Music videos can be characterized by three broad typologies:
Performance, Narrative, and Conceptual
These types describe the form and content selected by the director or artist to attract viewers and to convey a direct or indirect message.
They can act as extended advertisements, as popular art forms or as self-referential filmic texts (e.g Madonna videos)
Music videos can be characterized by three broad typologies: Performance, Narrative, and Conceptual (Firth, 1988) These types describe the form and content selected by the director or artist to attract viewers and to convey a direct or indirect message. They can act as extended advertisements, as popular art forms or as self-referential filmic texts (e.g Madonna videos)
A given music video may actually have elements of more than one category .
Goodwin (1992), in describing Madonna's videos, suggests that the essential narrative component of a music video is found in its ability to frame the star, "star-in-text," as all Madonna's videos seem to do.
The music video is often described as ‘postmodern’ , an approach which in part relates to the effect of so much exposure to the media on our culture, and how this relates to how we understand and make sense of the world
It is recognisable in part through use of intertextuality . Broadly, if we see music promos as frequently drawing upon existing texts in order to spark recognition in the audience , we have a working definition of ‘intertextuality’
Althusser and Gramsci have done most of the work in this area.
“ This approach sees the music video in terms of the familiar techniques of consumer capitalism, embedded in a mode of production”. In other words, the music video is an advertisement to promote specific commodities (songs or artists) as a means to involve and manipulate the viewers.
Jhally sees music videos as a chance to harness some new technology and exploit new market opportunities
In Performance videos, the performance is edited, mixed, standardised and sanitised and delivered with a range of clichéd shots – carefully staged, no hints of subversive drug taking etc
Price of rock videos prevents autonomy of established stars – court case between George Michael and Sony.
However, music videos are open to interpretation and hence can be free of ‘bourgeois readings’. Some artists are good at leaving messages open or subverting them – Madonna videos appear to reproduce conventional themes of romance and sexiness but subvert them and are ironic.
Most feminists have argued that patriarchal ideology is reinforced by the mass media in contemporary culture. Discuss this argument with reference to examples drawn from popular music .
“ The output of today’s mass communication industry is vast and diverse. It includes all shades of opinion and offers consumers almost limitless choice . It is difficult,therefore, to understand how anyone can accuse the media of operating only in the interests of dominant ideology .”
Using examples and theoretical perspectives , assess this argument . (30 marks)