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TEXTUAL ANALYSIS OF MUSIC VIDEOS – ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS

1. Institutional/ reference information ● Which video are you analysing, who is it by and, if you know, who directed it? What genre does the music belong to and what broad characteristics of that genre does the video have?

2. What is the relationship between lyrics and visuals? Work through the song and identify ways in which the lyrics are illustrated or amplified or even contradicted by the visuals.
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Pick out some specific examples to back up your argument.

3. What is the relationship between music and visuals?
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Does the video cut to the beat? Are solo instrumental bits illustrated by the video? Does the video change pace with the music? Give examples to support your points.

4. Are there close-ups of the artist and star image motifs?
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How is the record company looking to sell this track? What image of the artist/band is being offered? How does this video relate to previous videos by the artist?

Are there motifs which have been used previously? Or does this video represent a change of image? 5. Is there reference to the notion of looking? Do you get the sense that the artist is on sexual display or that other people in the video are used in this way?
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Does camerawork, costume, dance or something else imply sexualised display?

Are there other references to ‘looking’ such as screens within screens or binoculars, cameras, etc?

Give examples and consider why these features have been chosen.

6. Are there intertextual references? Do these relate to other music videos, to aspects of the star’s image or to completely separate texts such as TV programmes or films?
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How are they used?

7. Is the music video performance-based, narrative-based or conceptbased?

How much of each?