There are 3 main types of
Most music videos to date, have
meaning to them. Or the acting
Performance- Singing along relates to the words.
Narrative- Story line (Feel
In the more olden times its was
something/ have a meaning )
normally just a up close or panning
Conceptual- weird ( not much
of the main singer face (
meaning, just a visual thing )
Some songs plainly
have no music
video and could
just have the
album cover on the
screen when just
playing the music.
more or less
them at some
points of the
Performance based videos show only the band/artist performing the song.
It is the cheapest and easiest type of video to make, providing you can find a
A large variety of shots need to be used in quick succession in order to keep
the video interesting, as there is a risk it could look boring with only
An example of this from this is the song ‘ In the morning’ by Razorlight (see
below. This video not only contains a wide variety of camera angles and
movements, but its also have a bit of conceptual things during the video.
However this video doesn’t have a narrative or a story but does have weird
things going around when the main band are singing. The reason for the weird
footage is to maintain the audiences attention.
Narrative based music videos contains mostly footage that shows a
storyline that runs throughout, or sometimes several storylines running
parallel to each other.
Sometimes with actors and sometimes with the artist themselves, the
story will either link to the lyrics of the song, or just the overall theme.
If a song has been featured in a movie, the music video will often show
clips of film footage cut into the music video.
An example of this is ‘ Shot at the night’ buy the Killer. During the music video it
shows, a poor, unhealthy girl getting a shot at the night. This music video
relates the words that are sung. A relationship between the lyrics and the visual.
This creates an instant understanding of what the song is about. Themes, miseen-scene and the events of the video match with the lyrics of the song, helping
to portray the message of the song
Conceptual videos are based around a single concept or idea.
This type of video is fairly unusual and are a lot harder to film, mostly being
done with editing and Special FX, and would therefore be not only harder to
do, but also more expensive.
These types of videos also aren’t very popular as they are not very easy to
relate to, so very few videos are purely conceptual.
A good example of this is the song ‘Islands’ by The XX. The thing that makes this
music video conceptual, is because of its weird repetition of dance moves.
These continuous dance moves have not relation to the lyrics, nor does it have a
story line from point A-B. its purely just a set of dance moves repeated. This
music video also consist of performance, where the main singings are singing
along with their lyrics.
Andrew has these 6 features of Music videos. The theory is that in a Music video
there will be at least 2 or more of his theory sentences.
Key Points from Goodwin:
1- Music videos have genre characteristics
-in videos certain features are expected depending on the genre of the music.
E.g. girl bands and normal artists are expected to have dancers and close ups of
the main singer, whilst a Indi band are expected to have more of a performance
outcome, with shots of the band and cut to a fast beat.
2- relationship between the lyrics and the visual
-Themes, mise-en-scene and events of the video match with lyrics of the song,
to help to portray the message of the song.
3- relationship between the music and the visual
- The cuts and edits of the video are in sync with the rhythm and beat of the
song matching cuts or effects to specific drum beats or notes.
4 - Often due to the demands of the record label, artists videos will include many
close ups of the artist and will often develop motifs that recur across multiple videos
-the record label will now promote the set image for the band or artist, whish will help to
target the correct audience and empathise with the band.
5- Emphasis on ‘looking’
-The 'male gaze' is often used to attract a male audience. The male gaze is a focus on
presenting things that appeal to men. This often means a voyeuristic view of, and an
objectification, of women. The emphasis on looking also includes the artist looking
directly into the camera helping the audience connect with the artist.
6- intertexual reference.
-This is most common in films, but music videos reference other forms of media as well
like television and other music videos.
Andrew Goodwin’s 6 Features of
In His Book Dancing in the Distraction Factory
Andrew Goodwin points out characteristics and
features that can be found in music videos.
1. Music videos demonstrate genre characteristics.
(e.g. stage performance in metal videos, dance
routine for boy/girl band, aspiration in Hip Hop).
2. There is a relationship between lyrics and visuals.
The lyrics are represented with images.
(either illustrative, amplifying, contradicting).
3. There is a relationship between music and visuals.
The tone and atmosphere of the visual reflects
that of the music.
(either illustrative, amplifying, contradicting).
Andrew Goodwin’s 6 Features
of Music Videos:
1. 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).
2. There is frequently reference to notion of
looking (screens within screens, mirrors, stages,
etc) and particularly voyeuristic treatment of
the female body.
3. There are often intertextual reference (to films,
tv programmes, other music videos etc).
Ideas from other
The music video I have chosen to study from it ‘Strawberry Swing’ by Coldplay
The way in which they have done this music video I very unique, not many music video are
created like they have done theirs. In this particular music video Coldplay have got a massive
black floor, and used this to their advantage to draw, erase and imagine any background/setting
they want. Everything they needed was in one room and this also helped them adapt,
everything to their imagination , however this did take hours and masses of hard work. This was
because every tiny movement need a something change in the scene. he artists took their time
and created an incredible video." The music video prominently features stop animation, with
vocalist Chris Martin against the ground on which chalk drawings are elaborately animated.
(The video begins with Martin waking up in his house. Once he sees that a woman is being held
hostage by a giant squirrel, he turns into a superhero and attempts to save her. Along the way,
Martin faces attacks from the squirrel and a giant fish in the ocean. When Martin finally gets to
the squirrel's home, he rescues the lady by drawing a nut-shaped bomb that blows the squirrel
up. The two then fly away and begin to kiss. The animation suddenly stops and Martin gets up
off the chalk coloured floor and walks away.)
I personally love this idea, and creativity of this music video. I have taken into account that you
can do what ever in a video. And from this I will try use as much colour in my video as I can. I will
Reason for music videos
The most common reason for music videos, is for the artist to show and express
what the meaning of their song is. Most artist full express and create an image
for the views. But some artist purely do not so much detail so then the view can
choose what it means to them.
Since the cinema and film was invented, this created the ability to bring songs
and music to life.
Advances in technology have transformed the was we can create and express in
the videos today.
. More than we know it, we hear music more than even now. From radio,
cinema, iPod(electronics) and Mainly Television. We hear music a lot from TV
adverts nowadays and this is another main way for great advertising and to get
the song heard, and remembered.
Music also gives us feelings, especially during films.
- Music sets the mood
- Music helps tell the story by adding additional punch to the visual images.
- Music can propel the audience to another time zone, past and future.
Dialogue tells the story
The past years
Music has been around since the 1920’s. Music started way back in prehistoric
times when the early humans figured out how to make sounds by blowing in
hollow pieces of wood or banging things together. Later, stringed instruments
were created from bits of vine or animal gut. Drums were advanced using
animal skins as well. Music was present in ancient Israel a thousand years before
Christ, when King David composed and sang hundreds of songs called psalms. It
was also created from when there was a lot of slavery, and the African
American, created this thing called the ‘Blues’ music developed from there.
The way in which films came together with artists music made people of that
time think of all the different possibilities they could do in the future with music.
Many Jazz musicians of that time such as ‘Bessie Smith’, made short films to
accompany her most popular songs.
Types of Genre
Rock/metal- Theses types of music video are normally deadly colours, although
the contrast is bright in order to emphasize particular symbolised colours.
Indie- The conventions for indie music vary in particular artists.
The main types of indie music video are in black an white with a reality setting.
RnB- RnB are normally brightly coloured. The setting of this is in a wealth
setting, mansions, nightclubs, outside areas, big boast and beaches.
Pop- usually performance based , with frequent lip-syncing. The videos are
normally really bright and quite cheesy. The music also has a lot to do with
fashion, each individual band member would have a individual identify (for
which people would recognise them by)
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