2. “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.”
3. How to analyse music videos:
Andrew Goodwin identified 5 key aspects of music videos
that we (the audience) should look out for which are;
• Thought beats – seeing the sound.
• Narrative and performance.
• The star image.
• Relation of visuals to a song.
• Technical aspects of music videos.
4. Thought beats:
• First step: look at the music itself. You must take into
account the structure of the song ~(chorus and verses).
• Second step: look at the voice of the song. The artists voice
is extremely unique and can form identification or
trademarks that work well with the star image. Roland
Barthes theory of the „grain of voice‟ can be related to this;
he sees the singing voice as an expression and an
instrument and is therefore able to make associations of its
• Third step: Goodwin points out that the artists mode of
address can be seen in the song; they can be seen as
stories and the artist becomes the storyteller, making the
music video a two communication device – them telling us
a story and us listening.
5. Narrative and performance:
Songs fail to give us the complete narrative.
• We only tend to get a gist of the meaning of the song and
then we tend to make up our own idea of what is being told.
• Goodwin explains that music videos should ignore common
narrative. It is important in their role of advertising.
• Music videos should coherent repeatability. Narrative and
performance work hand in hand, making it easier for the
audience to watch over and over without loosing interest.
• The artist acting as both narrator and participant helps to
increase the authenticity, however the lip sync and other
mimed actions remains the heart of the music videos. The
audience need to believe this is real.
6. Star image:
• The star image is a vital aspect of music videos. Meta
narrative which is a story that describes the
development of the star over time; it has an important
part to lay in the music video production process.
• Star image is a vital aspect of music videos. Artists
want to look unique in order to stay current and for
audiences to remember them. The star image
develops overtime and plays a big role in the
production process of music videos.
7. Relation of visuals to a song:
These are three ways in which the music videos work to
promote a song.
• Illustrate: Music videos can use a set of images to
illustrate the meaning of lyrics and genre; this is the most
• Amplify: This is similar to repeatability. Meanings and
effects are manipulated and constantly shown through
the video and drummed into our vision.
• Disjuncture: This is where the meaning of the song is
8. Technical aspects:
• Technical aspects hold the music video together
through se of camera work, movement, angle, mise-en-
scene, editing, sound and special effects.
• Speed, camera movement, editing, cutting and post-
production are all forms of use of camera.
• Lighting and colour help set moods and emphasise key
moments of the song for dramatic effect.
• Mise-en-scene: the setting, props and costume of a
music video is a vital element – it needs to look
authentic for dramatic effect.
• Beats: music videos use cuts to go along with the beats
or rhythm making the video more entertaining.
9. 1: A relationship between the visuals either
illustrating, amplifying or contradicting the lyrics.
This convention explains how Goodwin noticed a
music videos visuals either had a complete similarity or
direct contrast to the lyrics of the song.
10. 2: A relationship between the music and the visuals again either
illustrating, amplifying or contradicting the music.
Goodwin identified that the visuals within a music
video may be edited in time to the lyrics/change in
pace of the song. He also stated that these visuals are
commonly repeated within a chorus to emphasize the
repetition in lyrics and beats.
11. 3: Music genres have their own music
video style and iconography.
Goodwin recognised that most artists have a trend of
repeating certain actions within their music videos in order
to establish this as their „trademark‟ action and therefore
making their songs recognizable due to it reoccurring
often. This represents the style of the music the artist is
representing and is a marketing strategy in order to be
remembered in later years. Genre is also shown by
location like, for example, songs within the indie genre are
often filmed in an abandoned and lonely place to convey
an individual in an isolated location.
12. 4: There is likely to be voyeurism, particularly in the treatment of
women, and close ups of the main artist or vocalist.
Goodwin identified that it is a common feature for
record labels to use close ups of the artist/vocalist in
order to promote the sales in the single. This
convention is used in order to show the artist
throughout the video but it is most common with
female artists as provocative angles are often used to
sexualise the artist following “Laura Mulvey‟s Male
Gaze Theory” causing a fetishisation from the
audience towards the artist.
13. 5: There’s a demand on the part of the record company for lots
of close ups of the main artist/vocalist.
Goodwin recognized that many music videos
included voyeuristic angles of women in order to
entice a male audiences interest in the artist and also
the lyrics to which the shots represent. This is used to
sexualise the artist and cause a feshistic connection
for the male audience.
14. 6: There is likely to be inter-textual references either to
other music videos or to films and TV texts.
Goodwin recognised that it was not uncommon to
recognise either the visuals or lyrics of a song to be a
direct reference to another media text. This is used to
engage the audiences and provide them gratification
if they recognise it.