“Music videos ignore common narrative as they areessentially advertisements. As consumers, we make upour own meaning of a song in our minds: a musicvideo can anchor meaning and gives the recordcompany/artist a method of anchoring meaning.”Andrew Goodwin.
How to analyse music videos:Andrew Goodwin identified 5 key aspects of music videosthat we (the audience) should look out for which are;• Thought beats – seeing the sound.• Narrative and performance.• The star image.• Relation of visuals to a song.• Technical aspects of music videos.
Thought beats:• First step: look at the music itself. You must take intoaccount the structure of the song ~(chorus and verses).• Second step: look at the voice of the song. The artists voiceis extremely unique and can form identification ortrademarks that work well with the star image. RolandBarthes theory of the „grain of voice‟ can be related to this;he sees the singing voice as an expression and aninstrument and is therefore able to make associations of itsown.• Third step: Goodwin points out that the artists mode ofaddress can be seen in the song; they can be seen asstories and the artist becomes the storyteller, making themusic video a two communication device – them telling usa story and us listening.
Narrative and performance:Songs fail to give us the complete narrative.• We only tend to get a gist of the meaning of the song andthen we tend to make up our own idea of what is being told.• Goodwin explains that music videos should ignore commonnarrative. It is important in their role of advertising.• Music videos should coherent repeatability. Narrative andperformance work hand in hand, making it easier for theaudience to watch over and over without loosing interest.• The artist acting as both narrator and participant helps toincrease the authenticity, however the lip sync and othermimed actions remains the heart of the music videos. Theaudience need to believe this is real.
Star image:• The star image is a vital aspect of music videos. Metanarrative which is a story that describes thedevelopment of the star over time; it has an importantpart to lay in the music video production process.• Star image is a vital aspect of music videos. Artistswant to look unique in order to stay current and foraudiences to remember them. The star imagedevelops overtime and plays a big role in theproduction process of music videos.
Relation of visuals to a song:These are three ways in which the music videos work topromote a song.• Illustrate: Music videos can use a set of images toillustrate the meaning of lyrics and genre; this is the mostcommon process.• Amplify: This is similar to repeatability. Meanings andeffects are manipulated and constantly shown throughthe video and drummed into our vision.• Disjuncture: This is where the meaning of the song iscompletely ignored.
Technical aspects:• Technical aspects hold the music video togetherthrough se of camera work, movement, angle, mise-en-scene, editing, sound and special effects.• Speed, camera movement, editing, cutting and post-production are all forms of use of camera.• Lighting and colour help set moods and emphasise keymoments of the song for dramatic effect.• Mise-en-scene: the setting, props and costume of amusic video is a vital element – it needs to lookauthentic for dramatic effect.• Beats: music videos use cuts to go along with the beatsor rhythm making the video more entertaining.
1: A relationship between the visuals eitherillustrating, amplifying or contradicting the lyrics.This convention explains how Goodwin noticed amusic videos visuals either had a complete similarity ordirect contrast to the lyrics of the song.
2: A relationship between the music and the visuals again eitherillustrating, amplifying or contradicting the music.Goodwin identified that the visuals within a musicvideo may be edited in time to the lyrics/change inpace of the song. He also stated that these visuals arecommonly repeated within a chorus to emphasize therepetition in lyrics and beats.
3: Music genres have their own musicvideo style and iconography.Goodwin recognised that most artists have a trend ofrepeating certain actions within their music videos in orderto establish this as their „trademark‟ action and thereforemaking their songs recognizable due to it reoccurringoften. This represents the style of the music the artist isrepresenting and is a marketing strategy in order to beremembered in later years. Genre is also shown bylocation like, for example, songs within the indie genre areoften filmed in an abandoned and lonely place to conveyan individual in an isolated location.
4: There is likely to be voyeurism, particularly in the treatment ofwomen, and close ups of the main artist or vocalist.Goodwin identified that it is a common feature forrecord labels to use close ups of the artist/vocalist inorder to promote the sales in the single. Thisconvention is used in order to show the artistthroughout the video but it is most common withfemale artists as provocative angles are often used tosexualise the artist following “Laura Mulvey‟s MaleGaze Theory” causing a fetishisation from theaudience towards the artist.
5: There’s a demand on the part of the record company for lotsof close ups of the main artist/vocalist.Goodwin recognized that many music videosincluded voyeuristic angles of women in order toentice a male audiences interest in the artist and alsothe lyrics to which the shots represent. This is used tosexualise the artist and cause a feshistic connectionfor the male audience.
6: There is likely to be inter-textual references either toother music videos or to films and TV texts.Goodwin recognised that it was not uncommon torecognise either the visuals or lyrics of a song to be adirect reference to another media text. This is used toengage the audiences and provide them gratificationif they recognise it.