher volume of “Sportify” users. Hawkeye State has a large number of Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame inductees and a significant number of orchestral ensembles. The famous rock bands Slipknot and Stone Sour also came from Iowa. Popular annual festivals include the Iowa Arts Festival, Des Moines Arts Festival, and 80/35 Music Festival.

#50 Wyoming

Though the Cowboy State came last, Wyoming music lovers often search for the Apple Music app “iTunes.” And while Wyoming’s music scene may be small, it’s not dead. The Wyoming Arts Council created the Wyoming Independent Music Initiative, which aims to increase 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.

Final Thoughts

While some states offer more options for music lovers than others, states with low musicality scores still have thriving music scenes. So be sure to support your local music and arts community and enjoy a performance or two this summer music season wherever you live.

About Stephanie McGehee

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