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Comparative Essay Topics for College: Writing on Music

When the essay season comes no major is safe, even the music major will have to write some form of the comparative essay.  When the student has been assigned to write a comparative essay in a music education class, they might not have a clue where to start.

As with any essay, the student needs to first decide on the topic they want to cover for their paper. They need to find a topic that not only they will love, but that will also be something the teacher approves of.

No matter what the major the student will be writing about it will be taken with the same approach as any other subject.  Just because a student is writing in music doesn’t mean that they can take a lazy approach.  The paper will need to be researched, and the topic dissected in every way possible, so that the student has a fully researched and prepared paper.  The student must take the time to work out the paper, so that it wells read. Some possible topics are in a following list.

Possible Topics Ideas:

  • Composer:  the difference and similarities of X centuries composers
  • Modern Operas in comparison to Classical Operas
  • How music is used in various cultures?
  • How music impacts the culture and mood of society.
  • Styles: How two styles are alike and different
  • Any two musicians: how they are alike and different
  • Two very well known, influential songs compare and contrast the tempos, harmonies, periods, and instruments.

After the student chooses their topic they should approach writing in music just like they would write an English paper.  They should divide the paper up and then work on it like any other paper.  The student should take the topic of the paper and begin with an introduction.

After the introduction, the student needs take the subject matter and describe each topic they are looking at.  If they are take two musicians they should talk about what the first one has done, then introduce the second musician and show how they are alike and different.

Finally the student should complete the paper with a conclusion.  In the conclusion, the student need to show how both the topics, in our example the musicians, have contributed to music. How that each of the people are important and why it’s important to compare the two.  Why they decided to write on these two people, or subjects.