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Music video analysis1



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  • 1. Music video analysis
    Colette Olumide
  • 2. Coldplay – Violet Hill
  • 3. Relationship between the lyrics and visuals
    Andrew Goodwins’ theory states that in a music video there is usually a connection between the lyrics of the song and the visuals in the video.
    In Coldplays’ video to Violet hill, we can see that the visuals tend to correspond with the lyrics very well. The lyrics aren’t illustrated by the visuals literally word by word, but the whole mood and the idea behind the lyrics definitely matches up with the video.
    For example, at one point during the song, it says “I took my
    love down to violet hill”. This corresponds well with the visual to the
    left which is shown at this point during the song. The image
    N shows him walking through the hills, and also there is a violet
    tinge to the image which works well with the lyric.
    At the beginning of each verse it says “was a long and dark December” which connotes winter and snow and gloominess, all the way through the video it looks very dark and cold and we see them on the hills with snow, which definitly corresponds with the lyrics and the whole feel and mood of the song.
    The lyics also fit in with the visuals in that we can see the vocalist actually miming the words.
  • 4. Relationship between music and visuals
    In this video there is a substantial amount of similarity between the music and the visuals.
    At the beginning of the song, there is an atmospheric and calming tone before the vocals. At this point we see light passing slowly over clouds the hills and the clouds passing in the sky at a speed that corresponds with the noise being made.
    We also see the me
    mbers of the band wa
    lking at a pace that
    has been slowed down to relate with the speed of the music at this point.
    As soon as the loud guitar kicks in with quite short sharp sounds we can see the members playing their instruments at the same pace to match the rythm, the screen also flashes in time with this sound.
  • 5. Relationship between music and visuals
    As we can hear a change in the lyrics, for example w hen one verse changes to another verse or the chorus, the image or setting on the screen switches to another.
    At one point there is a very distinctive beat of a drum that is very sharp, and we can see the artist on the screen moving his body from the torso at the exact same time as the beat of this particular drum.
    He also starts to thrust an
    object at the screen at the
    pace of the beat, it looks
    as if he is banging a gong
    which definitely corresponds with the music as another noise made at the time of this beat sounds like some kind of bell.
    At the end of the song, a lot of the instruments have diffused out, and there is just a piano and vocal, the music is a lot less chaotic and much more calm and slow. At this point we see the main artist slowly wading through the snow and the setting looks really calm, serene and empty just like the music at this point.
  • 6. Style and iconography
    The band Coldplay belong to the indie/alternative genre. And this video I would say definitely suits the style of Coldplay and reflects the genre of their music.
    Usually with indie bands, we get to see that they are talented people who can play instruments to their music. Coldplay are seen to play instruments in most of their videos.
    Coldplay are more
    Towards the grungey
    side of indie music.
    so we usually see the
    m dressed casually in
    dark or neutral colours which is what we would expect from a band of their genre. This is a style that we see consistently in the majority of Coldplay music videos
  • 7. Close ups
    The main vocalist of Coldplay is Chris Martin. He sings all of the vocals in their songs. Goodwin states that there a typical convention of music videos is that there are close ups of the artist, this helps form a relationship between the audience and the artist/band. We see many close-ups of Chris martin in Violet Hill, this helps particularly as the song is quite emotional and meaningful.
  • 8. Voyeurism
    Goodwin stated that a conventional music video should include voyeurism. Which tends to be as if we are spying or looking into the artists’ life, and makes the audience feel privileged to be seeing this or even sneaky.
    In the video of Violet hill, in some parts it’s as if we are following them or spying on them as they are walking through the hills unaware.
  • 9. Representation and ideology
    In the video to Violet hill, the band are represented to be quite serene characters, they are shown in hills were they seem to be as if they are ‘at one with nature’.
    Coldplay have a more calm image, compared to other indie bands that have a more extreme and out there image. They’re image is more cool and understated.
    Chris Martin is seen with his arms wide open in the hills as if he is free, they are represented as to be the type of people that enjoy the simple pleasures in life. They’re videos are usually very stripped down without too much going on, another example of one of their videos with a similar idea and representation is ‘yellow’ were it is simply Chris Martin running down a beach.
  • 10. Intertextuality
    Alot of music videos use a technique called intertextuality. This is when there are other media texts incuded with the video. For example some videos may include elements of existing film or other famous videos.
    The video Violet Hill doesn’t really include intertextuality, but Coldplay have done some music videos were there is. For example, one of their songs ‘Life in technicolour’ features the idea of a punch and judy show were the band members are puppets.