The "He said, She said" on Fraternity Music
Here at Bucknell, we often associate our Greek organizations synecdochiacally – sometimes we view an individual through the scope of their letters, and sometimes an entire chapter may be reduced the actions and character of its individuals. As all of us in the Greek system know, the part often does not equal the whole and each chapter is full of diversity – especially when it comes to our music tastes.
One aspect of our party scene that I’ve noticed during my year as a social chair is that music can make or break a party, but even more importantly, each organization has distinct music tastes. I learned to play off of this knowledge, fine-tuning my playlists to the taste of that night’s sorority. From doing this, a major question formed in my mind: what is the musical identity of my organization? Furthermore, I realized that sororities exposure to fraternity’s music tastes were generally limited to parties and Super Saturdays. How unfortunate, I thought, that this is the case; that each fraternity’s musical identity is limited to these two instances week after week. Surely there must be more to it than that?
This week I set out to find answers to two vital questions. First, how do members of various sororities perceive the musical identity of each fraternity, based on their parties, and second, how do members of each fraternity perceive their own musical identity when they reflect on their parties and their downtime? To do this, I asked women in various sororities on their opinion of each fraternity’s music tastes, and asked a member of each fraternity to respond.
So, here it is: a “he said/she said” breakdown of each fraternity’s music!
She Said: “Plays the songs that people want to hear….if there is a popular song, you will definitely hear it at a chi phi party” “Country…AND NINTIES!!”
He Said: “Hanging out, the music is definitely different. I would say a lot of guys love listening to "Summer Hits of the 90s" on Pandora. Additionally, we love our 80s throwbacks (shout-out to Tommy Tutone). And not just 80s, 70s throwbacks and probably earlier stuff can be heard playing while hanging out. Aside from that, country music is a huge hit amongst the brothers, definitely a "go-to."
She Said: “Mostly Top-Chart music with some good throwbacks.”
He Said: “At parties it tends to be a lot of house, pop and hip-hop. Top 40’s, 90’s and early 2000’s always make it in. When its just the guys, half the house is electronic music and the other half is Irish and Country music.”
She Said: “Very eclectic but well-balanced.” “A little bit of everything.”
He Said: “Parties are a mix of techno, house, and sing-a-longs. Super Saturdays are sing-a-longs and mostly classic rock, and then at home people love rap and some alternative/indie rock.”
She Said: “KDR has good music...lots of EDM and techno.” “A mix of top 40 hits and throwbacks that everybody always gets really excited to listen to.”
He said: “We mostly listen to Top 40 and pop remixes or songs that people can easily memorize and dance to at parties. We love super Saturday type of music: guys in the fraternity usually listen to country, hard rock and something that we can just chill while listening to. But the individual spectrum of music is extremely diverse.”
She Said: "Used to be all dubstep and house, but lately have been mixing in more chart-topping music.”
He Said: “Parties are a mixture of Top 40 and hip-hop with the occasional throwback and twerk track. When we’re chilling it’s a mixture of classic rock, reggae, electro soul and rap – particularly Chance the Rapper and Childish Gambino.”
She Said: “Lots of house, pop and grinding music.” “I feel like I’m in a Euroclub.”
He Said: “Here’s the lowdown: When its just the guys it varies between house and classic rock songs. Parties are definitely mainstream house, but the second midnight hits, its throwback time.”
She Said: “Doesn’t matter what it is, its always blaring” “You'll get lots of edm and poppy dance music. Expect lots of raging and jumping around.” “Late 90’s, early 2000 jams. Some new age pop but mostly oldies from our teenage-agehood”
He Said: “That’s a tough one. I’d say the night usually stars off with your typical house music but almost always ends up heading back to the slightly older classics/throwbacks that everyone loves. Super Saturdays are usually some country mix, but when its just the guys it’s a lot more laid back – sometimes country, sometimes folk or easy-going hip-hop. It all makes an appearance during the weekend”
She Said: “Sig chi has the best party music. Lots of "get low"s and "shake it"s. Plenty of grinding music which is different from most of the other fraternities and a lot of fun to dance at.” “Always, always, always, Gas Pedal and ass-shaking, booty-moving music.”
He Said: “A lot of what people listen to here is just different types of rap. We’re also a very diverse fraternity that has other music tastes such as trap, country and indie rock. But when we’re partying we play gangsta rap like m.a.a.d. city and Gaspedal”
She Said: “A complete grab bag, but with the same stomping characteristic as TKE where the guys sing loudly and ironically” “Lots of country and throwbacks. Lots of boys playing to their nostalgia. If you don't hear “Wagon Wheel” once, something is wrong.
He Said: "The music we listen to I've found there is a very diverse musical background between many of us that is often not heard at social occasions. I think it's safe to say you could find a SigEp listening to anything from Dispatch and Dave Mathews to Tame Impala to Rick Ross to Djs and house artists." "On the weekends we listen to almost exclusively classic rock with some country thrown on. If someone messes with that and throws on gangster rap on a Saturday afternoon it usually returns to Bruce Springsteen or Tom petty fairly quickly." "Classic rock is also the best music ever so there's that."
She Said: “Hard hitting house – everybody just stops their feet. They also play stuff like Ke$ha and other songs that are ironic for boys to be singing to.” “Music that makes everyone want to dance…there really isn’t one specific theme, but whatever is playing always gets everyone at the party excited.” “You'll hear lots of girly sing-a-longs. You'll also hear plenty of throwback and modern rap.”
He Said: “The music we listen to on our own is pretty different than the music at parties. When we’re just chilling, we listen to recent, upcoming and underground rap. Sometimes vibey electronic tunes too. Some of us also listen to a lot of country and classic rock. But at parties we play house and sing-a-long dance tunes, with some classic pop songs too.”
Interesting, huh? The music scene here is ever expanding, continuously changing, and the fraternities play a large role in what music we are exposed to here. I hope this investigation of mine has given you an idea of each fraternity’s tastes, and inspires you to dig deeper into each to discover more about their musical preferences.
While this list is by no means conclusive, and is mostly built upond generalizations, it’s obvious that each fraternity has its own style and musical identity. Though each has their own taste in “party music”, they all still have musical tastes that extend far beyond the confines of downtown. I think it is important to recognize the diversity among the chapters that is clearly expressed here and I encourage everybody who is reading this to join the conversation by commenting below with your thoughts – do you agree with the quotes above? Is this list true to your experience with each fraternity? What would you like to know more about?
Keep the beat going,