Essay Ideas

The Power Of Lyrics In Music

How are lyrics made? what inspires people to write about certain things, and what do listeners generally prefer to hear about in music, for example, romance and politics? Exploring where the idea of lyrics and using a voice as an instrument came from. How powerful are lyrics in today’s music? (listeners can relate to certain lyrics, it can bring emotion and meaning to the song, the use of pronouns means that listeners can make it come from either their or someone else’s perspective). Finding out if and where lyrics are not needed, for example, certain genres and even parts of the song? Investigate ghostwriting and whether it should be looked down upon or not.

I think this would be a good research topic for me as I am not a confident lyric writer, and I never know what to write about. For example from project three, when we were writing our own lyrics, I struggled with thinking about topics and how I can make words rhyme. So, I feel like doing research on this would be beneficial as I will be learning about how musicians make their own lyrics and what listeners like to hear artists singing about.

Impact Of Jazz On Modern Music And The Industry

Explore sub-genres of jazz, e.g funk, hip-hop, nu-jazz (jazztronica), neo-soul, and even more distant genres that still have ties to jazz, like rock and electronic music. What features and musical elements does jazz have that have been taken on in these genres? Perform an analysis on a song/album/musician or group that is within the sub-genres of jazz and has been influenced by its style. A brief history of jazz and how it came about. Asking and debating the question: is jazz still popular and relevant today and why yes/no?

Based on my current listening preferences and what my final project last year entailed, I think this would be a great starting point for me to understand more about my favourite genres of music and to understand how these came to be. Having knowledge of what musical elements are in these genres will help me in my production journey as this is what I am focused on producing at the moment, and I can be more inspired to write within these styles.

Promotion And Its Uses

How does good promotion help an artist? What does promotion involve and should we as artists be finding new ways to promote ourselves which are interesting and unique to the viewer/listener? Investigate good examples of promotion and how it was successful, both in the 21st and 20th century. Is promotion via email and SMS still relevant and is physical promotion (e.g flyers and posters) still an effective way to grow as an artist? Will there be new ways to promote in the future or will the online world still reign the most efficient?

I think doing research on promotion would be helpful for me as an independent musician as we are relying on ourselves to grow our fanbase and get people to actively listen to our music. This can be difficult but with the right research topics, I want to learn why promotion is important and think of unique ways to promote, such as using artwork and using social media to your advantage.

An Analysis Of Math Rock

What are time signatures and how can they define a song? Why isn’t it as popular as other genres? History of genre and what ties it is with other genres e.g midwest emo, new wave and progressive rock. What other things make math rock different from other genres? Analyse examples of math rock for their use of syncopation, extended chords, unique tunings and guitar techniques like tapping. Look at production techniques such as guitar effects, and the importance of vocals in the mix.

Math rock is a huge favourite genre of mine, along with things like midwest emo, shoegaze and post-punk. I think learning about some of my favourite genres will allow me to respect them more, knowing about their quirks and intricacies that make them so unique. A big dream of mine is to be involved in a math rock band as I have always been fascinated with odd time signatures and rhythms as a drummer, and doing research on this will help me pursue this further.

Sociomusicology: What Makes Today’s Popular Music Popular?

What things do listeners want to hear in a pop song, and what makes music pleasing to listen to? Examine common features and musical elements in music that would make a song popular, for example, lyrics, tempo, time signature, structure, production techniques, simplicity or complexity. What are some examples of modern pop music? Look into subjects like autotune; is it important or making music sound too perfect and overly produced? Why do genres like trap, grime and hyperpop long for the highly autotuned vocals, and why is it appealing for their target audiences? (Explore these target audiences). Why has pop music seen a decline in real, recorded instruments in recent years?

I have always taken an interest in sociology within music, and what influences listeners to enjoy certain sounds and musical genres. For example, why are certain genres more popular than others depending on the time period, and why did humans like listening to that more than other styles? This is something I want to look into and figure out why this is the case. I am interested to find out how the social world can affect music and vice versa.

Impact Of Social Media On The Music Industry

Musicians are getting famous through TikTok; is this diluting the industry or giving listeners more options and music to listen to? Trends are making songs such as Rasputin and Castaways storm the US and UK charts unexpectedly; does this show social media’s influence on the music industry? Explore why people are turning away from modern music and wanting to go back to the classics due to social trends and influence. Analyse new musicians like WILLOW, Måneskin and Olivia Rodrigo making rock/punk music and turning their music into trends, helping them top the charts. How are non-musician influencers getting into the music industry so easily e.g KSI, Dixie Daemelio, and is this a good thing?

As a young person, I and many others are invested in social media and use it as a form of communication and entertainment. I am keen to see how social media affects music and whether we should be concerned about the power it holds over the music industry. I have always found it fascinating how music can be influenced by different things in the world, and because social media is such a massive part of everyone’s lives, I want to see the impressions it can have on the music industry.

Is Music Theory Still Needed?

Is music theory as important as it used to be? What are some key factors and musical elements that would make a song potentially more successful than others? Are music theory rules made to be broken and does theory dampen the creative processes and unique things that musicians have the possibility to create? Experiment with the fine line between sticking to music theory and breaking away from it; provide some examples. What are some more advanced examples of music theory and are they hard to come by? Research a brief history of music theory and early examples of these ideas.

Having a wide understanding of music theory is extremely helpful as a musician, especially a learning musician. However, I want to explore the potential idea that music theory is too restricting, and if we could develop our own musical ideas without the need for theory, and if this would improve music overall or make it of lower quality and complexities. I would also like to research whether humans would accept this loss of music theory in music and learn to love it.

The History And Future Of Music Sales And Consumption

How did people listen to music before physical copies? How are physical copies like vinyl, cassettes and CDs made and are they still applicable today? Explain how things like the iPod and MP3 players changed the music industry for the better. Will streaming and digital sales stay the most prominent way of music consumption, or will new, more modern ways of listening to music appear in the years to come? Talk about the introduction of lossless and spatial audio on certain streaming platforms and how this would spur people away from buying vinyl just for the high fidelity experience.

After releasing my own music last year onto streaming platforms, it made me interested in the idea of how music is listened to and the consumerism within the music industry. Also, after learning about lossless and spatial audio after Apple music announced this new feature, it made me interested as to whether this would make a difference to how people choose to consume music and if this will see other companies like Spotify and YouTube Music adopt this feature as well.