Music Research

Final Music Paper
6 paged research paper
APA Fromat
No plagarism

  1. Choose one song*. Choose and apply FOUR theoretical lenses that you’ve acquired through our course to analyze and discuss the meanings you’ve derived from it in great detail.

Heres a list you can pick ONE song from
Wagon wheel by darius rucker
Chandelier by sia
Cleopatra by the Lumineers
Stubborn love by the lumineers

  1. Use theoretical lenses learned in class to guide and frame your analysis. You have to show that you can cite and use theories- and that you understand them.
  2. Use and cite specific, credible sources to specifically support how the songs convey meanings that you are specifically claiming them to mean. Examples of credible sources include books, songs, lyrics, textbooks, journals, music press, websites [never Wikipedia].


  • Articulate a deeper individual understanding and appreciation of contemporary musics in connection to their musical elements, identity, and broader cultural perspectives.
  • Select from, evaluate, and apply a range of critical lenses and resources across disciplines and formats to inform this individual understanding.
  • Advancing ideas and arguments effectively and persuasively. Claims are well-constructed: grounded in solid reasoning, indicative of considering multiple sides of an issue, supported with evidence, and communicated effectively through academic writing.

To do this, you will complete and submit an original (created solely by you), 6 page paper that will synthesize your new understandings with an in-depth analysis of the music(s) of your choice*.
Course work to use from professor to help with theories and theatrical lenses and writing paper
Critical thinking and intro to theories

Theory Breakdown and theoretical breakdown
Music industry and its impact

Some examples of theatrical Lenses you can use
Theoretical Lens: The Music Industry/Technology
(Includes Talent/Development/Production/Market/Distribution, Gatekeeping, Audience Development, Impact of Technology)
Theoretical Lens: Power and Legitimacy (Includes Cultural Capital (Bourdieu), Cultural Hegemony (Gramsci), Music as Weapon, Music as Political Force)
Theoretical Lens: Semiotics (Peirce) (Theory of Signs).
The main artist in a music video can seem to be much larger than they really are because they are the focal point of the video.
Theoretical Lens : Habits/Self/Identity (Turino)
Music is one way through which people can express/create social identities. These identities are ways that people distinguish themselves from their families and/or broader society, and also establish common identity with reference groups, like: friends, people of like gender identity, people of the same age group, people with similar tastes/styles.
Theoretical Lens : Musical Elements
Musical elements include, but are not limited to:
Structure/Form (contrast/repetition)
Harmony + Accompanying Styles
Bass Line
Drum Beat (or Beat)
Instrumentation (woodwinds, brass, percussion, string, synthesized/electronic)
Expressive elements: dynamics, tempo, tension and release, texture, articulation, cohesion, consonance, dissonance.
Thank You!