The 10 Most Musical Cities

Miami, Pittsburgh, and Orlando bought the most music per capita last year, says Amazon.


A grand piano sits on a sandbar in Biscayne Bay in Miami, Fla., which is America's most musical city, according to Amazon.

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One of the perks of the increasingly digital marketplace is being able to spot patterns in who buys what. Amazon did just that this week, when it released what it's calling the "Cities that Rock List" - a rundown of which cities are buying the most music from the online retail behemoth. Below are the 10 cities that topped the list. 

[RANKINGS: U.S. News Best Cities]

1. Miami, Fla.

2. Pittsburgh, Penn.

3. Orlando, Fla.

4. Salt Lake City, Utah

5. St. Louis, Mo.

6. Cincinnati, Ohio

7. Seattle, Wash.

8. Ann Arbor, Mich.

9. Richmond, Va.

10. Atlanta, Ga.

 To create the list, Amazon used MP3, CD, and vinyl purchase data from April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2013, and studied the 100 most heavily populated U.S. cities to find who bought the most music per capita.

Some of the connections the data reveal between cities and genres aren't surprising. Miami, with its large Latino population, buys the most Latin music.

Seattle, the birthplace of grunge and home to a burgeoning music scene, buys the most indie music.

[READ: Michael Jackson Died 4 Years Ago But His Aesthetic Lives On]

Still, there are also a few surprises. Knoxville, Tenn., (No. 13) – not Grand Ole Opry home Nashville – purchases the most country music. And in addition to buying the most Latin music, Miami residents purchase the most dance, heavy metal, and children's music of any city.

A few other fascinating city-genre connections can be found in the data. For example, Columbia, S.C. (No. 12), purchases the most R&B, rap, and Christian music, and residents of Cambridge, Mass. (No. 11), buy the most classical music. Of course, as with any ranking, there are caveats to the Amazon list. While Amazon sells plenty of physical CDs and vinyl records, it is dwarfed in the digital music market.

Amazon takes up just 22 percent of the music download market, according to market research firm NPD, compared to music behemoth iTunes' 63 percent. In addition, plenty of people stream music via services like Pandora and Spotify, not to mention the music fans who get their tunes illegally. Still, while the data may not be comprehensive, it at least gives a sense of what is popular where — and maybe provide a guide to where summer road trippers will pick up the most pop music (Orlando) or the most jazz (Berkeley, Calif.).

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