andrew goodwin's music video conventions
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CONVENTIONS OF A MUSIC VIDEO
Generally, the visuals of a music video will do one of three things, illustrate, amplify or contradict the lyrics.
ILLUSTRATE:Kanye West’s ‘Good Life’ Featuring T-Pain has a
number of the lyrics illustrated on screen
through animation whilst he raps them.
CONTRADICT:Chris Brown’s ‘Don’t Think They Know’
Featuring Aaliyah is not about a girl, it is about
gang violence and poverty.
1) RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE LYRICS AND THE VISUALS
The music itself can also be related to the visuals which once again either illustrates, amplifies or contradicts them. The relationship is affected by
four main elements which are: tempo, beat, speed and pitch.
2) RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE MUSIC AND THE VISUALS
In Melanie Fiona’s ‘4am’ there is a strong relationship
between the music and the visuals. Throughout the video,
the visuals are in sync with both the beat and tempo of the
song. Essentially, this tells us that the visuals in a music
video do not always have to relate to the lyrics in order to
Essentially, Iconography means ’the visual images, symbols, or modes of representation collectively associated with a person, cult, or movement .’In terms of media, this can be described as visual features such as costumes,
jewellery and settings.
3) MUSIC S STYLE & ICONOGRAPHY
In an R&B music video we expect to see:
• Money• Jewellery• Sexual References/Content• Women (With minimal clothing)• Expensive possessions (cars)• Designer clothing• Locations such as mansionsMigos - Versace
Usually, there is a demand on the part of the record company to provide lots of close-ups of the main artist or vocalist (if in a band).
4) DEMAND OF CLOSE-UPS
Ciara, is a prime example of iconography. When people see one of her music videos they
expect to see some choreography for two reasons. Firstly, because she is an R&B artist, but secondly because
she is known to always have a dance performance in her
A star’s image is all about how they are perceived by the audience. The characteristics ascribed to them may be a combination of conscious construction by the media industry for which they work and of extra
textual publicity in other media.
Star’s will always use their current videos to reinforce their existing image as well as take it further.
5) STAR ICONOGRAPHY
6) VOYEURISMThe male gaze theory states that women are objectified through a
combination of camerawork and editing with fragmented body shots. From this idea comes voyeurism, which suggests that the camera is male
and seeks to gain sexual pleasure.
In R&B music videos, it is a typical convention to see voyeurism because of the lyrical content in which they contain.
Pusha T Ft Chris Brown – Sweet Serenade:
As we can see, this body shot consists of a female touching
her body in a very provocative manner. She has been
objectified as we cannot see her face, just an extreme close
up of her body.
7) INTERTEXTUAL REFERENCES
Wiz Khalifa & 2 Chainz – We Own It
This music video is a prime example of Intertextuality. Essentially, this song is the
soundtrack for Fast & Furious 6 so the entire music video
consists of multiple scenes from all six of the movies merged together. The scenes are in
chronological order which tells the story of the Fast & Furious.
The idea of ‘Intertextuality’ was created by John Stewart which is the process of ‘incorporating, raiding and reconstructing.’ Fundamentally,
this means using something which the audience may be familiar with to generate nostalgic associations and new meanings. With an exception to
advertising, music videos have more intertextual references than any other media form.