What is a music video?
• A music video is a short film or video that accompanies a
complete piece of music/song.
• Modern music videos are mainly made and used as a
marketing advice with the aim of promoting music recordings
• Music videos gained popularity in the 1980s, when MTV
(Music Television), and later VH1 (Video Hits One) based their
format around the medium
• Music videos are mainly split into three different categories:
performance, narrative and concept
The first ever music video?
• In 1894, when sheet publishers still ran the music business, Edward B.
Marks and Joe Stern hired George Thomas and various performers to
promote sales of their single ‘The Little Lost Child’
• Thomas projected a series of still images on a screen simultaneously with
live performances in what became known a popular form of
entertainment known as ‘the illustrated song’
• This has been termed the first music video
• Even today, many music videos still use a series of still images to
accompany the song
• Despite this, there have also been many other precursors to when music
video became something of a recurring theme
• A performance video is a type of music video where the
individual, duo or group are seen doing something active,
most commonly dancing.
• Performance videos does not necessarily link/ or need to link
to the music/song that it accompanies
• This has become the norm in recent years
• Beyonce’s ‘Single Ladies’ is perhaps one of the most popular
performance videos ever
• British boy group JLS are also known as a performance group
• A narrative video is another type of music video whereby the song is
accompanied directly with the music video itself
• As it says in the name, the narrative video is used to tell a story of and
individual, a group, a place or even a building
• The benefit of a narrative video is that it is much easier for the audience to
relate to the song and the music video
• Although performance videos are becoming increasingly popular, narrative
videos still attract a relative amount of viewers
• 2 Pac's hit featuring Elton John- ‘Ghetto Gospel’ was a well known
• So too was ‘Millionaire’ by Kelis and Andre 3000 and ‘Stole’- song by Kelly
• Concept videos have become popular for
conventions, incentive programmes, employee
recognition, annual banquets etc
• These videos typically have a theme and draws
comparison to a movie or television programme
• Once the theme is determined, a script is usually
written and can be serious, humorous or both
Who controlled the development of music in the past?
Who now controls the development of music videos?
• In the past record labels and directors controlled the development of music
• Goodwin’s theory on music videos, for example, states that record labels insist
on lots of close ups from the artist, this means, that record labels play an
integral role in controlling the development of music videos
• Today, the artist have an increasing role in developing their own music videos,
but to a certain extent
• For example, boy bands such as JLS have to include their own dance routine in
their music video, and this is illustrated by the fact that they hire a
choreographer. This is turn means that they have limited control over the
development of music videos.
• However, in a genre such as indie music, where the stress for the bands are on
developing their own music video, they have a larger amount of control
because they make the songs themselves. For example, the Maccabees single
‘About Your Dress’.
How have new technologies impacted on the
relevance and importance of music?
• New technologies have made a major impact on the relevance and
importance of music.
• For instance, the establishment of the internet, especially the emergence
of websites such as youtube.com, and the I-pods have had a huge impact
on the relevance and importance of music.
• Perhaps the ever-rising popularity of Youtube and i-pods led to MTV
abandon showing music videos for reality shows such as Run’s House.
• With Youtube, consumers now have the right to watch music videos at
anytime and even comment on them
• Whereas, with Ipods, consumers can download they favourite music
videos and watch them wherever they want, i.e. on their way to work.