CODES AND
CONVENTIONS OF A
MUSIC VIDEO
•  The codes and conventions of music
videos are the different techniques used to
construct meaning in them.
•  These tech...
TECHNICAL TECHNIQUES

Technical – how meaning is conveyed using technical
equipment. e.g. the way the camera angles are us...
SYMBOLIC TECHNIQUES

Symbolic techniques are ways of showing
meanings beyond what you can see. e.g. through
facial express...
REASONS FOR CODES AND
CONVENTIONS

•  The audience can become familiar with a
particular genre, as they get use to recogni...
GENERAL CODES AND
CONVENTIONS

•  The conventions of a music video vary depending on
genre of music. However, the general ...
PERFORMANCE

Performance is when the music video consists mainly of the artists
performing in the video. A good example of...
NARRATIVE

A narrative music video follows a story line, there are two types of narratives:
linear and fragmented. Linear ...
MIXTURE

Mixture is a combination of performance and narrative. This is usually found in
music videos as it is hard to hav...
CAMEO

Camero is where a band or artist features in the narrative but does not
perform. A good example of this is Drake an...
CAMERA

The way the camera is used is crucial in producing a music video. It can have
and create different effects by the ...
CAMERA ANGLES
The way the camera is positioned determines the angle of the shot. There are many different camera
angles us...
CAMERA ANGLES
Birds Eye: this angle is showing the subject/scene from directly above, and it is completely different and
c...
CAMERA MOVEMENTS
The camera moves to follow the artist or to show the performance of the artist. These
movements include p...
EDITING TECHNIQUES

Editing is the process that concludes the making of the music video. When you edit,
you cut scenes dow...
SOUND

Sound consists of two main forms; diegetic sound which is already present in the film
and non-diegetic sound which ...
MIS-EN-SCENE

The mis-en-scene for music videos focuses on the light, props, costume, hair
and makeup, location, and the c...
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Codes and Conventions of a Music Video

  1. 1. CODES AND CONVENTIONS OF A MUSIC VIDEO
  2. 2. •  The codes and conventions of music videos are the different techniques used to construct meaning in them. •  These techniques can be divided into two types: - Technical - Symbolic
  3. 3. TECHNICAL TECHNIQUES Technical – how meaning is conveyed using technical equipment. e.g. the way the camera angles are used, different types of shots, sound either diegetic and nondiegetic sound, the pace and style of editing, and the genre.
  4. 4. SYMBOLIC TECHNIQUES Symbolic techniques are ways of showing meanings beyond what you can see. e.g. through facial expressions, gestures, poses and mise-enscene.
  5. 5. REASONS FOR CODES AND CONVENTIONS •  The audience can become familiar with a particular genre, as they get use to recognising the different conventions within a genre. •  Its provides a structure that the audience can understand. •  To ensure the lyrics of the song fit in with the video, of how we’d expect it to be.
  6. 6. GENERAL CODES AND CONVENTIONS •  The conventions of a music video vary depending on genre of music. However, the general conventions include: - the style - the camera - the editing techniques - the sound – non-diegetic and diegetic - mise-en-scene – props, lighting, costume, hair/makeup, location/setting, and colours - notions of looking - stereotyping
  7. 7. PERFORMANCE Performance is when the music video consists mainly of the artists performing in the video. A good example of this is ‘Beyonce – Love on Top’ where the video shows the artists continuously performing the song and there is narrative or any other scenes n the video. This style of music video isn’t as common, as music videos that are solely dedicated to performance are not that popular, because target audiences would not be able to engage with the song or video, however this example used costume and lighting to display the performance in a creative way making it more interesting to watch. Example: Taylor Swift’s Red music video is performance
  8. 8. NARRATIVE A narrative music video follows a story line, there are two types of narratives: linear and fragmented. Linear narrative starts a story at the beginning, goes on through the middle and ends at the end. A fragmented narrative is one that doesn’t. Example of linear narrative Katy Perry’s Thinking of You Example of fragmented narrative Demi Lovato’s Give Your Heart a Break
  9. 9. MIXTURE Mixture is a combination of performance and narrative. This is usually found in music videos as it is hard to have a pure performance or narrative, by using both performance and narrative the video can be made more interesting and enjoyable to watch. An example of this Demi Lovato’s Give Your Heart a Break music video where Lovato is half performing the song and also tells the story.
  10. 10. CAMEO Camero is where a band or artist features in the narrative but does not perform. A good example of this is Drake and Rihanna’s What’s My Name where both artists in this case play a part in the narrative but do not perform.
  11. 11. CAMERA The way the camera is used is crucial in producing a music video. It can have and create different effects by the different angles, and movements. In general every music video uses a variety of camera shots, angles and movements to create different techniques and to make the video different and unique in its own way, to other music videos.
  12. 12. CAMERA ANGLES The way the camera is positioned determines the angle of the shot. There are many different camera angles used in the production of music videos to convey different images. Examples of camera angles are: - Eye Level: this is a very common view being the real world angle that we are use to seeing, it shows subjects as we would expect to see them in real life - High Angle: this is where the camera shows the subject from above, and the camera is angled down towards the subject, which has the effect of making them appear less powerful, less significant and or even submissive. - Low Angle: this is where the subject is shown from below, giving the impression of being more powerful or dominant. Eye Level High Angle Low Angle
  13. 13. CAMERA ANGLES Birds Eye: this angle is showing the subject/scene from directly above, and it is completely different and can be from an unnatural point of view which can be used to add a dramatic effect or showing a different spatial perspective. It can also show the positions and motions of different characters and objects, enabling the viewer to see things the character might not see. Slanted: this is where the camera is purposely tilted to one side so the horizon in on an angle. This is creative in making interesting dramatic effects. These are also popular in MTV-style video production, where unusual angles and lots of camera movement play a big part. Camera angles play a huge part in emphasising the artist or to show emotions and expressions. Other camera angles that are simply the most common in music videos such as close ups which shows the artist lip syncing and extreme close ups where lyrics can be linked to visuals. The camera never stays on one shot for longer than 3-5 seconds. Birds Eye Slanted
  14. 14. CAMERA MOVEMENTS The camera moves to follow the artist or to show the performance of the artist. These movements include panning and tracking. A director may choose to move action along by telling the story as a series of cuts, going from one shot to another, or they may include to move the camera with the action. Pans: this is where the camera scans a scene horizontally. The camera is placed on a tripod, which operates as a stationary axis point as the camera is turned, often to follow a moving object which is kept in the middle of the frame. Dolly/Tracking: this is where the camera is mounted on a cart which travels along tracks for a very smooth movement.
  15. 15. EDITING TECHNIQUES Editing is the process that concludes the making of the music video. When you edit, you cut scenes down, add special effects and add the track to the music video. The editing consists of the following things: - Jump cutting - CGI effect which is the process used for generating animated images by using computer graphics - Parallel editing which is a method of cutting between a couple of scenes or stories that are happening at the same time Also, adding non-diegetic sound can be part of editing.
  16. 16. SOUND Sound consists of two main forms; diegetic sound which is already present in the film and non-diegetic sound which can be edited in. sound is absolutely essential in any music video as this is the main reason for why people watch and listen to them, to gain a sense of art via different artists. Sound, like footage can be edited to create different effects and variations to the normal vocals that we hear. Parallel sound is when the music matches the mood of the video. An example would be if the song was slow then the video would also be slow to go with the mood of the song. Some music videos have diegetic sound, where they include sound from the surroundings, such as birds, police sirens that make the video seem more realistic. However the music itself is non-diegetic sound.
  17. 17. MIS-EN-SCENE The mis-en-scene for music videos focuses on the light, props, costume, hair and makeup, location, and the colour of these elements usually depends on the genre of the music video and the style. These elements are also important in contributing towards the chosen genre. They are used to convey the importance of the people in the music videos. They are also used to represent certain characters in different ways. Lighting: how the scene is lit/artificial lights/side lights Props: performance equipment, band merchandise Costume: certain outfits Hair and makeup: style of the artist Location: concert halls venues, streets, studio etc. Colour: specific colours representing a mood

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