WASHINGTON • At every campaign rally, Ms Elizabeth Warren, Democratic candidate for the United States presidency, waits to hear the first notes of singer Dolly Parton's popular country tune, 9 To 5, before striding onto the stage to greet wildly enthusiastic supporters.
The musical backdrop to this age-old campaign ritual describes the daily grind of American workers: "Workin' 9 to 5, what a way to make a livin'/Barely gettin' by, it's all takin' and no givin' ".
The senator's song choice - others on her list include Everyday People and Respect - is anything but accidental, aimed at giving supporters an emotional lift while evoking her own working-class roots.
The 70-year-old Massachusetts progressive is competing against a field of 14 others - all deploying playlists at well-choreographed rallies - as they seek voters' backing in a race to take on President Donald Trump in next November's election.
"The music employed by candidates is chosen with great care... to appeal to certain audiences or craft an image of the candidate that resonates with the electorate," said Associate Professor Jacob Neiheisel, a political scientist with the University at Buffalo in New York.
Senator Bernie Sanders, the feisty, self-declared Democratic socialist who is the oldest candidate in the race, opens rallies to the militant tones of John Lennon's Power To The People, an ode to protest and resistance from the 1970s. He also favours Takin' It To The Streets.
The centrist Joe Biden, who embraces the nickname "Middle-class Joe", regularly ends his rallies with gravelly-voiced country singer Kenny Chesney. Country music may not export well, but is popular in the American heartland, particularly with more conservative voters.
Mr Biden served eight years as former president Barack Obama's vice-president and never misses a chance to highlight his association with the country's first black president. He includes nearly equal numbers of black and white artists on his playlist.
Democrat Julian Castro, the only Hispanic candidate in the primary field, strongly favours Latin music - notably by the late Mexican-American star Selena - as he reaches out to this important demographic ahead of next year's election.
Music also allows candidates to create memorable moments.
Former president Bill Clinton, a Democrat and avid jazz fan, played this card successfully: When he performed Elvis Presley's Heartbreak Hotel on the saxophone in a TV talk show appearance during the 1992 campaign, voters were surprised but enthusiastic at this departure from the traditional grey-suited formality of presidential candidates.
The team of Mr Pete Buttigieg, 37, the youngest candidate in the field, created buzz with a campy video of campaign aides dancing to High Hopes by Panic! At The Disco.
On the Republican side, Mr Trump favours popular and patriotic music for his raucous rallies, such as Lee Greenwood's 1980s song God Bless The USA, aimed at appealing to his political base.
But some choices have been controversial. When Mr Trump's aides played Luciano Pavarotti's spellbinding Nessun Dorma at rallies, the late tenor's family protested. The President's values and Pavarotti's, they said, were "incompatible".