research topics relating to music

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The Top 10 Most Interesting Music Research Topics

Music is a vast and ever-growing field. Because of this, it can be challenging to find excellent music research topics for your essay or thesis. Although there are many examples of music research topics online, not all are appropriate.

This article covers all you need to know about choosing suitable music research paper topics. It also provides a clear distinction between music research questions and topics to help you get started.

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What makes a strong music research topic.

A strong music research topic must be short, straightforward, and easy to grasp. The primary aim of music research is to apply various research methods to provide valuable insights into a particular subject area. Therefore, your topic must also address issues that are relevant to present-day readers.

Also, for your research topic to be compelling, it should not be overly generic. Try to avoid topics that seem to be too broad. A strong research topic is always narrow enough to draw out a comprehensive and relevant research question.

Tips for Choosing a Music Research Topic

  • Check with your supervisor. In some cases, your school or supervisor may have specific requirements for your research. For example, some music programs may favor a comparative instead of a descriptive or correlational study. Knowing what your institution demands is essential in choosing an appropriate research topic.
  • Explore scientific papers. Journal articles are a great way to find the critical areas of interest in your field of study. You can choose from a wide range of journals such as The Journal of Musicology and The Journal of the Royal Musical Association . These resources can help determine the direction of your research.
  • Determine your areas of interest. Choosing a topic you have a personal interest in will help you stay motivated. Researching music-related subjects is a painstakingly thorough process. A lack of motivation would make it difficult to follow through with your research and achieve optimal results.
  • Confirm availability of data sources. Not all music topics are researchable. Before selecting a topic, you must be sure that there are enough primary and secondary data sources for your research. You also need to be sure that you can carry out your research with tested and proven research methods.
  • Ask your colleagues: Asking questions is one of the many research skills you need to cultivate. A short discussion or brainstorming session with your colleagues or other music professionals could help you identify a suitable topic for your research paper.

What’s the Difference Between a Research Topic and a Research Question?

A research topic is a particular subject area in a much wider field that a researcher chooses to place his emphasis on. Most subjects are extensive. So, before conducting research, a researcher must first determine a suitable area of interest that will act as the foundation for their investigation.

Research questions are drawn from research topics. However, research questions are usually more streamlined. While research topics can take a more generic viewpoint, research questions further narrow the focus down to specific case studies or seek to draw a correlation between two or more datasets.

How to Create Strong Music Research Questions

Strong music research questions must be relevant and specific. Music is a broad field with many genres and possible research areas. However, your research question must focus on a single subject matter and provide valuable insights. Also, your research question should be based on parameters that can be quantified and studied using available research methods.

Top 10 Music Research Paper Topics

1. understanding changes in music consumption patterns.

Although several known factors affect how people consume music, there is still a significant knowledge gap regarding how these factors influence listening choices. Your music research paper could outline some of these factors that affect music consumer behavior and highlight their mechanism of action.

2. Hip-hop Culture and Its Effect on Teenage Behavior

In 2020, hip-hop and RnB had the highest streaming numbers , according to Statista. Without a doubt, hip-hop music has had a significant influence on the behavior of young adults. There is still the need to conduct extensive research on this subject to determine if there is a correlation between hip-hop music and specific behavioral patterns, especially among teenagers.

3. The Application of Music as a Therapeutic Tool

For a long time, music has been used to manage stress and mental health disorders like anxiety, PTSD, and others. However, the role of music in clinical treatment still remains a controversial topic. Further research is required to separate fact from fiction and provide insight into the potential of music therapy.

4. Contemporary Rock Music and Its Association With Harmful Social Practices

Rock music has had a great influence on American culture since the 1950s. Since its rise to prominence, it has famously been associated with vices such as illicit sex and abuse of recreational drugs. An excellent research idea could be to evaluate if there is a robust causal relationship between contemporary rock music and adverse social behaviors.

5. The Impact of Streaming Apps on Global Music Consumption

Technology has dramatically affected the music industry by modifying individual music consumption habits. Presently, over 487 million people subscribe to a digital streaming service, according to Statista. Your research paper could examine how much of an influence popular music streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music have had on how we listen to music.

6. Effective American Music Education Practices

Teaching practices have always had a considerable impact on students’ academic success. However, not all strategies have an equal effect in enhancing learning experiences for students. You can conduct comparative research on two or more American music education practices and evaluate their impact on learning outcomes.

7. The Evolution of Music Production in the Technology-driven Era

One of the aspects of music that is experiencing a massive change is sound production. More than ever before, skilled, tech-savvy music producers are in high demand. At the moment, music producers earn about $70,326 annually, according to ZipRecruiter. So, your research could focus on the changes in music production techniques since the turn of the 21st century.

8. Jazz Music and Its Influence on Western Music Genres

The rich history of jazz music has established it as one of the most influential genres of music since the 19th century. Over the years, several famous composers and leading voices across many other western music genres have been shaped by jazz music’s sound and culture. You could carry out research on the influence of this genre of music on modern types of music.

9. The Effect of Wars on Music

Wars have always brought about radical changes in several aspects of culture, including music styles. Throughout history, we have witnessed wars result in the death of famous musicians. If you are interested in learning about music history in relation to global events, a study on the impact of wars on music will make an excellent music research paper.

10. African Tribal Percussion

African music is well recognized for its unique application of percussion. Historically, several tribes and cultures had their own percussion instruments and original methods of expression. Unfortunately, this musical style has mainly gone undocumented. An in-depth study into ancient African tribal percussion would make a strong music research paper.

Other Examples of Music Research Topics & Questions

Music research topics.

  • Popular musical styles of the 20th century
  • The role of musical pieces in political movements
  • Biographies of influential musicians during the baroque period
  • The influence of classical music on modern-day culture
  • The relationship between music and fashion

Music Research Questions

  • What is the relationship between country music and conservationist ideologies among middle-aged American voters?
  • What is the effect of listening to Chinese folk music on the critical thinking skills of high school students?
  • How have electronic music production technologies influenced the sound quality of contemporary music?
  • What is the correlation between punk music and substance abuse among Black-American males?
  • How does background music affect learning and information retention in children?

Choosing the Right Music Research Topic

Your research topic is the foundation on which every other aspect of your study is built. So, you must select a music research topic that gives you room to adequately explore intriguing hypotheses and, if possible, proffer practically applicable solutions.

Also, if you seek to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Music , you must be prepared to conduct research during your study. Choosing the right music research topic is the first step in guaranteeing good grades and delivering relevant, high-quality contributions in this constantly expanding field.

Music Research Topics FAQ

A good music research topic should be between 10 to 12 words long. Long, wordy music essay topics are usually confusing. They can make it difficult for readers to understand the goal of your research. Avoid using lengthy phrases or vague terms that could confuse the reader.

Journal articles are the best place to find helpful resources for your music research. You can explore reputable, high-impact journal articles to see if any research has been done related to your chosen topic. Journal articles also help to provide data for comparison while carrying out your research.

Primary sources carry out their own research and cite their own data. In contrast, secondary sources report data obtained from a primary source. Although primary sources are regarded as more credible, you can include a good mixture of primary and secondary sources in your research.

The most common research methods for music research are qualitative, quantitative, descriptive, and analytical. Your research strategy is arguably the most crucial part of your study. You must learn different research methods to determine which one would be the perfect fit for your particular research question.

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  • A Research Guide
  • Research Paper Topics

120 Music Research Paper Topics

How to choose a topic for music research paper:.


Music Theory Research Paper Topics:

  • The influence of harmonic progression on emotional response in music
  • Analyzing the use of chromaticism in the compositions of Johann Sebastian Bach
  • The role of rhythm and meter in creating musical tension and release
  • Examining the development of tonality in Western classical music
  • Exploring the impact of cultural and historical context on musical form and structure
  • Investigating the use of polyphony in Renaissance choral music
  • Analyzing the compositional techniques of minimalist music
  • The relationship between melody and harmony in popular music
  • Examining the influence of jazz improvisation on contemporary music
  • The role of counterpoint in the compositions of Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Investigating the use of microtonality in experimental music
  • Analyzing the impact of technology on music composition and production
  • The influence of musical modes on the development of different musical genres
  • Exploring the use of musical symbolism in film scoring
  • Investigating the role of music theory in the analysis and interpretation of non-Western music

Music Industry Research Paper Topics:

  • The impact of streaming services on music consumption patterns
  • The role of social media in promoting and marketing music
  • The effects of piracy on the music industry
  • The influence of technology on music production and distribution
  • The relationship between music and mental health
  • The evolution of music genres and their impact on the industry
  • The economics of live music events and festivals
  • The role of record labels in shaping the music industry
  • The impact of globalization on the music industry
  • The representation and portrayal of gender in the music industry
  • The effects of music streaming platforms on artist revenue
  • The role of music education in fostering talent and creativity
  • The influence of music videos on audience perception and engagement
  • The impact of music streaming on physical album sales
  • The role of music in advertising and brand marketing

Music Therapy Research Paper Topics:

  • The effectiveness of music therapy in reducing anxiety in cancer patients
  • The impact of music therapy on improving cognitive function in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease
  • Exploring the use of music therapy in managing chronic pain
  • The role of music therapy in promoting emotional well-being in children with autism spectrum disorder
  • Music therapy as a complementary treatment for depression: A systematic review
  • The effects of music therapy on stress reduction in pregnant women
  • Examining the benefits of music therapy in improving communication skills in individuals with developmental disabilities
  • The use of music therapy in enhancing motor skills rehabilitation after stroke
  • Music therapy interventions for improving sleep quality in patients with insomnia
  • Exploring the impact of music therapy on reducing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • The role of music therapy in improving social interaction and engagement in individuals with schizophrenia
  • Music therapy as a non-pharmacological intervention for managing symptoms of dementia
  • The effects of music therapy on pain perception and opioid use in hospitalized patients
  • Exploring the use of music therapy in promoting relaxation and reducing anxiety during surgical procedures
  • The impact of music therapy on improving quality of life in individuals with Parkinson’s disease

Music Psychology Research Paper Topics:

  • The effects of music on mood and emotions
  • The role of music in enhancing cognitive abilities
  • The impact of music therapy on mental health disorders
  • The relationship between music and memory recall
  • The influence of music on stress reduction and relaxation
  • The psychological effects of different genres of music
  • The role of music in promoting social bonding and cohesion
  • The effects of music on creativity and problem-solving abilities
  • The psychological benefits of playing a musical instrument
  • The impact of music on motivation and productivity
  • The psychological effects of music on physical exercise performance
  • The role of music in enhancing learning and academic performance
  • The influence of music on sleep quality and patterns
  • The psychological effects of music on individuals with autism spectrum disorder
  • The relationship between music and personality traits

Music Education Research Paper Topics:

  • The impact of music education on cognitive development in children
  • The effectiveness of incorporating technology in music education
  • The role of music education in promoting social and emotional development
  • The benefits of music education for students with special needs
  • The influence of music education on academic achievement
  • The importance of music education in fostering creativity and innovation
  • The relationship between music education and language development
  • The impact of music education on self-esteem and self-confidence
  • The role of music education in promoting cultural diversity and inclusivity
  • The effects of music education on students’ overall well-being and mental health
  • The significance of music education in developing critical thinking skills
  • The role of music education in enhancing students’ teamwork and collaboration abilities
  • The impact of music education on students’ motivation and engagement in school
  • The effectiveness of different teaching methods in music education
  • The relationship between music education and career opportunities in the music industry

Music History Research Paper Topics:

  • The influence of African music on the development of jazz in the United States
  • The role of women composers in classical music during the 18th century
  • The impact of the Beatles on the evolution of popular music in the 1960s
  • The cultural significance of hip-hop music in urban communities
  • The development of opera in Italy during the Renaissance
  • The influence of folk music on the protest movements of the 1960s
  • The role of music in religious rituals and ceremonies throughout history
  • The evolution of electronic music and its impact on contemporary music production
  • The contribution of Latin American musicians to the development of salsa music
  • The influence of classical music on film scores in the 20th century
  • The role of music in the Civil Rights Movement in the United States
  • The development of reggae music in Jamaica and its global impact
  • The influence of Mozart’s compositions on the classical music era
  • The role of music in the French Revolution and its impact on society
  • The evolution of punk rock music and its influence on alternative music genres

Music Sociology Research Paper Topics:

  • The impact of music streaming platforms on the music industry
  • The role of music in shaping cultural identity
  • Gender representation in popular music: A sociological analysis
  • The influence of social media on music consumption patterns
  • Music festivals as spaces for social interaction and community building
  • The relationship between music and political activism
  • The effects of globalization on local music scenes
  • The role of music in constructing and challenging social norms
  • The impact of technology on music production and distribution
  • Music and social movements: A comparative study
  • The role of music in promoting social change and social justice
  • The influence of socioeconomic factors on music taste and preferences
  • The role of music in constructing and reinforcing gender stereotypes
  • The impact of music education on social and cognitive development
  • The relationship between music and mental health: A sociological perspective

Classical Music Research Paper Topics:

  • The influence of Ludwig van Beethoven on the development of classical music
  • The role of women composers in classical music history
  • The impact of Johann Sebastian Bach’s compositions on future generations
  • The evolution of opera in the classical period
  • The significance of Mozart’s symphonies in the classical era
  • The influence of nationalism on classical music during the Romantic period
  • The portrayal of emotions in classical music compositions
  • The use of musical forms and structures in the works of Franz Joseph Haydn
  • The impact of the Industrial Revolution on the production and dissemination of classical music
  • The relationship between classical music and dance in the Baroque era
  • The role of patronage in the development of classical music
  • The influence of folk music on classical composers
  • The representation of nature in classical music compositions
  • The impact of technological advancements on classical music performance and recording
  • The exploration of polyphony in the works of Johann Sebastian Bach

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Best 100 music research topics (just updated).

music research topics

If you are reading this, you are probably looking for the best music research topics for your next essay. Truth be told, choosing the right topic is very important. It can make the difference between a B and an A, or even between an A and an A+. Unfortunately, choosing the best topics is not as simple as you think. Even though the internet is full of music research topics, most of them are plain and, quite frankly, boring.

Your professor wants more than this. Let’s see why you need the most interesting topics and where you can find them. Of course, you are free to use any of our 100 topics for free and even reword them as you see fit. Read on!

Choosing Good Music Research Topics

By now, you are probably wondering why everyone keeps telling you to come up with the best music topics. The truth is that there are many, many benefits to choosing an awesome topic. Here are just some of them, so you can get a better idea of the importance of a great idea:

  • Excellent music research paper topics show your professor that you really did your best to get a top grade.
  • A good topic is one that you know much about. It should be relatively easy to you to research it and to write about it.
  • An awesome topic will pique the interest of your professor and will keep him or her reading. You will often get bonus points for this.
  • Great topics make you stand out from your classmates. Your professor will notice you, and the grade will reflect this.

Where Can You Find Decent Music Topics?

Finding amazing music research topics is easier said than done. Yes, the Internet is full of websites that are offering ideas. There are even websites where you can buy bundles of topics. However, the music argumentative essay topics you will get from these websites are not of the highest quality. Most of them are actually quite boring. And remember, you classmates are probably searching for music history research paper topics on the same websites as you do. You want your research topics on music or book review topics to be original, so your professor can have a reason to award your paper some bonus points. The best place to get excellent music topics to write about is this page. The list of ideas is updated frequently, so you can get an original topic for free right now.

Music History Research Topics

Are you looking for the most interesting music history research topics? If you do, just pick one from our list for free:

  • How did the Catholic church influence Renaissance music?
  • Social issues described in Baroque-period music.
  • Analyze the evolution of Romantic-era music.
  • How did the Baroque Opera come to be?
  • Who invented Medieval music and when?
  • Why has western music almost disappear in the last 10 years?
  • Analyze the evolution of music in the Classical era.
  • Analyzing violin music performance during the Romantic Era.

Music Argument Topics

Are you looking to find an argument and support it? Then you absolutely need to check out our exceptional list of music argument topics:

  • Music today is better than music in the 90s.
  • The most lucrative career for a musician.
  • Music helps you memorize faster.
  • The most popular kind of metal music.
  • The evolution of blues songs over the last 30 years.
  • Music helps children develop faster.
  • Hip-hop is a misunderstood music genre.
  • Jazz music is not obsolete.

Music Theory Topics

Interested in writing about music theory? Our amazing academic writers have put together a list of music theory topics for you:

  • Analyze the most important aspects of modern music.
  • Classical music has specific medical applications.
  • Hidden symbols in Renaissance-period music.
  • The unique features of Baroque-age music.
  • Analyze the evolution of music in the Baroque era.
  • The best music compositors in the Romantic era.
  • Remarkable characteristics of Romantic-age songs.
  • The peculiarities of Asian modern music.

Music Industry Topics

Writing about the music industry can be fun and entertaining. Your professor will love it. Pick one of our music industry topics and start writing:

  • What do you associate rock music with and why?
  • Should the music industry pay songwriters more?
  • How does illegal pirating of songs affect the music industry?
  • Do music sharing sites help new artists become famous.
  • Analyze the evolution of music labels in the US.
  • What differentiates a music label from all others?
  • Music talent shows and their effects on a musician’s career.
  • The difficulties of signing a contract with a major music label in the US.

Research Paper Topics on Music for High School

Are you a high school student? In this case, you will need our research paper topics on music for high school:

  • The best compositors of the Baroque Era.
  • What differentiates modern music from classical music?
  • Notable women in classical music.
  • Analyze the evolution of music in the Modern age.
  • How was Beethoven’s music influenced by his loss of hearing?
  • How would our world be without music?
  • Does music cause negative effects on US teens?

Music Thesis Topics

Writing a thesis about music is not easy. In fact, it can be one of the most difficult projects in your academic career. Start right now by choosing one of the best music thesis topics:

  • What made a musician stand out in the Baroque Age?
  • The most notable musical experiments in the Classical age.
  • Comparing Renaissance and Medieval music styles.
  • Analyze the evolution of music in the Renaissance age.
  • How did royalty in the UK benefit from music in the Renaissance era?
  • Discuss a folk song from the Renaissance age.
  • Differences between Asian and European classical music.

Music Controversial Topics

Music, like most other disciplines, has plenty of controversial topics you can talk about. Don’t waste any time and pick one of these music controversial topics:

  • Does digital music cut the profits of musicians?
  • Who owns the intellectual property to a song?
  • The difficulties of getting songwriting credit.
  • Illegal downloads are changing the music industry.
  • Should music education still be included in the curriculum?
  • Analyze medieval liturgical music.
  • Music should be free for everyone to download and use.

Persuasive Speech Topics About Music

Are you required the write a persuasive speech about music? If you are, you may need a bit of help. Pick one of these persuasive speech topics about music (updated for 2023):

  • Music has a significant effect on advertising.
  • The changes rap music has brought to the US culture.
  • Indie is a term that should not apply to music.
  • Metal music should be banned from the US.
  • Does listening to music have a great influence on mental health?
  • The amazing evolution of music in the Medieval age.
  • People should be free to listen to the music they like for free.
  • The fashion industry wouldn’t be where it is today without music.

Easy Topics About Music

Perhaps you don’t want to spend 5 or 6 hours writing the research paper . You need an easier topic. Choose one of these easy topics about music and write the essay fast:

  • How can one become a symbol of modern music?
  • My favorite singer today.
  • Which musician from the past would you bring back to life and why?
  • Do politics influence modern music?
  • Compare and contrast two music genres.
  • Analyze the evolution of music in the modern age in the United States.
  • The side effects of turning the volume too loud.
  • How is classical music used in Disney movies?

Music Education Research Topics

Are you interested in talking about music education? Perhaps you’ll have some suggestions to make after you’ve done the research. Just choose one of the music education research topics below:

  • Can E-Learning be applied to music education?
  • Can music teachers offer distance learning services?
  • The advantages and disadvantages of Zoom music lessons.
  • Why are music worksheets so important for high school students?
  • How did the Internet change music education?
  • Why are modern music studies so important?
  • Should we learn more about Asian music in school?
  • How can students learn music while respecting COVID19 measures?

Highly Interesting Music Topics

We know you want a top grade on your next music research paper. We advise you to select one of these highly interesting music topics and surprise your professor:

  • How did pop music came to existence and why?
  • Analyze the history of hip-hop music.
  • Compare metal music with classical music.
  • Why is rock music so popular in the United Kingdom?
  • Which song would best present our species to aliens?
  • Compare and contrast Korean and Chinese music.
  • Analyze the popular themes of Japanese music.
  • The stunning rise of K-pop bands.

Informative Speech Topics About Music

It’s difficult to find good informative speech topics about music these days. If you want to stand out from the rest of your classmates, choose one of our topics:

  • Discuss the ideas presented in romantic music.
  • What do people who appreciate classic music have in common?
  • Analyze the most popular Bach music.
  • Describe the role of market music in the Baroque era.
  • Analyze the evolution of European music.
  • Ways to make classical music popular with teens in the UK.
  • Discuss the most popular musical instrument in the Classical age.

Music Essay Topics for College

Are you a college student? If you want an A+ on your next research paper, use one of these music essay topics for college students:

  • Does modern music contain medieval themes?
  • Analyze a song from the Renaissance age.
  • Why is blues music so important for our culture?
  • Who invented the blues genre and when?
  • Analyze the evolution of American folk music.
  • Most popular names in Baroque-age songs.
  • Modern interpretations of medieval songs.
  • Listening to blues music can lead to depression.

Need some more music history paper topics? Or perhaps you need a list of music related research topics to choose from for your thesis. Our best paper writer can help you in no time. Get in touch with us and we guarantee that we will find the perfect music topic for your needs. You will be well on your way to getting the A+ you need. Give us a try and get an amazing research topic on music in 10 minutes or less!

educational research topics

25 Most Popular Music Research Paper Topics for Writing

25 Most Popular Music Research Paper Topics for Writing

Research papers aren't just for history class or the social sciences. Research papers can be assigned in any course, and that includes music class. The world's musical traditions are fertile ground for research, but because we have been conditioned from childhood to think of music as entertainment rather than a subject for academic research, it is often difficult to come up with interesting and effective topics for a music research paper. Fortunately, music research papers are often more fun to write than other types of research paper because they have such a wide range of interesting topics to explore. 

Choose from these stellar popular music research paper topics

Are you stuck looking for a music research topic? Well, you're in luck. We have twenty-five music research paper topics that will spark your creativity and get you started with your next paper. You can pick up one from this list, you can combine several of them, or maybe you will get inspired by this list and come with several topics on your own. In any case, make sure that the popular music topic for your research paper is interesting to you personally, and doesn't just sound potentially easy to write about. 

1. How is music marketed by demographic? Explore the different ways music companies target various demographic groups such as age and gender. 2. How does the categorization of music affect consumer purchasing decisions? Examine how the emphasis on genre either enhances sales or limits consumer interest. 3. Does the album have a future in the streaming era? Consider whether the album can survive in an era when singles are streamed in customized playlists. 4. How has music changed over the past half century? Explore some of the major themes and developments that have shaped popular music since the dawn of the rock-n-roll era. 5. Research the most influential musicians of a specific era. By comparing and contrasting the careers of key figures from a particular era, you can pain a picture of a moment in time. 6. What makes music "classical"? How we define "classical" music says a lot about power and privilege. Explore who decides and what criteria get used. 7. Does music have an impact on our bodies? Research medical evidence whether music can impact human health. 8. Does music have an impact on our mental health? Examine research on the use of music for mental health and therapeutic purposes. 9. Music and children: Is the Mozart effect real? How can music education impact children's academic and social development? 10. Can music education aid in memory training and memory development? Consider the current academic research and evaluate the validity of claims for music as a memory aid. 11. How does music impact dance? Music and dance are inextricably linked. Look at some of the ways that music impacts the development of dance. 12. How does a musician become successful? Examine key routes to success and what a music student can do to set themselves up for a career. 13. What other careers does a music degree prepare a student for? Research how music degrees can set the stage for careers beyond the music industry. 14. How does music impact fashion? Look at how rock-n-roll and hip hop have shaped fashion trends. 15. How is music used in advertising? Look into the reasons that artists are licensing hit singles to sell products and how that impacts consumers' views of music. 16. Classical music vs. rock-n-roll: Which has been more influential? Examine the arguments for both sides and take a position. 17. Look into the sociology of tribute bands and consider the reasons that people would dedicate their lives to imitating other musicians. 18. It is often said that "music soothes the savage beast," and farmers often use music to calm livestock. Is there truth to the notion that music has a positive impact on animals?  Explore the research and draw conclusions.

19. Music has been an important part of war throughout history, both martial music meant to rally the troops and anti-war songs. Examine the role of music in supporting and opposing war. 20. Music vs. poetry: Can song lyrics be considered a form of poetry? Why or why not? 21. How does hip-hop support African American culture and heritage? 22. Is there a problem with the close association of country music with political conservatism? 23. Select your favorite piece of music and research the influences that played a role in its creation and development. 24. Research the processes that archaeologists have used to reconstruct the sound of ancient music. 25. How do covers transform songs? Explore how covers are created now meaning.

After choosing the topic you like the most, save this list or this page to bookmarks for further references. It is good to have a library of resources at your fingertips.

Let experts rock when you are stuck

If these topics aren't enough to get you started, there is another trick to help you succeed. You can always find someone to help you with your research paper. You can contact a paper writing service online like WriteMyPaperHub and ask a professional essay writer, "Can I pay you to write my paper like an expert?" Once you do, a writer will determine what you need for your project and will begin writing a high-quality music research paper that will address your essay topic quickly, effectively, and with exceptional research and writing. You should feel free to take advantage of services like this whenever you get stuck so you can be successful with each and every music research paper.

Learning from the best and the brightest is more than beneficial. You have an opportunity to see how professional writers elaborate on a particular topic, which references they use, how they structure the whole thing. One ordered paper can be an example for your further works for months. Also, it is proven that students these days are overwhelmed with the number of assignments, and due to continuous lockdowns and limitations have less access to libraries and other necessary resources. If you feel like the pressure is too high, don't hesitate to delegate this assignment.

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206 Best Music Research Topics That Rock The Stage

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Music is one of the greatest sensations in human life. If you are writing a music research paper, you have to make sure that the topic is eye-catching. Most importantly, it should move and make you dance yourself. The topic that you are not interested in will not only make you weary, but the results would be unsatisfying too. That is why our writers have found music research paper topics for you to save the day. We love music very much, and so  our team  offers an Academic paper writing service , so you can trust word.

Table of Contents

Music Research Topics: History, Technical Music, Contemporary And More

Although our writers mainly offer research paper writing services , they did not hesitate for a bit when we asked them to come up with some music research topics for you. You can use any of these 206 topics for free and modify them to fit your needs and match your taste. Read on!

Music History Research Topics

music history research topics

  • Use of songwriting in relation to the political and social situations in Nazi Germany and the French Revolution
  • Musical Education between two centuries
  • Evolution in the definition of music over the centuries
  • Birth of Music in Mesopotamia
  • Impact of Arab-Andalusian music on renaissance
  • Folklore bands of wind music, a cultural manifestation of the people and for the people
  • Harmonic implications studied by Pythagoras
  • Music from Ancient Greek
  • Importance of Music in Greek Mythology
  • Song of the Sirens in the evolution of music
  • Greece, music, poetry, and dance
  • Athens was a center of musical poets in BC era
  • Classical Greek Style Music
  • Yanni: A Musician that fuses Modern and Classical Greek Music into one
  • Role of Music in Greek Tragedy
  • Famous musical-dramatic pieces
  • Heroic poets: Arab poets that formed the bases of European music
  • Performances in amphitheatres by singers-actors-dancers
  • Classical musician considered himself more of a performer than an author
  • Ritual dance with kettledrums around the fire: Musical Traditions of Pagan cultures
  • Classification of primitive musical instruments
  • Music in China
  • Music in Mayan Tradition
  • Apache and Native American Music
  • How Africans and Columbians formed the modern American music
  • The musical theory and the instruments used in Japan
  • Bagaki for Japanese Emperor ceremonies
  • Evolution of Indian Music
  • Music in the Mughal Empire
  • Anarkali: A musical myth with a royal background
  • Christian Music, Hymns and Choirs

Read More:  Psychology Research Paper Topics

Technical Music research topics

technical music research topics

  • Similarity measures, including rhythmic and melodic similarity.
  • Phylogenetic analysis of music.
  • National Center for Music Diffusion
  • Mathematical measures of rhythmic complexity and syncopation
  • Musical transformations of rhythm and melody
  • Automatic analysis of traditional music, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian and African music
  • The mathematical theory of rhythm
  • Musical constructivism
  • Model models (MM) and counter models (CM)
  • The role of sound design in video games and its application to contemporary independent works
  • Mathematical and computational modeling of musical phenomena (grouping, phrasing, tension, etc.)
  • A mathematical theory of tuning and temperament systems
  • Teaching mathematics through art
  • Music visualization
  • History of Modern Columbian Music
  • Acoustic-instrumental composition, electroacoustic and sound art
  • Interpretation and musical investigation
  • sound production
  • Transcription and music editing
  • Recovery of musical heritage
  • Studies of music, literature, culture, and colonial anthropology
  • Music by European composers of the 16th century (Renaissance)
  • Education and technology in educational scenarios of musical training

Read More:  Finance Research Topics

Music Argument Topics

music argument topics

  • Visual Media Music Studio
  • Music as an important expression in the history of the world
  • Conversations about music, culture, and identity
  • The architectural space as a link between music and the citizen
  • Music Schools for children and young people with limited resources
  • Role of practice and need for devotion in learning and acing the musical skills

Read More:  Accounting Research Topics

Contemporary Music research topics

contemporary music research topics

  • Impact of Coke Studio: From Pakistan to take over the world
  • Effects of Modern Music on Youth
  • Musical Martyrs: Freddie Mercury, Amy Winehouse, Elvis Presley
  • Music of Hans Zimmer
  • Production and exhibition of contemporary music
  • Entertainment and music centres
  • Non-formal music schools
  • Music and education today
  • Contemporary Mexican music
  • Satanism movement in modern music
  • Western musical history and “modern” music
  • Journey of Music: From the Medieval Family to the Modern Family
  • Importance of Opera in the modern age
  • Evolution of music over time: From orchestra to electric
  • Self-management and promotion of independent music
  • Music of electric musicians: Alan Walker, Serhat Durmus, Chain Smokers
  • Modern Music, A Wonderful Expression
  • The idiomatic reality of the English language
  • Modern Music in the United States
  • Current music pedagogy
  • Music education in the twentieth century

Read More:  Research Paper Topics

Classic Music Research Topics

classic music research topics

  • Classic music of South Asia
  • Classic music of Africa
  • Classic Arab music, the influence of Soad, Um Kalthum
  • What makes classic music so important and why do we still have to reserve it?
  • Music of Beethoven, Mozart and Brahms
  • Use of classic music in the film
  • Beethoven: How he lived, composed and died
  • Life and music of Mozart
  • Classical music by Afro-American women
  • Music in classical films
  • Greatest compositions of 19-20th centuries
  • Style and compositions of Einaudi
  • Music during the classical period
  • Classical Music Criticism

Read More:  Business Research Topics

African music research topics

african music research topics

  • The Effects of Slave Music on American History and African-American Music
  • The use of Afro-Caribbean rhythms for the construction of jazz musical moments
  • African folk music of Cuba
  • History of African-American Popular Music
  • African diversity in music
  • The study of the oral and musical traditions of the Afro-Mexicans
  • Studies of African Musical History and Its relationship with modern society
  • South African influences on American music
  • African music in Mali
  • African music: South Africa
  • Music of the Middle East and North Africa

Read More:  Nursing Research Topics

Pop Culture Music Research Topics

pop culture music research topics

  • The pedagogical models of popular music
  • Music throughout the decades of musicals
  • Brad Paisley and Country Music
  • The Effects of Music on the popular culture
  • Hip-hop/rap music: One of the most popular musical genres
  • The influence of rap music on teenagers
  • Irish Music: Music and Touch Other Irish Dance Music

Read More:  Qualitative Research Topics

Music Theory Topics

music theory topics

  • Genre and music preferences
  • The effect of instrumental music on word recall memory
  • Sample Music and Wellness
  • The music industry
  • The Theme of Death in a Musical 
  • The Effects of Globalization on MusicMusic psychology research topics
  • The potential of music therapy to develop soft skills at the organizational level
  • Listening to music as a way to relieve stress for teens
  • The impact of theatricality within contemporary popular music concerts of the psychedelic, glam, and progressive rock genre 
  • Trying music as therapy
  • How music can help students with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyper Disorder)
  • How can music help reduce work stress and maintain a healthy work environment
  • Musical manifestations of man consist of the externalization

Read More:  US History Research Topics

Music Education Research Topics

music education research topics

  • New pragmatism in music education
  • Importance and effects of musical education
  • Philosophy of Music Education
  • Music, a tool to educate
  • Competencies in music education
  • Music as a strategy to encourage children’s effective learning 
  • Interconnection between music and education
  • Philosophy of musical education

Read More: High School Research Paper Topics

Persuasive Speech Topics About Music

persuasive speech topics about music

  • The music is a true reflection of the essay of American society
  • Music and Its Effects on Society 
  • Matter Of Metal Music
  • Beethoven’s Twelfth Symphony: the second movement of the symphonic essay
  • Messages in music
  • The benefits of music trial
  • Does music affect blood pressure?
  • Music Industry Research: An Epic Battle With Youtube
  • Entertainment and education Via music
  • Whitman’s music as a means of expression
  • Music and its Effect on the World
  • Music: Essay on Music and Learning Disabilities

Read More:  Political Science Research Topics

Music Controversial Topics

music controversial topics

  • Whether or not profanations in music corrupt our youth
  • Drugs and rock and roll
  • Piracy and the music industry
  • Music censorship is a violation of freedom of expression
  • Music censorship
  • The use and overuse of the music

Read More:  Criminal Justice Research Paper Topics

Music Industry Topics

music industry topics

  • Freedom of expression and rap music
  • Censorship in the music industry
  • Influence of music on culture
  • Analysis of Iranian film music
  • Analysis of the Turkish Music Industry
  • Analysis of the South Asian Music Industry
  • Coke Studio Making and Global Impact
  • The digital revolution: how technology changed the workflow of music composers for media
  • Video music as matter in motion
  • Acoustic and interpretive characteristics of the instruments
  • The study of musical composition based on pictorial works
  • Musical prosody of the interpretation

Read More:  Social Work Research Topics

Arab Music Research Paper Topic

arab music research paper topic

  • Arab music industry: Evolution after colonialism
  • Music of Middle
  • Umm Kulthum: Effects on global music
  • How the Arab music still impacts Asian and American Music
  • Effects of Arab music in popular French music
  • Turkish and Arab Music: A Beautiful cultural fusion
  • Arab Heroic Poets of Andalus and how they formed modern European music
  • Revival of Arab music through electrical genre

Read More:  Medical Research Topics

Music Thesis Topics

music thesis topics

  • Film Industry Classical Music
  • Finding Meaning in a Musical 
  • Music and its effect on my interpretation
  • How music can interact with politics
  • Musical phrases and the modal centres of interest of the melody 
  • Effect of ambient music on sleep trials
  • Main characteristics of the musical organization
  • Study Of Cadences And Other Harmonic Processes In The Light Of Consonance And Dissonance Theories
  • Theoretical-experimental Study Of Percussion, Wind And String Instruments
  • Recognition Of The Instruments Of The Orchestra
  • Compositive Algorithms Using Unconventional Musical Magnitudes
  • Development Of A Microtonal Harmony As A Generalization Of The Common Practice Period
  • Mechanism related to the recognition of specific emotions in music
  • Musical emotion (emotion induction)

Read More:  Biology Research Paper Topics

High School Research Paper Topics on Music

high school research paper topics on music

  • Correlation Between Personality and Musical Preferences Essay
  • Effects of Rock Music on Teenagers
  • Does popular music stay popular?
  • The effect of music on the interpretation of a musical
  • Musical activities in a spiral of development
  • Adolescents in the understanding of contemporary processes of music
  • Musical activities in the content system
  • Music and the value of responsibility
  • Presentation of musical fragments, Performance of live or recorded musical instruments
  • Life stories of composers and musical personalities such as Mozart and Beethoven
  • Presentation of music related to tastes and socio-educational reality
  • Exhibition of musical fragments and execution of instruments
  • Presentation of different types of music, the performance of musical instruments live or recorded
  • Experience composing music, with lyrics, instrumental or with sounds from the environment, what musical genre or type of sound production does it represent?
  • The practice of the studied musical instruments, record the meanings that guide your performance and preparation as a student and for life
  • Why is compliance with the vocal techniques of singing a duty that must be assumed consciously?
  • Does all music express sound? Does every sound express a genre or type of music?
  • Practice sound emission and tuning techniques
  • Why is it important to make movements according to the type of music you listen to?

Music is one of the greatest inventions of the human race. All good music makes your heart beat a little faster and soothes your mind into peace. It has been evolving since the dawn of civilization, 5000 years ago in Mesopotamia. Whatever research you make about it, just make sure that it touches your heart. 

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200 Best Music Research Paper Topics For Students

Music research topics are an excellent opportunity to trace the history of the development of individual genres or entire eras. You can create an essay or research paper with an emphasis on certain stylistic features, or delve deeper into the technical aspects of album making. Also, the research topics in music allow you to learn more about popular composers, musicians, and individual bands. You can find out the history of creating certain songs or finding out the nuances of the breakup of groups.

While music research paper topics seem easy, it still requires a good outline and reliable sources to gather information. The life of many musicians is very busy, so certain topics for music research papers may require a more thorough analysis. For example, you will need to research the biography and all creation stages of famous music industry personalities.

Any research topic about music should be analyzed, and only verified facts added. You should also avoid using emotional coloring and bias. And don't forget about formatting. Any interesting music topics require clear structuring into paragraphs, lists, and subheadings.

By popular genres & styles

Individual styles are especially appreciated in research paper topics on music. You can choose the genre or group that interests you. This will allow you to get additional motivation and focus more on facts. The main challenge in this case is to find authoritative sources.

  • The impact of rock and roll on the modern music industry.
  • The basic concepts of creating musical songs.
  • Rock performers and their popularity in society.
  • Reasons for the negative attitude towards the rock vocalist.
  • Rock musicians and problems with the law.
  • The nuances of alcohol addiction of rock musicians.
  • The main features of creating rock songs.
  • Musical agitation as the main motive of rock songs.
  • The main reasons for making rock songs.
  • Symbiosis of rock and classical music.
  • Rock performers and popular musicians.
  • The analysis of the creative personality on the example of Kurt Cobain.
  • The modern musical trend in culture.
  • Top 10 most popular metal groups.
  • Why has metal music become so popular?
  • The mix of traditional music and heavy metal.
  • Analysis of lyrical constructions of metal performers.
  • The symbiosis of musical instruments in metal music.
  • The analysis of seventh chords in the construction of metal songs.
  • The influence of metal on other genres.
  • The symbiosis of metal and pop music.
  • The influence of metal vocalists on American culture.
  • The symbiosis of genres as the reason for the creation of metal.
  • The modern icons of the metal scene.
  • The best metal bands in the last thirty years.
  • The analysis of the dynamics of the popularity of metal bands.
  • The modern concerts on the example of metal bands
  • Female vocalists in pop music.
  • The reason for the creation of numerous female musical groups.
  • Pop music as a tuning fork of public morality.
  • Why is pop music degrading?
  • How can pop music be used to improve college grades?
  • The nuances of using pop music in contemporary American culture.
  • How can pop music be used to improve mood?
  • The symbiosis of pop music and rap culture.
  • How does contemporary pop music affect young people?
  • The study of pop music in the context of the social culture of Harlem.
  • The classic examples of pop artists.
  • Madonna: the most popular popes of personalities.
  • The analysis of the popularity of Britney Spears.
  • Pop icons of the past decade.
  • Hip-hop as the basis of the movement for social equality.
  • The origins of hip-hop and the reasons for its popularization.
  • How does hip-hop affect contemporary pop artists?
  • The analysis of hip-hop performers on the example of the best vocalists of the decade.
  • How does hip-hop allow athletes to train?
  • Modern hip-hop and new musical trends.
  • The symbiosis of hip-hop and metal music.
  • How does hip-hop motivate people for sporting achievements?
  • The analysis of hip-hop performers on the example of female vocalists.
  • Modern hip-hop and its impact on youth.
  • The main aspects of the integration of hip-hop music in the modern community.
  • All technical aspects of creating hip-hop music.
  • The classic approach to the formation of hip-hop motives.
  • The analysis of the structure of hip-hop songs.
  • The best hip-hop artists of the last decade.
  • The stages of the formation of jazz as a separate musical genre.
  • Why is jazz so popular these days?
  • The nuances of studying jazz musical combinations.
  • How Jess influences the structuring of student learning.
  • The nuances of jazz performers in modern America.
  • The best American jazz performers.
  • Jazz as the most structured musical theory.
  • How can you quickly learn to create jazz compositions?
  • The influence of jazz on the cultural and political elite of the United States.
  • Can jazz replace other musical styles?
  • Jazz fusion as an example of musical prowess.
  • The technical aspects of creating a pentatonic scale in a jazz style.
  • The selection of jazz musicians.
  • The development of jazz in the United States.
  • The main reasons for the popularization of jazz in modern society.
  • Blues and its influence on the development of the music industry.
  • The symbiosis of blues and jazz.
  • Can the Blues be compared to classical music?
  • How do contemporary artists use the Blues in pop music?
  • Historical context creation of blues compositions.
  • How does the Blues affect rock music?
  • Can the Blues help students learn?
  • How blues musicians are developing in the USA.
  • Can blues be used as a springboard for classical music production?
  • The best US blues artists of the last 20 years.
  • Blues performers of the last ten years.
  • The influence of the blues on the formation of other genres.
  • The analysis of the statistical popularity of the blues.
  • The critical aspects when creating Blues compositions.
  • The selection of blues parties when creating music.
  • The influence of classical music on pop culture.
  • The classical music and the best composers of the last century.
  • Beethoven and his best works.
  • How did Mozart influence classical music?
  • Is the symbiosis of jazz and classical music possible?
  • The structure of making classical music.
  • The stages of the formation of classical music in modern society.
  • Can you replace pop culture with classical music?
  • How does classical music affect the psychological state of people?
  • The classical music and symbiosis with opera.
  • The basic concept of the analysis of classical music.
  • A technical comparison of the mastery of classical composers.
  • The choice of classical music for the mood.
  • The classical music and its influence on rock culture.
  • The main technical aspects of creating a score.

The region is important for those looking for musical topics for research paper. Most genres of European music and some information about composers are open to general use. If your research topic on music is aimed at analyzing the Arab countries, then you will need more time looking for reliable information. The fact is that not all Muslim archives are in the public domain.

Western music

  • The features of musical motives of Western music.
  • The history of Western music with real examples.
  • How has Western music changed over the past two hundred years?
  • Is it possible to combine Western music with European motives?
  • The features of the use of traditional Western musical instruments.
  • How do Western countries use music for meditation?
  • Western music in the context of modern society.
  • The role of Western music in the life of native people.
  • How melodic is oriental music?
  • The stages of the formation of Western music in American culture.

European music

  • European music and modern trends.
  • British pop bands and their worldwide popularity.
  • How popular are German pop bands in the USA?
  • European music and national musical instruments.
  • How does European music affect well-being?
  • The analysis of European music with specific examples.
  • Top 10 of the greatest European musical groups.
  • The analysis of European music on the example of instrumental groups.
  • The best pop music performers in Europe.
  • How does pop music influence the development of culture?

Asian music

  • Asian music: the example of ethnic trends.
  • The influence of Asian music on world culture.
  • The main musical instruments of Asia.
  • Can you compare Asian music with European motives?
  • How has Asian music changed over the past hundred years?
  • The nuances of creating Asian music.
  • How does Asian music influence contemporary cinema?
  • The best Asian performers.
  • Top 10 Asian vocalists who have conquered the whole world.
  • Do national instruments influence the creation of Asian music?

By history periods

You can use music appreciation research paper topics to analyse a specific period in history. Baroque, Renaissance and other eras are especially relevant for research as they allow you to see the history of the development of music. You can concentrate on a specific time period and the most famous composers.

  • Medieval music and its influence on the Crusades.
  • The major trends in the medieval music industry.
  • The influence of kings on the creation of medieval music.
  • The main musical instruments in medieval Europe.
  • Musical instruments in Central Asia during the Middle Ages.
  • What kind of music was popular in the Middle Ages.
  • How difficult was the life of a musician in the Middle Ages?
  • The analysis of medieval music on modern examples.
  • How has contemporary music influenced pop culture?
  • Historical aspects of the creation of medieval music.
  • The influence of medieval music and culture.
  • The rhythmic pattern of medieval music.
  • The medieval music during the feast.
  • The influence of medieval music on classical music.
  • The medieval music channel and musical comparison.


  • The dawn of musical culture during the Renaissance.
  • The analysis of Renaissance music with specific examples.
  • How has Renaissance music influenced contemporary pop culture?
  • The analysis of Renaissance music as a constructive masterpiece.
  • The nuances of Renaissance music and, most importantly, musical instruments.
  • How difficult is it to reproduce Renaissance music in today's environment?
  • The analysis of structural compositions of the Renaissance.
  • Renaissance music as a tuning fork of public morality.
  • How has music changed since the Renaissance?
  • Can Renaissance music be used to create a modern instrumental ensemble?

Baroque Age (XVI-XVIII)

  • The influence of politicians on the formation of music during the Baroque period.
  • How has Baroque influenced contemporary instrumental music?
  • The nuances of musical constructions during the Baroque period.
  • How has the baroque influenced modern instruments?
  • The nuances of the Baroque in the context of the complexity of musical compositions.
  • The main effect of the Baroque in contemporary music.
  • The historical aspects of the creation of the Baroque as a separate genre of music.
  • The influence of the Baroque on the creation of contemporary musical groups.
  • The analysis of the structure and musical motives of Baroque in detail.
  • Baroque in contemporary music.
  • The nuances of creating songs in the Baroque style.

Classical Age (XVIII-XIV)

  • The Classical Age of music in modern society.
  • How did the Classical Age influence the formation of musical trends?
  • The general concept of the Classical Age in instrumental music.
  • The nuances of creating music based on the Classical Age.
  • How did the Classical Age influence the creation of pop culture?
  • The theory of creating musical compositions on the example of the Classical Age.
  • The general factors of the Classical Age in instrumental music.
  • The main trends and popular instruments of the Classical Age.
  • The main musical compositions of the 14th century.
  • The main factors in the creation of musical compositions in the 13th century.

Romantic Era (XIV-XX)

  • The Romantic Era and its impact on contemporary music.
  • The main principles of structuring music into the Romantic Era.
  • Features of creating instrumental compositions in the Romantic Era.
  • The Romantic Era and modern music trends.
  • The main factors influencing the Romantic Era in the music industry.
  • Key figures in the music industry and their passion for the Romantic Era.
  • How did the Romantic Era form the modern style?
  • How has the Romantic Era influenced rhythmic music?
  • The Romantic Era in the music industry.
  • The main aspects of the formation of the Romantic Era in musical culture.
  • Making marching music in the Romantic Era.
  • Features of creating musical compositions.
  • The technical aspects that influenced modern romantic motives.

Modern Era (XX-XXI)

  • Jazz music as a phenomenon of the modern roar the influence of the modern era on instrumental music.
  • Technical aspects of hip-hop and Reggae.
  • How is contemporary classical music created?
  • Can modern music genres be combined to create something new?
  • Why is the modern music industry stagnating?
  • The aspects of contemporary music.
  • How does instrumental music affect culture?
  • Contemporary music and technical innovation.
  • How is contemporary music created?
  • The nuances of creating hip-hop albums.

How To Write On Music Related Research Topics

By choosing topics about music for an essay, you get the opportunity to prepare a detailed paper work with facts, genre nuances and detailed biographies of famous musicians. You need to stick to the formatting and your outline. Find reliable information for music history research topics and talk about the emergence of certain genres.

Music business research topics are especially important, as you need to consider not only the stylistic but also the commercial nuances of the bands. For example, you can prepare detailed data on annual music tours or album sales.

All music appreciation presentation topics require detailed factual focus, which can be difficult for many people. If you are not ready to do it yourself, then we can help you.

Our service will solve your problem with music research topics high school. We also guarantee that you will get a good grade. We will help you organize all the nuances so that your music history paper topics become a reason for pride and high scores.

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  • popular music | Description, History, & Facts | Britannica
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  • Music History from Primary Sources
  • Brief History of Music: An Introduction
  • How Music and Instruments Began
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160 Hot Music Research Paper Topics For You

music research topics

Music has been part of human beings since time immemorial. As it evolves, everyone has a specific taste for a specific song, genre, or musical instrument. Some of the top genres include roots, reggae, hip-hop, jazz, and rock music. The evolution and popularity of music have made it become one of the important subjects taught in schools worldwide.

If you are in college, pursuing music as a career, one of the important tasks when writing every research paper is picking the right topic. However, selecting an exciting music topic has always been a challenge for most students. To help you with the problem, we have listed the top 160 music research topics. Go ahead and select any of them or tweak them to reflect your preference.

How To Select The Best Music Topics For Research Paper

  • Special Tips to use when Selecting Research Topics about Music

Top Music Research Paper Topics

Music argument topics, music history topics, hip hop research paper topics, jazz research paper topics, music appreciation research paper topics, music education research topics, pop culture research paper topics, rap topics ideas, fun music topics.

The ability to come up with the right topic for your music research paper is an important skill that every student should develop. Here are some steps to follow when looking for the most appropriate music research paper topics.

  • Go for the research topic about music that is interesting to you.
  • Only pick the music topics to write about if they have ample resources.
  • Ensure only to pick interesting music topics that meet your college requirements.
  • Go for the topic that you can comprehensively write on.

Special Tips to Use When Selecting Research Topics About Music

If you want to enjoy every moment working on your research papers, it is advisable to cast eyes beyond what is easy and popular. This means trying to check interesting topics that will allow you to answer tough research questions about music. Here are additional tips to help you:

  • Brainstorm the current music topics.
  • Comprehensively research the subject of interest before starting to develop the topics.
  • Consider starting with music thesis topics and finally narrow to the one you consider the best.
  • Follow current affairs in the music industry.
  • A closer look at the evolution of music over the years.
  • Analyzing the most influential musicians of the 20th century.
  • Analyzing the relationship between music and dance.
  • A closer look at the most lucrative careers for musicians.
  • Music and health: What is the relationship?
  • How does music impact fashion?
  • Which music genre has impacted music more?
  • A closer look at music marketing for different genres.
  • Does music help learners concentrate when doing assignments?
  • How does music affect clothing style?
  • Evaluating the influence of music on culture in a country of choice.
  • Analyzing the use of music for advancing political propaganda.
  • How has production in music changed in the recent past?
  • Drawing the connections between popular and contemporary music.
  • Comparing music in the US with that of Latin America?
  • In what ways are music and poetry related?
  • Classical music: Does it still play a major role in music production today?
  • Evaluating the main processes used in music production today.
  • Analyzing the importance of music theory in music production.
  • Music production: Why do some musicians ask others to write their songs?
  • Pirating is one of the biggest threats to the growth of the music industry.
  • Music can be a great rehabilitation procedure for inmates.
  • The cost of music production is a major obstacle to the faster growth of the industry.
  • Exploring the factors that have made Chinese music develop slower compared to western music.
  • Evaluating the most important skills that an artist needs to produce a song.
  • How does music compare to other types of media today?
  • How does music impact the way people think?
  • What are the most notable challenges in music production?
  • How does creating music impact how people think?
  • Comparing the roles of women in contemporary and modern music.
  • What challenges do minority groups have in music production?
  • What are the legal implications of downloading music?
  • Music production: How does contemporary and modern music production differ?
  • What role do social media platforms play in music distribution?
  • Evaluating common traits of people who like listening to classical music.
  • How does music affect teen behavior?
  • Is music helpful in your daily activities?
  • Analyzing music as a tool of advertisement.
  • The future of music.
  • Exploring the significance of music in education.
  • Assessing the contribution of music to the US economy.
  • What is the contribution of music to the US economy today?
  • A closer look at the impact of pop music on people’s culture.
  • What are the key differences between 21 st and 20 th -century pop music?
  • How is music production affected by different laws in the US?
  • Analyzing the ethical impacts of downloading music.
  • Analyzing the evolution of symphonic music.
  • A closer look at the use of classical music in the video production industry.
  • Women who played significant roles in classical music.
  • What differentiates Mozart music from other types of classical music?
  • A comparative analysis of two top classical musical producers.
  • The economic impacts of free music downloading.
  • How does revenue from music and film production compare?
  • Analyzing the main characteristics of country music.
  • Exploring the relationship between drugs and psychedelic rock.
  • A closer look at the merits and demerits of capitalistic perception of the music industry.
  • Analyzing the modern approaches to songwriting.
  • How has jazz impacted the American culture?
  • Exploring the roots of African-American melodies.
  • A historical comparison of hip-hop and jazz.
  • What does it take for a musician to succeed today?
  • Should the government fund upcoming artists?
  • Which classical artist has had the biggest impact on you?
  • The impact of the British music invasion of the US market.
  • How is music used in war?
  • Comparing high and low culture in the current music.
  • Exploring the difference between music and poetry.
  • Comparing the most lucrative careers in the music industry.
  • What impact does music has on children’s cognitive development?
  • Analyzing the history of American music education.

Different forms of music exist that we learn in various genres. In many institutions, music argument topics are assigned to know a student’s response regarding their opinions towards a genre. These music types range from classical to country, pop, jazz, blues, afro beats, and rock music. Understanding each one and knowing examples will help students choose the right argument. Some topics include;

  • Evolution of rock music in comparison with rap music.
  • What is behind the various instruments and their history in creating a particular genre of music?
  • How the merging of societies and cultures influence native music.
  • Reasons why rock music was used in the cinemas for long periods instead of another genre.
  • The effect of globalization on pop and jazz music.
  • The prominence of jazz music in the US over a short time.
  • How black women fought and argued over social injustice through jazz music.
  • Does jazz music celebrate black culture or glorify oppression?
  • Women or men – who have played more roles in the development of classical music?
  • The prominence of rap music in the present generation. Result of depreciated quality of music or evolution?

Music contains a broad history, with studies on performance, composition, reception, and quality over time. The history of music is usually intertwined with the composer’s life and development of the particular genre they create. Some music history topics include;

  • History of pop music in America in the 20th century.
  • Musical styles of England in the 21st century.
  • The history of afro-beat and their development across West Africa and the rest of the world.
  • Historical performance of music: the study of Beethoven’s works.
  • History of Jazz and its development in the United States.
  • Music in Ancient cultures: Native music
  • The role of women in music development
  • History of classical music
  • Different types of music in the 19th century
  • Important of renaissance music in history.

Present-day hip-hop music developed its culture and lyrical pattern. The style has evolved and gotten more refined and flexible over the years. Going into its history, many facets inspired it to what it has become today. Some hip hop research paper topics include;

  • The history and structure of hip hop music
  • Hip hop and its ties with poetry
  • Hip hop culture and fashion today
  • Old school vs. new school hip hop
  • Rap and hip hop culture
  • Violence in rap and hip hop
  • The evolution of hip hop and rap music
  • The positives and negatives of hip hop and its culture
  • Bland misogyny in hip hop music lyrics
  • The role of hip hop in white and black cultures

Jazz has a rich history in black culture and black liberation and its development led to major cultural shifts across the world. This music genre is refined and is deep-rooted in black history. It is music for the soul. Here are some jazz research paper topics;

  • What is jazz music? An explanatory approach to its culture and relevance.
  • History of jazz music.
  • Jazz music and pop culture
  • Jazz music and its listeners: Who listens to modern jazz?
  • Why 1959 was a turning point in the history of jazz?
  • The significance of jazz on the civil rights movement
  • The history of jazz dances in America
  • Some of the best jazz musicians of the 20th century
  • Development of jazz music into the post-modern era.
  • A study and review of the different dimensions of jazz.

Research topics on music appreciation mainly look into the reception and criticism of a given piece of music. This is achieved while examining vital music facets such as rhythm, performance, melody, and instrumentation. Here are some good examples of music appreciation research paper topics.

  • The best generations of music
  • The greatest musical icon: the life and times of Michael Jackson
  • Music appreciation in the 21st century
  • Music philosophy and its value
  • Notable mentions in music evolution
  • The theory of music and its importance
  • The unique and different eras of music
  • Music and its welcomed effect on the brain
  • Music in different continents
  • The love for opera

Music education is integral and important to enlightening younger generations about musical history, culture, evolution, and present significance to society. Without music to decorate our lives, time is just a dull passage of raw emotions and existence. Music knowledge and understanding is vital, and it affects our culture and way of life. Here are some music education research topics;

  • Scope of music therapy
  • The role of music in political movements
  • Music and society
  • Music business and management
  • Functions of music therapy relating to intellectual improvement
  • Significance of music education
  • Contemporary music and its controversies
  • Music and human emotion
  • Technology and the evolution of music production
  • The birth and prominence of music videos

Pop culture comprises numerous categories, including music, fashion, social media, television, language, and many more. It has gradually become an integral facet of our society. It has its perks and criticisms, but it is here to stay and makes our lives a lot more interesting. Some noteworthy pop culture research paper topics are;

  • What makes pop culture popular?
  • Is pop culture bad or good for the present society?
  • Does pop culture disrupt moral values?
  • Modern technology and its effects on pop culture
  • How does American pop culture affect the global economy?
  • Technology and ethical issues in pop culture
  • Pop culture and its educational benefits
  • How is humanity’s development expressed in pop culture?
  • Is it necessary to study pop culture?
  • Pop culture and its demerits to the society

Rap has become a mainstay in our music genre today. After its rocky start, it has fully become integrated into our music culture and lifestyle. Rap is an expression of life situations, love, religion, family, and who we are. Some rap topics ideas include;

  • Rhythm and melody
  • The art of flow and rhyme in rap
  • Rap dimensions: tone and delivery
  • Evolution and history of rap music
  • The negatives and positives of rap music
  • Contemporary rap music
  • The role of rap music in black communities
  • Does rap incite and encourage black violence?
  • The history and origin of rap
  • Rap as a means of expression

Music will always be an exemplary form of self-expression and art. Over the years, it has progressed and transformed through various dynamics. Today, at least a hundred music genres out there are fun and beautiful in their diversity. There are many fun music topics, and some of them include:

  • How music helps fight stress and psychological problems
  • The most iconic musical instruments for creating music
  • Which music inspires you and why?
  • Music in the 21st century
  • The most common and popular type of music
  • Reflection of social issues in music
  • A couple of reasons to listen to music
  • What differentiates good music from bad music?
  • Different dimensions of music
  • Imagining a non-music world.

After selecting the best research topic about music, the next step is writing your paper. This task is even more monumental than selecting the topic. Here, you need to craft an outline, have impeccable writing skills, and complete your task within the stipulated timelines. Is this too much? If you find it a challenge to write your paper, the best option is seeking writing help. The assistance is provided by affordable writing experts who understand how to create a good music thesis statement and have an impressive experience to craft winning papers. Do you want assurance of high grades? If “yes,” it is time to work with experts!

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  • Review Article
  • Published: 29 March 2022

Music in the brain

  • Peter Vuust   ORCID: 1 ,
  • Ole A. Heggli   ORCID: 1 ,
  • Karl J. Friston   ORCID: 2 &
  • Morten L. Kringelbach   ORCID: 1 , 3 , 4  

Nature Reviews Neuroscience volume  23 ,  pages 287–305 ( 2022 ) Cite this article

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  • Neuroscience

Music is ubiquitous across human cultures — as a source of affective and pleasurable experience, moving us both physically and emotionally — and learning to play music shapes both brain structure and brain function. Music processing in the brain — namely, the perception of melody, harmony and rhythm — has traditionally been studied as an auditory phenomenon using passive listening paradigms. However, when listening to music, we actively generate predictions about what is likely to happen next. This enactive aspect has led to a more comprehensive understanding of music processing involving brain structures implicated in action, emotion and learning. Here we review the cognitive neuroscience literature of music perception. We show that music perception, action, emotion and learning all rest on the human brain’s fundamental capacity for prediction — as formulated by the predictive coding of music model. This Review elucidates how this formulation of music perception and expertise in individuals can be extended to account for the dynamics and underlying brain mechanisms of collective music making. This in turn has important implications for human creativity as evinced by music improvisation. These recent advances shed new light on what makes music meaningful from a neuroscientific perspective.

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Funding was provided by The Danish National Research Foundation (DNRF117). The authors thank E. Altenmüller and D. Huron for comments on early versions of the manuscript.

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Peter Vuust, Ole A. Heggli & Morten L. Kringelbach

Wellcome Centre for Human Neuroimaging, University College London, London, UK

Karl J. Friston

Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

Morten L. Kringelbach

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Patterns of pitched sounds unfolding over time, in accordance with cultural conventions and constraints.

The combination of multiple, simultaneously pitched sounds to form a chord, and subsequent chord progressions, a fundamental building block of Western music. The rules of harmony are the hierarchically organized expectations for chord progressions.

The structured arrangement of successive sound events over time, a primary parameter of musical structure. Rhythm perception is based on the perception of duration and grouping of these events and can be achieved even if sounds are not discrete, such as amplitude-modulated sounds.

Mathematically, the expected values or means of random variables.

The ability to extract statistical regularities from the world to learn about the environment.

In Western music, the organization of melody and harmony in a hierarchy of relations, often pointing towards a referential pitch (the tonal centre or the tonic).

A predictive framework governing the interpretation of regularly recurring patterns and accents in rhythm.

The output of a model generating outcomes from their causes. In predictive coding, the prediction is generated from expected states of the world and compared with observed outcomes to form a prediction error.

The subjective experience accompanying a strong expectation that a particular event will occur.

An enactive generalization of predictive coding that casts both action and perception as minimizing surprise or prediction error (active inference is considered a corollary of the free-energy principle).

A quantity used in predictive coding to denote the difference between an observation or point estimate and its predicted value. Predictive coding uses precision-weighted prediction errors to update expectations that generate predictions.

Expectations of musical events based on prior knowledge of regularities and patterns in musical sequences, such as melodies and chords.

Expectations of specific events or patterns in a familiar musical sequence.

Short-lived expectations that dynamically shift owing to the ongoing musical context, such as when a repeated musical phrase causes the listener to expect similar phrases as the work continues.

The inverse variance or negative entropy of a random variable. It corresponds to a second-order statistic (for example, a second-order moment) of the variable’s probability distribution or density. This can be contrasted with the mean or expectation, which constitutes a first-order statistic (for example, a first-order moment).

(MMN). A component of the auditory event-related potential recorded with electroencephalography or magnetoencephalography related to a change in different sound features such as pitch, timbre, location of the sound source, intensity and rhythm. It peaks approximately 110–250 ms after change onset and is typically recorded while participants’ attention is distracted from the stimulus, usually by watching a silent film or reading a book. The amplitude and latency of the MMN depends on the deviation magnitude, such that larger deviations in the same context yield larger and faster MMN responses.

(fMRI). A neuroimaging technique that images rapid changes in blood oxygenation levels in the brain.

In the realm of contemporary music, a persistently repeated pattern played by the rhythm section (usually drums, percussion, bass, guitar and/or piano). In music psychology, the pleasurable sensation of wanting to move.

The perceptual correlate of periodicity in sounds that allows their ordering on a frequency-related musical scale.

Also known as tone colour or tone quality, the perceived sound quality of a sound, including its spectral composition and its additional noise characteristics.

The pitch class containing all pitches separated by an integer number of octaves. Humans perceive a similarity between notes having the same chroma.

The contextual unexpectedness or surprise associated with an event.

In the Shannon sense, the expected surprise or information content (self-information). In other words, it is the uncertainty or unpredictability of a random variable (for example, an event in the future).

(MEG). A neuroimaging technique that measures the magnetic fields produced by naturally occurring electrical activity in the brain.

A very small electrical voltage generated in the brain structures in response to specific events or stimuli.

Psychologically, consonance is when two or more notes sound together with an absence of perceived roughness. Dissonance is the antonym of consonance. Western listeners consider intervals produced by frequency ratios such as 1:2 (octave), 3:2 (fifth) or 4:3 (fourth) as consonant. Dissonances are intervals produced by frequency ratios formed from numbers greater than 4.

Stereotypical patterns consisting of two or more chords that conclude a phrase, section or piece of music. They are often used to establish a sense of tonality.

(EEG). An electrophysiological method that measures electrical activity of the brain.

A method of analysing steady-state evoked potentials arising from stimulation or aspects of stimulation repeated at a fixed rate. An example of frequency tagging analysis is shown in Fig.  1c .

A shift of rhythmic emphasis from metrically strong accents to weak accents, a characteristic of multiple musical genres, such as funk, jazz and hip hop.

In Aristotelian ethics, refers to a life well lived or human flourishing, and in affective neuroscience, it is often used to describe meaningful pleasure.

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Vuust, P., Heggli, O.A., Friston, K.J. et al. Music in the brain. Nat Rev Neurosci 23 , 287–305 (2022).

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Music Research Topics: 40 Topic Examples for Paper or Essay

Music Research Paper Topic Examples

Music Research Paper Topic Examples

Music is a universal language that transcends borders and cultures, touching the depths of human emotions and shaping societies throughout history.

It is a dynamic field with many facets, making it a fascinating subject for research and exploration.

This article provides a treasure trove of music research topics. Each topic offers a unique lens through which researchers can analyze the art form that harmonizes our world.

research topics relating to music

40 Topic Examples for Paper or Essay

music equipment

  • The Impact of Climate Change on Coastal Ecosystems
  • Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare: Challenges and Opportunities
  • The History and Significance of the Suffragette Movement
  • Cybersecurity Threats in the Age of Digital Transformation
  • The Influence of Social Media on Mental Health
  • The Role of Women in STEM: Breaking Barriers
  • The Economics of Renewable Energy Adoption
  • The Evolution of Urbanization and Its Effects on Society
  • The Cultural Significance of Traditional Foods
  • The Globalization of Pop Culture: A Double-Edged Sword
  • The Ethics of Genetic Engineering and Designer Babies
  • The Impact of Mass Media on Political Discourse
  • The Art of Storytelling: Its Power in Literature and Film
  • Environmental Conservation and Biodiversity Preservation
  • The Influence of Music on Emotions and Behavior
  • The Role of NGOs in International Development
  • The Future of Space Exploration and Colonization
  • The Psychology of Addiction: Causes and Treatment
  • The Evolution of Artificial Life: From Turing to Deep Learning
  • The Importance of Financial Literacy in Modern Society
  • The Historical Development of Human Rights
  • The Impact of E-Commerce on Traditional Retail
  • The Intersection of Art and Technology in the Digital Age
  • The Rise of Populism and Its Implications for Democracy
  • The Benefits and Challenges of Remote Work
  • The Cultural Significance of Festivals and Celebrations
  • The Philosophy of Mind: Dualism vs. Materialism
  • The Influence of Gaming on Cognitive Skills and Social Behavior
  • The Role of Education in Promoting Gender Equality
  • The Implications of 5G Technology on Communication
  • The Ethical Considerations in Animal Testing
  • The Evolution of Language and Communication
  • The Impact of Artificial Sweeteners on Health
  • The Cultural Exchange in World Literature
  • The Challenges of Cyberbullying and Online Harassment
  • The Role of Sports in Building Character and Leadership
  • The Importance of Early Childhood Education
  • The Psychological Effects of Color on Human Behavior
  • The Intersection of Religion and Science: Debates and Harmonies
  • The Socioeconomic Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic

How to Write a Good Music Research Paper

1. introduction.

Engage the reader with a compelling start. You can use an anecdote, a thought-provoking quote, or an interesting fact related to your music research topic. The goal is to pique the reader’s interest and encourage them to continue reading.

music notes

Provide context for your research topic and explain its significance. This is where you introduce the broader issues or themes related to your case and explain why it’s worth studying.

State your primary research question or thesis. This is the heart of your introduction, where you clearly define the specific focus of your research.

Briefly outline the scope of your paper and the topics you will cover. Give readers an overview of what to expect in the coming sections.

Present your central argument or hypothesis. This statement should be concise and clear, summarizing the main point of your research.

2. Literature Review

A literature review is a critical component of research, as it provides an essential foundation for a study. It serves to summarize existing knowledge, identify gaps, and establish the context for the research. 

After reviewing relevant literature, researchers can build on past work, avoid redundancy, and ensure that their research contributes new insights.

It also helps in shaping research questions, theoretical frameworks, and methodologies. A comprehensive literature review adds credibility and depth to research, making it an indispensable step in the research process.

3. Methodology

The methodology section outlines the systematic approach used to conduct the research, ensuring its rigor and applicability.

Data will be collected from a diverse sample of participants through structured surveys and in-depth interviews.

The study aims to recruit participants with varied musical backgrounds, age groups, and experiences to gain a comprehensive perspective.

Quantitative data will undergo statistical analysis, while qualitative data will be thematically coded to unearth patterns and insights.

4. Analysis and Findings

In this section, you present the outcomes of your research, for instance, on the psychological and emotional effects of music.

analysis and interpretation

Your quantitative analysis reveals significant correlations between musical genres and distinct emotional responses.

Notably, participants report should elevate feelings of joy, nostalgia, and relaxation in response to specific genres.

The qualitative findings should enrich your understanding, emphasizing the significance of individual preferences and contextual factors in shaping emotional experiences.

5. Discussion

Here, you interpret the implications of your findings, demonstrating music’s profound impact on emotional well-being and cognitive processes.

The observed correlations between specific musical genres and emotional states underscore the therapeutic potential of music, offering new avenues for stress reduction and memory enhancement.

Mostly, this substantiates your central thesis that music is a potent tool for improving mental and emotional health, supporting the idea that it extends beyond entertainment.

However, it is crucial to acknowledge the study’s limitations, including potential biases in self-reporting and the cross-sectional design.

6. Conclusion

In the conclusion section, the research should shed light on the remarkable influence of music on human psychology.

Your findings highlight music’s significant role in shaping emotional well-being and cognitive processes.

Specific musical genres should evoke distinct emotional responses, indicating music’s potential for therapeutic applications in stress reduction and memory enhancement.

The study should underscore the need for a deeper understanding of the intricate relationship between music and the human psyche.

After harnessing music’s emotional and cognitive effects, you can explore innovative interventions to enhance psychological well-being.

While your research provides valuable insights, it is essential to acknowledge its limitations and encourage further investigation into the multifaceted dimensions of music’s impact on the human experience.

7. References

References validate the credibility and academic rigor of your research. After citing reputable sources, you demonstrate that your work is built on a foundation of established knowledge and research within the field.

References provide evidence to support your arguments and claims. They show that your research is based not solely on your personal opinions but on existing and expert opinions.

Properly citing sources helps you avoid plagiarism, a serious academic offense. Plagiarism involves using someone else’s work without giving them credit, which can lead to academic penalties and damage your reputation.

References serve as a guide for readers interested in delving deeper into the topic. They can use your reference list to access the sources you consulted, promoting further learning and research.

References provide context for your research, allowing readers to see how your work fits within the broader academic conversation. This can help establish the significance of your research.

8. Appendices


Appendices are essential in research to provide additional information, such as raw data, charts, or lengthy explanations, without cluttering the main text.

They enhance comprehension and allow readers to explore details at their discretion.

9. Acknowledgments

Acknowledgments in research papers serve several vital purposes.

First and foremost, they express gratitude and recognition for the contributions of individuals, organizations, or institutions that supported the research.

Acknowledgments enhance transparency by disclosing financial support, resource access, or partnerships. They demonstrate ethical research practices and ensure that potential conflicts of interest are disclosed.

Acknowledgments play a vital role in maintaining research integrity, respecting intellectual contributions, and building a sense of academic community and collaboration.

Josh Jasen working

Josh Jasen or JJ as we fondly call him, is a senior academic editor at Grade Bees in charge of the writing department. When not managing complex essays and academic writing tasks, Josh is busy advising students on how to pass assignments. In his spare time, he loves playing football or walking with his dog around the park.

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Music Research Topics

Published by Boni on October 31, 2022 October 31, 2022

Music Research Topics

Music is a highly influential aspect of our society today. It has been part of our lives for a long time now. As music evolves, everyone has their specific taste for a given genre, musical instrument or song. Some common genres may include hip-hop, rock, reggae or roots. The evolution of music has led to the subject being incorporated in the school curriculum.

Elevate Your Writing with Our Free Writing Tools!

Did you know that we provide a free essay and speech generator, plagiarism checker, summarizer, paraphraser, and other writing tools for free?

For any student pursuing a career in music, one of the important aspects of the degree is the research paper. Getting the right topic for your research essay is always a challenge to most students however, this article will have relevant examples you can get inspiration from.

Tips on how to Select the Best Music Research Paper Topic?

Choosing a good topic for any research paper is essential, especially if you aim to attain good results in your paper. The following tips will guide you in choosing the most appropriate music research topic. 

1. Be clear on your topic

Be sure of your topic before starting to write your paper; this means that you should have adequate knowledge of what type of research you are planning to conduct. For example, if you plan to include information about the impact of music on criminal behavior, then be sure that you have sufficient knowledge about music in criminal behavior. 

2. Use sources

Make sure that you have sufficient material to use in your paper. You should use sources such as books, journals, and websites containing information on the topic you plan to write about. These sources will help with your research, as they will provide well-written articles to develop your topic.

3. Develop sources

If you do not have any material to use in your paper, there are many places where you can get sources. In this case, you have to develop your sources. For example, if the topic is about the effect of music on plastic surgery, you can use research papers on medical concepts and statistics about plastic surgery performed by newspapers and magazines. You can also conduct interviews with experts in these areas of study; however, make sure that they are reliable.

4. Seek help from a professional

The professional help you should consider getting is that of a reviewer. A music research paper is more challenging than other academic papers; it requires greater attention to detail and a deeper understanding of your research topic. Therefore, you should get a professional from a reputable service to help you review your work before submitting it. Gudwriter has the best research paper essay writing service that gurantees you quality music research papers from our qulified team of experts.

Music Research Topics Examples

Below are some of the most popular music research topics:

Music History Research Topics

History is known for its accurate records, and this is also applicable to music research. For example, if you want to write a paper on the history of Broadway musicals, you should have information about the different shows produced in the past and their influences on performers. This will ensure that you get your paper done properly.

A list of topics relating to music history would include:

1. The history of the synthesizers

2. The history of music in the United States

3. The evolution of classical music

4. The history of pop music styles

5. The evolution of folk music in America

6. How technology has influenced the evolution of music styles

7. The development and influence of hip-hop

8. The history of European classical music

9. The history of African-American music

10. The history of Latin American music

11. The effect of the digital age on the evolution of music styles

Music Therapy Research Topics

These are brilliant essay topics that research on how therapeutic music can be in the society. Examples of these topics could be:

  • How does music treat psychological conditions?
  • How can you calm an individual using the theme?
  • What do people love most about classical music?
  • Does listening to music affect your effectiveness?
  • What is the impact of music as a subject in schools?
  • Can music help reduce stress?
  • Can an individual use music to heal eating disorders?
  • Why do most psychologists prefer using music when performing their work?
  • Can music lyrics help enhance your brain capacity?
  • Music and therapy
  • How does music help students in education?
  • Scientific research and music
  • How does music help learn psychology?
  • What music genre is written in different countries?
  • How music affects student’s productivity

Music Theory Topics

This music category is for the music theory lovers. It may help investigate the theories in music such as characteristics of music in different eras and crucial aspects of music in societies. Great examples may include:

  • Brilliant characteristics of Romantic-age songs
  • How music evolved in the Baroque Era
  • Who were the top compositors during the Romantic era?
  • Remarkable features of Baroque-age music
  • Uncovering symbols during the Renaissance-period music
  • How classical music relates to medical applications
  • Major music directions during the 20 th century
  • What are the crucial aspects of music?
  • History of modern hip-hop
  • Why is it that most intellectuals prefer rock music?

Music History Research Paper Topics

This is another field where you can find plenty of research topics to work on. History offers us the chance to examine and understand the origin of a particular music genre or issue related to music. You can pick any of the following topics for your music history research paper:

  • Origin of black music
  • History of musical instruments
  • What is the female impact on the jazz music genre?
  • Imperial Japanese and Chinese Music
  • Who created the music?
  • Music as it was used in the Holy Roman Empire
  • Main aspects of modernism music
  • How politics influenced music back then?
  • Modern music culture
  • Why are music studies important?
  • Conventional archetypes in music
  • How is music connected to important functions and events?
  • Genius of Bach
  • Folk music and how it impacts the population

Music Psychology Research Topics

Connecting psychology and music is not something new. However, the category has not been researched as it should be. Researchers have barely scratched the ground on the music psychology research topics. That is why this is a good topic to research on. Consider the following suggestions:

  • Are sound therapies efficient?
  • Does music education impact our abnormal activities in the brain?
  • Does music impact our state of mind, mood, and overall mental health?
  • How tones affect mental development in teens, children, and toddlers
  • How does playing a piano enhance communication skills of individuals with communication issues?
  • What are cultural differences in music?
  • Changes in music consumption patterns in young people
  • How has music changed how students think and act?
  • Can music enhance your sleep at night?
  • Does a specific genre of music champion for drug abuse that affects our psychology?

Classical Music Research Topics

For the classical sounds’ lovers, this is the category to research on. You can research on how this music works, when it started, its history, and the traits of the listeners. Below are some common example topics to pick from:

  • What songs fall under the classical genre?
  • What is the history of the classical music category?
  • Is classical music impactful today?
  • What role does classical sound play in Disney production?
  • Most impactful classical projects
  • Character traits of classical music listeners
  • Role of women in the classical genre
  • Are classical sounds and metal the same?
  • How modern melodies differ from classical music
  • Why is Mozart different from other composers in the classical genre

Music Thesis Topics

Other excellent research topics you can handle include the music thesis topics. These topics typically cover a wide range of areas in the music field from analysis of specific genres to examination of cultural implications. Examples may include:

  • A comparative study of traditional music practices in different ethnic communities
  • The psychological effects of listening to music on emotional well-being and mood regulation
  • What is music’s role in the LGBTQ+ community?
  • Examining how music is a catalyst for change in the Hip-Hop culture
  • Investigating effects of music training on neural development and cognitive abilities
  • The impact of live music performances on audience emotional response and engagement
  • Use of music as a mnemonic device
  • What role does music play in promoting cognitive development in children?
  • A comparative study of traditional and digital distribution models
  • Tracing the origin of jazz music and its influences from African Roots to modern interpretations
  • Examining female empowerment in pop music lyrics

Music Controversial Topics

Popular music is always being criticized and is often the focus of research discussions. While this is normal and not uncommon, such criticism can also be turned into a paper used in studies. Below are some examples of topics related to popular music research:

1. The use of information technology (IT) in today’s music industry

2. The politics behind the use of the word “pop” in mainstream U.S. pop culture

3. The effect of hip-hop on today’s society

4. The origins of dance music

5. The use of metaphors in today’s music

6. The role of the internet in pop music

7. The effect of lyrics on the music style

8. The impact of sex and drugs in the creation of pop music and its stereotypes

9. The influence of the Beatles on other bands and musicians

10. How racism affected black musicians during the 1960s and has affected them today 

Music Argument Topics

This type of music research focuses on the use of statistical analysis, as well as on other methods such as opinion surveys and field studies. Below are some examples of argumentative research topics:

1. The evolution of music piracy over time

2. The impact of digital piracy on the evolution of music and other elements related to it

3. How access to free, illegally downloaded music has affected the sales of CDs and records

4. The effect of parental guidance on censorship in music lyrics

5. The role that education systems worldwide play in the promotion or censoring of certain genres

6. The importance and effectiveness of copyright laws in preventing illegal downloads

7. The impact of music piracy on the global music market

8. How the evolution of technology has affected the sales of CDs and records

9. The effect of global warming on musical genres

10. The dangers that peer-to-peer networks pose to the online security of users’ computers 

Learn the basic steps to follow in writing your research paper .

Hip-Hop Research Topics

Hip-hop is a music style that originated in the United States. Its popularity has spread globally, and its music is easily recognized nowadays. It is based on African American tradition and culture, and its roots can be traced to the blues music of the 1960s. The strong beat in hip-hop music was influenced by the funk music that was popular then.

Depending on your interest, you can conduct research on a wide range of topics related to hip hop; these include, but are not limited to:

1. The history of hip hop

2. The origins of hip-hop and its influences on the world’s culture

3. The impact of hip-hop on various aspects of society, including politics, music, and language

4. How hip hop has influenced the evolution of music styles around the world

5. The effect that hip hop and other forms of music have had on other aspects of culture around the world

6. The effect that social change, technology, and political powers have had on hip-hop culture 

7. The effect of hip-hop on the body image of women

8. The impact of hip-hop on the culture around the world 

9. How hip hop has affected the media and its portrayal of women

10. The use of sampling in pop music genres 

Debatable Music Topics

Debatable topics are those that people have different feelings about. For example, while some people think rap music is harmful to children, others believe it’s a positive influence in their lives. The same applies to other genres of music.

Below are several examples of debatable music topics:

1. The impact of MP3s and peer-to-peer networks on the sales of CDs and records 

2. The effects of hip-hop on society and its stereotypes 

3. The psychology behind the creation of pop music 

4. The use of sampling in pop music genres 

5. The impact of sex and drugs in the creation of pop music and its stereotypes 

6. The role that education systems worldwide play in the promotion or censoring of certain genres 

7. The effect of media censorship on hip-hop culture 

8. The influence of the law on music genres, such as hip-hop, rap, and rock-and-roll 

Music Appreciation Research Topics

Many people enjoy music and want to learn more about worldwide music styles. If you are interested in pursuing a music appreciation research topic, here are some additional topics that you may explore:

1. The history of music and how it has changed the world

2. How pop music styles differ from one country to another 

3. The effects of global warming on musical genres

4. How hip-hop has shaped modern culture, such as language and fashion

5. The impact of social change on the emergence and development of new music styles and genres 

6. How the internet has influenced the evolution of music styles

7. The use of metaphors in music 

8. How technology has influenced the evolution of music styles

9. The impact of hip-hop on modern society, including politics and language 

10. How African-American music has shaped modern cultures, such as language and fashion 

Music Education Research Topics

If you are a student in a music program, you can research your music skills and improve them. Here are several ideas for topics that you could discuss:

1. The effect of hip-hop on education and its impact on the language spoken by children

2. The history of rap music, from its roots to modern times

3. The composition of rhythm and blues songs and their histories

4. The musical arrangement of rap songs throughout history

5. The role that race plays in the creation of rap music 

6. How sex and drugs affect the creation of pop music and influence its lyrics

7. The influence of rock-and-roll on other genres, such as jazz, blues, and country 

8. The history of sampling and its importance in the creation of hip hop 

9. The history of copyright laws and their impact on musical piracy 

Pop Culture Research Topics

You can research pop culture’s appeal, from films and television shows to music. Below are examples of topics that may interest you:

1. The history of film, including horror and action movies

2. The psychology behind the creation of pop music and its components

3. The impact that different types of music have had on society, such as race and sex 

4. How technology has influenced the evolution of music styles throughout history 

5. The role that education systems worldwide play in the promotion or censoring of certain genres 

6. The creativity involved in the composition and arrangement of pop songs

7. How pop culture has influenced language around the world

8. The history of hip-hop and its impact on modern languages

9. How African-American music has shaped modern cultures, such as language and fashion 

10. The history of sampling and its importance in the creation of hip hop 

Rap Topics Ideas

Many people enjoy listening to rap music. If you are interested in learning more about this genre, here are several topics that you may discuss:

1. How rap music has evolved throughout history

2. The role that sampling has played in the creation of various hip-hop styles 

3. How societal changes have affected rap music and its lyrics

4. How sampling has influenced modern music styles around the world 

5. The evolution of hip-hop, including its impact on popular culture

6. How rap music has influenced the language of African-Americans

7. The political overtones behind rap music and its impact on modern society

8. The effect that sex and drugs have had on the creation of rap music and its content 

If you are interested in pursuing a research topic about music, you now have several ideas to help guide you. Remember that topics should be able to answer your research questions, so make sure to explore those ideas thoroughly.

You should also remember that research is an opportunity for personal growth. If you take the time to conduct thorough research and include quality sources in your project, you will learn more about these topics and yourself.

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Table of Contents

Audio signal processing, exemplar-based music learning, acoustic research, modeling, and sound synthesis, music perception and cognition, gestural control of sound synthesis.

The Music Technology Group is active in research related to multimedia, signal processing, human-computer interaction, information retrieval, musical acoustics, psychoacoustics, and music perception and cognition.

The M.A. and Ph.D. graduate programs offered in Music Technology at McGill University are heavily based on technological and scientific research, with applications to music and sound. While our program is administered through the Schulich School of Music, our research goals share many similarities with those found in engineering and science faculties.

Our group's main expertise relates to:

  • Sound Analysis and Synthesis
  • Sound Processing and Digital Audio Effects
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Gestural Control in Multiparametric Environments
  • Music Information Retrieval and Digital Libraries
  • Optical Music Recognition
  • Acoustic Modeling and Psychoacoustics
  • Musical Acoustics

A more detailed description of the research interests of each staff member can be found below.

Dr. Philippe Depalle

My research in digital synthesis and processing of sound mainly concerns the analysis and re-synthesis of audio signals. The fundamental component of my work is the systematising of the “analysis/synthesis” point of view in the conception of computer music tools. For the user, it unifies sound synthesis and sound processing into the same framework. For the researcher, it directs mainly his work toward the analysis part, since the major difficulty in studying sound signals is to track precisely their temporal and spectral evolutions. Sensitivity and precision of the human ear reinforce this difficulty, which imposes high quality results.

The basic goal of analysis/synthesis is to conceive relevant models of acoustical signals. Once a synthesis model has been chosen, a sound signal is represented in this model by a set of temporal functions often called control parameters. These temporal functions are extracted from a pre-recorded sound during the analysis process. When the analysis becomes sufficiently precise, re-synthesis produces a signal that sounds perceptually identical to the original sound. By modifying and substituting control parameters, this analysis-synthesis scheme can provide for very refined and precise processing of sound material. For example, it may allow one to produce a family of synthetic sound signals derived from a single original source or to carry out a morphing between two key sounds.

The significance of this research is multiple: scientific, industrial and artistic. In science, the study of musical instruments and musical sounds gives the opportunity for innovative research on non-linear oscillating systems or fast time-varying systems, room-acoustics, psycho-acoustics, etc. It provides simulation tools for psycho-acoustic experiments and coding hypotheses among others. For the industry, it brings knowledge to design audio processing, audio recording, transmission systems and electronic musical instruments. In the artistic field, it provides composers and multimedia artists tools for the creation and the processing of sounds. It should be noted that the requirements for high quality in musical application have always been an incentive for prospective research in applied acoustics, signal processing and computer science.

Dr. Ichiro Fujinaga

My research goal is to provide technological tools for musicians, music scholars, and researchers in other music-related area such as psychology, psychoacoustics, and neurosciences.

Current primary research focus is on learning. In particular, the exemplar-based learning model. This type of learning, I believe, is at the core of learning about music and other perceptional learning. This is in contrast to the traditional rule-based understanding of music, which in my opinion has not been successful at explaining how we hear music. The computer implementation of this cognition model using k-nearest neighbour classifier and genetic algorithms is being developed. This research grew out of my work on the optical music recognition system where application of this model has been extremely successful.

Application possibilities using this model include: music instrument recognition, conducting gesture learning, music style recognition, expressive performance, counterpoint, and harmonization.

Other research interests include: distributed digital libraries, music information retrieval, software synthesis, virtual concert stage, vibrato analysis, and continuing research in optical music recognition.

Dr. Gary P. Scavone

The shape and design of most acoustic music instruments, refined and advanced by craftsmen through empirical, “trial and error” methods, have changed little over the past century. The study of the acoustic phenomena underlying the operation of these instruments, however, is a relatively young science. My research is focused on, but not limited to, woodwind and string music instruments and includes:

  • measurements and analyses to gain a theoretical understanding of the fundamental acoustic or vibrational behavior of music instruments and other sounding objects;
  • the development of computer-based mathematical models that implement these acoustic or mechanical principles as accurately as possible and which can subsequently be used to study variations in instrument design;
  • the creation of efficient, real-time synthesis algorithms capable of producing convincing instrument sounds;
  • the design of appropriate human-computer interfaces for use in controlling and interacting with real-time synthesis models.

Recent acoustic analyses have focused on vocal-tract influence in woodwind instrument performance and fluid-structure interactions in wind instrument systems. My acoustic modeling work is concerned with the characterization of the various interdependent components of a music instrument system, such as the mouthpiece, air column, and toneholes of a clarinet. This approach is commonly referred to as “physical modeling”. A discrete-time technique called “digital waveguide synthesis” is often used to efficiently and accurately implement these acoustic models. Recent synthesis developments have been focused on aspects of woodwind instrument toneholes, conical air columns, vocal tract influences, and reed/mouthpiece interactions. Several human-computer interfaces have been developed in the course of this research for the purposes of experimenting and performing with the real-time synthesis models.

Acoustic and perceptual experiments also play a role in this research. In many instances, acoustic theory must be validated by experimental measurements. Perceptual studies can aid in the development of efficient and convincing synthesis models by helping identify acoustic features of a system which have less perceptual importance for human listeners.

To support the design and implementation of real-time synthesis models, a software synthesis environment called the Synthesis ToolKit in C++ (STK) has been developed in collaboration with Perry Cook at Princeton University. STK is a set of open source audio signal processing and algorithmic synthesis classes written in C++. The ToolKit was designed to facilitate rapid development of music synthesis and audio processing software, with an emphasis on cross-platform functionality, real-time control, ease of use, and educational example code.

This research has applications in the development of commercial sound synthesizers for the creation of common acoustic instrument sounds, as well as sounds based on physical, yet unrealizable, instruments. In addition, continuing developments in our understanding of acoustic principles will make possible computer-based prototyping tools which will ultimately lead to improvements in music instrument designs.

Dr. Stephen McAdams

My research goal is to understand how listeners mentally organize a complex musical scene into sources, events, sequences, and musical structures. In my laboratory, we use techniques of digital signal processing, psychophysics, computational modeling of auditory processing, cognitive psychology, and music analysis.

The origin of music is in sound-producing objects. We seek to understand how listeners perceive the events produced by such objects in terms of the mechanical nature of the objects and the ways objects interact to set them in vibration (impact, friction, blowing): a new field that I have dubbed “psychomechanics” since we try to quantify the relation between the properties of mechanical objects and perception of the events they produce.

One of the most mysterious of musical properties of sound events, very closely related to source properties, is their timbre. Timbre is a whole set of dimensions of musical perception such as brightness, roughness, attack quality, richness, inharmonicity, and so on. We try to understand how this palette of attributes is organized perceptually, how it depends on both the acoustic properties of sound events and on the context in which they occur, and how the timbres of events and sequences are committed to memory. In music, many sound sources are often playing at the same time, which means that the listener must organize the musical scene into events and sequences that carry musical information about the behaviour of those sound sources (a musical instrument playing a melody, for example). However, composers can play with sound in ways that make a listener hear several sources as one (blending sounds), or with sound synthesis to make a single sound split into several (sound segregation).

Music happens in time and the ephemeral world of temporal experience is another concern in my laboratory. We are interested in how cognitive processes such as attention, memory, recognition, and structural processing, as well as more emotional and aesthetic experience of music, take place in time and are related to musical structure. We have developed and employed various techniques for measuring and analyzing continuous responses during music listening in live concert settings to probe the cognitive dynamics of musical experience.

We are also interested in how timbre can be used as an integral part of musical discourse through orchestration. Studies involving analysis of scores and writings about orchestration, audio analysis, and perceptual analysis will contribute to the grounding of elements of a theory of orchestration in perception and cognition.

Dr. Marcelo M. Wanderley

The fast evolution of computer technology has produced current personal computers powerful enough to synthesize high quality sound in real-time. One of the utmost research problems concerning music technology nowadays is how to use this processing power as part of novel musical instruments - digital musical instruments (DMI) - where sound is generated by the machine.

But what does it mean to play a digital musical instrument? Can one actually play a computer in the sense one plays an acoustic instrument? Can similar levels of control subtlety be achieved with this new paradigm?

At the Music Technology area at McGill, we focus on the analysis of performer-instrument interaction with applications to gestural control of sound synthesis. This goal is pursued through a two-pronged approach:

  • the study of a generic digital musical instrument, its constituent parts, and the suggestion of novel approaches to its design
  • the analysis of acoustic instrument performances with the aim of eventually finding cues to improve the design of current DMIs.

In the first approach we explore the notion of gesture in music and consider ways to devise gestural acquisition and the design of input devices, including the proposition of evaluation techniques derived from human-computer interaction suitable in a musical context. This is complemented by the analysis of mapping strategies between controller variables and synthesis variables. Applications include the prototyping of novel gestural controllers and digital musical instruments, as well as software systems such as ESCHER, a real-time system developed in collaboration with researchers at IRCAM.

In the second approach we perform and analyze quantitative measurements of instrumentalists' expressive movements - those not produced in order to generate sound - during the execution of pieces. We also focus on the acoustical influence of performer expressive movements, and the modeling of this effect. This research suggests that expressive movements can be used as extra synthesis parameter and eventually improve the design of existing digital musical instruments that simulate traditional ones.

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216 Awesome Music Topics That Will Inspire Your Thesis

music topics

On this page, you will find the ultimate list of 216 brand new, 100% original music topics for high school, college and university students. No, it’s not a trick! You can use any of our topics about music for free and you don’t even have to give us credit. Many of these research topics on music should work great in 2023.

In addition, we have the best step by step guide to writing a research paper right here on this page. Just like the topics, you can read the guide for free. It will help you stay focused on what’s important and ensure you don’t miss any steps. And remember, if you need assistance with your academic writing tasks, our native English-speaking writers are the most reliable on the Internet!

Writing A Research Paper About Music

So, what is music? Music is a form of art that uses sound and rhythm to create an emotional or aesthetic experience. It can be created by combining different elements such as melody, harmony, rhythm and timbre. Music is a universal language that can be found in all cultures and has been an important part of human history for thousands of years. It can evoke emotions, tell stories, and communicate ideas. Music can take many forms, including vocal or instrumental, solo or ensemble, live or recorded, and can be classified into various genres such as rock, pop, classical, jazz, and many more.

But how do you write a research paper about music quickly? Well, we have a great step by step guide for you right here.

Choose a music topic. Select a topic that interests you and that you have enough background knowledge on to research and write about. Conduct research. Use a variety of sources to gather information on your topic, including books, academic journals, online databases, and primary sources such as interviews or musical recordings. Organize your research. Once you have gathered enough information, organize your research into an outline or a mind map to help you visualize how your paper will flow. Write a thesis statement. Your thesis statement should be a concise statement that summarizes the main argument of your paper. Write a rough draft. Begin writing your paper using the information you have gathered and the outline or mind map you created. Focus on creating a clear and coherent argument, and be sure to cite all sources using the appropriate citation style. Help with coursework services can aid you in succeeding with this part. Revise and edit. Once you have completed a rough draft, revise and edit your paper to improve its clarity, organization, and coherence. Check for grammar and spelling errors, and make sure all citations are correct and properly formatted. Create a bibliography or works cited page. Include a list of all sources you used in your research, including books, articles, interviews, and recordings. Finalize your paper. After making all necessary revisions and edits, finalize your paper and ensure that it meets all the requirements set by your instructor or professor. Proofread everything and make sure it’s perfectly written. You don’t want to lose points over some typos, do you?

Easy Research Topics About Music

  • The history and evolution of hip-hop culture
  • The impact of classical music on modern composers
  • The role of music in therapy for mental health
  • The cultural significance of jazz in African-American communities
  • The influence of traditional folk music on contemporary artists
  • The development of electronic music over the past decade
  • The use of music in film to enhance storytelling
  • The rise of K-pop and its global popularity
  • The effects of music on our learning abilities
  • The use of music in branding in the fashion industry
  • The influence of the Beatles on popular music
  • The intersection of music and politics in the 1960s
  • The cultural significance of reggae music in Jamaica
  • The history and evolution of country music in America
  • The impact of music streaming on the music industry

Opinion Essay Music Topics

  • Music piracy: Should it be considered a serious crime?
  • Should music education be mandatory in schools?
  • Is autotune ruining the quality of music?
  • Are music awards shows still relevant in today’s industry?
  • Should music lyrics be censored for explicit content?
  • Is it fair that some musicians earn more money than others?
  • Is classical music still relevant in modern society?
  • Should music festivals have age restrictions for attendees?
  • Is it fair for musicians to be judged on their personal lives?
  • Is the current state of the music industry sustainable?
  • Should musicians be held accountable for the messages in their lyrics?
  • Is the role of the record label still important in the age of digital music?
  • Should musicians be able to express their political views in their music?
  • Does the use of music in movies and TV shows enhance or detract from the storytelling?

Interesting Music Research Topics

  • The impact of music on athletic performance
  • The use of music in advertising and consumer behavior
  • The role of music in enhancing cognitive abilities
  • The effects of music on stress reduction and relaxation
  • The cultural significance of music in indigenous communities
  • The influence of music on fashion and style trends
  • The evolution of protest music and its impact on society
  • The effects of music on Alzheimer’s disease
  • The intersection of music and technology in the music industry
  • The effects of music on emotional intelligence and empathy
  • The cultural significance of hip hop music in the African diaspora
  • The influence of music on human behavior and decision-making
  • The effects of music on physical performance and exercise
  • The role of music in promoting social and political activism

Research Paper Topics On Music

  • The effects of music on the brain and mental health
  • The impact of streaming on the music industry
  • The history and evolution of rap music
  • The cultural significance of traditional folk music
  • The use of music in video games to enhance the gaming experience
  • The role of music in religious and spiritual practices
  • The effects of music on memory and learning
  • The development of rock and roll in America
  • The intersection of music and politics in the 21st century
  • The cultural significance of country music in the South
  • The use of music in autism therapy
  • The impact of social media on music promotion and marketing
  • The influence of music on the LGBTQ+ community
  • The effects of music on social behavior and interaction

Argumentative Essay Topics About Music

  • Does music have a negative effect on behavior?
  • Is streaming music harming the music industry?
  • Can music censorship be justified in certain cases?
  • Is cultural appropriation a problem in the music industry?
  • Should musicians be held accountable for controversial lyrics?
  • Is autotune a helpful tool or a crutch for musicians?
  • Should music education be a required part of the curriculum?
  • Is the use of explicit lyrics in music harmful?
  • Should music festivals be required to have safety measures?
  • Does the use of profanity in music undermine its artistic value?
  • Can music be used to promote political messages effectively?
  • Should musicians be allowed to profit from tragedies?

Current Music Topics To Write About In 2023

  • The rise of TikTok and its impact on music promotion
  • The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on UK music
  • The use of virtual concerts and live streaming during COVID-19
  • The influence of social media on music consumption and trends
  • The emergence of new genres and sub-genres in popular music
  • Talk about cancel culture in music
  • The debate over the use of explicit lyrics in music
  • The impact of climate change on music festivals and events
  • The use of artificial intelligence in music production and composition
  • The influence of music on political and social movements
  • The rise of female and non-binary artists in the music industry
  • The effects of globalization on the diversity of music around the world
  • The role of nostalgia in the popularity of music from past decades

Musical Topics About Famous Musicians

  • The life and legacy of Beethoven
  • The impact of Elvis Presley on rock and roll
  • The career and contributions of Bob Dylan
  • The influence of Michael Jackson on pop music
  • The musical evolution of Madonna over time
  • The enduring appeal of the Rolling Stones
  • The career of Prince and his impact on music
  • The contributions of David Bowie to pop culture
  • The iconic sound of Jimi Hendrix’s guitar
  • The impact of Whitney Houston on the music industry
  • The life and career of Freddie Mercury of Queen
  • The artistry and impact of Joni Mitchell
  • The groundbreaking work of Stevie Wonder in R&B
  • The musical legacy of the Beatles and their influence on pop music

Music Research Paper Topics For College

  • The cultural significance of the accordion in folk music
  • The use of sampling in hip-hop and electronic music production
  • The evolution of the drum kit in popular music
  • The significance of Taylor Swift in contemporary country-pop music
  • The effects of drug abuse in the music industry
  • The role of music in shaping political movements and protests
  • The impact of streaming services on the music industry and artists’ income
  • The significance of the Burning Man festival in music and culture
  • The emergence and growth of Afrobeat music globally
  • The role of musical collaboration in the creation of new music genres
  • The use of autotune and other vocal processing tools in pop music
  • The effects of social and political issues on rap music lyrics
  • The significance of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in pop culture
  • The impact of music on emotional regulation and mental health

Our Controversial Music Topics

  • The controversy of the “cancel culture” in US music
  • The impact of music piracy on the industry and artists
  • The ethical concerns of music sampling without permission
  • The controversy surrounding lip-syncing during live performances
  • The debate over the authenticity of auto-tune in music
  • The controversy surrounding the use of profanity in music
  • The debate over the cultural appropriation of music styles
  • The controversy surrounding music festivals and their impact on local communities
  • The debate over the role of music in promoting violence and aggression
  • The controversy surrounding the ownership of an artist’s discography
  • The ethical concerns of musicians profiting from songs about tragedies and disasters

Captivating Music Thesis Topics

  • The role of music in promoting social justice
  • The impact of music streaming on album sales
  • The significance of lyrics in contemporary pop music
  • The evolution of heavy metal music over time
  • The influence of gospel music on rock and roll
  • The effects of music education on cognitive development
  • The cultural significance of hip-hop music in America
  • The role of music in promoting environmental awareness and activism
  • The impact of music festivals on local economies
  • The evolution of country music and its impact on popular music
  • The use of music in advertising and marketing strategies

Classical Music Topic Ideas

  • The influence of Baroque music on classical music
  • The history and evolution of the symphony orchestra
  • The career and legacy of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • The significance of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony
  • The evolution of opera as an art form
  • The role of women composers in classical music history
  • The impact of the Romantic era on classical music
  • The use of program music to tell a story through music
  • The significance of the concerto in classical music
  • The influence of Johann Sebastian Bach on classical music
  • The contributions of Antonio Vivaldi to the concerto form
  • The use of counterpoint in classical music composition
  • The role of chamber music in classical music history
  • The significance of George Frideric Handel’s Messiah in classical music

Interesting Music Topics For High School

  • The history and evolution of the piano as a musical instrument
  • The significance of Beethoven in classical music
  • The impact of Elvis Presley on US music
  • The emergence and growth of the hip-hop music genre
  • The role of music festivals in contemporary music culture
  • The effects of technology on music production and performance
  • The influence of social media on music promotion and distribution
  • The effects of music on mental health and well-being
  • The role of music in popular culture and media
  • The impact of musical soundtracks on movies and TV shows
  • The use of music therapy for individuals with autism spectrum disorder
  • The significance of the Coachella Music Festival in modern music culture
  • The cultural significance of the ukulele in Hawaiian culture

Awesome Music Research Questions For 2023

  • Should musicians be required to use their platform to promote social justice causes?
  • Is music piracy a victimless crime or does it harm the industry?
  • Should music venues be required to provide safe spaces for concertgoers?
  • Is the Grammy Awards selection process biased towards mainstream artists?
  • Should music streaming services pay musicians higher royalties?
  • Is it appropriate for music to be used in political campaign advertisements?
  • Should music journalists be required to disclose their personal biases in reviews?
  • Is it ethical for musicians to profit from songs about tragedies and disasters?
  • Should music education be funded equally across all schools and districts?
  • Is it fair for record labels to own the rights to an artist’s entire discography?
  • Should music festivals have more diverse and inclusive lineups?
  • Should musicians be allowed to use drugs and alcohol as part of their creative process?

Fantastic Music Topics For Research

  • The evolution of the electric guitar in rock music
  • The cultural significance of the sitar in Indian music
  • The impact of synthesizers on contemporary music production
  • The use of technology in the creation and performance of music
  • The influence of Beyoncé on modern pop music
  • The significance of Kendrick Lamar in contemporary rap music
  • The effects of misogyny and sexism in the rap music industry
  • The emergence and growth of K-pop music globally
  • The significance of Coachella Music Festival in the music industry
  • The history and evolution of the Woodstock Music Festival
  • The impact of music festivals on tourism and local economies
  • The role of music festivals in shaping music trends and culture
  • The effects of music piracy on the music industry
  • The impact of social media on the promotion and distribution of music
  • The role of music in the Black Lives Matter movement

Catchy Music Related Research Topics

  • Is hip-hop culture beneficial or harmful to society?
  • Is it ethical to sample music without permission?
  • Should music streaming services censor explicit content?
  • Is auto-tune a valid musical technique or a crutch?
  • Does the music industry unfairly exploit young artists?
  • Should radio stations be required to play a certain percentage of local music?
  • Is the practice of lip-syncing during live performances acceptable?
  • Is music education undervalued and underfunded in schools?
  • Does the use of profanity in music contribute to a decline in society?
  • Should music venues be held accountable for the safety of concertgoers?

Informative Speech Topics About Music

  • The history and evolution of jazz music
  • The cultural significance of classical music in Europe
  • The origins and development of blues music in America
  • The influence of Latin American music on American popular music
  • The impact of technology on music production and distribution
  • The role of music in expressing emotions and feelings
  • The effects of music therapy on mental health and wellbeing
  • The cultural significance of traditional music in Africa
  • The use of music in films and television to create mood and atmosphere
  • The influence of the Beatles on popular music and culture
  • The evolution of electronic dance music (EDM)
  • The role of music in promoting cultural diversity and unity
  • The impact of social media on the music industry and fan culture

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177 Human Rights Research Topics

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431 Music Research Topics

If you are looking for the best music research topics, you are at the right place! In this music topics compilation, we will help you explore the world of music and its impact on individuals, cultures, and societies. You will find different perspectives on music as a universal language that transcends boundaries and unites people across the globe.

🎶 7 Best Music Essay Topics

🏆 best music research topics, 🗪 argumentative essay topics about music, 👍 catchy music essay topics, 📢 informative speech topics about music, 🌶️ hot topics about music.

  • ️🗣️ Persuasive Speech Topics about Music

🎓 Interesting Research Topics about Music

❓ music topics for presentation, 📌 controversial music topics, 💡 more music topics to write about.

  • Romantic Period: Music
  • Taylor Swift’s Blank Space Music Video: Analysis Example
  • Musical Elements in “Over the Rainbow” by Art Tatum
  • Music Industry: The Impact of Technology
  • Art, Music, and Dance
  • “Music of the Troubadours, Tant M’Abelis” by Lafitte
  • Title: Role of Music in the Spanish Culture
  • Idir (A Vava Inouva) Music Video: Background, Lyrics, and Visual Effects This paper analyzes A Vava Inouva’s music video by showing the musical language used and how it has been the mirror of society, particularly in ensuring the children are moral.
  • The International Music Festival Event Industry as a Business Environment The analysis based on the PESTLE system and Porter’s five forces will enable the business environment and profitability review of the international music festival event industry.
  • The Psychology of Music Despite the numerous and often contradictory findings regarding the phenomenon of music, there are no doubts about the powerful connection it has with a human mind, emotions, feelings, and actions.
  • Music and Mathematics Relationship This paper seeks to show the usage of mathematics in music and avail information on the effects of listening to music on mathematics.
  • Artificial Intelligence and Music The paper discusses use of Artificial Intelligence is rapidly expanding, with several innovative companies adopting it to create music.
  • Nursing Theory of Music, Mood, and Movement by Murrock and Higgins The purpose of this paper is to give a detailed description and analysis of the nursing theory of music, mood, and movement by Murrock and Higgins.
  • The Functions of Film Music: Essay Example Music plays an important role in films. This paper will discuss how music has been used in the movie Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
  • Renaissance Music: “Ave Maria” by Josquin Des Prez “Ave Maria” by Josquin des Prez is a prime example of Renaissance art. Due to the presence of the parties of several voices, this work becomes full and voluminous.
  • Arnold Schoenberg’s Musical Style Arnold Schoenberg is an expressionist composer, which means that his music is characterized by a plethora is dissonance and disturbance.
  • Traditional Colombian Music and Instruments The essay discusses of the first songs in Colombia, major themes of traditional songs and traditional Colombian instruments: Accordion, Guacharaca, Tip, Tambura, and Gaita.
  • The Elasticity of the Music Streaming Apps Market Elasticity has a significant impact on Spotify and other music streaming platforms, as there are factors affecting people’s demand for this service.
  • A Musical Performance by Music From China It is worth noting the musician’s skill and how he conveyed the work’s mood to the public with his appearance. I would love to watch a Chinese music concert again, especially live.
  • “Hamilton: An American Musical” by Miranda “Hamilton: An American Musical” is a hip-hop and pop musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda that premiered Off-Broadway on February 17, 2015.
  • The Influence of Rap Music on Moral Character The paper argues rap music misogynistic and promotes violence (especially toward women), crass materialism, and street crime.
  • Patriotism in Music: Patriotism and Nationalism in Music Education Music changes alongside new generations and their views, reflecting the crucial ideas and issues within the society of that time.
  • One Direction Band and Its Impact on Music Industry The One Direction band’s impact on pop culture was immeasurable, and most of it came from their image as teen idols.
  • The “Ulay Oh”: Music Video Analysis This essay examines the “Ulay Oh” music video using Allan Johnson’s core ideas of patriarchy and male dominance.
  • Music: Benefits and Positive Influences Music has many various benefits that positively affect people’s nervous system, psychological state, and educational opportunities and can be efficiently applied to medical aims.
  • Difference Between Hearing and Listening to Music Music has a unique way of conveying feelings, emotions, and even stories, regardless of the country and language of a person who listens to it.
  • Reality Music Television Shows The purpose of this paper therefore is to discuss the effects (both positive and negative in any) of reality music televising shows on the general music industries.
  • Shubert Music Analysis the Work of Shubert Die SchöNE Müllerin, No 19 Analyzing the work of Shubert Die schöne Müllerin, no 19, and its part ‘Der Müller und der Bach’ I used the technology of LaRue, who suggests paying attention to sound, harmony, melody, rhythm and the growth of form.
  • Music Listening: “Firestone” Song by Kygo The composition “Firestone” is performed by Kygo, who is its composer, featuring Conrad Sewell released in December 2014. The song belongs to the genre of tropical house.
  • Evolution in Modern Indian Music Rich and diverse, Indian folk music is utilized for special occasions and educational purposes. The sources of Indian music are endless and its potentials are without limit.
  • Musical Impact on Learning Process This essay aims to take a look into how music affects the learning process, and understand the positive and negative effects of its use.
  • Musical Style of Luis Miguel Luis Miguel is a legendary figure in the history of Spanish music in Latin America. The professional accomplishments and musical style of Luis Miguel are discussed in this essay.
  • Laura Pausini: Live Music Event Critique I will present my analysis and reaction to the live concert of Laura Pausini. The event started at 8:00 PM at James L. Knight Center and lasted for a couple of hours.
  • Traditional and Contemporary Music in Africa Traditional West African music displays intricate rhythmic and metrical patterns through singing, dance, and instrumental music.
  • Beethoven’s Personality and Music The secret of discrepancy between the historic personality and creative work of genius has always been interesting for researchers and music worshippers.
  • Music Therapy: Review Music therapy is the controlled use of music in treatment, rehabilitation, and a means of optimizing creativeness and pedagogical work.
  • Eagles’ “Hotel California” as a Musical Background Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher” If the narrator of Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher” had an iPhone at hand, “Hotel California” by Eagles would be a likely pick to listen to during the events of the story.
  • Beethoven’s vs. Mozart’s Life and Music Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven rate among the most outstanding composers in the history of classical music.
  • Medieval and Modern Music Comparison Each musical genre and school of that time was devoted to dozens of meaningful dissertations and hundreds of wonderful articles.
  • Music of the Classical Period: Patronage in Music All the composers whose works are now considered the classics of world music once were fledgling talents unknown in the music circles.
  • Does Music Therapy Truly Benefit Patients, or Is It Placebo Effect?
  • What Is the Balance Between Freedom of Expression and Responsible Content?
  • Music Piracy and Its Effect on Artists and the Music Industry.
  • The Role of Music Education in Schools: Is It Essential or Expendable?
  • Is There a Link Between Aggressive Behavior and Music Lyrics?
  • Cultural Appropriation in Music: How to Navigate the Boundaries of Artistic Expression?
  • Can Listening to Music Enhance Cognitive Abilities in Alzheimer’s Patients?
  • Music Festivals and Environmental Impact: Balancing Entertainment and Sustainability.
  • Music Streaming Services: Does It Provide a Fair Compensation for Artists and Songwriters?
  • The Evolution of Hip-Hop: From a Subculture to a Global Phenomenon.
  • Classical vs. Contemporary Music: Which Has a More Profound Cultural Impact?
  • Does The Commercialization of Music Sacrifice Artistic Integrity for Profit?
  • How to Break Barriers to Gender Representation in the Music Industry for Female Artists?
  • The Role of Music in Shaping Social Movements: Protest Songs and Political Activism.
  • How Has Digitalization Revolutionized Music Production and Consumption?
  • Music and Memory: The Influence of Music on Autobiographical Reminiscence.
  • The Ethics of Music Sampling: Balancing Creativity and Copyright Infringement.
  • Can Background Music Improve Academic Performance?
  • How Efficient is Music Therapy for Veterans with PTSD?
  • The Future of Live Music Events: Are Virtual Concerts as Good as Real Ones?
  • Music Distribution: Defining Distribution Channels Channels of distribution are characterized by the presence of middlemen who include wholesalers, retailers, and distributers.
  • The Roots of Turkish Music: The Sound of Ney and Sufism Music had sacral and holy meaning, and the magic of deriving melodic sounds seemed was available only to those, who are closer to God than others.
  • Use of Technology in Arts and Music Industry Technology in art is a form of venture where artists use digital technologies to create their works and use tech as part of their creative or presenting process.
  • Big Band and Combo Jazz: Musical Groups Comparison The essay compares two types of musical groups, big band and combo jazz. Both of these directions are deeply rooted in the history of the music of the 20th century.
  • Why Health Insurance Should Cover Art and Music Therapy? In the article, the author talks about the benefits of art therapy and music therapy for the mental health of patients.
  • Copyright Infringement in Music and Film Industry Copyrights are legal frameworks that allow access to exclusive control and ownership of music and film industry work. Such statutory provisions seek to govern commercial aspects.
  • Music Journalism in the Future Internet Age The advent of the Internet has affected the role of the traditional print music journalist to the extent of raising concerns over the prospects of the field.
  • Vivaldi’s “Winter” as an Example of Baroque Music The composition “Winter” from “The Four Seasons” violin concertos series by Antonio Vivaldi is one of the most famous music pieces of baroque music.
  • Music of the Renaissance The Renaissance era refers to period that marked the revitalization of art and rebirth of music. This essay explores characteristics and impacts of music during renaissance era.
  • Why Is Impressionistic and Expressionistic Music So Hard to Understand? In any era, musicians kept up with the times and, under the influence of new art trends, revealed and invented their ways through musical means of expression.
  • Jazz Music and Its Role in Society Jazz gets its appeal from the blend of different musical elements and the fact that different performers have different improvisation and personal interpretation.
  • Sound Differences in Renaissance and Middle Ages Music Music from the Renaissance period is more complex in structure and composition and has more richness in tones and pitches.
  • The Beatles Band’s Strategic Musical Evolution This paper provides insights into the formation of the Beatles, the British invasion, and their strategic musical evolution.
  • How Music Affects Juveniles Essay gives an analysis of the ways through which music is capable of affecting juveniles. The discussion has presented a strong correlation between music and deviant behavior.
  • How Music Reinforces Stereotypes? The contemporary entertainment world is mostly covered by music from renown artists all over the world such as Michael Jackson, Ja Rule, etc.
  • The Britain Music of the 1960s In the 1960s, a new tradition in the music industry emerged in Liverpool and London that would transform Britain’s culture forever.
  • Music Industry and Information Technology The music industry is a term used to describe a wide range of music-related businesses and/or organizations, and various types of musicians.
  • The Catholic Church and Western Classical Music Many secular elements of culture like the creation and composition of music had their origins in the Roman Catholic Church or were influenced by the music of the Catholic Church.
  • K-Pop Music Genre Popularity Analysis K-Pop, or Korean pop, is a musical genre rapidly gaining popularity, which characterized by singing talents and brilliantly choreographed dances that demonstrate during performances.
  • Cultural and Individual Expression Through Music Music is viewed as one of the most effective ways of passing any information be it cultural or expression of emotions and feelings among different people.
  • Music During the Vietnam War: An Intangible Weapon American music during the 1960s was initially written to express emotions. It became a social tool for applying pressure to the US government to end their involvement in Vietnam.
  • The Beatles’ “Let It Be” and Youth Music Culture The Beatles were one of the most powerful musical icons of the 1960s and, as a result, their songs could serve as a good reflection of the time when the band was active.
  • Classical Arab Music The Arab classical music is interesting, it is necessary to focus on the instruments, its association with culture and religion, composers, performance venues and notations.
  • Musical Instrument Families and Ensembles It is important to note that several instrument families possess unique characteristics. The most used one is the strings family, which includes dobro, banjo, or autoharp.
  • “The Sound of Music” Opera Review The opera “The Sound of Music” is performed by means of genuine interaction of two men being a composer and a lyricist: Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein.
  • Music in the Movie “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” Jon Brion made a daring experiment by mixing different genres of music in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind that leaves a long-lasting impression.
  • Rhythm: The Essential Element of Music Rhythm is the crucial element of world music. It predates the development of other basic elements of music in frames of evolution.
  • The Wiggles Musical Group: Marketing Strategies This research looks at how the Wiggles group (a children’s musical group formed in Sydney, Australia) penetrated the market and became the top in its line of business.
  • Indian Culture, Tradition and Classical Music Since India has been evolving for thousands of years and differs from area to region, it has a rich and distinct culture.
  • Musical Instruments: Chordophones and Idiophones Chordophones and idiophones are two types of instruments that produce sound. These musical instruments came from different cultures.
  • Pink’s Music: Less Than Perfect and Raise Your Glass This paper will examine two songs written and performed by P!nk. The two pieces selected for this analysis are popular songs: Less Than Perfect and Raise Your Glass.
  • Turkish Musical Instruments in Classical and Contemporary Music Turkish music is seen as oriental, with variegated intervals less than a semitone incomparable to European music. It is seen as exotic and peculiar.
  • “Seussical the Musical” Theater Play Critique The production of “Seussical the Musical” intertwines the plots of several stories to create a magical world full of fantastic creatures and breathtaking adventures.
  • Music Reproduction in the Future This essay explores the relationship between notions of “music,” “technology,” and “society,” and discusses qualitative specifics of the audio format in the future.
  • Pop Music of Japan, Korea and China Pop music varies in styles containing several sub-genres and differs depending on its geography. This paper focuses on studying pop music of Japan, Korea, and China.
  • Music Therapy and Its Positive Psychological Impact Music therapy is defined as an evidence-based and clinical use of interventions related to the musical experience.
  • Film Studies: “The Sound of Music” by Robert Wise This essay discusses the film “The Sound of Music” and the locational geography shown in the movie. It also discusses the geography shown in the movie.
  • Romantic Era’s Music This paper analyzes two musical pieces of the romantic era period to ascertain the characteristics that cause emotive feelings among their audience.
  • The Book “Living with Music” by Ralph Ellison Ralph Ellison’s “Living with Music” is a story about jazz musicians, and a reader is transferred to 20th century America to explore the inspiring power of music people experienced.
  • The Importance of Music and Its Impact on Mind The article argues certain music can enhance the mind, increase memory, relieve stress, accelerate learning, help concentrate, focus, and unleash inner abilities.
  • The Evolution of Jazz Music: From Its Origins to Modern Interpretations.
  • The Influence of Classical Music on Contemporary Compositions.
  • The Origins and Characteristics of Reggae Music from Jamaica.
  • The Impact of Music Therapy on Mental Health and Well-Being.
  • The Role of Music in Different Cultures: Celebrating Diversity through Melody.
  • How Technology Has Transformed the Music Industry: From Vinyl to Streaming.
  • The Science Behind How Music Affects the Brain and Emotions.
  • The History of Rock and Roll: Pioneers, Icons, and Cultural Impact.
  • The Significance of Music Festivals in Celebrating Art and Community.
  • Exploring Traditional Instruments from Around the World: A Musical Journey.
  • The Contribution of African Rhythms and Melodies to Contemporary Music.
  • The Art of Music Production: From Recording Studios to Mixing and Mastering.
  • The Influence of Hip-Hop Music on Youth Culture and Social Activism.
  • The Fascinating World of Opera: Opera Styles, Composers, and Iconic Performances.
  • The Healing Power of Music: Understanding Its Therapeutic Effects.
  • Music and Memory: How Melodies Can Trigger Powerful Recollections.
  • The Impact of Music Education on Children’s Cognitive and Emotional Development.
  • The Role of Music in Cinema: How Soundtracks Enhance the Movie Experience.
  • The Fascinating History and Legacy of The Beatles: Global Music Icons.
  • Music as a Universal Language: Uniting People Beyond Linguistic Barriers.
  • Whether Music Distracts Students or Helps Them It is not always the case that music serves as a distraction, some studies have shown that music has numerous benefits when listened to while studying.
  • Mozart Meets Beethoven: Influences in Music In this paper, the researcher seeks to investigate the impact that Mozart had on Beethoven, especially after their meeting in Vienna.
  • The “Hamilton” Musical and Its Significance This discussion will be dedicated to proving “Hamilton” success as a visionary fiction – referring to its essential elements and peculiarities.
  • Music as a Multifaceted Cultural Phenomenon Music is a multifaceted phenomenon with various layers, stages, and implications. It resembles self-expression that allows one to share feelings and emotions.
  • Drake’s “Gods Plan”: Visual Analysis on the Music Video The music video of Canadian rapper Drake created for the song “God’s Plan” can be called unusual, both for the artist and for the entire rap direction.
  • Sounds of Life: The Role of Music In this music survey paper, a reflection on childhood music will be given and how the music made me feel. Also, there will be a discussion of adolescent music and its role.
  • How the Beatles Influenced Music The Beatles is probably one of the most influential music bands in the history of modern music. From the purely artistic standpoint, it essentially shaped rock music as we know it now.
  • History of Aztec Music Their music also had some incorporation of the African music from the African slaves as well as the Salvadoran music from Mexico.
  • Effect of Music on Education There has been a rising concern over the effect of music on education. Some scholars have conducted research and have reported various effects of music on education.
  • Operations and Information Management: A Case Study of CC Music CC Music has accumulated market knowledge and expertise over the previous years, yet, the industry’s course over the past decade poses a significant obstacle.
  • Entrepreneurial Profile of Private Music Teacher Mr. Phuoc Vu is a private music teacher that has been working in the industry for about 15 years. He stated his determination to always learn and improve.
  • Music: “Create, Produce, Consume” by Bruenger The book “Create, Produce, Consume: New Models for Understanding Music Business” by David Bruenger explores the music industry through the lens of culture and society.
  • The Classic Musical Film Grease Analysis In the Grease film, there are many unsettling concepts but many of them are linked to the participants’ strong characters which eventually results in love.
  • The Musical Composition “Lux Aurumque” by Eric Whitacre The musical composition “Lux Aurumque” by Eric Whitacre can be categorized as neoclassical choral electronic music.
  • “How We Listen” by Aaron Copland: The Art of Listening to Music “How We Listen” discusses three distinct levels of listening and strives to develop audiences’ listening skills and teach them the art of listening to music.
  • Electric Guitar in African Music This essay explores the origins of electric guitar music in Africa, the forms enriched by African guitarists, and the impact of the electric guitar on the evolution of music.
  • Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in American Musical Theatre While white actors remained prevalent, BIPOC actor representation was up 6% in non-profit theaters and reached 54.5% of all roles, which is a record high.
  • The Origin of Blues Music Genre Blues was established in the environment of traveling performers, thus not all the details are available to the researchers.
  • Program Music. Bedrich Smetana and Hector Berlioz The given analysis will primarily focus on Bedrich Smetana and Hector Berlioz, who are among the most prominent program music performers.
  • Contemporary Russian Folk Music The purpose of this paper is to research international online communities devoted to Russian folk music in order to find out what inspires them.
  • Live Musical Performances and Concerts’ Analysis The author watched and analyzed four video recordings of music performances to determine how music and the artistry of performers create a unique ambiance.
  • Playing Music and Its Benefits for Health Playing music has proved to be effective in dealing with stress, and music therapy is used in treating stress disorders.
  • Opinion About Classical Music Classical music loses its popularity among the wide public, which is explained by the fact that it becomes obsolete in the conditions of the modern-day world.
  • EMI Music: Company Analysis The aim of the paper is to analyze the competitive environment as well as the financial performance of the company of EMI Music.
  • Michael Jackson: Essay on His Influence on Music & Pop Culture Jackson has received a place in pop history as a pioneer and legend, which is why he will always be remembered as the King of Pop.
  • “Memphis” Musical Theatre Production The musical “Memphis” is a story depicting a disc-jockey who preferred music that was associated with the African-Americans, and thus his vision was unpopular.
  • Musical Culture and Internet Influence Music is the most ancient and common in human culture. It is characterized as an art form that reflects reality in sounds, artistic images and actively influences the human psyche.
  • The Vietnam War and American Music American music was initially written to simply express emotions, later it became a social tool for applying pressure to the US government to end their involvement in Vietnam.
  • Feminism and Sex in Hip-Hop Music Hip Hop music was introduced with the intention of combating poverty, racism, and violence that were prevalent in lower-income neighborhoods across the United States.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Musical Arts Born in 1756, Mozart was one the greatest composers of the classical era. Mozart was involved in music from a very tender age of just five years.
  • Gil Scott-Heron’s Influence on Modern Hip-Hop Music Scott-Heron was not only a godfather (literally) of hip-hop but also an enthusiastic soul and blues performer.
  • Musical Pieces of the Baroque Era This paper explores musical pieces of the Baroque era through the works of Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frideric Handel.
  • Sounds of Life: The Role of Music Music is one of the most influential aspects of life in society. I am yet to come across an individual who does not like music at all.
  • The Definition and Genres of World Music The paper states that there are varieties of global music because the phrase is inclusive and encompasses diverse civilizations and musical genres.
  • Digital Storytelling and Background Music Background music has long been a critical aspect of storytelling, presenting itself in various settings, including films, restaurants, and museums.
  • Classical Music and Composers of That Era Classical music is one of the directions of music that originated in the middle of the 17th century and is developing to this day.
  • Reasons Why Music Matters The paper discusses how music enriches and achieves sociability and commonality. Music should be embraced more in society for its benefits.
  • Same Song, Different Styles: Musical Elements Analysis Throughout its entire existence, music has performed many functions in people’s lives. It is intended not only for entertainment but also for education and development.
  • Latin American Protest Music of the 1960-70s This paper will analyze ten songs that belong to protest music culture written by prominent Latin American Artists.
  • Impact of Kendrick Lamar Music on Racism The essay hypothesizes that Lamar’s music has conducted to a progress in abolishing racism by cultivating tolerant attitude in the society towards Afro-American population.

🗣️ Persuasive Speech Topics about Music

  • The Importance of Music Education in Schools.
  • Music Therapy Should Be Promoted in Healthcare Settings.
  • Music Increases Productivity and Creativity in Workspaces.
  • Why Should We Attend Live Shows and Support Independent Artists?
  • Music Copyright and Piracy: Raising Awareness about the Need for Fair Compensation.
  • The Role of Music in Relieving Stress and Anxiety: Mindful Listening.
  • Promoting Music Diversity: Embracing Various Genres and Cultures in the Music Industry.
  • Protest Songs Have Immense Power: How Music Can Be a Catalyst for Social Change.
  • Music Should be Promoted as a Tool for Emotional Well-Being.
  • The Influence of Music on Teen Behavior: Encouraging Positive Role Models in Lyrics.
  • How Can Melodies Help Preserve and Enhance Cognitive Function?
  • The Impact of Music on Sports Performance: Advocating for Its Use in Athletic Training.
  • The Connection Between Music and Academic Performance: Supporting Music Education.
  • How Can Pleasant Tunes Influence Consumer Behavior?
  • The Role of Music in Building Cultural Bridges and Fostering Global Understanding.
  • The Importance of Equal Opportunities for Musicians with Disabilities.
  • What Are the Efforts to Preserve Musical Heritage?
  • How Can Songs Motivate and Inspire Change?
  • Music and Social Media: Leveraging Digital Platforms for Musical Discovery and Promotion.
  • How to Encourage Sustainable Practices and Fair Contracts in the Industry?
  • The Concert by the Musical Band Metallica This paper describes the concert performed by the musical band Metallica which appeared to be the culmination of the global tour in support of the new album.
  • Skills for Social Promotion in the Music Industry This paper aims to discuss strategies and skills for social promotion in the music industry, specifically, strategies for self-promotion and emerging performer skills.
  • Contemporary RnB (Rich & Beautiful) Music Throughout decades, the genre of RNB underwent significant changes that have to be covered in order to explain the importance of the 2000s era of RNB music.
  • A Musical Performance by Music From China Organized at the Metropolitan Museum of Art a musical presentation from five Chinese was to perform on the so-awaited Music from China.
  • Native American Music of the Cherokee Indian Tribe Several scholars have studied and documented the rich music history and the place that music occupies in the life of the Cherokees.
  • Classical Opera and Musical Theater Conventions: “Carmen” vs. “Sweeney Todd” “Carmen” remains the most scandalous and sexiest classical operas. “Sweeney Todd” is a terrifying story shows another perspective of how art could look in the late 20th-century.
  • Takht and Dabke as Part of Musical Heritage Takht is a traditional Arab ensemble that became popular at the beginning of the 18th century. Dabke music is another genre that my family and I often listen to.
  • The Culture of Music Consumption: The Changing Trends and Indie Label Management This report explores the link between modern sales techniques and consumer culture for indie record music products.
  • Music as a Reflection of History Since the 1960s This paper studies the relationship between music and history. It analyzes songs written between the 1960s and today, pointing out their influences, message, and subsequent impact.
  • 42nd Street Musical by Stewart and Bramble The play 42nd Street is set in the times of the Great Depression and focuses on the attempt of a notorious director to stage a musical that could bring him fame and wealth.
  • Social Stratification in the Music Art A detailed analysis of three songs can guide more people to learn more about social stratification and consider new ways to mitigate it.
  • Classical Symphonic Music Analysis Event For this essay, I watched and analyzed four video recordings of musical performances. They are united by the classical character of compositions and features.
  • Influence of Technology on Marketing of Music in the 20th Century This paper discusses how the technological developments affect the marketing of music with a mention of the broader entertainment industry as a whole.
  • Hip-Hop Musical Impact on the World Hip-hop culture has had a tremendous impact on the youth today than any other culture, for example, P Diddy and Jay Z have had a tremendous impact on the business world.
  • Jazz Music History and Appreciation Masterpiece jazz is a combination of soaring sophisticated Western music and jazz melodies. It originated in the United States in the early 20th century.
  • Musical Career: Personal Philosophy and Career Goals My love for music is due to the emotions that this genre of art gives. Melodies are able to awaken in the souls of people warmth, delight, worries, joy, and other strong feelings.
  • The Effect of Music on Serial Short Term Memory From the experiment carried out on the two groups it is really not clear whether the effect of short term recall is hindered in anyway by background music.
  • The Son as a Mexican Music Genre Mexican music includes a range of genres, and the son is one of them. The word “son” means “sound,” it is played using such instruments as haupanguera, harp, guitar, etc.
  • Music Festivals and Sustainable Event Management The principles of sustainable development spread far beyond the ecological realm, and every day is applied in a greater amount of spheres of human activity.
  • Racism in the Music Video: Locked Up and Styles P Using the music video Locked Up by Akon featuring Styles P, this paper discusses the significance of race and racial representation in the media.
  • Apple Computer Inc.: Maintaining the Music Business Apple Computer Company is an organization that deals with electronic goods. While promoting its products, Apple Computer, Inc. has expanded its market globally.
  • Music History: Joseph Haydn The world of classical music is far-reaching in different masterpieces. Thereupon, the work of Joseph Haydn cannot be underestimated.
  • Music Marketing in a Digital World The popular pop and rock culture seems to work best for advertisers who want to reach a larger audience. This is largely because pop is arguably the biggest crowd puller in the UK.
  • Music History and Development Different Cultures all have there own specific way of communicating through music. Music is basically broken into two specific groups Eastern Music and Western Music.
  • History of Museums of “Classical” Music The combination of innovative and experimental solutions in the music industry was an impetus to various difficulties and limitations within the framework of “classical music.”
  • Haitian Compas Music and Its Crossover Crisis Haitian music has been affected by individuals who lived on the Caribbean Island before the colonization. It is comprised of a broad scope of influences.
  • Parents Music Resource Center in the United States Parents Music Resource Center was a group created by four women in 1985. The aim of this group was to control the music that was released.
  • Why Is Baroque Suite an International Music Genre? A baroque suite is a musical genre or form primarily founded and developed during the Renaissance and Baroque periods.
  • Western Art Music of the Classical Era Classical music refers to western art music that elaborates on the various styles of creating and singing various melodies.
  • Native American Music: Cherokee Indian Tribe Different tribes had different kinds of music for different purposes, but they were all brought together by two characteristics; togetherness and drums.
  • How Does Composer John Williams Unify His Films Through His Music? John Williams’ music has the quality of unifying the films he has worked on through the similar stylistic features in his composition.
  • Program Notes on Classical Music The strains of classical instruments can wake a full continuum of emotions, and the familiar movements stir a variety of memories in the heart of an involved person.
  • American Folk Music and American Roots Music The paper offers the evaluation of American history and national development to create an opinionated definition of folk and roots music and demonstrate specific characteristics.
  • Effects of Music Therapy on Depressed Elderly People Music therapy has been shown to have positive effects among people, and thus the aim was to assess the validity of such claims using elderly people.
  • Electroencephalography Waves to Control Musical Instrument Digital Interface The paper investigates current trends in turning the brain waves into music, through surveying the literature on the methods of turning waves into music.
  • Music of the African Diaspora The essay illustrates that slavery is at the core of the music of the African diaspora as through the music the plight, suffering.
  • Music and Movie Industry Analysis In the music and movie industry of the United States, the exploration of productivity exhibits significant fluctuations because it has increased and declined over time.
  • Elvis Presley’s Influence on Music Elvis Aaron Presley an immensely talented American artist gained extreme popularity at a point in time as a vocalist, actor, and musician.
  • Music Artists and Advertising Deals There has been a change in terms of the attitude of artists regarding the issue of getting involved in advertising deals as a way of supplementing their income.
  • Parallel Worlds: Country-And-Western and Rap Music This paper is dedicated to working out the theme of similarity and contrasting between two streams in music, namely: country-and-west and rap music.
  • Can Preference for Background Music Mediate the Irrelevant Sound Effect?
  • How Has the Ability to Download Music From the Internet Affected the Music?
  • How Globalization Influences Students’ Music Consumption?
  • Does Heavy Metal Music Cause Suicides?
  • Does Loud Music Have Anything to Do With Your Intelligence?
  • How Effective Are International Copyright Conventions in the Music Industry?
  • Does Music Affect Our Quality of Life and Their Own Happiness?
  • How Franz Liszt’s Transcriptions Shaped the Path of Classical Music?
  • Does Music Affect Public Schools Affect Students?
  • How Gospel Music Was a Confort for African Americans in the Racist and Prejudist Society?
  • Does Music Construct Rather Than Reflect Cultural Identities?
  • How Has Music Changed Since the Middle Ages?
  • Does Music Really Create Better Students Education?
  • How Has Pop Music Changed Over the Last 80 Years?
  • Does Music Therapy Really Help Children With Special Needs?
  • How Does Music Contribute to the School Curriculum and Personalisation Agenda?
  • How Does Music Improve a Child’s Learning Ability?
  • How Does Music Influence Sex and Human Behavior?
  • How Has the Internet Changed the Music and Movie Industries?
  • Why Metal Music Does Not Create Violence in Teenagers?
  • What Were Two Major Influences on German Baroque Music?
  • What Effects Music Cognition for Therapeutic Effect Music Memory Recall?
  • What Digital Music Distribution Is and Why It Is Significant?
  • What Determines the Perception of Segmentation in Contemporary Music?
  • How Electronic Dance Music Is Taking Over the World?
  • Music of the Baroque Period: What is a Baroque Concerto?
  • Live Music Pub: Company Analysis
  • French Popular Music, Barbara (French Singer)
  • Mozart’s Requiem Mass: Exploring Music History
  • The 66th International Music Festival in Prague
  • Reggae Music and Its Aspects
  • Latin American Women and Trap Music
  • Can Music Be an Enhancement to Education?
  • Bachata as a Music Genre and Artists’ Creativity
  • Middle Eastern Musical Culture
  • Music as a Part of Life: Personal Impressions
  • Robert Johnson’ Life and Music
  • Music Artist Tupac Shakur
  • The “Bad Habits” Music Video by Ed Sheeran
  • Role of Irish Traditional Music and Culture in Australian Music
  • Jazz Music as Reflection of Social Injustices
  • Music and Its Impact on Cognition and Emotions
  • The Beautiful Age in Art, Literature, and Music
  • Music Evolution and Historical Roots
  • The Influence Music Has Over Various Generations
  • Philosophizing About Music and Emotions
  • Cosmopolitanism in Rap Music
  • Baroque and Classical Eras: Music Genre
  • Classical Music Pioneers: Haydn, Mozart, Albrehc
  • Mozart and Classical Period Music
  • Swinging Bach: New Interpretation of Music
  • The Need of Censorship in the Music Industry
  • Aspects of Beethoven’s Music
  • “Better Days” Song by OneRepublic: Music Analysis
  • The Discussion of Favorite Music Style Period
  • Jazz Music: Historical Background
  • “Weird” Art: An Invitation to Analytical Perception of Music
  • Hip-Hop and Violence: Does This Music Genre Promote Crime?
  • Religious Music Analysis: the Rock of Ages
  • Musical Style and Cultural Identity
  • The Development of the Music Industry
  • John Cage: Composer and Music Philosopher
  • Jamaican Music’s Evolution and Forms
  • Schubert’s the Trout as an Excellent Piece of Music
  • Charles Luckeyth “Luckey” Roberts in Jazz Music
  • Music Industry, Its Impact and the Future
  • Impact of Blues on the 20th-Century Music
  • Tin Pan Alley in the Music Industry Context
  • Listening to Music: Several Levels
  • The Relevance of the World Music Term
  • “Salome” the Opera: Characters, Meanings, and Musical Essence
  • Michala Petri and Lars Hannibal Music Concert
  • Understanding Society Through Popular Music
  • Music from Bali with Gamelan Gong Kebyar of Belaluan
  • Hip-Hop Music, Culture, and Technology in Society
  • The Korean Pop Industry, Culture, and Music
  • Researching of Music of the Caribbean
  • Tejano as a Musical Genre of Texas and Mexico
  • Developing an Original Musical Instrumental
  • Expressionist Music and Its Features
  • The Future of Popular Music and Society
  • Shrek the Musical by David Lindsay-Abaire
  • Blake Shelton’s “Home” Music Video Analysis
  • Music: The 00s and Modern Latin Alternative Rock
  • Relationship Between the Medieval Music and Culture
  • A Musical Comparison of Beethoven and West
  • Movie Music: Soundtracks That Make the Movie
  • Mutual Influence of Culture and Music on Each Other
  • Jennifer Hudson Musical Performance Review
  • Using Music to Portray and Emphasize Identity
  • Madonna’s Music Impact in the United States
  • Gustav Holst: Classical Music of Planetary Proportions
  • Venue for “Jesu, the Virgin’s Crown, Do Thou” Music
  • Response to a Musical Identity and The Queer Composition of America’s Sound
  • Worldly Writing on Music: K-Pop Culture
  • Perfect Outdoor Music Venue After Covid-19
  • George Bridgetower: Life and Musical Work
  • Hip-Hop and Early African-American Music
  • What Are the Reasons for the Imperfection of Baroque Music?
  • Discussion of Four Musical Pieces of Still, Gershwin, Copland, Márquez
  • How Wagner’s Preludes Transformed Opera Music
  • African American Musical Styles and Its Influence on the American Culture
  • The Music Pieces: “The Sacred Harp”, “Billings: When Jesus Wept”, and “Chester Overture”
  • Aaron Copland and His Contribution to American Classical Music
  • Louis Armstrong’s Career and Innovations in Music
  • Aspects of Zydeco Music
  • Hip Hop’s Globalization and Influence of Hip-Hop Music in Japan
  • Current Developments in the Music Industry
  • Preferred Piece of Music
  • Art and Music in Culture: Concepts of Beauty
  • Effects of Music Therapy on the Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia
  • Music at Mary Baldwin: Seung-Hye Kim
  • Two Genres of Music: Rap Music and Jazz Music
  • Music From the Renaissance Into the Baroque
  • Jazz Music and Civil Rights Liberation
  • Popular Culture and Musical Success
  • Data Analysis Relevance in Music Industry
  • Music Industry: A Revenue Plan for a Release
  • Brain Music System: Standardized Brain Music Therapy
  • Canada’s Gaming, Music, and Television Industries
  • Vietnamese Folklore Music of “Then”
  • Music, Art, and Dance of Latino Culture Group
  • Impressionism and Symbolism in Music
  • The Effect of Individually Selected Music
  • The Effect of Music Therapy on the Elderly
  • Music and the Second Reconstruction Relationship
  • Controversies About How to Interpret Music
  • Music Appreciation: A “Great” Composer
  • Music as an Accelerator of a Learning Process
  • Music Elements Manipulation
  • Chris Anderson: Digitization of Music
  • The Effect of Music Therapy on Depression
  • Operations and Information Management of CC Music
  • Rapalje Band’s Musical Performance in Castlefield
  • Cover Versions and The Music of the Beatles
  • Music of a Classical Era: Personal Opinion
  • Music Therapy as ASD Individuals Alternative Treatment
  • Huun-Huur-Tu Live Musical Performance in California
  • Music Listening Journal Blog: Song Review
  • Protest Music in the 1960s
  • Electronic Music in Film: Leitmotifs and Melody
  • A. Grande’s “Break Free”: Musical Video and Live
  • Adolescent Music: Cultural, Moral and Political Messages
  • Josquin Des Prez’s Musical Career and Works
  • Christian Music and Vital Congregations
  • Appalachian Music: About Music Tradition
  • Contextualization: Music and Brain
  • The Music Industry Versus the Internet: Mp3 and Other Cyber Wars
  • The Story of Christian Music
  • Thelonius Monk: Musical Genius
  • Proper Education Through Music for Youth for HIV, AID Prevention
  • Filmi: Indian Music Unique Element
  • Jazz Music: Comparison to Music in Previous Eras
  • Teaching Music in Middle Schools
  • Music and Poetry Perception Ideas
  • Teaching Music in the Middle Schools
  • Popular Music. “West Side Story” Musical
  • David Williams on Outdated Music Education Model
  • Klezmer Musical Tradition in Jewish Communities
  • Music Listening: “Say a Little Prayer“ Song by Bacharach & David
  • Johnny Cash’s Life and Musical Career
  • Copyright Infringement in US Musical Industry
  • Music Language and History in Western Culture
  • E-Concert Report: 20th Century Music
  • Opera and Instrumental Music
  • E-Concert Report: Pieces from Early and Baroque Music
  • E-Concert Report: Classical and Romantic Music
  • Musical for Kids: “Seussical”
  • Gangstagrass: Bluegrass and Hip-Hop Music Band
  • Cultural Heritage Course: Arts, Literature, Music
  • Music Ministry by Roberts and Wilson-Dickson
  • Mindfulness-Based Music Therapy & Chemotherapy
  • “Strange Sounds: Music, Technology and Culture” by Taylor
  • Music’s Importance and Influences
  • The Process of Creating Music CDs
  • New Insights About Bachata Music
  • Music Therapy as an Additional Means of Psychotherapy
  • The Fender Music Foundation: Arts Organization Study
  • Mindfulness-Based Music Therapy and Cancer Treatment
  • Music: “Like a Rolling Stone” by Greil Marcus
  • New Insights About Bachata Music in Latin America
  • Mindfulness-Based Music Therapy and Mental Health
  • Musical Exoticism of Opera in the 19th Century
  • Music and Speech in Deutsch’s and Levitin’s Views
  • Music Therapy Effects for Breast Cancer Patients
  • The Role of Music in Improving Patient Outcome
  • “Grease” Musical by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey
  • Masterworks of 20th-Century Music
  • Music Video Making Movement as Art Tendency
  • Sports, Music, and Arts for Modernization
  • Blues Music in “Blue Chicago” by David Grazian
  • Duke Ellington: Jazz Legend and Music Innovator
  • Music Therapy in Nurse’s Work
  • Mindfulness-Based Music Therapy in Cancer Patients
  • Film Studies – Bill Monroe: Father of Bluegrass Music
  • Bill Monroe – Father of Bluegrass Music Film Analysis
  • The Role of Music in Patient Therapy
  • Alternative Medicine: Musical Therapy
  • Piano’ Music Concert by Misha Dacic
  • Music Album Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action
  • Evolution of Pop Music – Hip-Hop Genre
  • Music of the 20th Century and Beyond
  • Classical and Baroque Music Differences
  • Music: Salu International ‘Pedersen’ Band
  • Identify World Music Terms
  • Music Therapy and Pain Management
  • Attending Music Concerts: Musical, Jazz, Classical and Opera
  • Effects of Music Therapy for Adolescents with Autism
  • Psychology: Personality and Music Preferences
  • Legalizing Free Downloads Of Music And Movies
  • Popular and Serious Music

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StudyCorgi. (2021, September 9). 431 Music Research Topics.

"431 Music Research Topics." StudyCorgi , 9 Sept. 2021,

StudyCorgi . (2021) '431 Music Research Topics'. 9 September.

1. StudyCorgi . "431 Music Research Topics." September 9, 2021.


StudyCorgi . "431 Music Research Topics." September 9, 2021.

StudyCorgi . 2021. "431 Music Research Topics." September 9, 2021.

These essay examples and topics on Music were carefully selected by the StudyCorgi editorial team. They meet our highest standards in terms of grammar, punctuation, style, and fact accuracy. Please ensure you properly reference the materials if you’re using them to write your assignment.

This essay topic collection was updated on January 21, 2024 .

83 Rock Music Essay Topic Ideas & Examples

🏆 best rock music topic ideas & essay examples, 📌 good research topics about rock music, 🔎 interesting topics to write about rock music.

  • Woodstock: Peace, Love and Rock n’ Roll The assassination of the President Kennedy and the Cold War contributed greatly to the rise of people’s concerns. Of course, the involvement of the country in the war in Vietnam was criticized by the majority […]
  • History of Rock Music: The Influence and Importance of Bon Jovi Jon Bon Jovi is among such influencers and redefiners of the rock anthem, and the purpose of this paper is to study his career and find out why it is crucial to include Jovi in […] We will write a custom essay specifically for you by our professional experts 808 writers online Learn More
  • The Evolution of Heavy Metal Rock Music in UK and US In the United States, the tempo of heavy metal music is slower than the heavy metal rock music in Great Britain.
  • Influence of African-American Culture on Rock n Roll Music Rock and Roll were introduced to the mainstream in the 1950s by white musicians such as Elvis Presley. Rock and Roll was a distinct amalgamation of different genres of African-American music such as jazz, blues, […]
  • History of Rock Music: Aerosmith The band drew their inspiration from the British blues rock that dominated the rock scene in the late 1960s and early 1970s, such as Cream, Led Zeppelin, Jeff Beck Group, and the Rolling Stones.
  • Beatles Contribution to Rock Music If we analyze the time when the Beatles performed it was a time of revolution, a time of youthful change and creativity and the Beatles were a major part of that revolution.
  • Rock Music of the 1970s It is possible to note that the 1970s was the period when the basis of the contemporary rock music and culture was formed.
  • Rhythm-and-Blues and Rock-n-Roll in the 1950s Rhythm-and-Blues and Rock-n-Roll rose in the 1950s and became the most dominant music genre among the youth. Rhythm-and-Blues and Rock-n-Roll came as a solution for safeguarding the place of radio in entertainment and communication.
  • Music Education and Rock Music The aim of this research proposal is to explore the possibility of teaching Rock music and /or the inclusion of teaching Rock music with ensembles in the school.
  • Researching of Hard Rock Movement The band differs from the genre’s originators in their more melodic sound; however, it shows a resemblance to the hard rock establishers such as Led Zeppelin in the complex musical patterns.
  • Classical and Rock Music Genres As for the differences between rock and classical, the first thing that comes to mind is the length of the songs.
  • Rock Music and Led Zeppelin’s Impact on It Led Zeppelin was a British rock band that performed in the classic rock genre with occasional elements of folk. In conclusion, the rock genre originated from a unique collection of different cultures that shaped its […]
  • Southern Rock and Its Peculiarities The mix of these instruments and the song’s time put it in a genre of blues rock. Here, the combination of the instruments, Clapton’s solos as the major part of the performance, and the song’s […]
  • The Pearl Jam Rock Concert 2022 The carefully selected Set List contained some of the all-time favorites “Of the Girl”, “Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town”, “Super blood Wolf moon” and others. The concert was splendid with a […]
  • Deviant Behavior of Punk, Metal, and Rock Fans However, this music and the dressing style associated with it were perceived as “the proof of the degeneracy of capitalist culture and evidence of the disaffected youth of the West”.
  • The Emergence and Popularity of Indie Rock Vampire Weekend and Connor Oberst were next: the former being dance-oriented and afro-pop-influenced creators and the latter being an indie-maker who worked with a range of labels.
  • Rap and Rock: Combination of Styles Another prominent example of the rap-rock style is Limp Bizkit the band’s style is similar to Korn in that the musicians utilize a fusion of rap and rock and use the seven-string guitar and screaming.
  • Punk Rock: The History of Genre Their lyrics were unfiltered, abrasive, and frequently political, which proceeded to later become one of the staples of the punk genre.
  • Pre-Recorded Rock Concert: Fundraising The phenomenon of mega-events is a unique conjunction of forces that calls into question the fundamental nomenclature of mass culture and the understanding of the nature of political action.
  • The Demise of the First Rock’s Wave In addition, the growing popularity of rock and roll threatened the business interests of the major record companies and labels. The following payola scandal resulted in the removal of rock and roll from radio station […]
  • Annotated Bibliography of Rock Analysis Sources The authors of this book conduct a worldwide and large-scale study of the role of rock motifs and certain musical instruments in the life of primitive societies. This book explores the relationship between culture and […]
  • The Rhythm Section in Creating Rock Music The bass player follows the drummer and connects the rhythmic and harmonic music, providing bass notes to the guitar and keyboards. Overall, the drums, bass, and guitar assemble a special basis for the song and […]
  • Five New Approaches the Beatles Brought to the Rock and Roll Scene Undoubtedly, The Beatles are considered to be one of the greatest, most popular and revolutionary bands in the history of music. To begin with, the effect of The Beatles’ music on rock and roll in […]
  • Rock and Roll as a Musical Phenomenon Rock and roll are one of the brightest phenomena in the history of music. Their role was to enhance the quality and variety of rock and roll.
  • Performance Studies. Hair Rock Musical To bomb, lynch and segregate! “The songs had many reference to the different races and tribes stating the anti civilization, anti consumerism with a naturalistic focus of the hair” Johnson. The impact of hair created […]
  • Development of Rock & Roll Music Introduction of Rock and roll music had major effects in the cultural background of the Americans as it created a generation gap which made the youth to be rebellious to their parents.
  • Rock and Roll`s Influence on Modern Music According to, “Effective skills of the player combined with efficient music instrument provide a significant role in determining the quality of music because they shape the form, color and texture of the music all of […]
  • Rock and Roll Development Since 1992 The greatest contribution of the Rolling Stones into the Rock and Roll development in the 1990s was that they sustained the popularity of this musical style.
  • Rock as a Part of Music Art The history and the origins of that music show that the seditious features of rock were caused by various factors. First of all, to define the harm of rock music, we need to get acquainted […]
  • Women’s Contribution to Rock Music Development Joplin was the queen of psychedelic and blues rock, and one of the most influential figures in punk rock was Patti Smith who became the female leader of the punk movement in the 1970s.
  • Alternative Rock Soothed Millions: Hybrid Theory The alternative rock scene that emerged in the 1980’s and gained further popularity in the 1990’s provided the youth of the 2000’s with a soundtrack to the emotional struggles that they experienced in the environment […]
  • Rock’n’Roll: Musical Genre of the Twentieth Century Being quite intense, the guitar solo in the middle of the song introduces the energy of rock and roll and also helps to express the disappointment in love, one of the key themes in rock […]
  • Disco, Rock, Jazz and Popular Music: Comparison With the support of God, the songs encourage the audience to believe in the power of God to overcome the unfortunate events.
  • Rock Music as an Unique Cultural Phenomenon The emergence of such an expressive music style was made possible by the invention of the electric guitar in the 20s of the XX century and by the social transformations of the postwar period.
  • In the Rhythm of Rock: Supreme Sound Explosion Seeing how it involves a careful consideration of the existing resources, the careful evaluation of all possible transportation issues, the comparison of the costs for transportation and the self-cost of the product that is going […]
  • The Irish Rock Band U2 as a Modern Critique of Religion According to Bono sermon virtues, instead of preaching to the presidents, the rock stars should give aid to the poor Africans and the sick.
  • Canuck Rock: A History of Canadian Popular Music Besides, the book helps one understand the evolution process of the Canadian music industry.”Canuck Rock” is a determined assessment of the inception and development of trendy music in Canada starting from the late 1950s to […]
  • Music Styles: Indie Rock The Killers is one of the most popular indie rock bands in the USA. The Killers is one of the most popular bands performing the indie rock music.
  • Kurt Cobain: Pure Devotion Killed a “Rock Star” Kurt Cobain is one of the most prominent personalities of the American rock’n’roll culture, he “has been hailed as the first true rock’n’roll star of the nineties”[1]. He was in the spotlight of media, he […]
  • Beatles – The Influential Performing Group in the History of Rock
  • American Culture and American Rock Music
  • The Influence of Rock Music on Youth
  • Rock’s Departure from Norms: Music and Social Change
  • Does Heavy Metal Rock Music Encourage Violence in Teenagers?
  • The Differences between Pop Music and Rock Music
  • Rock Stars Music Icons: Alcohol and Drug Overdose
  • Great Rock Musicians: Their Achievements and Effect on Music
  • Violence and Music: What Causes People to Become Violent at Rock Concerts
  • The Origins, Music History, and Achievements of the Rock Group ‘Beatles’
  • Japanese Culture and Japanese Popular Rock Music
  • Historical Precedents for the Rise of Rock Music
  • Rock Music and Heavy Metal Bands
  • Popular Culture, Rock Music, and Tattoos
  • Features of Rock Music Culture during the Early 1970s
  • The Influence Rock and Rap Music Has on Young People
  • Changes and Influences between 1955 to 1965 on Rock Music
  • The Woodstock Festival and the Music of the 60s: A Peaceful Rock Revolution
  • Hard Rock and Postmodernism
  • Rock Music, Drugs, and the Influence They Had on the Baby Boomer Generation
  • The Fascination with Rock Music in the 1960s
  • Why You Need to Appreciate and Understand Rock Music
  • Evaluating the Negative and Positive Effects of Rock Music on the Society
  • Relationship between Rock Music and Political Lyrics
  • Baroque Era Music Compared to Modern Rock
  • Rock vs. Classical Music: Pros and Cons of Each Type of Music, as well as a Comparison of Styles
  • Aggression and Hard Rock: Attitude of Rock Music
  • The Influence of Classical Music on Rock
  • What Defines Alternative Rock
  • Argument That There Exists No Connection between Suicide and Rock Music
  • Rock Music and Limited Sexual Repression in the 1960s
  • The Early History and Characteristics of Rock Music
  • Rock Music Has Widely Influenced Music and Society
  • Classic Rock and Generation X: Fulfilling Rock`s Promise
  • Rock Music Effects and Values
  • Facts about the Beatles as the Greatest and Influential Artist of the Rock Era
  • Youth Subculture, Slang, and Rock Music
  • Rock and Hip-Hop – The Most Loved Forms of Music
  • How Rock Music Reflected the Society of the Sixties
  • Rock Music Has an Impact on the Youth That Puts Society at Risk
  • Comparing Rock Music and Hip-Hop
  • The Rock Music Era Affected Society in More Negative Ways than Positive Ones
  • Rock Music and Famous Rock Bands
  • The connection between Rock Music and the 1970s Drug Culture
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IvyPanda. (2024, February 29). 83 Rock Music Essay Topic Ideas & Examples.

"83 Rock Music Essay Topic Ideas & Examples." IvyPanda , 29 Feb. 2024,

IvyPanda . (2024) '83 Rock Music Essay Topic Ideas & Examples'. 29 February.

IvyPanda . 2024. "83 Rock Music Essay Topic Ideas & Examples." February 29, 2024.

1. IvyPanda . "83 Rock Music Essay Topic Ideas & Examples." February 29, 2024.


IvyPanda . "83 Rock Music Essay Topic Ideas & Examples." February 29, 2024.

  • Classical Music Paper Topics
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15 Fun Music Topics to Research Ideas for Your Music Appreciation Class


Finding music topics to research that your music appreciation class will love can be a challenge at times. Fortunately, there are plenty of exciting and interesting music topics to research and explore when it comes to music appreciation. This blog post is jam-packed with fun music topics and ideas that make great projects and assessments for your music class.

Most music topics to research fall under the following broader categories –

  • Musician of Composer Biography

Music History

Music theory, music genres, music of a culture, stylistic features of a genre, elements of music analysis.

History of Musical Instruments

Types of Music Ensembles

  • Instruments of a Culture

Musical Techniques for Performance

Musical techniques for composing, music festivals, music and technology, music for the stage.


Read on to find out more details for each of these categories for music topics to research, but if you are looking for some more ways to spice up your own music curriculum, then why not grab yourself a FREE copy of the 5 Ways to Makeover Your Music Curriculum. Click here to find out more.

Musician or Composer Biography

One of the easiest and most used music topics to research in the music classroom is the biography of a famous composer throughout history. This type of music research topic can be done on any number of composers throughout history – from Beethoven to Mozart to Bach. Some of the most influential composers in history have left an indelible mark on music as we know it today. Your music students can explore the works of several famous composers from different eras and consider what made them unique and revolutionary for their time period.

If you are looking to use this type of music topic to research with your classes, there are several Bundles available in my TPT store. Use the link here to check them out – all the hard work has been done for you. All you need to do is choose a composer, which pages you want to complete, and you are ready to go! This type of music topics to research make great music research assignments.

Music Composer Bundle

Female Composer Bundle

Music Research Topic idea 3- Music Theory

Although Music Theory is not required knowledge for all musicians out there, exploring musical theory will give your music students a deeper insight into why certain chords sound better than others or what makes a melody memorable! This music research topic could incorporate any type of music theory and some broad music theory research topics include:

  • The History of Music Notation
  • Different Ways that Rhythm is Notated and Counted around the World
  • The Development of Music Scales
  • Music Scales from Around the World
  • Chord Progressions
  • Musical Form of a particular style – Sonata, Symphony, Jazz, Pop, Program Music, etc…

Music Research Topic idea 2- Music History

Another commonly used music topic to research is Music History, and typically the History of European Music. Exploring different time periods of music is a great way to introduce students to the vast range of sounds and styles within the world of music. For this type of music assignment try giving each student a different musical era to research its history, development, notable artists, and influence on other time periods. This is also an effective way to get students comfortable with using various sources for research.

The different musical eras that you could use as a music topic to research are:

  • Early Music to 1400
  • Middle Ages
  • Renaissance
  • 20 th Century – 1900-2000
  • Modern 2000-present

Using Music Genres as a music topic to research can be incredibly broad for students, especially if your study is on contemporary music! For this type of music research topic or assignment try taking a closer look at subgenres within those broader categories such as punk rock or rap/hip hop. You can have your music students research where these subgenres originated from as well as any artists who helped popularize them within their respective scenes.

There are a couple of great websites that can help with this research. Be sure to check them out and try them with your classes. A word of warning – be prepared to go down the rabbit hole and lose a few hours of your time exploring these sites – they’re very interesting!!!!

  • This site is a long list of different musical genres
  • This site has links to music samples and playlists
  • This is another long list of genres, it is a bit easier to navigate, but you do need to create an account
  • This is another list site, but has lots of sub-genres and world music
  • This one is my personal favorite! It has music samples all linked and mapped. You just click on a style and a music sample plays. This one would be best for comparing different styles of music
  • This site has music mapped into a family tree – you can see where a style has it’s origins and influences
  • This music map site has parts to click to get reading passages on each music genre. It would be great to use for researching.

Music Research Topic idea 5- Music of a Culture

Introducing students to different musical cultures from around the globe is one way to show them how versatile and varied music from different regions can sound. Researching individual instruments from each culture allows students to understand how instrumentation contributes to the genre-specific sounds as well as how it has evolved over time due to technological advancements or cultural influences from around the world.

A suggested list of music topics to research for different cultures is below:

  • East Asia and Korea
  • Eastern Europe
  • Native American
  • Philippines
  • South America
  • Southeast Asia
  • Southwest and Central Asia
  • Western Europe and Scandinavia

If you are wanting to incorporate these world music research topics into your music classes, try the Music in Cultures Around the World Bundle

Music Research Topic idea 6- Stylistic Features of a Genre

Writing about music can be an interesting and creative task. With numerous music genres to draw from (see the list of websites above), there are a wealth of music topics to research and music topics for research papers that can provide a substantial focus for your music students. When exploring and researching the stylistic features of music genres, it’s beneficial to go beyond surface level observations. Your students should not only research the history and evolution of their chosen style, but also look at the artists and stylistic features that define the music genre. From the influence of other genres, instruments used, and the performers who have popularized certain sounds, researching the stylistic features of a genre provides an exciting opportunity for exploration.

Music Research Topic idea 7- Elements of Music Analysis

Music analysis using the Elements of Music is an extremely important skill for music students to cultivate and perfect. This type of music research assignment that focuses on music analysis can give your music students a chance to research music topics and apply their knowledge of music theory and composition in order to write about music.

For this type of music research assignment, your music students can choose any piece of music, musician, composer or music style that they want to study. Once they have chosen their area of focus, they can use the Elements of Music to guide their analysis of the music selected for study. By focusing on how each of the Elements of Music are used, your music students will help to improve their listening skills, performance and composition skills as well as their critical thinking and writing skills.

For more information about the Elements of Music read this Blog Post.

If you would like a set of “done for you” music analysis and music appreciation assignments using the Elements of Music, use the link here to check out this best-selling resource!

Music Research Topic idea 8- History of Musical Instruments

Learning about the history of musical instruments can be a fascinating way to explore different cultures and eras. One effective way for music students to learn more about music is to complete an assignment on the history of a musical instrument. This type of music assignment requires students to research music instruments in depth and develop an extended piece of writing on their findings. Through such music topics for research papers, it is possible to gain a better understanding of the methods of sound production by each instrument as well as the many ways that music has shaped society throughout the years. Choosing a unique music instrument such as Japanese drums or stringed instruments from around the world, makes writing about music fun and interesting. When you assign each student a different music research topic, this gives each student the opportunity to explore something specific and meaningful within the larger world of culture and music.

To make it easier for you try these two different Instrument Study resources from my TPT store

Orchestra Instrument Music Worksheets

Music Research Topic idea 9- Types of Music Ensembles

Music can often be a great topic to research and write about, especially music ensembles from around the world. Everything from traditional Chinese music to Bhangra music from India can be explored. Whether it’s the different instruments utilized in an Argentinean folk music ensemble, or the incredible rhythms found within Turkish music, anyone interested in writing about music will have a wealth of music research topics to explore. Even things that you may never have thought of like Candombe music from Uruguay or Soukous music from Congo can be investigated further and provide excellent context for a music research paper. By researching music ensembles from around the world, your music students can gain exceptional insights into cultural backgrounds as well as appreciate the variety of musical ensembles that exist across the world today.

  • Other types of Music Ensembles to Research include:
  • Small Ensembles – duets, trios, quartets, quintets
  • Rock Ensembles – different genres from the power trio to a rock big band
  • Jazz Music Ensembles – Jazz quartets, quintets to big bands
  • Vocal Ensembles – duets, trios, barbershop quartet, a capella groups and choirs
  • Classical Ensembles – string quartet, chamber orchestra to symphony orchestra
  • World Music Ensembles – Taiko drumming, Gamelan, Chinese Orchestra to different Folk Groups

Music Research Topic idea 10- Instruments of a Culture

Musical Instruments of a Culture

Music and instruments from cultures around the world are an intriguing and fascinating field of study. From ancient music that has been passed down through generations to music created in today’s modern era, there is no shortage of music topics for research and writing about music. Your music students can explore the instruments used for various music styles and genres ranging from traditional Indian classical music to reggae music in Jamaica. Studying the use of these instruments, how they are made, and the methods of sound production can provide an understanding of how different cultures view music and its importance within their society. It is also an opportunity to discover a range of sounds, techniques, and instrumentation collected from other countries and regions. Delving into music topics like these opens a unique way to appreciate artists from around the world by examining their use of traditional instruments to express their ideas, stories, cultures, beliefs, emotions, and experiences.

Try the World Instrument Music Worksheets to help you study Instruments of a Culture with your music classes.

Music Research Topic idea 11- Musical Techniques for Performance

Different musical instruments require different performance techniques and practice methods to develop a music student’s proficiency on their instrument. Researching music topics about their own instrument is therefore key to developing a well-rounded music knowledge and building a variety of musical performance skills that your music students can draw on to use in their own performances. When researching the performance techniques on an instrument, it is important to consider the various musical elements that factor into music-making for that instrument such as the different ways to make a sound unique. Additionally, looking at different music cultures that have similar instruments can provide perspective on the essential elements of music-making for any instrument. By researching these music topics and exploring music from diverse cultures, music genres and styles, young musicians can broaden their knowledge and refine their performance techniques.

Music Research Topic idea 12- Musical Techniques for Composing

For those interested in exploring music composition techniques for songwriting, there are a plethora of music topics to research. Experimentation with chord progressions, sound selection and structure can all lead to finding creative ways of writing music. From analyzing music theory and learning more about the basics of music notation to creating unique rhythms and melodies, there might be boundless music topics for research papers that require study and practice.

Your students could choose to study the compositional techniques used within a certain style or genre, or even study more closely about a composer. There are plenty of songs to observe in order to further understand how music works, no matter what area of study the student has chosen. Writing about music involves learning these elements as well as charting any personal progress over time to move closer to using these compositional techniques in their own songwriting.

Music Research Topic idea 13- Music Festivals

A music topic to research that is a little bit unusual would be to research music festivals. Music festivals have a long and varied history. From ancient music festivals that celebrated a variety of religious and cultural events, such as the Dionysius Festival in Athens, music festivals are still vital to many cultures around the world. Music festivals have grown exponentially since then and even today they continue to fascinate people globally.

Today, music festivals can range from traditional, classical music performances in concert halls all the way to modern music performances with huge stages and pyrotechnics at large outdoor concerts drawing tens of thousands of fans. Those looking to research this topic of music have a wealth of options. From legendary music composers or artists, music industry trends and the economic benefits, to exploring how music is used as a tool for activism, research on music festivals can be incredibly rewarding for any music student to study.

Music Research Topic idea 14- Music and Technology

The history of music technology has been a fascinating area of music research throughout the years. By exploring music topics related to music technology, your music students can learn more about the music we love and how it came to be. Writing about music technology can take several approaches; from a technical breakdown of specific instruments to an exploration of its roots in social movements, there are music topics for research on music technology spanning almost any interest. Investigating music technology and its influence on music as an artform and the history can open new perspectives into how music is created, performed, and enjoyed today.

Some music technology research topics include:

  • History of Recording
  • History of the Microphone
  • History of Electronic Instruments
  • History of Amplification
  • Or even try a music research topic explaining “How does a …. Work”?

Music Research Topic idea 15- Music for the Stage

Writing about and researching music can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to music for the stage. Depending on the specific topic your student chooses to research, music for theatre plays or musicals could range from orchestral and classical music pieces, to jazz and rock ensembles. In some cases, music for the stage could even be used as accompaniment for spoken words, stories or even dance. Regardless of what type of music is chosen to study, researching music topics about music for the stage allows your music students to further explore genres and understand how music is used in a theatrical context. By studying different types of music from various time periods and regions, your student’s music research paper will become more well-rounded and engaging.

Some Music for the Stage topics include:

  • Musical Theatre
  • Contemporary Dance

These 15 music research topics provide plenty of ideas for creating engaging lessons, research projects, and assignments that focus on both fundamental aspects of musical theory while still allowing room for creativity within each topic itself! Letting your students explore these music topics independently gives them access to invaluable information regarding various aspects related to making and enjoying great music regardless of its musical origin. So why not try one of these 15 fun music research topics with your music classes this year. By using some of these fun music research topics with your classes, you might find teaching music this way will help to ensure your class stays engaged while expanding their understanding of music appreciation!

Until next time

Happy Teaching

Julia from Jooya

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MUSC 220: Medieval Music: Women, and Performance (HC)

Music personified, as you research..., getting started on research topics.

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  • Scores, Manuscripts & Recordings
  • Historical Editions: Musical Monuments, Collected Works, Anthologies & Facsimiles
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Robinet Testard, Allegory of Music, 1496-1498, from Le livre des échecs amoureux moralisés.   Ten figures make music, including two older men singing, three choirboys, one man playing bagpipes, one man playing shawm, one man playing pipe and tabor, one woman with no instrument visible, and the central woman playing psaltery. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Français 143, fol. 65v (Source: Wikimedia Commons , Public domain)  For information on the text and on Testard, see Feminae, "Mermaid from Neptune."

As you work on your research, remember:

  • BE CRITICAL: Not all sources are created equal, whether in print or online. Ask questions like who wrote what you're reading, is it peer-reviewed, what sources are they citing, and so on.
  • BE CREATIVE: Some searching will lead to dead ends, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's an end after all. Those lacunae of research are often where interest lies. In other words, don't rehash other's research, but rather use theirs to bolster your own unique take. 
  • BE PATIENT: Research is a fluid process. As you research, your questions will evolve, and that is an excellent sign. If, however, you ever get stuck, ask for help! Prof. Freedman and I are always happy to help you think through your process.
  • Research Topics See these research notes for sources on eleven topics relating to medieval music and women: Hildegard of Bingen and the musical lives of her nuns Medieval instrumentation, specifically the shawm Medieval Jewish music, Jewish women's performance Medieval musical dramas Medieval musical representations of gender, and resistance to gender norms through music Medieval women singers Medieval women's patronage of music Music of women in different social statuses Queerness in medieval music Women and music in the medieval Irish/Celtic church Women and musical manuscripts
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  • Subjects: Music


Impact of background music on reading comprehension: influence of lyrics language and study habits.

Yanping Sun

  • 1 Department of Applied Psychology, College of Sports and Health, Shandong Sport University, Jinan, China
  • 2 School of Physical Education, Shandong University, Jinan, China
  • 3 Department of Insurance, Shandong University of Finance and Economics, Jinan, China
  • 4 School of Psychology, Qufu Normal University, Qufu, China
  • 5 Zizhong Middle School, Linqing, China
  • 6 College of Physical Education and Health, Guangxi Normal University, Guilin, China

Numerous studies have explored the effects of background music on reading comprehension, however, little is known about how native language (L1) lyrics and second language (L2) lyrics in background music influence reading comprehension performance for college students. The present study used a mixed experimental design to examine the effects of listening habits (between-participants variable: non-listeners or listeners), music type (between-participants variable: L1 (Mandarin) pop music, L2 (English) pop music or no music) and text language (within-participants variable: L1 or L2) on reading comprehension of college students in East China. A total of 90 participants (50 females) were screened into non- listeners ( n  = 45) and listeners ( n  = 45), and then were randomly assigned to one of three groups: Mandarin pop music group ( n = 30), English pop music group ( n  = 30) and no music group ( n  = 30). The results showed that reading comprehension performance was negatively affected by music with lyrics compared to the no music condition. Furthermore, Chinese/English reading comprehension was reduced more by pop music in the same language as the written texts. As expected, non-listeners were more negatively affected by music with lyrics than listeners. For both listeners and non-listeners, average reading comprehension accuracy rates were the lowest in the condition of music with native language lyrics. Overall, our research findings indicate that listening to pop music with lyrics reduces reading comprehension performance. However, listening to background music cause much less distraction if the students commonly listen to music while reading. The current study supports the duplex-mechanism account of auditory distraction.

1 Introduction

Listening to music while studying is a common and popular trend for college students. Calderwood et al. (2014) found that 59% of the college students chose to listen to music during a 3-h study session, with 21% listening for more than 90% of the time. Although several studies have demonstrated positive effects of background instrumental music on reading comprehension ( Carlson et al., 2004 ; Khaghaninejad et al., 2016 ) and second language learning ( Kang and Williamson, 2012 ), irrelevant sound from vocal music may cause auditory distraction from the task at hand ( Martin et al., 1988 ; Furnham and Strbac, 2002 ; Perham and Currie, 2014 ; Zhang et al., 2018 ; Du et al., 2020 ). Efficient learning is extremely important for college students. However, high levels of auditory distraction will not only affect efficient learning, but also impair mental and physical function and cause irritation and headaches in schools ( Astolfi et al., 2019 ). Thus, it is important to explore the mechanisms that produce auditory distraction. According to the duplex-mechanism account of auditory distraction, the disruptive effect can be induced by interference-by-process or attentional capture ( Marsh et al., 2008 , 2009 ). To date, previous studies investigating the impact of music on reading comprehension have primarily focused on differences between instrumental and lyrical music (e.g., Erten et al., 2015 ), as well as the influence of differences in musical volume and speed (e.g., Thompson et al., 2012 ). Notably, these studies have not taken into consideration differences in participant preferences for listening to music while reading. In contrast, the present study investigated how differences in the lyrical language of the same song differentially influence reading comprehension based on reported music-listening habits. With the aim of testing the duplex-mechanism account of auditory distraction, our study explored the interactive effects of native language (L1) lyrics and second language (L2) lyrics in music on reading comprehension performance in L1 and L2 for listeners and non-listeners by using a 3-factor mixed experimental design.

1.1 A duplex-mechanism account of auditory distraction

According to the duplex-mechanism account of auditory distraction, there are two functionally different types of auditory distraction. Interference-by-process occurs when a similar process used consciously to complete a focal task competes with the involuntary processing of sound. On the other hand, regardless of the task processes involved, attentional capture occurs when the sound triggers a disengagement of attention from the dominant task ( Hughes, 2014 ). For example, semantic speech (e.g., “orange, banana, strawberry”) can cause distraction effects on semantic-based cognitive tasks (e.g., free recall of visually presented words “apple, mango, pear”) ( Marsh et al., 2008 ). According to the interference-by-process theory, semantically similar speech automatically spreads activation through a long-term semantic network, interfering with the similar process of navigating such networks to retrieve information for the focal task ( Marsh and Jones, 2010 ; Hughes, 2014 ). Interference-by-process explains the semantic distraction effects. Attentional capture falls into two categories: When a sound’s unique content (such as one’s name or one’s native language) gives it the ability to deflect attention, a specific attentional capture takes place. In contrast, when an occurrence draws attention despite having nothing inherently attention-grabbing about it, but rather because of the context in which it takes place, nonspecific attentional capture is created ( Eimer et al., 1996 ). For example, a sound “B” in “CCCCCBCC” or a sound “C” in “BBBBBCBB.” Our study focused on interference-by-process and a specific attentional capture.

1.2 The impact of background music on reading comprehension

Reading comprehension, an important and necessary skill for effective academic learning in college, refers to the active process by which individuals understand and construct the meaning of texts based on prior knowledge and experience ( Perfetti et al., 2005 ). Kämpfe et al. (2010) claimed that reading might be more disturbed by vocal music than by instrumental music ( Kämpfe et al., 2010 ). The duplex-mechanism account of auditory distraction has been supported by research evidence demonstrating the disruptive effects of background speech on various memory tasks such as serial short-term memory tasks. However, little is known about supporting evidence from the distraction effects of L1/L2 lyrics on L1/L2 reading comprehension among listeners and non-listeners. According to the simple view of reading model, reading comprehension consists of only two parts, word recognition and language comprehension, and both parts are necessary for reading success ( Hoover and Gough, 1990 ). For college students, mature readers whose word recognition has attained to a level of automation, language comprehension plays the more important role in reading comprehension. Lyrics in music contain semantic information, which will interfere with language comprehension ( Martin et al., 1988 ; Oswald et al., 2000 ). Thus, we expect that lyrics will induce semantic distraction effects on reading comprehension performance. Our first hypothesis was that the accuracy rates in music conditions would be significantly lower than the accuracy rates with no music for college students (H1).

The impact of background music on reading comprehension is generally contingent on multiple factors such as music types (instrumental or lyric music with various tempos, intensity, familiarity) ( Banbury et al., 2001 ; Hallam and Mac Donald, 2009 ). In addition to music types, previous studies have confirmed that the effects of music on reading comprehension can be significantly different in various levels of individual diversity (e.g., personality and music preferences) or difficulty of the reading comprehension task ( Kiger, 1989 ; Kallinen, 2002 ; Anderson and Fuller, 2010 ). For example, Anderson and Fuller (2010) suggested that disruptive effects of background lyrical music on reading comprehension was more pronounced for 7th- and 8th-grade students exhibiting a stronger preference for the lyrical music, compared with their performance in a quiet environment. Our experimental work focused on identifying interactive effects of music (pop music with L1/L2 lyrics), individual habits (e.g., listening to music in daily study) and tasks (L1/L2 written texts), which helps test whether interference-by-process and a specific attentional capture occurs.

First, pop music is the preferred music genre for most college students ( Etaugh and Michals, 1975 ; Wang and Wang, 2015 ). For example, Wang and Wang (2015) surveyed 3,688 Chinese college students in Beijing, Inner Mongolia, Shanghai, Henan and Jiangxi regions of Mainland China, and found that: (1) the proportion of college students who liked pop music was as high as 65.05%; (2) 35.23% college students chose “love” as their favorite pop music theme comparing with themes “nostalgic” 33.21%, “witty/humorous” 14.27%, “alternative” 9.49%,“other” 15.73%; (3) 47.85% college student’ favorite singers are from “Hong Kong and Taiwan.” Thus, we choose a masterpiece of classic Mandarin pop music “The Goodbye Kiss” (sung by Jacky Cheung) as the music. Although the song was released in 1993, from its release to 2020, there have been covers of the song by well-known singers almost every year. Specially, this song was covered by Michael Learns to Rock (MLTR) in 2004, and the English version of this song “Take me to your heart” became a classic of international music. Comparing the lyrics of the two songs, the Mandarin lyrics of “The Goodbye Kiss” have a total of 52 sentences, and the whole song is divided into two subsections. The shortest sentence in Mandarin lyrics has a total of five Chinese words, and the longest sentence has 19 words; the English lyrics reproduce the characteristics of the original Chinese sentence well in terms of sentence length and neatness, the shortest sentence consists of four words, and the longest is only 10 words ( Wei, 2012 ). Thus, we chose the pop music with lyrics “The Goodbye Kiss” as our vocal music.

Second, Mandarin Chinese (L1) and English (L2) are the top 2 most spoken languages in the world, and belong to two different language families ( Ethnologue, n.d. ). Additionally, all Chinese students begin their English study in their third year of primary school or even earlier, and studying English is a key subject for the Chinese college entrance examination required for admission to the university. They will continue to study English to pass College English Test Band 4/6 (CET- 4/6, essential English exams for Chinese college students) in college, and have considerable exposure to English music. English is the most important and widely studied second language for most Chinese college students. Hence, we chose Chinse college students from Mainland China who learn English as a second language for the experiment. Based on the duplex-mechanism account of auditory distraction, when a similar process is used purposefully to accomplish a focal cognitive task and the involuntary processing of sound competes with it, interference-by-process occurs ( Hughes, 2014 ). In our experiment, interference-by-process is produced when lyrics are presented to college students who are deliberately completing a focal reading comprehension task, especially when the lyrics language is the same as the text language in the reading comprehension tasks. That is, the semantic activation of lyrics competes with the semantic access of reading comprehension tasks with the same language as lyrics. Thus, our hypothesis is that Chinese/English reading comprehension accuracy rates when listening to music in the same language would be significantly lower than that in different languages or no music (H2). To be specific, we hypothesized that Chinese reading comprehension accuracy rates when listening to music with Mandarin lyrics would be significantly lower than when listening to music with English lyrics, and English reading comprehension accuracy rates when listening to English music would be significantly lower than when listening to Mandarin music.

Third, students frequently report that listening to music while studying is useful ( Etaugh and Ptasnik, 1982 ), and these students are more likely to form the habit of listening to music in daily study. However, students without the habit instinctively think that music listening can provide a distraction that might affect reading comprehension. Individual differences in inhibitory control may exist between two groups. Inhibitory control refers to the ability to suppress an inappropriate reaction or disregard distracting or irrelevant information, and increased inhibitory control in students probably makes it easier for them to ignore distractions in their surroundings and concentrate on tasks inside and outside of the classroom ( Privitera et al., 2022b ). However, non-listeners do not develop the habit of listening to music while studying, probably because they have a low level of inhibitory control to concentrate on the focal tasks. Thus, we hypothesized that college students who typically did not report listening to music during study (non-listeners) would have lower reading comprehension accuracy rates than listeners when music was present (H3).

Based on the duplex-mechanism account of auditory distraction, regardless of the quality of target tasks (e.g., Chinese/English comprehension), auditory attentional capture happens whenever a sound produces a disengagement from tasks. Numerous sound varieties (e.g., one’s own name, or her own infant’s screams for a mother) have abilities to specifically captivate attention ( Hughes, 2014 ). Native language (Mandarin Chinese) is familiar and highly dominant, and may cause a specific attentional capture. We expect that both non-listeners and listeners may be more susceptible to auditory distraction when Mandarin music is present rather than English music. That is, in general, people’s ability to understand what they read was worse when they listened to music with native language compared to music in a second language or no music at all. Thus, for both non-listeners and listeners, we hypothesized that average reading comprehension accuracy rates (without distinction between Chinese and English) would be the lowest in the condition of Mandarin music compared with the English/no music condition (H4).

1.3 Research questions

In sum, it is worth examining the effects of different habits of listening to music on reading comprehension performance, which can help clarify whether cultivating habits of listening to music while studying is valuable or not. In addition, few studies used both lyrics languages and music-listening habits while study to explore distractive effects of music on reading comprehension. To solve this problem, in this paper, we designed an experiment to explore the effects of music type, written text language and listening habits on reading comprehension among Chinese college students. Our research questions are: (1) would the accuracy rates in music conditions be significantly lower than the accuracy rates with no music for college students? (2) would Chinese/English reading comprehension accuracy rates when listening to music in the same language be significantly lower than that in different languages or no music? (3) would non-listeners have lower L1 and L2 reading comprehension accuracy rates than listeners when music was present? (4) would average reading comprehension accuracy rates (without distinction between Chinese and English) be the lowest in the condition of Mandarin music compared with the English/no music condition?

2.1 Participants

Before the experiment, we calculated the minimum sample size of each group of participants using G*Power software ( Faul et al., 2007 ) to reach the statistical power. For observing a similar effect to relevant studies ( Peng et al., 2017 ), we use Effect size f  = 0.22, ɑ = 0.05, 1-β = 0.8 as parameters, number of groups = 6, number of measurements = 2, non-sphericity correction = 1; under the F test of ANOVA: repeated measures, within-between interaction ( Faul et al., 2021 ). Hence the total minimum number of participants should be 72, and the minimum number of participants in each large group should be 36.

The participants were screened by filling out a researcher-designed questionnaire of background music listening habits. All participants were recruited randomly from Shandong Sport University in Shandong Province of Mainland China. A total of 90 participants (50 females) between 18 to 21 years of age (Mean = 19.14, SD = 0.92) were selected. Our experiment divided the participants into 2 large groups first: listeners (45 participants) and non-listeners (45 participants). Participants in each large group were randomly assigned to one of three groups: 15 Mandarin pop music group, 15 English pop music group and 15 no music group. All six groups of participants were assigned Chinese and English texts.

Participants were native Mandarin Chinese speakers who started learning English in the third grade of primary school. None of the participants were music majors and English majors, and none of the participants had any formal musical training. They were all right-handed with normal or corrected-to-normal vision. The experimental protocol was approved by the Research Ethics Committee of Shandong Sport University in China, and conducted in compliance with institutional guidelines and regulations. All participants signed an informed consent form prior to the experiment.

2.2 Experimental design

This study used a mixed factorial experimental design. There were two between-participants independent variables and a within-participants independent variable. The between-participants variables were listening habits (with two levels: listeners or non-listeners) and music type (with three levels: Mandarin pop music, English pop music or no music). The within-participants variable was text language (with two levels: Chinese or English). The dependent variable was accuracy rates for the reading comprehension tasks. Accuracy rates were defined as the mean percentage of the number of Chinese (English) reading comprehension items answered correctly in the total number of Chinese (English) reading comprehension items.

2.3 Materials and apparatus

Materials consisted of a questionnaire, pop music stimuli and written texts. The questionnaire was Researcher-designed Background Music Listening Habits Questionnaire, a self-report survey that was developed to assess participants’ habits of listening to music during study. This scale contained 15 items, each item rated on a Likert 5-point scale ranging from 1 to 5 (1 = Do not agree at all, 2 = Hardly agree, 3 = not sure, 4 = Mostly agree, 5 = Completely agree), and was scored as a continuous variable from 15 (minimum score) to 75 (maximum score). The Cronbach’s ɑ of the scale was 0.87. We used the questionnaire to screen listeners (a total score higher than 60, 60 is the average score of selecting option 4) and non-listeners (a total score lower than 30, 30 is the average score of selecting option 2) to examine distinct effects of listening habits on reading comprehension performance in the formal experiment.

Mandarin song “The Goodbye Kiss” (Mandarin name “Wen3 Bie2,” sung by Jacky Cheung) and English song “Take Me to Your Heart” (sung by Michael Learns to Rock) were used as background music stimuli, as these two songs have the same rhythm and tempo. The two songs were once popular music that are familiar to most Chinese college students. We used a music editor software Adobe Audition CS6 (Adobe Systems Inc., San Jose, CA, United States) to delete the blank space of “The Goodbye Kiss,” and the part with lyrics was kept to ensure that the participants could always be in a music environment with lyrics while carrying out reading comprehension tasks.

Chinese texts (300 character for each text) were selected from simulated tests of the College Entrance Examination; these texts are all about science and technology. English texts (150 words for each text) about education were selected from Public English Test System 3 (PET-3) tests. Preliminary tests were conducted on 120 college students, and finally 7 Chinese texts (coefficient of difficulty between 0.81 and 0.87) and 7 English texts (coefficient of difficulty between 0.85 and 0.90) were selected. There are no significant differences in difficulty coefficient of the 14 written texts. The difficulty coefficient of each text was estimated by the mean number of correct answers/4 (total number of questions). The coefficient of difficulty 0.81 indicates that, on average, three questions were correctly answered by college students. Participants read passages that were two paragraphs long, and then answered four true or false items following each passage. The items include both literal and inferential comprehension questions. Answers to literal questions involve facts such as who, when, where and what, and they can always be found in the texts. For example, “As early as 1909, Max Mow confirmed that there are some cells in the blood that can make blood, True or False.” For inferential questions, participants are required to determine a text’s meaning indirectly by using the information provided in the text. For example, “By the time most students graduate from high school, they spend less time watching TV than they do in class, True or False.” 3 Chinese texts and 3 English texts were used for assessing the levels of reading comprehension of all three groups (L1 pop music, L2 pop music and no music) of participants before the formal experiments. This was done to make sure that there were no significant differences of Chinese and English reading comprehension levels among the three groups. A different set of 3 Chinese texts and 3 English texts were used for the formal experiments. A Chinese text (difficulty coefficient 0.84) and an English text (difficulty coefficient 0.90) were selected for use in the practice phase.

The apparatus consisted of Lenovo laptops (Yoga 14 s, Lenovo Group Ltd., Beijing, China), noise-canceling headphones (SONY WH-1000XM3, Sony Corp., Tokyo, Japan) and E-prime 2.0. The music stimuli, instructions, texts and questions were all presented on Lenovo laptops using programs written in E-prime 2.0 (Psychology Software Tools, Pittsburgh, PA, United States) ( Schneider et al., 2012a , b ).

2.4 Procedure

Participants filled out the informed consent for participating in the study, then were screened by filling out the Questionnaire of Background Music Listening Habits online. Based on the questionnaire total score, the participants were divided into two large group: listeners and non-listeners. Participants in each large group were randomly assigned to one of three groups (Mandarin music, English music and no music). All three groups of participants completed Chinese and English reading comprehension tasks without music before formal experiments, and no significant differences of Chinese and English reading comprehension performance were observed among the three groups.

In the formal experiment phase, all participants were asked to complete experiment tasks in a quiet lab, with 10 participants in each group seated at individual tables with Lenovo laptops and headphones. First, participants were told to put on headphones and conduct the experiment on Lenovo laptops individually. All music was played between 60 dB ~ 65 dB(A), each participant first put on the headphones and checked to see whether the playback function of the headphones was normal. Then, Participants completed Chinese and English reading comprehension test items under each condition of music type. For each condition, half of the participants read the Chinese text first and the other half read the English text first. The 3 Chinese texts and 3 English texts were presented to participants randomly. After reading each passage, participants pressed the spacebar to end the reading (The maximum reading time for each text is 5 min), and proceeded to answer comprehension questions by pressing “T” (indicating truth) or “F” (indicating false) on keyboards. The flow chart of the experimental procedure presented using E-prime 2.0 was shown in Figure 1 .

Figure 1 . The flow chart of the experimental procedure presented using E-prime 2.0.

Participants were asked to answer questions as accurately as possible after reading the passages and to ignore the music. The accuracy rate of each participant was calculated by the total number of Chinese/English items answered correctly/12 (the total number of Chinese/English reading comprehension items). Every participant completed both Chinese texts and English texts in one of three conditions (Mandarin Chinese pop music, English pop music and no music). We tested the effects of listening to music in the same language conditions (L1 music + L1 texts, L2 music + L2 texts) or different language conditions (L1 music + L2 texts, L2 music + L1 texts). For example, participants listening to L1 (Mandarin Chinese) pop music completed L1 (Chinese) texts (the same as lyrics language) and L2 (English) texts (different from lyrics language). Music was played until all participants finished reading comprehension test items.

2.5 Statistical analyses

The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (IBM SPSS, version 23.0; IBM SPSS, Armonk, NY, United States) was used for analysis of the data. The assumptions of ANOVA (homogeneity of variances and normal distribution) were tested. Then the reading comprehension accuracy rates were analyzed using a three-way mixed ANOVA with a within-participants factor (two types of written text language) and two between-participant variables (listening habits and music type). The alpha criterion was set to 0.05. Bonferroni correction was carried out for all post hoc analyses.

One-way ANOVA revealed that baseline reading comprehension performances of three groups (Mandarin music group, English music group and no music group) have no significant difference [Chinese: F (2, 87) = 0.226, p  = 0.718; English: F (2, 87) = 0.217, p  = 0.806].

3.1 Descriptive statistics

Means and standard deviations of the reading comprehension accuracy rates are shown in Table 1 . A three-way mixed ANOVA for reading comprehension accuracy rates, including two between-participants factors (2 listening habit, 3 music type) and one within-participants factor (2 written text language) was performed ( Table 2 ).

Table 1 . Reading comprehension accuracy rates [mean (standard deviations)] by group and condition.

Table 2 . A three-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) of reading comprehension accuracy rates.

3.2 Main effect analysis and interactive effect analyses

3.2.1 main effects of music type.

We tested our hypothesis (H1) that the accuracy rates in music conditions would be significantly lower than the accuracy rates with no music for college students. We performed a three-way mixed ANOVA for reading comprehension accuracy rates to obtain the main effects and interactive effects. Significant main effects of music type [ F (2, 87) = 232.791, p < 0.001, η 2 p = 0.847] were observed as shown in Table 2 . Post hoc analyses revealed the accuracy rates in Mandarin and English music conditions are significantly lower than the accuracy rates with no music ( ps < 0.01). A mean difference of accuracy rates was −0.081 between Mandarin music and English music condition (95% CI: [−0.110, −0.051]), and was −0.175 between English music and no music condition (95% CI: [−0.205, −0.145]). Thus, the results confirmed our hypothesis H1. The result reveals that music with lyrics decreased reading comprehension performance as compared to no music.

3.2.2 Interactive effects of music type and text language

Our second hypothesis (H2) was confirmed by using a three-way mixed ANOVA. H2 was that Chinese/English reading comprehension accuracy rates when listening to music in the same language would be significantly lower than those with different languages. We observed a significant interaction between music type and text language [ F (2, 87) = 113.829, p < 0.001, η 2 p = 0.730] as shown in Table 2 . For Chinese reading comprehension, as shown in Figure 2 , post hoc analyses showed that the accuracy rates in Mandarin music group were significantly lower than English music group [ t (58) = −5.526, p < 0.001] and no music group [ t (58) = −8.420, p < 0.001]. A mean difference of Chinese reading accuracy rates was −0.286 between Mandarin music and English music condition (95% CI: [−0.392, −0.180]), and was −0.378 between Mandarin music and no music condition (95% CI: [−0.484, −0.272]). For English reading comprehension, the accuracy rates in the English music group were significantly lower than the Mandarin music group [ t (58) = −2.385, p = 0.023 < 0.05; Figure 2 ] and the no music group [ t (58) = −7.041, p < 0.001; Figure 2 ]. A mean difference of English reading accuracy rates was −0.125 between English music and Mandarin music condition (95% CI: [−0.234, −0.016]), and was −0.258 between English music and no music condition (95% CI: [−0.367, −0.150]). These results confirmed our hypothesis H2, and suggested that college students were more distracted by music in the same language as the written texts.

Figure 2 . Accuracy rates of Chinese reading comprehension and English reading comprehension for different music types. ** p  < 0.01; *** p  < 0.001.

3.2.3 Main effects of listening habits and interactive effects of listening habits and music type

Three-way mixed ANOVA was also used to test our third hypothesis (H3) that non-listeners would have lower reading comprehension accuracy rates than listeners when music was present. The results in Table 2 showed that a significant main effect of listening habits [ F (1, 88) = 634.331, p < 0.001, η 2 p = 0.883]. Post hoc analyses revealed that reading comprehension accuracy rates were lower in non-listeners than listeners ( p < 0.001). The Table 2 also showed that the interactive effects of listening habits and music type were significant [ F (2, 87) = 160.672, p < 0.001, η 2 p = 0.793]. Post hoc analyses showed significantly lower reading comprehension accuracy rates in the non-listeners compared to listeners, in conditions of music as shown in Figure 3 [Mandarin music: t (58) = −138.782, p < 0.001; English music: t (58) = −99.729, p < 0.001]. A mean difference of accuracy rates between non-listeners and listeners was −0.430 in the Mandarin music condition (95% CI: [−0.464, −0.396]), and was −0.309 in the English music condition (95% CI: [−0.343, −0.274]). These results suggest that reading comprehension performance was more negatively affected by music in the non-listeners than in the listeners, confirming our third hypothesis (H3).

Figure 3 . Reading comprehension accuracy rates in different music type groups for different listening habits. *** p  < 0.001.

Significant interaction effects between listening habits and music type [ F (2, 87) = 160.672, p < 0.001, η 2 p = 0.793] were observed as shown in Table 2 . For the non-listeners, as shown in Figure 4 , post hoc analyses revealed the accuracy rates while listening to Mandarin music are significantly lower than with English music [ t (58) = −45.508, p  < 0.001] and significantly lower than accuracy rates with no music [ t (58) = −150.401, p < 0.001]. A mean difference of reading accuracy rates was −0.142 between Mandarin music and English music condition (95% CI: [−0.183, −0.100]), and was −0.467 between Mandarin music and no music condition (95% CI: [−0.508, −0.425]); For the listener, post hoc analyses revealed the accuracy rates while listening to Mandarin music are significantly lower than accuracy rates with no music [ t (58) = −14.524, p < 0.001]. A mean difference of reading accuracy rates was −0.045 between Mandarin music and no music condition (95% CI: [−0.086, −0.003]). Thus, the results also supported our hypothesis H4 that average reading comprehension accuracy rates (without distinction between Chinese and English) would be the lowest in the condition of Mandarin music compared with the English/no music condition for both non-listeners and listeners. These results suggested that music with native language lyrics negatively affected the reading comprehension performance of college students.

Figure 4 . Reading comprehension accuracy rates in different listening habits groups for different music types. * p  < 0.05; *** p  < 0.001.

4 Discussion

The main purpose of this study was to explore the disruptive effects of background music lyrics on first language (L1) and second language (L2) reading comprehension performance among Chinese college students. We also included the influence of music-listening habits by using a 3-factor mixed factorial experimental design. First, our results showed that reading comprehension accuracy rates in music conditions are significantly lower than the accuracy rates with no music. Second, L1/L2 reading comprehension accuracy rates when listening to music in the same language are significantly lower than when listening to a different language. Third, the results showed that significantly lower accuracy rates in non-listeners than listeners when music was played. Finally, for both the non-listeners and listeners, average reading comprehension accuracy rates are the lowest in the condition of Mandarin music compared with English/no music condition. Our results provide experimental evidence in support of distraction effects of L1 or L2 music on L1 and L2 reading comprehension performance among Chinese college students. In addition, our findings also offer additional evidence in favor of the duplex-mechanism account of auditory distraction. Overall, the results support our hypotheses.

4.1 The effect of music type

Compared to the no music condition, reading comprehension performance were reduced by music with lyrics. This result is consistent with previous studies which found disruptive effects of vocal music on reading comprehension ( Anderson and Fuller, 2010 ; Perham and Currie, 2014 ; Ren and Xu, 2019 ; Dong et al., 2022 ). Thompson et al. (2012) showed that fast and loud instrumental music disrupts reading comprehension more than slow-tempo music ( Thompson et al., 2012 ). However, though the music in our study is slow-tempo, disruptive effects on reading comprehension were still observed. Lyrics had a significantly detrimental effect on reading comprehension. The finding of the current study supports the interference-by-process in the duplex-mechanism account of auditory distraction. According to the interference-by-process, music with lyrics in both L1 and L2 detracted from the performance because semantically processing of the lyrics in these two languages conflicts with semantic processing and access that reading demands ( Quan and Kuo, 2023 ). For comparison, some researchers used musical excerpts in combination with meaningless words as music stimuli. The musical excerpts with meaningless lyrics were unknown to the participants to avoid any associations between the music and semantic or episodic memory. Their results showed neither an enhancing nor a detrimental effect on verbal learning when different styles of background music were played ( Jäncke and Sandmann, 2010 ). However, the present study indicated that music with meaningful lyrics interferes with reading comprehension performance. Language comprehension plays an important role in reading comprehension performance ( Hoover and Gough, 1990 ), and both lyrics and written texts contained semantic information. According to the duplex-mechanism account, from the perspective of the interference-by-process, the semantic interference effects can be explained by assuming that semantic speech triggers automatic spreading of semantic activation over a long-term semantic network that interferes with the analogous process of steering such networks for the purpose of retrieval in the reading comprehension tasks ( Marsh and Jones, 2010 ; Hughes, 2014 ). Therefore, the lyrics act as competing stimuli with written texts and impair their access to word meaning.

4.2 The interaction between music type and text language

Regardless of whether the music and texts were in their L1 or L2 language, Chinese college students were more distracted by music in the same language as the texts. This result indicates that a more detrimental effect on reading comprehension occurred when the auditory input (music lyrics) is the same as the written text language. Based on interference-by-process, the irrelevant semantic information from the speech creates competition for the primary tasks’ dynamic semantic encoding and retrieval processes. As they both vie for semantic access, impairment can therefore be explained in terms of a relative difficulty in choosing the appropriate source of semantic information ( Marsh et al., 2009 ). When lyrics language is the same as the text, the competition process becomes stronger and thus the selection process is more difficult, which causes a more disruptive effect on reading performance. We used music lyrics with L1/L2 as different potential sources of auditory distraction, and the finding provides a further strand of support for interference-by-process.

4.3 The effect of listening habits

Our results revealed that reading comprehension performance by the non-listeners were more negatively affected by music than the listeners. These findings are in line with the results of previous studies which showed that people who seldom studied in the presence of background music performed better on reading comprehension tasks in silence ( Etaugh and Michals, 1975 ; Etaugh and Ptasnik, 1982 ). These results indicate that background music caused detrimental effects for individuals who normally study without music. In contrast, college students who regularly listen to music while studying have much experience of listening to music, and the top-down features (e.g., high working memory and high inhibitory control) can lessen the interference to cognitive activities caused by shared processing of irrelevant information ( Quan and Kuo, 2023 ; Privitera et al., 2023b ). Specifically, differences in working memory/inhibitory control between non-listeners and listeners may lead the differential effects of music on reading comprehension, because working memory may generally have an impact on individual ability to carry out cognitive tasks while listening to music ( König et al., 2005 ; Christopher and Shelton, 2017 ), and it is generally observed that those with high working memory capacity are less easily distracted by irrelevant stimuli ( Hughes, 2014 ). Recent studies also revealed that differences in inhibitory and/or attentional control could predict academic performance including reading (e.g., Privitera et al., 2023b ), thus, the relatively low working memory/inhibitory control may make non-listeners were more disrupted by music compared with listeners. In other words, though listeners are negatively affected by music, they are accustomed to reading in the presence of music, thus background music sounds are less distracting for them.

4.4 The interaction between listening habits and music type

Our results indicated that for both non-listeners and listeners, music with native language lyrics negatively affected the average reading comprehension performance. The results provide support for the duplex-mechanism account of auditory distraction: in addition to interference-by-process, sound can also produce unnecessary distraction by attentional capture. Music lyrics with the same language as the written texts distract college students by interfering specifically with the similar semantic access processes involved in the reading comprehension task. In contrast, music with native language lyrics disengages students from reading comprehension tasks. Compared to L2 lyrics, native language lyrics are high dominant and more familiar, which may make students rely too much on music rather than keeping them from reading due to music. Thus, a specific attentional capture also caused the auditory distraction. This finding of auditory distraction in different lyrics language conditions provides additional evidence in favor of the duplex-mechanism account.

4.5 Limitations and further research

Several limitations should be noted. First, the participants’ English language proficiency, cognitive control and working memory were not assessed. In future study the L2 proficiency can be balanced to explore unique music lyrics effects on reading comprehension, because recent studies have shown that L2 proficiency are correlated to inhibition and attentional control ( Privitera et al., 2022a , 2023a ), and cognitive control has been found to have a significant impact on academic performance including reading ( Privitera et al., 2023b ). Working memory/cognitive control can be included as a key variable to explore its effect on reading comprehension while listening to music among non-listeners/listeners. Second, sound without lyrics (e.g., pop music without lyrics or white noise) was not included as one level of music type. Future study can compare reading comprehension performance differences between sound without lyrics group and music with lyrics/no music group to explore the various effects of sound. Third, questions about what music genres participants listen to and their relative frequencies were not included in the researcher-designed questionnaire of background music listening habits. The questionnaire needs to be modified, and should include questions on music genres in future study. Fourth, music type should be manipulated as a within-subject factor instead of a between-subject factor in future study. Finally, this is a behavioral experiment examining music lyrics effects on reading comprehension. With the aim of obtaining the brain and neuroscience evidence to support the duplex-mechanism account of auditory distraction, future studies could explore differences in brain and neural activities when students complete reading comprehension while listening to L1/L2 music, and identify the precise locus of the interference-by-process and attentional capture. These differences may indicate that interference-by-process and attentional capture obtain the functional support of different brain regions which further supports duplex-mechanism account of auditory distraction.

4.6 Implications

The current study benefits from several strengths. It is the first study to explore effects of L1 or L2 music lyrics on L1/L2 reading comprehension performance among Chinese college students with different listening habits. For reading comprehension with L1/L2, L1/L2 reading comprehension performance reduced more when the music lyrics language was the same as the written texts. For example, L2 reading performance decreased more when both lyrics and written texts language is L2. In general, for average reading comprehension performance, music with native language lyrics affected it negatively more than L2 music/no music. The current study provided experimental evidence to support the duplex-mechanism account of auditory distraction, and revealed that the duplex-mechanism account can also be applied to auditory distraction of reading comprehension tasks other than serial short-term tasks. The novelty of our study is to distinguish effects of lyrics with native language/s language on L1/L2 reading comprehension. Reading performance difference in lyrics with L1/L2 conditions suggests that auditory distraction has two functionally distinct forms: interference-by-process and attentional capture. The contribution of our research is that choosing music and written texts with L1/L2 helps methodically separate the potential individual contributions of interference-by-process and attentional capture to the overall disruption of task performance.

Our other findings were that reading comprehension performance was reduced by pop music lyrics. In addition, non-listeners were more distracted by lyrics than listeners. These findings have practical implications. Though most college students love pop music, and they usually report that listening to music while studying is beneficial, for college students and educators, it is better not to play pop music with lyrics while students, especially students without music-listening habits, are reading articles whether in their native languages or a second language.

5 Conclusion

The present study is an important first step in examining the effects of music with L1 or L2 lyrics on L1/L2 reading comprehension performance among Chinese college students with different listening habits. By using a 3-factor mixed factorial experimental design, we showed that the results verified our hypotheses. Specifically, the key findings are: (1) reading comprehension performance was negatively affected by music with lyrics compared to the no music condition; (2) L1/L2 reading comprehension was more affected by music in the same language as the texts; (3) Non-listeners were more negatively affected by music with lyrics than listeners; (4) For both non-listener and listeners, average reading comprehension accuracy rates are the lowest in the condition of music with native language lyrics. These findings support the claim that college students’ reading performance suffers when they listen to pop music with lyrics compared to no music, and provide experimental evidence support for the duplex-mechanism account of auditory distraction.

Data availability statement

The raw data supporting the conclusions of this article will be made available by the authors, without undue reservation.

Ethics statement

The studies involving humans were approved by Research Ethics Committee of Shandong Sport University. The studies were conducted in accordance with the local legislation and institutional requirements. The participants provided their written informed consent to participate in this study.

Author contributions

YS: Conceptualization, Data curation, Methodology, Supervision, Writing – original draft, Writing – review & editing. CS: Funding acquisition, Writing – original draft, Writing – review & editing. CL: Methodology, Writing – review & editing. XS: Investigation, Writing – review & editing. QL: Investigation, Writing – review & editing. HL: Methodology, Writing – review & editing.

The author(s) declare financial support was received for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article. This work was supported by Shandong University undergraduate teaching reform (grant numbers: 2023Y251; 2023YJJGND07) and undergraduate teaching reform in Shandong province (grant number: Z2022096).


We would like to thank Pamela Holt for useful discussions and critically reading the manuscript.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

Publisher’s note

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Keywords: reading comprehension, study habits, pop music with lyrics, native language lyrics, second language lyrics, written text language, Chinese college students

Citation: Sun Y, Sun C, Li C, Shao X, Liu Q and Liu H (2024) Impact of background music on reading comprehension: influence of lyrics language and study habits. Front. Psychol . 15:1363562. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2024.1363562

Received: 13 January 2024; Accepted: 25 March 2024; Published: 05 April 2024.

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Copyright © 2024 Sun, Sun, Li, Shao, Liu and Liu. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) . The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

*Correspondence: Chuanning Sun, [email protected]

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  1. The Top 10 Most Interesting Music Research Topics

    Your music research paper could outline some of these factors that affect music consumer behavior and highlight their mechanism of action. 2. Hip-hop Culture and Its Effect on Teenage Behavior. In 2020, hip-hop and RnB had the highest streaming numbers, according to Statista.

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    Music Industry Research Paper Topics: The impact of streaming services on music consumption patterns. The role of social media in promoting and marketing music. The effects of piracy on the music industry. The influence of technology on music production and distribution. The relationship between music and mental health.

  3. 500+ Music Research Topics

    500+ Music Research Topics. March 25, 2024. by Muhammad Hassan. Music is a universal language that has the power to evoke emotions, bring people together, and express complex ideas and feelings. As a result, it has been the subject of extensive research and analysis across a wide range of fields, from psychology and neuroscience to sociology ...

  4. Best 100 Music Research Topics of All Times

    Then you absolutely need to check out our exceptional list of music argument topics: Music today is better than music in the 90s. The most lucrative career for a musician. Music helps you memorize faster. The most popular kind of metal music. The evolution of blues songs over the last 30 years. Music helps children develop faster.

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    Music History Research Topics. Use of songwriting in relation to the political and social situations in Nazi Germany and the French Revolution. Musical Education between two centuries. Evolution in the definition of music over the centuries. Birth of Music in Mesopotamia. Impact of Arab-Andalusian music on renaissance.

  7. The Behavioural Economics of Music: Systematic review and future

    Music is a human universal with ancient origins, present in every known culture worldwide (Conard et al., 2009; Mehr et al., 2019; Savage et al., 2015).Activities involving music, such as music listening and performance, are central to the human experience and for many people represent an important part of everyday life (DeNora, 2000).This article focuses on music-related decision-making ...

  8. 200 Best Music Research Paper Topics For Students

    How To Write On Music Related Research Topics. By choosing topics about music for an essay, you get the opportunity to prepare a detailed paper work with facts, genre nuances and detailed biographies of famous musicians. You need to stick to the formatting and your outline. Find reliable information for music history research topics and talk ...

  9. 160+ Extremely Hot Music Research Paper Topics

    160 Hot Music Research Paper Topics For You. Music has been part of human beings since time immemorial. As it evolves, everyone has a specific taste for a specific song, genre, or musical instrument. Some of the top genres include roots, reggae, hip-hop, jazz, and rock music. The evolution and popularity of music have made it become one of the ...

  10. Music in the brain

    Recently, research into music perception has turned towards experiments modelling musical structure, ... Predictive coding has therefore become a hot topic in the study of music-related emotions.

  11. Music & Science: Sage Journals

    Music & Science is a new peer-reviewed open access online journal published by Sage in association with SEMPRE. The journal's point of departure is the idea that science—or, more accurately, the sciences—can help us to make sense of music and its … | View full journal description. This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication ...

  12. Journal of Research in Music Education: Sage Journals

    Journal of Research in Music Education is a quarterly, peer-reviewed journal comprising reports of original research related to music teaching and learning. The wide range of topics includes various aspects of music pedagogy, history, and philosophy, and addresses vocal, instrumental, and general music at all levels, from early childhood through adult.

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    Music even shows promise in preventing injury: A study by Annapolis, Maryland-based neurologic music therapist Kerry Devlin and colleagues showed that music therapy can help older adults with Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders improve their gait and reduce falls ( Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports, Vol. 19, No. 11, 2019).

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  16. research_topics [Music Technology]

    The Music Technology Group is active in research related to multimedia, signal processing, human-computer interaction, information retrieval, musical acoustics, psychoacoustics, and music perception and cognition. The M.A. and Ph.D. graduate programs offered in Music Technology at McGill University are heavily based on technological and ...

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    Music Therapy and Its Positive Psychological Impact. Music therapy is defined as an evidence-based and clinical use of interventions related to the musical experience. Film Studies: "The Sound of Music" by Robert Wise. This essay discusses the film "The Sound of Music" and the locational geography shown in the movie.

  19. 83 Rock Music Essay Topic Ideas & Examples

    Rock Music of the 1970s. It is possible to note that the 1970s was the period when the basis of the contemporary rock music and culture was formed. Rhythm-and-Blues and Rock-n-Roll in the 1950s. Rhythm-and-Blues and Rock-n-Roll rose in the 1950s and became the most dominant music genre among the youth.

  20. Research Studies in Music Education: Sage Journals

    This internationally peer-reviewed journal, published on behalf of SEMPRE, promotes the dissemination and discussion of high quality research in music and music education. The journal encourages the interrogation and development of a range of research methodologies and their application to diverse topics in music education theory and practice.

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  22. The musical brain

    The interaction between music and our brain is complex, engaging neural circuits related to sensory perception, learning and memory, emotion, and motor production. Over the past decades, neuroscience research has begun exploring how the brain "hears" music, identifying regions of the human brain important for rhythm, pitch, timbre, melody ...

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    Getting Started on Research Topics. Research Topics. See these research notes for sources on eleven topics relating to medieval music and women: Hildegard of Bingen and the musical lives of her nuns Medieval instrumentation, specifically the shawm Medieval Jewish music, Jewish women's performance

  24. Frontiers

    1 Introduction. Listening to music while studying is a common and popular trend for college students. Calderwood et al. (2014) found that 59% of the college students chose to listen to music during a 3-h study session, with 21% listening for more than 90% of the time. Although several studies have demonstrated positive effects of background instrumental music on reading comprehension (Carlson ...