Codes and Conventions of Music Videos

(research found on http://matheussiqueira.com/a-brief-history-of-music-video/)

n/a to 1980 – The Early Era
The very first breakout news when music first combined with film was in 1894, When a  music publisher hired electrician known as George Thomas to help with the music set and help synchronise a live performance with a magician lantern used as a form of a projector that would show projected images. This form of art became very popular at the the time, in addition, to this the only time you got to see magic lantern during this period was at museums so to see them was something mind blowing.

With film technology advancing and 16mm lenses getting a reasonably cheaper and a lot more accessible, The evolution and growth of broadcast television and the new rise of pop culture at the period of the  late 60s and early 70s was a very exciting time of directors exploring all these new creative visuals as a way to promote the music artist.

1980 to 2004  –

The very first music video aired on MTV in the 1980s, this then created a path for promoting and making a massive impact on cinematography and technology itself. Shortly after down the line in the early 90’s,  Music videos would often feature promotion in the persuasive form of visual arts. This would soon introduce listing of  top name directors given the task to direct music videos. Different directors would structure how they direct their music videos very differently, this would differentiate the different artist and directors style branding themselves.

2005 to now –

Since 1997 and onward, music videos could be found in almost any place from the internet to TV. However, a brand new site called YouTube had been launched and changed the music industries forever. During this time MTV had flogged just only having music videos on their channel and had started putting on reality shows from 2000 onward.

Due to the fact some music videos where on the rise it allowed some music videos to get a very small movie film budget; therefore increasing the productivity of distribution of music videos to be released everyday. This then made music videos varies as every artist and director alike tried to separate themselves from others to get the most attention drawn onto them.

Andrew Goodwin Theory

“Music videos ignore common narrative as they are essentially advertisements. As consumers, we make up our own meaning of a song in our minds: a music video can anchor meaning and gives the record company/artist a method of anchoring meaning”

This quote from Andrew Godwin explains theory that he believes that music videos are for promoting the artist and the brand (they are promoting). Godwin theory was that the music video should correlate with a narrative visual over it.

YNW MELLY: Rap

The relationship between music and the visuals is very cleverly represented in YMW Melly – ‘Murder On My Mind’. In the song ‘Murder On Mind’, They use dead bodies, guns, bottles of blood, red lit lighting and a set decorated in to being a closed dark room with candles. These all relate to the artists lyrics and theme with dead bodies, guns and blood, which all clearly connote the symbolism surrounding death or in this case murder. In this music video the artist is represented as a character who carries thoughts of murder on his mind. This video does not jeopardise his image instead this music video has given YNW Melly a new light, a new way to be viewed through the very unique narrative visuals used to portray his image; the narrative aspects of the video gives the audience an insight to YNW Melly allowing the audience to gain judgement from what is visually presented on the screen aswell as the correlating lyrics, Due to the audience gaining an understanding of the relevance of the visuals to YNW Melly it gives the artists more power as they know how strong he is through what he has gone through shown through visuals and lyrics.

YNW Melly represents his personal cultural representation with the symbolism of dead chickens and tons of lit candles linking back to his personal cultural identity representing Haitian voodoo. This cultural representation linking him to his native country puts him on a global/international status as people on who originate can identify themselves with the video.

The relationship between music and the visuals is again very cleverly represented in YMW Melly – ‘772 Love’. In the song ‘772 Love’, He chooses to use the representation of family love as the main centre of topic/theme for this video. This theme of family and family love all relate to the artists lyrics which denotate stop family

Michael Jackson – Remember The Time  (Official Music Video) – POP

 

The relationship between music and the visuals is very cleverly  represented in Michael Jackson – ‘Remember The Time’. In the song ‘Remember The Time’, They use actors and dancers, aswell as a set decorated fit to Michael Jackson lyrics with both the set and actors dress relating to Ancient Egyptian Times. These all relate to the artists lyrics and theme with the actors, dancers and set, which all clearly connote the symbolism surrounding a time period which perfectly under the title of the song ‘Remember The Time’. In this music video the artist is represented as a character who is trying to escape from guards due to his love for the queen, we know this through his lyrics which must clearly detonate that they may have been previous lovers. This video does not jeopardise his the artists image instead this music video has given Michael Jackson a boost of credibility, due to the facts of how powerful both his lyrics and visuals correlate, showing both the director and artists creativity. This music video was very big at the the time because he not only featured performance aspects but it mixed narrative aspects too. Something that was merely touch upon before; So therefore, the audience saw this as new way to be view music videos through the very unique narrative and performance visuals combined.

Promotional Aspect
Michael Jackson does not really feature any promotional aspects to his video ‘Remember The Time’. Instead he chooses to use a performance/narrative video to entertain his viewers  and keep the audiences attention. The performance/narrative aspect could be used as a promotional aspect as ‘Remember The Time’ could be seen or portrayed as Musical Film engaging the audiences retention. As this video was made in in the 90’s it was standard that this video was a performance video as it was the golden era for this type of music video

Vybz Kartel – Summertime – Dancehall/Bashment

The relationship between music and the visuals is very thoughtfully represented in Vybz Kartel – ‘Summertime’. In the song ‘Summertime’, They use beach girl and native locals to tell the story. These all relate to the artists lyrics and theme with beach girls and native locals expressing themselves out in the beautiful scenery out in beaches and pools, which all clearly connote the symbolism surrounding ‘Summertime’ with the beach girls and visuals of pools and beaches alike. In this music video the artist is represented as a character who expresses the joy and that summer brings. This video does not jeopardise the artists image in anyway or form instead this music video has enhanced his the artist image from both representing his roots but that of other peoples heritage, seen through lyrics and visual representation; the narrative aspects of the video gives the audience an insight to just the artist but the island he is from too allowing the audience to gain a sense of happiness from what is visually presented on the screen as well as the correlating lyrics. Due to the audience being visually pleased and appreciative of  what is being put forward on the screen and the how much of the relevancy of the visuals correlate to the artist. it gives the artists more power as they feel they have an insight to not only into the artist life alone but where the artist is from shown through visuals and lyrics.

Promotional Aspect
Vybz Kartel does not really feature any promotional aspects to his video ‘Summertime’. Instead he chooses to use a performance video to entertain his viewers and keep the audiences attention. The performance aspect could be used as a promotional aspect as ‘Summertime’ could be seen or portrayed as promotion as to where he is from Jamaica, possibly enticing the audience to want to visit the island. As this video was made in Jamaica it was standard that this video was a performance video as it a very popular style of creating music videos in Jamaica.

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