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Midwest Music

Palm trees swaying, warm breezes caressing me, and the scent of saltwater luring me to the ocean. My senses come alive with the sound of Hawaiian music. After only a few notes, I’m instantly transported there. I’m relaxed, basking in the sun, and happy.

Why don’t we have music like that in the Midwest? Sure, we have our theme songs for sport teams and universities. And of course, Chicago has its blues and jazz, but overall, there isn’t a sound specifically associated with the Midwest like there is for the Hawaiian Islands.

If we did, how would it sound? Would the tempo vary like the seasons? Would it be monotone and flat like the flatlands or solid and dependable like Midwesterners? Maybe it would be cheesy like Wisconsin. (No offence Wisconsiners. I love cheese.)

Country, folk, rock, R&B, blues, rap, classical. We have concerts from all genres across the Midwest.

We also have some noteworthy musicians, songwriters, and singers that call the Midwest home. Members of “Styx,” and the band “Chicago,” originated in Chicago as well as Jim Peterik, the founder of the “Ides of March.” Members of REO Speedwagon came from Champaign-Urbana. Dan Fogelberg called Peoria, Illinois his home. And Tracy Chapman and Doris Day were from Ohio.

And there are my favorite musicians, Andy and Louise Mitran, from Chicago. Professor Andy brought the Bozo Show alive with his music and is currently writing soulful “soundtracks for the human spirit” ( Louise uses her gifts to promote wellness through meditations and as therapy through Guided Imagery and Music (

With all these variances we should be able to create a sound unique to the Midwest. I think we should have an event to figure this out. We could have a battle of the bands and online voting to determine the winner. I bet we could even get government funding for it.

©2012, Mary K. Doyle

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