Types Of Music Essays
Essays that analyze music
Essays that analyze music are very much like other kinds of essays, except that they contain specific, technical information about the work or works that you are writing about. Normally, you should do the analysis first before you write the essay. It is a good idea to begin by creating any musical examples that you will include with the essay. Then write an outline and decide on your main analytical points before you begin to write. Clear writing about music depends on the clarity of the ideas you have and want to express.
As a first step, be sure that you know the piece. Play it if possible, or else listen to one or more recordings until you can look at the score and hear the piece in your “inner” ear. Then begin to analyze the piece: the analytical method(s) you use will depend on the work’s period, style, form, and performance genre, and will also depend on the assignment that the professor has given. Depending on the assignment, your analysis may involve some research (see Working with sources).
When analyzing any material, you will use the understanding you have gained in the course you are taking, and other courses as well. Bear in mind that an analysis involves making choices, since more than one interpretation may be possible. Try to go beyond your initial impressions to understand the work as fully as you can. Consider whether there are special or unusual features that are significant for the piece: such insights are often very fruitful in analysis.
Once you have created any musical examples you want to include and organize your thoughts into outline form, begin to write. Use appropriate technical terms that will highlight and clarify the points you are making (see Terminology in Music). When quoting or referring to sources, be sure to use appropriate citations (see Citation Styles).
Once you have finished the essay, bear in mind that what you have created is a first draft. Reading it out loud will help you to see how clearly and correctly you have expressed your ideas, and highlight any changes that you need to make. Revision is a necessary part of the writing process: see Drafts, editing, and revision for suggestions about how to revise your work.
IELTS Music Essay
A Complex Essay Question
In this lesson we’ll look at an IELTS music essay in order to explain how to approach a more complex IELTS task 2 question.
Many questions have a clear task. For example, the task may clearly state that you need to agree or disagree, offer solutions to a problem, or give the reasons why a problem exists.
Some though may have more general questions. Take a look at the example below:
There are many types of music in the world today. Why do we need music? Is the traditional music of a country more important and should it be preserved or is international music that is heard everywhere nowadays more useful to a society?
This is quite complex - the IELTS music essay question is long and ‘music’ is quite an abstract topic.
Understanding the Question
When you get a more complex IELTS task 2 question like this you should make sure you underline important words and carefully break it down into its different parts.
This will make sure that you do not miss something when you answer the question.
When you have done this, you should hopefully end up with something like this:
- Why do we need music?
- Why is traditional music important?
- Should it be preserved?
- Why is international music important?
- Which is the most important?
You need to discuss all these things as they are all within the IELTS music essay question. If you address all of these points then you will be fully answering the question.
These kinds of question are usually asking your opinion in some way, and this question is no exception.
All of the points listed are asking for your opinion, but most importantly you MUST make it clear which type of music, traditional or international, you think is more important/useful (if indeed you do think one is more important than the other - you may think they are equally important).
Planning and Organizing your Answer
You can use these questions to brainstorm and plan your answer.
With a question like this there is no ‘fixed’ way to organize it. There could be many different ways. But you must ensure that, as always, it is logical and covers everything.
One clear way would be to discuss why we need music first, then go on to discuss/compare the relative importance of traditional and international music, ensuring that you finish by stating your opinion (or restating your opinion if you already gave it in your introduction).
Now, take a look at the IELTS music essay model answer.
IELTS Music Essay Model Answer
Music exists in some form or another in every culture around the world and it provides enjoyment to millions of people. However, some people are concerned that traditional music is being lost because of the popularity of international music.
Without a doubt, music is a necessity. Firstly, music is important as it provides enjoyment and pleasure in daily life. People listen to music to relax at home, to relieve the boredom of long journeys, and to dance to in the evening at clubs. Not only this, music is also an expression of culture, often being an essential part of religious ceremonies such as weddings and funerals or yearly festivals. It is also now common in educational development as children learn to play music at school.
In considering which kind of music is the most important, international music is certainly useful to society because it can be argued that it helps us to understand and relate to other people, cultures and countries as we all listen to the same songs. This has occurred as globalization means Western music is heard around the world. However, it is critical that this is not at the expense of traditional music. It should be a priority to preserve this since it teaches people about their history, and helps societies remember and retain their national and cultural identity.
To conclude, I would argue that one type of music is not more important or useful than another. Traditional music is vital and should be preserved as it is part of a country’s cultural identity, but both are needed as they provide enjoyment to people in different ways.
As you can see, the IELTS music essay answer is 270 words.
There is a lot more you could have written about this topic and I could have made the answer longer, but this is to show you that you can address quite a few points in a short space.
If you are a good writer and you can write more then that is fine, but most people cannot write much more if they have to brainstorm, plan and check their grammar as well as write the answer.
The question has quite a few points to discuss and they are all within the essay.
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Write about the following topic:There are many types of music in the world today. Why do we need music? Is the traditional music of a country more important and should it be preserved or is international music that is heard everywhere nowadays more useful to a society?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own experience or knowledge.
Write at least 250 words.