1. Unit 5-Task 1 Conventions of music video’s
Genre conventions are little parts of the genre such as character similarities and
repeated plots that allow us as viewers to separate them between genres. Certain
videos are associated with certain genres. E.g.;
Rock: guitars, performance, a group not a solo, rebellious.
Hip hop: jewellery, women in bikini’s, drinking, cars and pools.
Dance routines for boy/girl bands.
2. Lyrics and visuals
The lyrics of the songs are often represented through the music on the screen or by the
person’s body language.
The images within the music videos will usually do one three things; Illustrate,
Amplify or contradict the lyrics.
Often the visuals will illustrate or amplify the lyrics, but sometimes they will directly
contrast with the lyrics in order to reinforce the message of the song.
For example in Trey Songz-Smartphones “Time is not on our side
Cause she's waving goodbye goodbye
She's waving goodbye goodbye”. These lyrics tell us that time is not on their side as a
couple because something has happened and she is saying goodbye to him, because of
it.This video has the idea of the looking at the camera, this is called voyeurism.
Music and visuals
There is not only a link between the lyrics and the visuals, but also the music and the
visuals. This means the images and visuals on the screen maybe edited in time to the
beat, the pace and the emotion of the song. Again the visuals do the same three things.
For example Iggy Azalea “Bounce”
Watch the video and pay attention to how what we see shifting with and reflects the
beat of the music. Sometimes it’s edited so fast it’s almost flashing and this is
reflected in the sound we hear.
Voyeurism is concerned with motions of of looking. In music videos there are often
direct references to the idea of looking. This is often shown with representations of
mirrrors, screens within screens, telescopes etc..
Handheld cameras are also a technique that can be used that gives the idea of looking.
For example `Miley Cyrus –Adore You’ and in Justin Bieber`s music video he holds
a handheld camera throughout his video.And in Miley`s video is videoing herself in
Voyeurism and the objectification of women
Women are particulary subjected to voyeursitic objectification in music videos,because this
helps increasethe appeal of the video to the men. In music videos women are always seen is
sexual way, either wearing little clothing, the way they act and the way they perform.
4. Demands of the record label
The record label has a lot of control over the artist they sign and they can shape the
representation of the star into what they think will sell the most music.
Such as close ups are often used to sell the artist and show emotion, this is helps the
viewers to feel and see the emotion the artist is feeling and giving off to the camera.
The record labels who sign up, produce, promote and market (spend a lot of money on
things) on the artist and their music demand certain things to be included or to happen in
the music video for that artist`s song.
The most common thing the labels demand is that there has to be lots of close-ups of the
artist or around them. The reasoning behind this is it helps the audience know who the
artist is and what they look like.it also helps the audience notice and understand the
singer`s stars image and persona.
Female stars are commonly sexualised in videos to helps the appeal to men even more.
Men are also portrayed in ways that will appeal to female audience: examples
5. Another thing is record labels have to promote certain items, (i.e.) Dr Dre beats are all over
the music industries videos; this is because they want to increase the purchases of them. They
use the speakers (Dr Dre pills) in music videos to make people want to buy them, because
they want the demand of them to increase and one way to do that is to have artists that are
signed to the record label use them in videos. This will make the public audience notice them
and want them, especially the younger audience. Advertisers have attempted to quantify and
qualify the use of celebrities in their marketing campaigns by evaluating their awareness,
appeal, and relevance to a brand's image and the celebrity's influence on consumer buying
Here are some examples:
Music videos have now become increasingly popular for celebrities to endorse brands and
influence purchasing behaviour.
6. Intertextuality references
Intertextuality references are common now within music videos and the media in general.
Intertextuality means when a media text references another media.
An example is `Lady gaga-paparazzi’ video features newspaper headlines and articles
throughout making it form of intertextuality in her video. Another example is “Katy Perry-last
Friday night” video uses lot of intertextuality references to films including opening and
closing credits, outtakes the end, and teen movie characters and narrative.
Another example is Iggy Azalea`s music ‘Fancy’. Her video uses the intertextuality reference
to the 1995 film `Clueless’. This music video has intergeneric intertextuality, which is where
media texts reference another text from different media platform or genre.
Styles of music videos:
Music videos can be categorised as either a performance, narrative or concept based.
They are often a combination of these styles.
Performance combined with narrative is a popular style.
Performance -“Daft punk `Get lucky”
Narrative - “
7. Types of intertextuality
Intergeneric intertextuality-where media texts references another text from different
media platform of genre
In the case of music videos it’s how a music video is shaped/inspired by other media
texts such as films, TV-shows and pop culture. This can create a bond between the
artist and the viewer because the viewer feels like they can relate to the artist as they
both can enjoy the reference.
A good example is the music video 'What You Waiting For?' by Gwen Stefani: The
video properly starts at 1:40min, and we can clearly see connotations to Alice in the
Wonderland, it is shown by the style of the clothes and the locations.
Below is a montage I made that displays the main iconic images used in the music
video and what they refer to:
Intrageneric intertextuality-Where a media text references another text of the same
type.(e.g. Lily Allen-Hard Out Here is a music video that references other music
Pastiche-borrow narrative and stylistic conventions and iconography from other
works,pasiche is perfromed with respect to,or in homage,to other works.
Parody-a humorous imitation of another text,often mocking.