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Music videos Music videos Presentation Transcript

  • Music Videos – Key Facts
    • What are music videos for?
    • How do they reflect culture?
    • 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)
    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) View slide
  • 1.Performance videos
    • The most common type (Firth 1988) feature the star or group singing in concert to wildly enthusiastic fans. The goal is to convey a sense of the in-concert experience.
    • Gow (1992) suggests "the predominance of performance indicates that music video defines itself chiefly by images of artists singing and playing songs " .
    View slide
  • Performance videos
    • Performance videos, especially those that display the star or group in the studio , remind the viewer that the soundtrack is still important .
    • "Performance oriented visuals cue viewers that the recording of the music is the most significant element."
  • 2. Narrative videos
    • Presents a sequence of events. A video may tell any kind of story in linear, cause-effect sequencing.
    • Love stories, however, are the most common narrative mode in music video. The narrative pattern is one of boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back.
    • Action in the story is dominated by males who do things and females who passively react or wait for something to happen (Schwichtenberg, 1992).
  • 3. Conceptual videos
    • rely on poetic form, primarily metaphor . Conceptual videos do not tell a story in linear fashion, but rather create a mood, a feeling to be evoked in the experience of viewing (Firth, 1988).
    • Conceptual videos contain the possibility for multiple meanings as the metaphor is interpreted by the viewer.
    • Give your definition of each type of music
    • video
    • Performance
    • Narrative
    • Conceptual
    • Give one example of each.
  • Goodwin’s music video analysis ‘Dancing in the Distraction Factory’ (1992)
    • 1. Music videos demonstrate genre characteristics
    • (e.g. stage performance in rock video, dance routine for boy/girl pop band)
    • 2. There is a relationship between lyrics and visuals
    • (either illustrative, amplifying, contradicting)
    • 3. There is a relationship between music and visuals
    • (either illustrative, amplifying, contradicting)
    • 4. 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) (Marxist perspective)
  • Goodwin’s music video analysis ‘Dancing in the Distraction Factory’ (1992)
    • 5 . There is frequently reference to notion of looking (screens within screens, telescopes, etc) and particularly voyeuristic treatment of the female body (Feminist perspective)
    • 6 . There is often intertextual reference (to films, tv programmes, other music videos etc). (Postmodernist perspective)
  • Task
    • Read the first paragraph of the article on Music Videos called Style and Music Video.
    • Sum up what it is saying in four bullet points.
    • Watch the video excerpt of Madonna’s song “Into the Groove”
    • Read the next two paragraphs of the article.
    • 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’
    Postmodernism
    • Marxist Readings of Music Videos
    • 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
    • Marxist Readings of Music Videos
    • 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.
  • Sample essay titles
    • 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)
  • Popular Music and Subcultures Case Study
    • Work in groups of 3 or 4 (no more) on an Independent Study to research the links between popular music and subcultures.
    • What is a subculture?
    • http://groups.msn.com/Subcultures/definition.msnw
    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subculture
    • Look at the list of subcultures on the first link – add to it any other subcultures you can think of. Choose the subculture you find the most interesting.
    • Form groups with people who are interested in the same subculture as you.