Phantom of the Puccini

So I was going for a clever pun, but it didn’t really work out that way. What I’m trying to say is that I think I’ve come up with a topic for my history paper! Apparently the song “The Music of the Night” from Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Phantom of the Opera was accused of plagiarizing an opera by Puccini written in 1910, and his estate tried to sue for it but it didn’t go through. But, I thought it would be interesting to look into the similarities between the two pieces and in doing that look at similarities between musicals and opera.

This is, of course, if my prof approves the topic. I’m hoping that he does. 😛

Why is Picking a Paper Topic So Hard?

On this rainy Friday night I’m taking a break from Pretty Little Liars (I have become addicted, for which I can thank my room mate) and trying to figure out what I want to write about for the paper I have to write for my music history class. I don’t have to write the proposal until the twentieth, but I have no idea where I want to go with my topic.

The prof said we can write on any music after 1900 in the genres of classical music, jazz, and pop. I doubt it could be any broader.  There are so many interesting artists and composers but I have no idea what to pick! Florence and the Machine, Debussy, Carlos Salzedo, Elton John, Miles Davis, Muzak, Disney, Broadway? Any of those would be interesting to write on. But, I think my main problem is finding a narrow enough topic.

“Okay, so you want to write on Florence and the Machine. What about them?”

“Uhh.. Well I think they have a harpist in their band.”

“Right, so what do you want to say about that?”

Yeah and that’s about where all of my ideas stop. How am I supposed to come up with a relevant topic that isn’t just a description of something and also fill up eight to ten pages about it? I feel like actually finding the topic is the most difficult part of doing a research paper.

I’m sure there’s an art kid out there somewhere going, wow, what a complainer, you can’t even pick an essay TOPIC? This is why I’m in music, not general arts. Let me play my harp and I’ll be happy.  In the mean time I’ll stop stalling and try to brainstorm something…