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Investigating music videos

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Fergie Ferg

on 23 April 2018

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Transcript of Investigating music videos

Music videos consist of different types of images
Performance
Narrative
Thematic

In the majority of videos these are combined

Narrative clips
A narrative clip contains a visual story.

A purely narrative video contains no lip-synchronised singing.

The story is an idea, a “concept”.

Codes and conventions
Andrew Goodwin writing in ‘Dancing in the Distraction Factory’ (Routledge 1992
Music videos demonstrate genre characteristics
There is a relationship between lyrics and visuals
There is a relationship between music and visuals
The demands of the record label will include the need for lots of close ups of the artist and the artist may develop motifs which recur across their work (a visual style).
There is frequently reference to notion of looking (screens within screens, telescopes, etc) and particularly voyeuristic treatment of the female body.
There is often intertextual reference (to films, tv programmes, other music videos etc) which can contribute to the postmodernism of music videos

Intertextuality is often used in music videos
Combining the elements
Performance
Narrative
Media forms -Investigating music videos
A performance clip is a video that shows the vocalist(s) in one or more settings, such as the recording studio or on-stage at a concert,
Why are performance clips important to music videos? What effect do they have on the audience?
Performance settings
However, the performance can take place in a different setting, perhaps with more variety.
The singer could be in their bedroom, singing out of the window; they could be walking down the street (common in rap music videos).
The Slow Club song is about a relationship going wrong, and whether to stick with it or give up. The video reflects the idea of persistence and suffering for eventual triumph by transposing it to boxing.
What is the effect of juxtaposing Jack White walking around the house with the video clips?
Looking at the mise en scene
Questions - Lady Gaga Bad Romance
1. Media forms
How does the media language contribute to
the impact of the video?

2. Media Audiences
How does the video attract an audience?

3. Media institutions
How do music videos benefit institutions?

4. Media representations
How is Lady Gaga represented in the video?
Aiming high
Media forms
How does the media language contribute to
the impact of the video?
C grade - The use of red in the video could suggest violence and passion.
A grade - The use of red in the video could suggest violence and passion, both of which link thematically to the narrative of women being sold to men. Red also has connotations of romance but here it is being twisted to present darker side of relationships between men and women.
Why are music videos important to institutions?
We have looked at the media key concepts. Now we need to look at different types of media products in more depth.
Music videos
Magazines
Newspapers
Websites
Advertising
Reality television
These are all media forms
Andrew Goodwin - narrative theory in music videos
Andrew Goodwin stated that there are three different types of narrative in a music video.

These are:

Illustration

Amplification

Disjuncture

Illustration
The narrative in the video very closely reflects the lyrics of the song.
Amplification
The narrative is influenced by the lyrics of the song but instead of acting them out literally, they are used as a starting point for more conceptual imagery. They can add more layers of meaning to the song.
Disjuncture
The narrative in the video contains very little relationship to the lyrics. The narrative can often be quite abstract.
Most videos mix performance elements and narrative elements.
Even if the narrative is very simple or abstract.
The use of mise en scene
Can you think of any other examples?
Can you think of any other examples?
Can you think of any other examples?
Think about:

Brand identity
Economic factors
Promoting the artist
Some record labels are part of media conglomerates.
Representation in Music Videos
Music videos often deal with stereotypes because they are easily understandable.
Some music videos challenge ideas about gender.
Other music videos reinforce rigid gender stereotypes
The male gaze is commonly used in music videos to sexualise women. This has increased in recent years, even when women are the main artists.
Ideologies in music videos
What messages are being communicated in these videos?
Task
Find an example of an illustration music video, an amplification music video and a disjuncture music video.
Use your notes to explain how each video fits with Andrew Goodwin's theory
Andrew Goodwin and music videos
"The Scientist" by Coldplay is an example of an amplification music video. The lyrics are discussing wanting to be back at the beginning of a relationship, and the video features Chris Martin walking backwards after a serious car accident. The car accident could have connotations of something spinning out of control or being irreversible.
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