Music Research Paper Topics and Ideas

As different cultures have their own music preferences, it is important to realize how certain traditions have influenced the art from various perspectives. Besides, one should realize that music, as an art, has evolved during history and attained peculiar features. Therefore, writing about music encompasses the ability to understand its core principles, realize its social and cultural concepts, and do in-depth research.

Even though music research may be challenging, it could be done in an interesting way. For instance, you can focus on specific topics that are of your highest concern. As there are various aspects of this particular art field, you can choose, for example, the history of music development, a person, or a genre as the main subject of your research paper. Thus, it is crucial to take into account all social, historical, and cultural peculiarities of a specific topic. When it comes to sources, you should define the references according to the type of research you do. For instance, if your research paper is about a famous musician, relevant references should be his or her works, notes, and information about specific working and living conditions.

Topics & Ideas for Music Research Papers

1. Country as the Most Popular Music Genre in the United States

When writing music research on this topic, concentrate on the modern state of what music genres are popular in the US. Take into account general tendencies and statistics. Then, provide strong evidence and reasoning for the current popularity of country music in America. Doing research on such topic provides information about general music preferences in the country.

2. Music and Its Effects on the Brain

This topic involves research in the fields of music and biology. For instance, you can discuss the fact that listening to music is the activity that uses all parts of our brain. You can find relevant information in medical journals and articles. However, you should put the focus of the research on music since the purpose of such paper is the music’s influence on a person. Apart from being interesting to study, such a topic may provide valuable data about the relationship between music and the human body.

3. The History of Reggae Music in Africa

The research paper on this topic demands an overview of the genre and its development on the African continent. You should present how reggae was spread, and how it penetrated the African culture. In the paper, provide the years and the key personalities relevant to the topic. These kinds of topics can give the readers an understanding of the particular genre and its influence on the traditions and cultures in certain countries.

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4. The Origins of Black Music and Its Influence on the Pop Culture in America

Similarly to the previous one, this topic emphasizes the specific genre, its history, and its impact on society. When writing the research paper, you have to refer to the specific evidence and facts about genre development. Moreover, it is important to connect this information to the social realities in America. Thus, by researching this subject, you investigate crucial musical aspects, such as American history and culture.

5. European Musical Style History After World War II

Researching similar topics, you should remember that there are not one but two major limits, particularly the genre you chose and the specific timeframe. You should present information about the impact of historical events on music development. Find the data about musicians who were creating their artworks during the after-war period and evaluate their influence on the European music of that time. Then, it will be possible to analyze the development of musical styles.

6. Musicology as Means of Studying Music

As there is a specific field that researches music, you might as well consider writing the research paper about it. Taking into account that this discipline is very broad, you might also consider studying its components, such as music theory, ethnomusicology, or performance practice. However, if you decide to research musicology as a whole, you can provide information about general departments of musicology, its sub-disciplines, and methodology.

7. Why Is Music Frequently Used in Commercials?

The topic suggests providing evidence on why music enhances commercials. In the research paper, you can describe how it affects the viewers, what are the main advantages of using it, and how advertisements adapt music to one’s preferences. You can also refer to specific examples of commercials.

8. Applying Music to Teaching and Learning

The paper on this topic will appeal to younger generations and teachers. For example, you can emphasize that a three-minute music break during the studying process will improve students’ mood, and they will become more eager to study. As for teachers, they can evaluate the effectiveness of such an approach and determine the best ways of using music for education. These ideas might help to introduce new ways of beneficial music application.

9. The Origins of Music Theory

The topic combines the research of the discipline and its history. In the research paper, you can mention the key concepts of the theory. Then, it is important to refer to its historical aspect. For instance, you can focus on the development of music theory during the antiquity in Mesopotamia or China.

10. Music Therapy in the American Indian Culture

The focus of the research paper would be on the cultural beliefs of the Natives and the physiological effect of their music. To present the subject comprehensively, you have to research music from the perspective of a certain culture. As an example, you can refer to the scholarly articles that provide data about music therapy with the means of the instruments, such as the Native American flute.

11. Michael Jackson or the “Moonwalking” Man

While writing a research paper on the topic, remember to provide distinctive features of the person. You can highlight the singer’s features of character or behavior. For instance, it would be superb to mention that Michael Jackson popularized special dance movements, such as the moonwalk and the robot.

12. Beethoven’s Life and Works

The topic is very similar to the previous one. Define the musician’s biography and the music he composed. An interesting idea would be to divide Beethoven’s career into periods and write about each of them respectfully.

13. Opera Music and Its Popularity in Europe

In the research paper, you have to determine which aspects of opera music cause an impact on European society. Provide credible evidence that opera is popular in the modern world. Next, highlight the peculiar features that attract the audience. For example, you may emphasize that opera combines performing arts, dance, and music; thus, these aspects are particularly valuable for the European population.

14. The Romantic Period in Music

While writing a research paper on the specific music era, focus on the central features of the period. The main peculiarities of each era include innovative approaches to music, prominent composers, singers, and the dominant types of musical works. For example, you can underline that the Romantic period is characterized by works of Chopin, Mendelssohn, and Schubert.

15. How Is Music Presented in the Film “Titanic”

The topic’s main idea is to evaluate the role of music in the film. You can highlight the most captivating moment in the movie. Then, you can connect the atmosphere of the scene to the music that is played. For example, “My Heart Will Go On” emphasizes the deep feelings and emotions of the characters. With an ideal correlation between the music and the visuals, the song highlights the importance of the scene and creates a positive image in the viewer’s mind.

16. Shakespeare’s Music in His Plays

The topic is special because it highlights the works of the prolific English poet with a focus on music. The research paper on this topic should contain the general presentation of the plays’ peculiarities, as well as the role of music in them. For example, you can approach the musicians, scene locations, and the ways in which the music was performed.

17. Comparative Research of the Imperial Chinese and Japanese Music

While writing the paper on this topic, provide the peculiarities in both countries’ musical styles and compare them. Once again, such topics require sufficient study of culture and understanding of the Japanese and Chinese societies. In the paper, you can provide information about the Chinese cultural influence on Japan. You may also consider comparing the countries’ musical instruments and types of music performances.

18. Most Common Musical Instruments in Ancient Rome

In this research, your aim is to find sources that provide evidence about the ancient Roman culture and arts. After that, you can define the general tendencies during that period and investigate what instruments were commonly used. For instance, you may want to identify specific instruments, provide their description, and the reasons for their popularity.

19. Women’s Impact on Jazz Music

The topic implies that you research not only the certain music genre but also the personalities who influenced it. Some ideas for writing the paper about women and jazz include mentioning the history of the genre, various female singers, and their contribution to music. For example, you may provide information about famous female jazz instrumentalists, such as Dolly Jones or Vi Redd.

20. Music on the Radio: How It Has Changed People’s Tastes

To present the topic comprehensively, you have to research the history of FM music. Define the importance of the radio for people and draw statistics of the most popular songs. Having done that, you will be able to analyze the data and make your own conclusions. For instance, you may highlight the fact that nowadays many people listen to the radio music in cars and pubs. Thus, their tastes are determined by the external influence of the radio.


In conclusion, music research paper topics could be connected with history, culture, and the musicians of various regions. If you write such kind of paper, you have to find information about genres, musicians, composers, and instruments that are related to the research area. The topics and ideas presented in this guide could be used for your music research paper.

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