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How to Select a Topic for Your IB Music Extended Essay: 22 Brilliant Ideas

music extended essay topics

As an experienced International Baccalaureate tutor, I’ve had the pleasure of guiding countless IB students through the process of crafting their Extended Essays. In particular, I have a special affinity for the music domain. Selecting the right topic for your IB Music Extended Essay can be daunting, but with guidance and inspiration, you can find one that resonates with your passion and interests. 

In this article, I’ll share some tips on selecting a good topic, followed by a list of 22 topic suggestions with short descriptions of how to work on them. Finally, I’ll leave you with some final thoughts and a call to action.

How to Select a Good Topic for Music IB EE?

Like with all other subjects, when writing a music extended essay, you should be ready to follow general IB criteria and an IB EE rubric with clear points to follow.

Let me suggest some of the most essential criteria in my personal opinion.

Choose a subject you are passionate about

Your enthusiasm for your chosen topic will shine through in your writing and make the research process more enjoyable.

Aim for originality

While it’s essential to ensure enough research material is available, try to find a unique angle or approach to the topic.

Consider the scope

The Extended Essay has a word limit of 4,000 words, so choose a topic that can be adequately explored within this constraint. However, avoid overly broad or complex subjects that might be difficult to cover in depth.

You might have missed one of our latest articles where we have shared each IB extended essay subject in detail, so make sure to check it out right after reading this one.

Meanwhile, this is the paragraph you’ve all been waiting for here, am I correct? Let me give you 20+ ideas for your Music extended essay topics.

List of Interesting IB Extended Essay Topics on Music

Now, let’s dive into 22 topic suggestions. Remember that these are just my general ideas. You will need to think a little and find those options that will be interesting for your personal research.

Let’s start:

  1. The influence of jazz on 20th-century classical music: Explore how jazz has inspired or influenced the works of classical composers like Stravinsky, Ravel, or Gershwin.
  2. Film music analysis: Choose a specific film score, analyze the composer’s use of themes, motifs, and instrumentation, and discuss the score’s impact on the film’s overall narrative.
  3. The evolution of a music genre: Investigate the history and development of a specific music genre, such as punk, hip-hop, or electronic music.
  4. The role of technology in shaping modern music production: Examine how advances in technology have transformed the ways artists create, distribute, and perform music.
  5. Cross-cultural musical fusions: Analyze a specific musical fusion, such as Afrobeat or reggae, and discuss the cultural factors that contributed to its development.
  6. The impact of political or social events on music: Explore how historical events like the Civil Rights Movement, the fall of the Berlin Wall, or the Arab Spring influenced music during their respective periods.
  7. Ethnomusicology: Study the music of a specific culture or region and its relationship to social, religious, or political contexts.
  8. Music and identity: Examine the role of music in shaping individual or collective identities, focusing on subcultures, diasporic communities, or national identities.
  9. Music therapy: Investigate the use of music as a therapeutic tool, focusing on specific populations, such as children with autism or patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
  10. The role of women in the music industry: Analyze the challenges and achievements of women in various aspects of the music industry, such as composition, performance, or production.
  11. Music censorship: Explore the history and implications of music censorship, focusing on specific cases, countries, or time periods.
  12. The psychology of music: Examine music’s cognitive and emotional effects, discussing topics such as the “Mozart effect” or the role of music in memory and emotion.
  13. The impact of streaming services on the music industry: Investigate how platforms like Spotify and Apple Music have changed the way artists release and monetize their work.
  14. The history and development of the music video: Explore the evolution of music videos, from their early beginnings to their modern-day significance in the music industry.
  15. The role of the music critic: Analyze the influence of music critics on public opinion, artist success, and the shaping of music trends.
  16. Music and advertising: Investigate the use of music in advertising campaigns, exploring how it affects consumer behavior and brand perception.
  17. The role of improvisation in different music genres: Analyze the importance and techniques of improvisation in genres such as jazz, blues, or Indian classical music.
  18. Music education and its impact on cognitive development: Explore the benefits of music education, focusing on areas such as language acquisition, memory, or creativity.
  19. The cultural impact of iconic music festivals: Study the history and cultural significance of music festivals like Woodstock, Glastonbury, or Coachella.
  20. The influence of world music on Western popular music: Examine how elements of non-Western music have been incorporated into Western popular music, discussing artists or genres that exemplify this trend.
  21. The role of the conductor in orchestral performance: Investigate the responsibilities and artistic choices made by conductors and how their leadership impacts the interpretation and execution of a musical work.
  22. The history and development of the musical instrument: Choose a specific instrument, such as the piano or violin, and explore its origins, design evolution, and impact on music throughout history.

Ready to work on your IB Music EE?

Selecting the right topic for your IB Music Extended Essay is a critical step in your academic journey. Remember to choose a subject that genuinely interests you and has enough scope for research and analysis. 

The topics listed above are meant to inspire and guide you as you embark on this exciting project.

Need help with your Music extended essay?

From research and analysis to structuring and editing, our skilled mentors will be by your side, helping you craft an exceptional extended essay that not only meets the stringent IB criteria but also reflects your passion for Music studies.

If you need assistance with your Extended Essay or want to discuss your ideas further, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team of experienced IB tutors is here to help you succeed in your academic endeavors. 

Let’s work together to create an outstanding Extended Essay reflecting your passion for music and showcasing your research and academic writing skills.

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