2. GOODWIN’S THEORY
Andrew Goodwin developed a theory which can supposedly
be applied to any music video. It consists of eight main
• Link between lyrics and visuals
• Link between music and visuals
• Genre characteristics
• Intertextual references
• Notions of looking
• Demands of the record label
• Performance based, narrative based or concept based
3. LINK BETWEEN
LYRICS AND VISUALS
Goodwin suggests that the lyrics of the song will make
constant references to the visuals of the video, or the content
of the video will be based on the lyrics of the song.
Essentially, this means that whatever the singer is singing
about will form the narrative of the video. There are three
ways the lyrics and visuals can be linked:
• Illustrate, meaning the visuals explain the meaning of the
• Disjuncture, meaning the song is completely ignored in
• Amplify, meaning the images of the video are manipulated
and repeated to really put across the meaning of the lyrics
4. LINK BETWEEN
MUSIC AND VISUALS
Similar to the previous principle, this essentially means that
the visuals of the video are fitting for the type of music. It
also has the same three ways that they can be linked: the
video can compliment the music, contradict it or amplify it.
For example, for a heavy metal song one would expect it to
be a dark, fast-paced video to meet the rhythm of the song. If
the video were instead much slower and upbeat, this would
form a contradictory relationship.
By this Goodwin essentially means that all music videos will
showcase the conventions and stereotypes of the genre of
This is referring to when a video will reference other pieces
of media, be it film, television or other music videos.
6. NOTIONS OF
This refers to when the camera portrays men or women
seductively, or if the artist makes eye contact with the
camera. It can also involve how characters in the video look
at each other/the artist, as all of this can affect the
relationship between the viewer and the video.
Pop music videos very often contain the principle of
voyeurism, as sex appeal is now widely used to promote
artists. However this is not just limited to women being
objectified, as men can be portrayed like this as well in order
to appeal to different audiences.
7. DEMANDS OF THE
This principle entails the star image of the artist, and how the
record label wants the artist to become their selling point so
they use music videos to establish that appeal.
This is one of the reasons why voyeurism may be used, as
giving the artist sex appeal is an easy way to quickly develop
a strong audience. The record label will likely want artists to
appear to be cool and fashionable, which is why the artist in
a music video will often be very attractive, expertly made up,
dressed in design clothing and having the focus placed on
A record label may also want to give their artist the image of
being unique, such as in the case of Lady Gaga who has
become famous for her bizarre outfits.
8. PERFORMANCE BASED,
NARRATIVE BASED OR
Goodwin believes it is important common for the artist to
take a lead role in the video, either performing the song itself
or playing a role in part of a narrative.
Because of this, all music video are likely to fall into one of
• Performance based, meaning they feature the artist
performing the song
• Narrative based, meaning the artist plays a part in a video
which tells a story and forms a narrative
• Concept based, meaning the video is likely to be more
unique and just do its own thing