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Music professor's book explores tunes used during the 2016 presidential campaign

2019-01-03-Benjamin-Schoening-2
Dr. Benjamin Schoening, associate professor of music at the University of North Georgia, co-wrote and co-edited the book "You Shook Me All Campaign Long: Music in the 2016 Presidential Election and Beyond" with Eric T. Casper, associate professor of political science at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The book examines the use of music during the 2016 campaign.

During the 2016 presidential election, then-presidential candidate Donald Trump had an eclectic playlist of music he used during his campaign rallies.

Some artists objected to his use of their music, even though he was playing the songs under a blanket copyright license. In previous campaigns, candidates would steer clear of the negative publicity from an artist and stop using their music.

"Trump could care less," said Dr. Benjamin Schoening, head of the music department at the University of North Georgia (UNG). "He was willing to buck the system."

Schoening, associate professor of music at UNG, and Eric T. Casper, associate professor of political science at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, have examined the use of music during the 2016 campaign in the book "You Shook Me All Campaign Long: Music in the 2016 Presidential Election and Beyond."

The book is a collaborative effort of several authors from backgrounds ranging from communications and politics to musicologists. They share their insights about the transformative use of music by several candidates during the campaign and what that use indicates about the future.

"One author posits that Trump was the master of musical distraction, while another suggests that he was completely inept at picking music and for choosing to battle with the musical artists," Schoening said. "Both conclusions make sense but are completely on the opposite ends of the spectrum. That was fascinating to me to see the multifaceted approach come together in a cohesive work."

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