Jazz in San Francisco

San Francisco has a rich Jazz history with numerous significant clubs and music centers all throughout the 49-square mile city of San Francisco from North Beach to the Tenderloins, and more distinctly, the Fillmore. This bustling and ever-expanding Jazz scene throughout the district from just after the second world war, up until the mid-to-late-60’s, was … Read more

The influence of Jazz

When music comes to mind, who do you think of? 21 Savage? Lil Uzi Vert? Post Malone? Or do you think of Beethoven? Jimi Hendrix? Or what about Elvis Presley? Well if it wasn’t for some of these guys, you wouldn’t have the music you listen to today. Jazz was also a major influence on … Read more

Festivals – roles, responsibilities and safety

The amount of festivals taking place in the UK is growing each year. Some are unique and boutique festivals are popping up more and more. Festivals are created with its own vibe in mind and each has its own appeal. Two such festivals are T in the Park and the Green Man Festival. T in … Read more

Gilbert and Sullivan

Gilbert and Sullivan refers to the Victorian era partnership of librettist W. S. Gilbert (1836–1911) and composer Arthur Sullivan (1842–1900). The collaboration of the two men gave us the fourteen comic operas they wrote, with H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado being the most well known, all being written between 1871 and … Read more

The use of Music in Science Fiction Movies (Annotated Bibliography)

Influence of Music and Soundtracks in Science Fiction Movies Futurism Staff. (2015) Best Sci-Fi Movie Soundtracks. Available at: https://futurism.media/best-sci-fi-movie-soundtracks (Accessed: 18 October 2018). This article has tried to elucidate how different types of science fiction movies have used various musicals to enrich their performance and create the movie world that is required. The authors say … Read more

Young peoples’ musical preferences and influence

It is no doubt that music has played a vital role in our society. Everything from loud, head-banging concerts to religious ceremonies have utilised the medium of music because of its awe-inspiring qualities. Music is basically the control of sound. We can control this sound by varying the pitch, tempo, octaves, dynamics and so on. … Read more

Beyonce’s Lemonade

Who runs the world? According to Beyonce Giselle Knowles-Carter, its us, women. Often referred to as ‘Queen B,’ over the years Beyonce has most certainly and successfully made a place for herself in the music industry and in the hearts of many. The title ‘Queen B’ itself screams of authority, power and respect. Beyonce’s songs … Read more

Music in ancient black Asia – Filipinos and their Austronesian roots

Traditionally when one imagines the music traditions of Filipino people, blackness or black roots are furthest from conjunction. At the very least, Filipinos are looked at as this outside group who do not have elements of black history or musicality at play within their narrative. However, it is necessary that we problematize Asian identity, both … Read more

Politically Significant Music

With reference to the relevant academic literature – whether musicological or sociological – describe the ways in which scholars have written about politics in relation to popular music. Then, making use of well-chosen examples of artists and/or music from the twenty-first century, evaluate the extent to which those authors’ concepts remain relevant. Introduction Music as … Read more

Urban Popular Brazilian Music: Cajuina at Café 21

This ethnography concerns a musical performance by Cajuina, a San Diego based Brazilian music group, that took place on 25 November 2017 at Café 21. In this paper, I am first going to briefly discuss the historical context and general characteristics of Brazilian music genres that were featured in the performance, namely samba, bossa nova, … Read more

Jesus Christ Superstar – Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice

Jesus Christ Superstar is a 1970s rock opera written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. The production focuses on the last week of Jesus’ life, ending with his crucifixion, and places a sympathetic emphasis on Judas’ decision to betray Jesus. It confronts themes of manipulation, betrayal, love, and faith through a political and religious … Read more

Japanese film music

Japan was quick to adopt the technology for film production. Within only two years of the first moving picture camera entering Japan, a public showing of the new technology was given. Music was an element of the experience of motion picture in Japan from the beginning. The first film shown in Tokyo had no narrative … Read more

Writing music essays

Here are our top tips for your next music essay:

  • Choose a narrow and well-defined topic: When writing a music essay at university level, it is important to choose a topic that is specific and well-defined. This will help you to focus your research and ensure that your essay is clear and concise. Scroll down for some titles and themes to inspire you.
  • Research thoroughly: In order to write a high-quality music essay, it is essential to do thorough research. This means reading books, academic journals, and other relevant sources to gain a comprehensive understanding of your topic.
  • Use appropriate sources: It is important to use reputable sources when writing a music essay at university level. This means using scholarly books and journals, as well as primary sources such as recordings and scores. Top sources for music students include:
    • JSTOR: JSTOR is a digital library that provides access to thousands of academic journals, books, and primary sources. It is an excellent resource for students studying music history, music theory, and musicology.
    • RILM Abstracts of Music Literature: RILM is a comprehensive database of music literature that provides abstracts and full-text articles on all aspects of music. It is an excellent resource for students studying musicology, ethnomusicology, and music theory.
    • Music Index: Music Index is a comprehensive database of music-related articles, reviews, and news that provides access to more than 850 international music periodicals. It is an excellent resource for students studying music history, performance, and composition.
    • Grove Music Online: Grove Music Online is an authoritative resource that provides access to the full text of the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, as well as several other music reference works. It is an excellent resource for students studying music history, music theory, and musicology.
    • Oxford Music Online: Oxford Music Online is another comprehensive resource that provides access to several music reference works, including the Oxford Dictionary of Music and the Oxford Companion to Music. It is an excellent resource for students studying music history, music theory, and musicology.
    • Music Theory Online: Music Theory Online is an open-access journal that publishes articles, reviews, and analyses on all aspects of music theory. It is an excellent resource for students studying music theory, composition, and performance.
  • Develop a clear argument: A strong music essay should have a clear argument or thesis statement that is supported by evidence. Take the time to develop your argument and ensure that it is well-supported by your research.
  • Analyze and interpret music: In addition to discussing the historical or cultural context of music, it is important to analyze and interpret the music itself. This means discussing elements such as harmony, melody, rhythm, and form, and how they contribute to the overall meaning and impact of the music.
  • Use appropriate terminology: When writing about music, it is important to use appropriate terminology and musical notation. This demonstrates your understanding of the subject matter and helps to clarify your arguments
  • Edit and proofread: Finally, be sure to edit and proofread your essay thoroughly. This means checking for grammar and spelling errors, as well as ensuring that your arguments are clear and well-supported.

Music essay sample titles

Writing a music essay and stuck for inspiration? Here are some ideas for titles and topics to inspire you:

  • The Evolution of Jazz Music: An Analysis of Key Innovations and Influences: Jazz music has undergone significant changes since its inception in the early 20th century. This essay topic would explore the evolution of jazz music from its roots in blues and ragtime, through the swing era, bebop, and beyond. The essay would investigate the key innovations and influential musicians that have helped shape the genre, from Louis Armstrong to Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and beyond.
  • The Role of Music in Film: A Study of Its Impact on Narrative and Emotion: Music plays a crucial role in shaping the emotional and narrative impact of film. This essay topic would explore the ways in which music is used in film to enhance mood, create tension, and convey meaning. The essay would investigate examples from iconic films such as Star Wars, Jaws, and Psycho to contemporary examples like Inception and The Social Network.
  • The Impact of Technology on Music Production and Distribution: The advent of digital technology has revolutionized the music industry, from the way music is produced to the way it is distributed and consumed. This essay topic would investigate the ways in which technology has transformed the music industry, from the rise of home recording studios to the impact of streaming services on the music market. The essay would also explore the ethical and legal implications of music piracy and copyright infringement in the digital age.
  • The Influence of Music on Culture and Society: Music has the power to shape cultural and societal norms and values, as well as reflect them. This essay topic would explore the ways in which music has influenced culture and society throughout history, from the folk songs of the American Civil Rights Movement to the punk rock movement of the 1970s and beyond. The essay would also investigate the impact of music on identity formation, social movements, and political activism.
  • The Intersection of Music and Religion: A Study of Sacred Music Across Cultures: Music has played a central role in religious practice across cultures throughout history. This essay topic would explore the intersection of music and religion, investigating the role of sacred music in various religions, from Gregorian chant in Christianity to qawwali in Islam and beyond. The essay would also investigate the ways in which music shapes religious experience and expression, and the potential for interfaith dialogue and understanding through music.