Through my quantitative analysis research I have been able to
identify what is common in different genres of music videos.
Researching a range of genres has also allowed me to think more
about what sort of genre of music I would like to do for my own
music video, allowing me to look at settings, shots and video
Hip-hop music is very often focusing on the artist, as the target
population who listen to that genre of music are often not only
listening to the song, but also looking out for the performer. Beyonce is
a classic example of this as in almost all of her music videos she
dancing either alone or with backup dancers. In her video for Love on
Top the majority of camera shots are long shots, followed closely by
mid shots. This is so the viewer is able to watch the choreography and
focus on Beyonce’s performance, possibly more than focusing on the
lyrics themselves. Also, there is no story in this particular music video,
again meaning the attention of the viewer is drawn towards the
dancers rather than the lyrics and their meaning. The colours in hip-
hop videos are also very vivid and eye catching. Combining this with
the constant movement of the dancers makes the video quick and fun,
appealing to the possible target population;
mainly girls aged between 10 and 16.
On the opposite end of the scale, Alternative Rock music videos are
almost always focusing on the band and their performance with their
instruments. Close up shots are the most common in these videos,
often focusing on the face or a particular facial feature of the lead
singer. This can been seen in both the Foo Fighter’s music video
Pretender and Green Day’s Wake me up when September Ends.
Although, only one of these videos has a strong story to go along with
the performance, unlike the other which focuses mainly on the band.
Pretender uses fast camera changes and hectic on goings to keep the
excitement of the music and video going, whereas Wake Me Up When
September Ends has a much more engaging story line running through
the video, making people want to watch it more. Fast pace camera
work is only used towards the end of the video when it also works in
sync with the story.
Lose Yourself by Eminem not only has lots of
performance but also an engaging story through the music video. This is
about the life of a rapper; who we are to believe is Eminem. This fits well with
the genre of Rap music as it not only combines the stereotypical, tough life of
“gangsters” and rap artists but also shows the artist himself performing,
making it look like he is directly addressing the viewers. It could also be seen
as though it is all advice aimed at them. It mainly consists of mid shots, just
showing Eminem rapping and aiming his lyrics at the audience. This gives the
video a more personal feel, and may be used to connect with the viewer. The
stereotypical viewer would be a teenage male, who would probably dress as
though he was associated with a gang. Eminem’s outfit choice would fit with
theirs perfectly, and since he is so influential, any branded clothing he was
wearing would be bought and worn by these fans.
Dance music videos mainly focus on some sort of “story” rather than watching the artist perform themselves.
Although, you see both video and some performance in Avicii’s Wake Me Up. The camera mainly uses close up
and mid shots to tell the story in this video, and continues to when the story arrives at a club. However here we
also see a Avicii performing the song, but rather than showing a genuine live performance separating the story
line from it, we see him from the point of view of the “heroine” in the video. The colours used throughout are
very bright and vivid, especially in the club scene. Here there is a lot of
strobe lighting used and although it is dark, the colours still stand out
(eg. The luminous pink lights).
Muse are a band generally associated with rock/alternative music, however
their latest album could come under the genre of dace music. Their new song Madness, mainly uses close up
and mid shots to tell a story throughout the video, however we do also see the band performing throughout.
The video uses bight colours during key points in the video, although use bland colours through the majority of
the story. There is also some use of special effects, (slow motion) making the viewer feel slightly groggy and
almost drugged whilst watching the video.
Pop(ular) videos have a number of different possible codes and conventions
as “popular” music covers such a variety of genres. Ed Sheeran’s The A Team
is an example of acoustic pop. In the video, we see no performance but a
whole story. Like in Eminem’s music video, Ed Sheeran features in it for a
small time, although this is not performance, it is just acting. Throughout the
video the main colours used are black, white and grey. This is used to fit with
the storyline, and make the story more heartfelt and powerful. To dramatize
the video and make it more gripping for the viewer, there are special effects
used. For example, there is a scene when the camera is at a fixed point and
everything speeds up around the girl in the centre of the story. The video is
mainly made up of mid shots and long shots, although also uses a similar
amount of close ups. This makes the video more like a film production.
Folk music videos are often very stereotypical, involving things
such a acoustic guitars, calm landscapes and live performances.
In Passengers music video for Let Her Go, all of these things are
included, making it recognisable as a folk song. Most of the video
is either of the band performing or the band
backstage and has absolutely no story. The
colours and lighting used throughout are all
very calming and relaxed. At points it looks
very dark except for the fairy lights around
the stage. The majority of camera shots are close ups throughout
the performance. This is very similar to the conventions of a
rock/alternative music video.
Rock and Roll
The codes and conventions for the genre of Rock and Roll have
changed a lot over the years. This has caused it to branch off and have
its own little section of genres. The music video for High Horse by The
Jim Jones Revue come under the genre of “garage rock and roll”. The
video contains both story and performance, very much like Green
Day’s Wake Me Up When September Ends.
The performance half of the video is set in
small room, with the whole band, whereas
the story shown travels around a location.
The camera throughout uses long shots, mid
shots and close ups all to a similar degree.
Although, the camera changes and movements are very quick, causing
a sense of havoc in the video, relating it to the codes and conventions
of the rock and roll genre.
Drum and Bass
Centipede by Knife Party has a storyline fitting with the (few)
lyrics in the song. There is no performance from the artist. Drum
and bass music videos are often filled with special effects to fit
the bass in the music and also to give a disjointed, remix feel that
goes along with it. The key part in this video with special effects
is a scene where a character is having hallucinations. This is key
to the song title and lyrics (Centipede). The camera shots used
throughout are mainly close ups. This allows you to focus on key
parts of the story and the characters involved. Furthermore,
many of the close up shots have quick changes, again giving the
video a hectic and disjointed feel.