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Music Theory

Andrew Goodwin’s theory applied to music videos

How to analyse?
Andrew Goodwin identifies 5 key aspects that audiences should pick up on when watching music videos, which are: • Through beats (seeing the sound) • Narrative and performance • The star image • Relation of visuals to song • Technical aspects of the music video

Through beats (seeing the sound)
• Firstly, we take into account the structure of the song itself, e.g. verse and chorus. • Secondly, the voice behind the song. An artists voice is unique and can form a trademark that works alongside the artists star image. Roland Barthes theory of the Grain of voice relates to this, he sees the voice as an expressive instrument and able to make associations of its own. • Thirdly, is the artists mode of address. Songs can be seen as stories and the artist the story teller, making the music video a ‘communication device’.

Narrative and Performance
Songs never give us the whole story. • the music video only tends to give you a gist of the story, you can them make your own interpretations on the music video and its meaning. • Narrative and performance work hand in hand to make it easier for the audience to watch over and over again without it losing its meaning or becoming boring.

Star Image
• The star image is another visual aspect of music videos. • Meta narrative describes the development of an artist over time, it has an important part to play in the music video production process. • If a artist belongs to the rock genre, he will almost always be videoed holding a guitar, to emphasise his persona.

Relation of visuals to song
There are three ways in which this is done: • Illustrate- music videos can use a set of images to illustrate the meaning of lyrics and genre. This is very common. • Amplify- meanings and effects are manipulated and constantly shown throughout the video and drummed into our vision. • Disjuncture- the meaning of the song is completely ignored