Music Essay

Music essays are appropriate for many different subjects. Whether you’re documenting the history of jazz or reflecting on how music has changed your life, music essay topics can be as diverse as the music itself.

Music – Definition Essay

Music is an art, but with it comes complex terminology that has been written about for centuries. A music definition essay should explain or a categorize concepts so the reader can understand it. Some ideas:

  • Elements: Rhythm, melody or harmony
  • Periods: Renaissance, Baroque, Classical or Romantic
  • Tempo: adagio, andante or allegra
  • Instruments: stringed instruments, woodwinds, brass, percussion

Music – Comparison Topics

Music has been a celebration of life — in all its diverse forms — for thousands of years. This gives you a rich palette of topics for a compare and contrast essay. Here are some ideas:

  • Music in different cultures. Compare and contrast the music of Asian, African and Western cultures.
  • Musical styles. Compare and contrast two or more different music styles — jazz, rock, hip-hop, classical, swing, blues or country — paying particular attention to the structure, rhythm, melodies and meter used.
  • Musicians. Choose two musicians, then compare their upbringing, education and music legacy.

Music – Persuasive Topics

It’s easy enough to find someone who loves (or hates) a certain genre of music, but there are lots of other argumentative topics that make great music essays, including:

  • Censorship
  • Piracy and illegal downloading
  • The impact of music on criminality
You can also take another style of essay — for example, a comparison between two musicians — and persuade your readers that yours is the superior viewpoint.

Music – Reflective Essay

Most people have been exposed to music throughout their lives, whether by listening to music or by playing their own instrument. Choose a defining moment in your life that was affected by music and describe how it has changed your life. These types of essays are especially useful for music scholarships or contests.