A List of Strong Topics for Doctoral Dissertations in Musicology

If you’ve reached the stage of being able to apply to write a doctoral dissertation, you will already have been thinking long and hard about your choice of topic. It might be something you’ve studied in certain ways throughout your college years. Remember that a great relationship with an experienced supervisor is the key to your topic choice and a lot more besides.

It’s hard to believe you will be scratching around for topic ideas. You will have been studying music for many years, maybe even decades. But there are so many aspects to a musicology topic. It you take music therapy as an example. There are dozens of topics within this topic. It’s easy to find what other PhD topics have been completed and even which are being written currently.

Looking at lists of musicology dissertation topics can be good for two reasons. You can be inspired by what you see and avoid working on a topic which has been thoroughly investigated already. Again consulting with your supervisor will help steer you on the right path as far as topic choice goes.

The same rules apply for a doctoral dissertation as they do for a Master’s degree and other essays and research papers. There needs to be a super strong thesis statement and an excellent supply of relevant and accessible research material. Working on these things is a first step in preparing for your dissertation. Your proposal will establish your thesis statement and your list of reading material will be required to convince the academic world that you have the ideas and materials to produce an excellent dissertation.

Here are some strong musicology doctoral dissertation topics.

  1. The changes in genre of popular music in the United States in the last half of the 20th century.
  2. The genius of the Bach cantatas.
  3. The birth of opera and its place in society at the time.
  4. The combination of music and religion in the Middle Ages.
  5. The role of music in the culture of Venice in the years 1400 to 1600.
  6. The place of music in the Jewish culture in the state of Israel.
  7. The move from Viennese opera to the Broadway musical - 1900-1950
  8. A detailed analysis of the use of music therapy for adults with learning difficulties.
  9. How music therapy is used to assist people suffering from dementia.
  10. Music therapy as used to assist young mothers with substance abuse issues.

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