Humanities Research Proposal: Motown Research Proposals Examples

Type of paper: Research Proposal

Topic: Music, Motown, Success, Virtual Reality, Audience, Public Relations, Internet, Song

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2020/12/15

I am researching Motown Records and the music they created. Motown created a new genre of music in the 1960’s that changed the music industry forever.


What were the influences that prompted the style of music that is associated with Motown?
Why was Motown such an incredible success in the 1960’s and 1970’s?
How did Motown affect the music that followed in its wake such as Popular Top 40, Hip Hop, Rock and Roll and Rap?

Preliminary Research

My preliminary research has led me to the origins of Motown. Motown, also known as Hitsville, USA was founded in 1959 by a thirty year old man named Barry Gordy in Detroit, Michigan. Gordy had signed a talented singer by the name of William “Smokey” Robinson. Motown eventually became a major force in the music industry. It was also black owned and black operated (Early, 28-29).
Motown combined elements of gospel, blues, pop and swing. Gordy was looking to penetrate the teen market and offer an alternative to groups such as the Beatles. Gordy garnered the attention and favor of both black and white youth. He recruited his talent out of Detroit. He chose them for their raw talent but polished them up and made the presentable and presented them to the public (Holmes).
Motown desegregated music. For hundreds of years there was black music and white music. There were some crossovers, notably, Duke Ellington. Motown was the first black record company that recorded black musicians and singers to become a mainstream success in the United States (Provenzano).
The musicians and singers that Gordy recruited out of Detroit’s inner city and all learned their crafts in church, at home or in school music classes. Their enthusiasm, motivation and energy all helped to grow Motown’s success. Their musical styles would become epic and influence musicians and singers for the next fifty years. They changed the face of music (McCarthy).


Motown, blues, hip hop
My topic represents the Mississippi Watershed regions because the music of Motown was directly influenced by the blues and gospel music that grew out of that area.

Working Research Question

What were musical and social issues that shaped and influenced Motown music and how did Motown influence and shape today’s music?

Audience and Intent

My audience is anyone who loves and appreciates music. The audience would be interested in understanding how black music grew out of the black neighborhoods and became mainstream and popular.

Primary Work

A primary creative work for this topic might be any music by Motown artists such as Smokey Robinson or The Supremes. The Motown website offers a “jukebox” to listen to their original music.

Working Bibliography

Early, Gerald Lyn. One Nation under Groove. United States of America: University of Michigan
Press, 2004. Print.

Holmes, Marian Smith. “Who Could Resist the Kind of Music They Made at Hitsville?”

Smithsonian 25.7 (1994): On line. Web 6 Mar 2015 <

McCarthy, Marie. “The Young Musicians of Motown: A Success Story of Urban Music

Education.” Music Educators Journal 99.3 (2013). N. pag. Web. 7 Mar 2015
Provenzano, Frank. “The Magic of Motown: Symposium Examines Label’s Cultural Impact.”

Record Update 25 Feb 10 Web. 7 Mar 2015


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Humanities Research Proposal: Motown Research Proposals Examples. Free Essay Examples - Published Dec 15, 2020. Accessed May 19, 2024.

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