Music is an engaging topic which covers a wide-ranging area from traditional to classical, pop to rock. It has become a popular topic for dissertation due to a rising interest in the topic as well as how it can be related to other topics. Choosing a music dissertation topic can be challenging but there are many engaging and interesting topics which may appeal to you. The choice of topic must allow you to engage critically with the literature as well as being of interest. The music industry is diverse and dynamic, and it should be understood that it does not stand still and is forever changing. The sections below will feature some of the key issues within the music industry, including pop music, piracy and health issues including Covid-19.
- General Music Topics
- Music and Culture
- Music Management and Social Media
- Copyright and Illegal Downloading
- Music, Health and Wellbeing
- The Digital Industry
General Music Topics
Music is an important influencer in any aspects of culture and society, and it must be understood in this context. From the establishment of music in ancient times right up to the concept of modern-day genres of music, individuals have a relationship with a type of music. Understanding the reasons why certain music is popular is crucial to many roles within the music industry. Some examples have been identified below:
- What is the role of music within society?
- Is dance music redundant or has it been regenerated for a modern audience?
- Is the Top 10 as popular as it was in the 1980s and 1990s?
- What are the challenges to getting music played on popular radio?
- Can music influence transform conflict situations?
- Successes and failures of the 1980’s: A study of popular music.
- Is music from the 1960’s still popular in society? Discuss with examples.
- Do movie soundtracks create popularity for a movie?
- Are musicians born or made?
- Is it necessary for an artist to play an instrument or write their own music?
- How has Covid-19 affected live events in the music industry?
- Has Covid-19 given the music industry an opportunity for resurrection in the future?
Music and Culture
Culture has been influential in the music industry and has defined many genres according to the society at the time. There are numerous topics which can define culture and music, from traditional, classical, rock, indie, rap, hip hop, R’n’B. The understanding of culture and society can be identified through music and the influence and impact that certain genres can have for generations. Some examples are provided below:
- How has music genres shaped society?
- How big a gap is there between music from the 1960s to present day?
- What are the major influences on modern music?
- Does religion play a role in modern music?
- Are there differences between Eastern and Western music? Evaluate this statement with examples
- Has Bollywood become more popular in Western society?
- Exploring identity through popular music.
- Exploring the role of gender in popular music. Critically discuss citing examples.
Music Management and Social Media
Music management covers a host of topics and uses many opportunities to promote their talent through media outlets particularly social media. How music, the artist or group is promoted is key to how many opportunities can be enhanced and it is necessary to understand the key factors and influences which can have an effect on the promotion of music. Understanding the role of social media, allows management to successfully negotiate their ‘talent’ through the music industry successfully. Below are examples of dissertation topics:
- What is the impact of music talent shows on the music industry? What challenges or opportunities do they bring?
- Impact of social media and music sharing.
- How important are platforms such as Tik Tok and YouTube to the growth of social media production of music?
- Is talent redundant? Critically evaluate the role of pop music and talent.
- Can music be successfully marketed over social media? Cite examples.
- Is social media the key factor to becoming successful?
- The evolution of music over the year, how has the internet impacted on this?
- What attributes do you need to be a success in the music industry?
- How is music promoted to its audience? Is there a set rule?
- Does music have value in a digital future?
Copyright and Illegal Downloading
Illegal downloading has become a major challenge in the music industry, which has been severely impacted with advancements in technology. There are many excuses used to try to explain away downloading music illegally or committing copyright infringements. Some example topics are set out below:
- Musicians attitudes into downloading, copywrite and piracy.
- Does the consumer have a conscience when it comes piracy and illegal downloading?
- Who loses out most through illegal downloading – management, artist/ group, or consumer?
- How big a problem is copyright infringement? Examine providing examples.
- Does online distribution hurt the music industry?
- Impact of CD sales compared to online distribution.
- Pros and cons of legal music sharing sites.
- Does copyright infringement and illegal downloading have a negative effect on the role of authorship in the music industry?
- Is copyright, piracy and illegal downloading an ethical or financial question?
Music, Health and Wellbeing
Can music have an impact on mental health or wellbeing? Many studies have shown that putting on your favourite track and dancing around can have positive effects on you mentally and physically. Understanding how music can make you feel could be key to positively reaffirming your status within society. Some interesting topics are as follows:
- Has Covid-19 had an impact on music consumption?
- How can music have a positive effect on health and wellbeing?
- Does music have an effect on mental and physical health?
- How can a song have an impact on an individual? Discuss with reference to examples.
- How has Covid-19 impacted on the music industry?
The Digital Industry
The music industry has had many phases and the latest technology has impacted on music, how it is produced and promoted and how it sounds. Music like other industries have had to adapt to new developments. Below are some suggested topics:
- Is it necessary for artists to get on board with the latest technology?
- How can technology enhance the music industry?
- How different does music sound through digital technology?
- Is there a market for digital music content?