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The Ultimate Music Essay Writing Guide with 60 Topic Ideas

How to Write a Music Essay + 60 Music Essay Topic Ideas

Math and music are universal languages of science and art. And if math isn't your thing, music can be the core of your next writing assignment. So why not put on your headphones, fire up your favorite playlist, and breeze through an essay on music with our helpful tips?

What Is a Music Essay?

You don't have to be a music or art major to write an essay about music. You can sneak it into many classes, from your creative writing practice to the business management curriculum. Check out the most common music paper types and come up with your own:

  • A concert report is a descriptive or narrative piece that covers your live show experience. For example, you can tell a story of your first-ever experience with an East coast-based quartet, Roosevelt Dime band, in the Rockwood Club in NYC.
  • Historical analysis is an informative research piece considering a song's story, origins, and historical value. For example, you can analyze the Evel Knievel references and the risks inherent in pursuing fame in the Radiohead hit of 1995, "High And Dry."
  • Musical analysis can be a persuasive or argumentative essay dissecting a particular piece, band, or style. For instance, you can analyze "American Girl" as a prime example of Roosevelt Dime music that's a mix of syncopated New Orleans rhythms, boogie-woogie banjo, swinging blues guitar, and searingly soulful vocals.
  • Performance or media comparison is a compare and contrast essay highlighting the similarities and differences across two or more songs, bands, media, etc. For instance, you could compare Radiohead's performance of "High And Dry" and its cover version by Roosevelt Dime.
Music Essay

How to Write a Music Essay

Writing a college essay about music doesn't have to be an insurmountable obstacle. Instead of pay to do homework, you can master the art of developing exciting narratives and solid arguments. With our detailed instructions, you'll have no trouble completing this assignment on time.

Like any complex task, writing a music essay is much easier when you break it into small, manageable chunks:

  1. Clarify assignment requirements. If there's any missing information from the prompt, ask your professor to specify it. For example, you may have the word count but be unclear about the formatting style or the expected number of sources. The more you learn about the assignment, and the better you understand it, the higher your chances of scoring a high mark.
  2. Choose an exciting topic. We'll share insights into the selection process and provide samples of perfect music essay titles in the next section, so you can skip to it if you only need help with the topic.
  3. Research the topic. You'll need a handful of sources. And Wikipedia and Youtube don't count. Look for recent publications in scientific articles through Google Scholar, ResearchGate, Scopus, and other online databases. You can also look for suitable sources in the campus library or your school's online repository. Be careful to only choose credible and unbiased sources.
  4. Create an outline. The basic structure should include the introduction, body, and conclusion, though you can go into more detail. For example, specify the significant points you'll use throughout the body paragraphs and add links to the notes you've made throughout your research.
  5. Write a music essay introduction. Start with a hook—a dramatic or controversial piece of information, a quote, or a question. Add some background information to introduce the topic to the reader and wrap up the first passage with a thesis statement. It should highlight the core idea of the paper, as well as present a short outline of what's to come. 
  6. Complete the body paragraphs. You can complete them out of order, but each passage must include a topic sentence, supporting evidence from one or more sources, and your reference data analysis. Remember to balance source information with original ideas and include in-text references where necessary.
  7. Wrap up the conclusion. The final passage must summarize the core points made throughout the body paragraphs, reiterate the thesis statement, and provide a thought-provoking parting idea. The one thing a conclusion should avoid is presenting new information, even if it's tempting.
  8. Edit and proofread the paper. This step is non-negotiable, though often overlooked by students. Give yourself enough time to revisit the piece before submitting it. Reread it and look for inconsistencies, illogicalities, and contradictions. Delete redundancies and add extra evidence if you go below the required word count. After that, use advanced writing software, like Grammarly, to catch mistakes and typos. If the paper is critical to your term grade, consider hiring a professional editor.
  9. Format the essay and the reference list. The final step to make your paper look good requires a formatting handbook or guide and some patience. Pay extra attention to headings and visuals, as well as in-text citations and reference list formatting. Free online tools, like EasyBib, can help you with the latter, though we recommend double-checking each entry to avoid unpleasant surprises.

We also recommend getting regular feedback from your professor along the way. For example, you can visit them after you have your topic and a list of sources or an outline to get their comments and correct mistakes at an early stage. And if you have trouble choosing an issue to study, read on.

How to Choose a Music Essay Topic?

Odds are you can wax poetic about your favorite band or the lyrics to your favorite song for hours. But neither of those seems like a good idea for music essay writing; we offer a few alternative sources of inspiration:

  • Ask a music enthusiast. If someone in your circle knows everything there is to know about music, they are the person to ask for an exciting topic for your assignment. 
  • Check your social media feed. The latest release by your favorite band or a Twitter scandal can spark creativity and inspire your choice of a topic.
  • Skim the latest issues of music magazines. You can find popular publications online and use the free trial to check out the headlines in search of a relevant and exciting subject to study.
  • Look for music discussions on Reddit, Discord servers, or Tumblr blogs. Where there's a discussion or an argument, there are topics about music for an essay. Besides, you'll be able to weigh the arguments for both sides and pick a winner for your narrative.

Once you narrow the list of options to a few promising issues, run them through a quick checklist to find the winner:

  1. Does the topic fit your assignment requirements?
  2. Is it relevant and fresh enough to be interesting for you, your class, and the professor?
  3. Are there enough primary and secondary sources to use in your research?
  4. Is the topic narrow (or broad) enough to fit the scope of your assignment?
  5. Do you have enough time to research and write a music essay on this topic?

You've hit the jackpot if you can answer "Yes" to all the questions above. However, if you still have doubts, bring your shortlist of options before the professor and ask them to help you make the final choice. Check out our impressive list of hand-picked topics below to speed up this topic selection step.
Write a Music Essay

60 Exciting Essay Topics About Music

We've split the hand-picked music essay topics into six categories, so all you need to do is pick an assignment type or field of study and find the perfect title for your paper.

Argumentative Essay Topics About Music

  1. Is musical evolution the result of biological evolutionary changes in humans?
  2. What are the main features of an effective music teacher?
  3. What are the characteristics of the members of online music communities?
  4. Can music choices affect the reading comprehension of college students?
  5. How does music streaming affect the music recording industry?
  6. What is the goal of musical education in primary school?
  7. Does AI make music copyright unsustainable in the long term?
  8. Can artificial intelligence recognize emotion in music?
  9. Is music the most common source of noise-induced hearing loss?
  10. What are the common LGBTQ online music practices?

Persuasive Essay Topics About Music

  1. Music software makes music teachers obsolete
  2. Streaming music shows can never replace live music performances
  3. Urban gentrification threatens independent musicians by destroying performance spaces
  4. Music is the way mathematics sounds
  5. The effects of populist music on fans and citizens
  6. The influence of musical presence on the human psyche in times of war
  7. There’s zero impact of music reading skills on learning and performance
  8. Music copyright hampers music teaching in schools
  9. The introduction of popular music will ruin music education in vocational schools
  10. Personalized popular music generation will make musicians obsolete

Music Appreciation Essay Topics

  1. The common barriers to internationalizing music appreciation
  2. Postoperative changes in music appreciation in cochlear implant recipients
  3. The psychological basis of music appreciation
  4. The impact of single-sided deafness on music appreciation
  5. The relationship between music appreciation and multiculturalism
  6. The value of music appreciation class in the liberal arts curriculum
  7. The challenges of teaching music appreciation in online classes
  8. Predicting music appreciation based on past emotional reactions to music
  9. The effects of digital and live performances on music appreciation
  10. The impact of different listening instructions on music appreciation 

Music History Essay Topics

  1. Effective means of preserving historical musical traditions of Native Americans
  2. The relationship between music and religion in early American colonies
  3. The historical development of musical genre classification
  4. The historical causes of intercultural issues in music education
  5. The most influential instances in the history of Western philosophy of music
  6. The effects of adding period music to the political history lessons
  7. The unique characteristics of the music of medieval towns and cities
  8. The highlights of the music theory of the 19th century
  9. The historical changes to the performance of classical music over the centuries
  10. The historical relationship between international trade and live music performances

Music Therapy Essay Topics

  1. The positive effects of music therapy in preschool settings
  2. The effect of favorite and disliked music on pain thresholds
  3. The potential for interdisciplinary cooperation between music teachers and music therapists
  4. The impact of music in the workspace on job satisfaction and performance
  5. The positive effect of music on exercise performance in group classes
  6. An overview of the universal characteristics of lullabies
  7. The impact of music on mental imagery
  8. Therapeutic use of the metaphorical translation of music
  9. The effect of music therapy on patients with Alzheimer's disease
  10. The relationship between music playlist and cardiovascular health

World Music Essay Topics

  1. The common features in traditional Chinese and modern pop music
  2. The relationship between music and image in the world documentary film genre
  3. The connections between the global evolution of language and music
  4. Music art in ancient traditional religion in China
  5. The effect of Italian opera on modern musical theater
  6. The potential of music generation from text descriptions via MusicLM
  7. Live music performances as a means of understanding foreign cultures
  8. An overview of the world music theater industry
  9. The influence of world music traditions on American music
  10. Globalism blurring the lines between national musical traditions

Final Thoughts 

If music is your outlet and you want it to stay that way, writing an essay about it is the last thing on your mind. And unrealistic deadlines don't add to your writing motivation either. Of course, you are free to use our topic samples and writing guide to help speed things up. But if you're in a time crunch and desperate for a good grade, all you need is to type, "write my paper" in live chat. Our expert academics will take over your assignment and get it ready for submission in 24 hours or less.

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