Music Essay: Topics, How-to Guide, & Examples

Music is a very personal experience; an essay on music aims to describe and analyze it.

How significant is music to our lives? Is it merely background noise for our great deeds? Or is it something that sets the tune of our whole existence? Whatever the answer is, one thing is sure: writing a music essay can be pretty tricky at times. After all, It’s a vast topic with a considerable history behind it.

Here, you will find some tips for going around this trickiness, along with 143 music essay topics for your piece, and 2 music essay examples. But first, we need to decide what exactly we are writing about.

🎵 Music Essay: What Is It about?

The idea of writing anything about music looks daunting at first glance. Thanks to the number of things you seemingly have to perform to write a good piece: using huge music theory words, analyzing all of the musical constituents, understanding the profound meaning behind every melody, and much other complicated stuff.

We’re delighted to inform you that none of that is essential to achieve the summit of a well-written music essay. It’s mostly about what response music invokes in you. Just tell people how it makes you feel. The only thing you need to keep in mind is that music is a very personal experience and talking about the subjective experience is something anyone can do. This can be done in several forms.

Here are some of them:

  1. Descriptive music essay. One of the simplest ways to describe something is to, well, describe it. It’s like painting but with a keyboard and a text editor. Here, you can connect to the reader through deep imagery of some musical pieces that you think are worth writing an essay about. Like describing a grimdark future inspired by some depressing lyrics you heard recently. Or you can simply go with picturing a classical music concert essay. Tell everyone how awesome classical music is and why they should spend their next weekend on an orchestra performance.
  2. Narrative music essay. Here you want to tell a story and use it to support your point of view. Create a tale about a young musician struggling to attain success to show how harsh and unforgiving the music industry can be. Or do the opposite and tell a story of a great artistic triumph to inspire others to never give up on their dreams. Keep in mind that you are writing a story, and every story has a character. And the characters communicate with each other. So don’t forget to include characters and dialogs.
  3. Persuasive music essay. This one is all about making the reader accept your point of view. This type of essay probably would be great for writing a work on the topic of “Why I love Linkin Park” or “My favorite jazz band of all times” since it probably involves a lot of emotional attachment. And emotions are something you definitely want to push in a persuasive music essay. You may also want to include some logical justification and checked facts. Statistics or sources you find reliable also can be cited.
  4. Compare & contrast music essay. The name of the genre speaks for itself.If you have difficulties choosing between two things you want to write about, you can compare them. And there are a lot of things to compare in music. Including but not limited to genres, singers, composers, music eras, the list is nearly infinite if you brainstorm hard enough. The structure here is plain and simple: Describe thing 1. Describe thing 2. Compare them.

🎼 Essay on Music: How to Write

Writing a music essay is no different from writing a piece on any other topic in the big picture. You will always need the argumentation, the overall structure, and exciting ideas.

The picture contains the five steps necessary to write a music essay.

But for music, in particular, you will also need to listen and set the listened things out the way that will set the reader on the same wavelength.

Here are some tips to help you with accomplishing that.

Music Essay: 5 Writing Steps

  1. Do the analysis. Before your fingers even touch the keyboard, just sitting back and reflecting on the things you’ll write about can be highly beneficial. This step can be applied to any music essay topic. If you make a statement about some lyrics you find beauteous, for instance, you can listen to the song again. And while relistening, try to observe details you haven’t noticed before. How does the melody frame the lyrics? What makes it sound so lyrical? Why does the music sound like it does when certain words are sung? The more questions you make and answer, the better.
  2. Plan your paper. When the time to write our piece has come, you might want to make an outline. First, do the obvious stuff. Define the topic of your work. Decide on the best genre for your text and the number of paragraphs you will write. How to start your music essay? What is the introduction going to be?  Here it’s essential to remember that every good piece must include:
    • Introduction – An attention-grabbing start of your essay. It should be short and eye-catching.
      • Thesis – A thesis statement is a part of introduction you will try to prove, disapprove or discuss in the body of your writing.
    • Body – The biggest and the most informative part. In a regular 5-paragraph it consists of 2-3 paragraphs with all argumentation necessary to support your thesis statement.
    • Conclusion – The final part. Nothing new needs to be told here. Just restate your thesis collect your body information in a couple of brief sentences.
      Plan on the details as well. And try to think of as many as you can. If you’re using a narrative style, what chronological order will there be? What characters will you insert into your narrative? Maybe you should let go of chronology and arrange the story’s events in order of significance? Or in the persuasive piece, you ought to think about the argumentation you’re going to provide. Check the viability of your sources and make sure the statistics you cite are not outdated. Do your research, simply put.
  3. Make a strong thesis statement. The thesis is the essential part of your essay. It’s not an argument, and thus you shouldn’t be trying to impose your point of view right from the get-go. If your thesis statement goes, “Rock music is undoubtedly the best genre out there with no considerable competition and here’s why.” you probably want to consider the possibility of a counterargument to your point. “The energy rock music gives and the majestic mood it can get you into makes it one of the best genres presented in today’s music industry” would be a better choice.
    If you have any difficulties formulating your thesis statement, you might want to use our free thesis-generating tool. Note that it is able to make various theses depending on the essay type.
  4. Don’t be scared of big music words. While it’s not obligatory to know every term out there, some of them can help express seemingly complicated ideas in a laconic way. It’s not wrong to say that you find the speed and rhythm of the music to be just suitable for the time it takes. But you can also phrase it into “I like the tempo” and be done with it. Although tempo might not be the most complex music word, it shows the point.
  5. Go sentimental. Music in itself is one enormous sentiment. Therefore, if you think you’re being too sensual with your essay, you’re probably not. Use metaphorical language and compare your favorite song to a trip to the stars. Or express your feeling towards a band you adore by putting it on par with antique gods. There’re no limits to your feelings, so don’t be scared to exceed them.

🎸 143 Music Essay Topics

If the topic of your work is not assigned, it can be challenging to either come up with one or choose one of the many ideas you have. Here are some possible options for you to go with:

  1. The best ways to enjoy your favorite band’s new album.
  2. Classical music as a way of energy for the whole day.
  3. What Is Hip-Hop Subculture?
  4. Rap music and its characteristics.
  5. What makes music challenging to listen to?
  6. Social Commentary in Pop Music Industry.
  7. How does low-fi music chill you out.
  8. A perfect playlist for working out.
  9. Music Paper: The Type of Music Jazz.
  10. Motivational music and its effect on you.
  11. Music Education: The Descriptive Research Methods.
  12. Is there such thing as “Cooking music”?
  13. Effects of Music in Advertising.
  14. Choosing a song for your alarm clock.
  15. Social Use of Music in Contemporary American Society.
  16. Can your music taste define your character?
  17. Woodstock The Music Event and Festival.
  18. What is the best music to relieve your stress?
  19. Ethnomusicology in Analyzing Society’ Music.
  20. What is “Alternative” music?
  21. How can jazz music make you feel?
  22. Dance style: Capoeira.
  23. Why does music make us dance?
  24. The National Centre of Popular Music.
  25. Good and bad music. How to define?
  26. Hip-hop in Japan and cultural globalization.
  27. Defining features of The Beatles music.
  28. Popular music in the modern culture.
  29. What were the first rappers in history, and how were they different?
  30. Chamber Music in the Early Twentieth Century.
  31. What meaning can a song without lyrics have?
  32. The effect of music on culture.
  33. The future of electronic music.
  34. Choir Director & Participants in Music Making.
  35. Live music and the wonders it can do.
  36. Popular music in America.
  37. The mix of traditional and modern music and its specifics.
  38. Folk Music: Evolution of the Term and Scholars’ Works.
  39. How important is appearance for a musician?
  40. Feminism in the hip-hop culture.
  41. Musical instruments and the mood they bring.
  42. Sound analysis and aural experiences from music.
  43. Defining qualities of Elvis Pressley’s music.
  44. The Use of Violin in the Baroque Concerto.
  45. Ambient music is not a background.
  46. Descriptive Qualitative Research in Music Education.
  47. My first time seeing an orchestra concert.
  48. Hip-Hop Culture: What Philosophy to Choose?
  49. The struggles of an amateur musician in modern days.
  50. Teachers Pursuing a Master’s Degree in Music Education.
  51. The story of Queen’s success.
  52. Use of Music in Classrooms of in-Service Teachers.
  53. The day I fell in love with underground music.
  54. The first date and how the choice of music can affect it.
  55. The Effects of Hip-Hop, Rap Music on Young Women in Academia.
  56. My music taste progression.
  57. When did the music I love become old?
  58. Presentation for the Russian Musical Society.
  59. The two-faced reality of the music industry.
  60. Frank Zappa: composer & social critic.
  61. Why do I feel threatened at a punk-rock concert?
  62. The great triumph of 80’s rock music.
  63. E-concert report: Pieces by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
  64. The role of music in fighting prejudice.
  65. The origins of hip-hop culture.
  66. The most fantastic song I’ve ever heard.
  67. The magic of Christmas music.
  68. The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – the touring years.
  69. The origin story of Coldplay.
  70. My appreciation of heavy-metal bands.
  71. History of jazz music.
  72. Music effects on unborn children.
  73. American Popular Music and Its Styles.
  74. The effectiveness of music therapy.
  75. Hip-Hop and Theatre, Hip-Hop in Theatre or Hip-Hop Theatre.
  76. Heavy music and aggressive behavior.
  77. Teaching and Learning Music Technologically.
  78. Rap music and its influence on crime rates.
  79. Minimalism in Music and Its Development.
  80. The coexistence of traditional and modern music.
  81. How effective is music in pushing propaganda?
  82. Popular Music and Its Impact on the Economy and Politics.
  83. The importance of a national anthem.
  84. The Illegal Downloading of Music.
  85. The most ear-pleasing instrument.
  86. Music industry: the downfall caused by technology.
  87. The psychological and physiological impact of music.
  88. The problems of music piracy.
  89. DMCA pros and cons.
  90. Personality traits and musical elements preferences.
  91. The music and the freedom of speech.
  92. Is the music industry accessible?
  93. Music, media and culture influence on behavior.
  94. Can drugs help you to write lyrics?
  95. Manufactured bands. Good or bad?
  96. African music’s contribution to contemporary genres.
  97. Why is pop music popular?
  98. Visual Music: The Concept of ‘Visual Music’ and Historical Excurse.
  99. Should we listen to less music?
  100. Do physical copies of music still make sense?
  101. Heavy metal music gender trends.
  102. The importance of background music in movies?
  103. The world without music. Better or worse?
  104. Studying Music Evolution.
  105. The extreme difference between jazz and acid jazz.
  106. Historic Violin Pedagogical Treatises and Teaching.
  107. How different can the tastes of people from various countries be?
  108. Sociology of Music: What Music Means in Our Life.
  109. Comparing rap: old vs. new.
  110. Your today’s music taste. Better or worse?
  111. The History and Concept of Rock Music.
  112. Professional and amateur music.
  113. Presentation on Articulation Related to the Violin.
  114. The idea of depression in different songs.
  115. Gender and Sexuality in Popular Media.
  116. The 80s and 2000’s rock: compare and contrast.
  117. Debussy’s String Quartet and Influence on Symphonic Music.
  118. Office with background music vs. office without it.
  119. Performing Forces Related to Violin in the 19th Century.
  120. The difference between rap and hip-hop.
  121. Music Education Pre-Service and Beginning Teachers’ Learning.
  122. The visions of the future in various music genres.
  123. Philosophy Scenario in Music Education.
  124. Listening to music or listening to lyrics?
  125. Debussy’s String Quartet and His Influence on Symphonic Music.
  126. Does it matter to listen to music outdoor or indoors?
  127. French Romanticism Features in Camille Saint-Saens’s Music.
  128. Western and eastern traditional music.
  129. History of Community Jazz Bands in Floridoniaville City.
  130. Baroque and renaissance classical music comparison.
  131. Folk Music Definition and Development.
  132. The usage of acoustic guitar in happy and depressive songs.
  133. The Mind of Music: Psychology of Musicians.
  134. Calm or energetic music for driving. What’s better?
  135. Rave parties vs. country festivals.
  136. Teaching and Learning Music Technologically.
  137. Is there a difference in men’s and women’s music tastes?
  138. The Violin Trio Music in the Early Twentieth Century: Specific Features of Aram Khachaturian’s and Bela Bartok’s Contrast.
  139. How do your high school and college music differ? And why?
  140. Mozart’s Third Violin Concert Performance Skills.
  141. Music therapy. Active or receptive?
  142. Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D Major: A Western Form of the Russian Music.
  143. Importance of a Choir Director in Music Making.

Haven’t found anything suitable in the lists above? Feel free to use our essay topic generator for more ideas.

📻 Music Essay Examples

Here we will look at two simple examples of a written music essay with a brief parsing of principal components for each.

Classical Music Concert Essay

If we’re going to write something about a classical concert, the narrative essay would be one of the best ways to do that. Remember that introduction and thesis are in the same paragraph. Pay attention to the absence of thesis. It’s a common thing in a narrative style essay.

IntroductionSince the beginning of my conscious life, I have been highly skeptical about classical music. I saw nothing appealing and worth paying attention to in it. The melody seemed tedious, and the whole genre appeared to me as arrogant snobbish pedant music for people of the exact nature.
Body paragraphs (1-3)Although the concert hall was not the thing to subvert my expectations, it looked just what your imagination demonstrates to you after hearing “A classical music concert hall” with a formidable orchestra in between.   My friend of 5 years, on the other hand, was quite a reason for a change in my perception of the genre. He was the sole reason for me to be there in the first place. And given how grounded and straightforward he always was, his classical music enthusiasm was a surprising discovery.   But what completely devastated my skepticism was the music itself. Thanks to my friend, I listened to it with no prejudice in my heart for the first time. And it sounded magnificent. It was an hour and a half long emotional adventure with emotions coming in all colors.
ConclusionThis experience has taught me never to let my poor knowledge of any music genre dictate my music preferences. Now I always experience things first and judge them after. Never the other way around.

Essay on Music Therapy

Going with a persuasive style for this topic might be a decent idea. Many people are doubtful about music being somehow related to health, and an essay on music therapy is a proper tool to convince them.

IntroductionPeople have always tried to find a solution to health. And while our physical condition is well researched, our psychological state still leaves a lot of questions unanswered. For instance, the question of music somehow influencing our mental health and body.
ThesisAnd the answer to this matter is music therapy that has been shown to reduce stress levels, strengthen memory, and even fight mental disorders.
Body paragraphs (1-3)The fact that music bears at least some amount of impact on people has been scientifically proven on countless occasions. But I doubt you need scientific work to realize that the sound of your alarm clock in the middle of the day will cause some amount of anxiety. Hearing a motivational piece while jogging, on the other hand, will make sure you will not fall off the distance early due to poor motivation. A similar principle applies to us when it comes down to music therapy. It operates music to either soften the negative emotions or enhance the positive ones. Research suggests that music can reduce stress levels, strengthen your memory and even help with depression. Furthermore, the therapy serves well in fighting even severe medical disorders like autism or aphasia. To all others, music therapy does not limit itself to listening to music. It also gives a chance to create it. Active music therapy is widely and effectively used when treating motor or mental disorders among children helping them to overcome their burden in adolescence.
Conclusion In conclusion, it is fair to mention that music therapy is not pseudoscientific nonsense but an effective tool in curing various illnesses. And while it is not a panacea, it can certainly be a great support to both your body and mind.

Overall, you need to bear in mind that a music essay is no different from any other type. Make sure to keep the structure, logic, and coherence together, and you’ll be good to go. Make sure to let us know if the article was any use for you, good luck with your assignment, and thank you for your time!

🔗 References

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