Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.
Why Comparison and Contrast Essays About Music?
Are your students really interested in music? If so, then topics related to music can be a wonderful way to help them get going as essayists. Whether your students are interested in classical music or more contemporary and popular genres, writing about music can be wonderful for their critical thinking and analytical skills.
Writing comparison and contrast essays can be especially helpful, because this structure is reasonably straightforward. When students compare and contrast aspects of music, they have to think carefully about the underlying arguments they are making and work to find specific evidence that will help them prove their points. The topics in this lesson are designed to help your students think deeply about music while developing their talents as writers.
Topics About Genres
- Choose two different musical genres that you enjoy as a listener. Write about what is the same and different about these genres, with an eye toward trying to figure out what it is that draws you to both of them in spite of their differences. Try to come up with a clear definition of what each genre is, and use specific examples of songs, trends, instruments or composers within each genre to support your points.
- Select two genres that have been very popular at different historical periods. Compare and contrast the two genres, trying to figure out what made both of them popular and also how each of them is specific to the time period it represents. Offer specific examples to show that what you are saying is true.
- Choose two different genres of music that have emerged from different geographical or cultural traditions. Using your analysis of the genres, explain what they represent about the cultures they come from and what similarities and differences you find. Think about what the similarities and differences between the genres suggest about the relationship between the cultures.
Topics About Songs
- Choose two different songs that you think evoke strong emotions. Write about the similarities and differences between the songs as well as the emotions that they evoke. In your essay, try to get at exactly what aspects of each song lend to these emotional experiences or reactions.
- Write an essay comparing and contrasting two or three different songs by the same composer, but from different periods of her or his career. Show what the songs have in common musically and/or lyrically, and draw some generalizations about the composer. Show how the songs are different, and use these differences to speculate on how the composer changed and developed over time.
- Compare and contrast two songs that are currently very popular among your peer group. As you discuss what the songs do and do not have in common, speculate as to why they are so popular and what their popularity shows about the musical tastes and needs of your generation and cultural milieu.
Topics About Composers
- Who are two composers whose work you really admire? Using specific examples from their repertoires, show what they have in common that makes you admire both of them, while also reflecting on the differences that set them apart and make each of them have unique reputations. Your essay should focus on particular aspects of their work to prove the overarching points you are making.
- Choose two composers who are considered classical or representative figures in two different cultural traditions. Show what these two figures and their works have in common and also how they are different, using your comparison and contrast of their music to draw conclusions about the cultural, historical, or geographical backgrounds or contexts they represent.
- Write an essay that compares and contrasts two currently popular composers who have a significant difference in identity, such as gender, race, or age. As you compare and contrast them from a musical perspective, see if you can reflect on the extent to which their identity figures in their music and accounts for their similarities and differences.
To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account
Register to view this lesson
Unlock Your Education
See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com
Become a Study.com member and start learning now.Become a Member
Already a member? Log InBack