Music conventions in Indie/Rock
Tends to be black and white
The artist/band is shown throughout the video
Use of extreme close-ups and long shots are popular
Some use of special effects
Kings of Leon http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWhairF_DS8
The Fray http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nY2INQnmRyk
Artic Monkeys – Brianstorm
Music conventions in Hip Hop videos
Locations tends to be a party, club fancy location
Use of alcohol and drugs
Recognised brands and clothing
Expensive cars and houses
Camera shots tends to be long and establishing to show money involved. Close ups to
show the jewellery and assets of the artists.
Does not follow a storyline, only follows the genre
Artist(s) tend to be involved
50 Cent – In Da Club (Int’l version)
T.I – Hell of a Life
T-Pain – Buy You a Drink
Music conventions in Pop videos
Tends to be based on performance
Lots of make-up and fashion accessories
Bright colours and lighting
Long shots of partying/dancing scenes
Many close-ups of the artists’ faces
Tints and filters to boost colour
Photo shopped artists to make them look perfect
Typical narratives in pop music videos are parties and relationships/breakups. Tends to
follow a theme rather than a narrative
Justin Bieber – Beauty and a Beat
Britney Spears - (You Drive Me) Crazy
Miley Cyrus – Party in the U.S.A
Elements of a music video
Performance is when the music video consists mainly of the artists
performing in the video. A good example of this would be ‘Beyonce – Love
on Top’ were the video only portrays the artists continuously performing
to the song and there is no narrative or any other scenes in the video.
This style of music video isn’t as common, as music videos that are solely
dedicated to performance aren’t that popular, thus target audiences would
not be able to engage with the song or video.
However, in this example the lighting and costume to display the
performance is used creatively that it makes it interesting to watch.
A narrative music video follows a story line.
There are two types of narratives: linear and fragmented.
A linear narrative stars a story at the beginning, goes on through the
middle and ends at the end (chronological).
A fragmented narrative is one that doesn’t.
Example of a linear narrative:
Katy Perry – Thinking of You
Mixture is a combination of performance and narrative.
By using both performance and narrative the video can be made more
interesting and enjoyable to watch.
Kelly Clarkson – Since You Been Gone
Cameo is when a band or artist features in the narrative but doesn’t
Rihanna feat. Drake – What’s My Name
Were both artists play a part in the narrative but do not perform.
Thematic is when the music video follows a certain theme depending on
Heavy metal bands would go for performance dominated clips.
Rap has a lot of street images.
Dance routines are common in music videos.
The use of symbols to portray hidden meanings e.g. mise-en-scene of a
graveyard = death.
Use of montage, images to create meaning often contradictory
Lighting often used to suggest mood
Typically fast paced, only a few seconds per shot to build up meanings
Pictures can support or contradict the lyrics
Katy Perry – Dark Horse
Paramore – Brick by Boring Brick
Camera shots: Music videos tend to include a lot of long shots, close-ups and mid shots. This
is to create emphasis on the artist, location and emotions. Also, close-ups are used to not only
show emotions but to reflect the words of the song with the movement of the lips of the
Camera movement: The movement of the camera is used to follow and trace the artist or
band. Camera movement includes tilts, pans, tracking and crane shots.
Mise-en-scene: This refers to the arrangement of performers and props on stage or in a scene
for a production of a music video or any other media text. Mise-en-scene puts importance on
the representation of something.
Example: ‘Mad by Neyo’
The mise-en-scene involved him walking down a road alone, being in an isolated room. This
reflects the isolation from his lover. Also, the props include hats and dark clothes which
represents the down mood of the song. Similarly, the lighting is kept very dark as it is black
and white; this connotes the angry and depressed mood.
Editing: Jump cuts is the predominant editing technique used in music videos, thus, it allows a
sudden change from one scene to another. Also, transitions such as fade and dissolve are very
common in music videos as they create a different effect to cuts.
Lighting: Some music videos are black and white which helps emphasise a particular mood
and some videos have artificial lighting which puts the artist/s in an enhanced look.
Sound: Sound is mainly the vocals of the song but in some cases such as Michael Jackson –
Thriller, the producers can make the music video into a short film.
Props: These are vital in aiding to add to the scene and create significance on particular
objects or people.
Costume: This goes with the scenes in the song and reflects the genre. Costume is an
important factor because it has a slight influence on how the viewers will dress because they
use some of the celebrities as role models.
Colours: Colours tend to set the mood of the song through creating an atmosphere. For
example, dark colours are used more in rock songs such as Kings of Leon and bright colours
are seen to be used more in hip hop and pop videos.