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Andrew Goodwin's Music Video Theory

Case Study: Justin Timberlake feat Jay Z Suit and Tie

Andrew Goodwin
Currently professor of Cultural Studies at University of San Francisco. He is well-known for his book on cultural and musical theory: Dancing in the Distraction Factory: Music Television and Popular Culture).

Goodwin's Music Video Criteria

1. Music videos conform to genre conventions (dance routine in pop boy/girl band, skit in hip-hop video). 2. A relationship between lyrics and visuals in which the visuals illustrate, amplify or divert. 3. Relationship between music and visuals (rhythmic cuts and shots of performance). 4. A recurring aspect of voyeurism. 5. Promotion of the artist through close-ups. 6. Intertextual references (fashion, other iconic music videos, film, television programmes, pop culture)
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System of Videos relating to Songs

Three systems in which a music video promotes the artist




The visuals magnify the meaning of the music and images are repeatedly shown throughout the music video, to ingrain the connotations on the brain of the audience.

The video aims to visually communicate the ideas, objects referred to in the music.

Where the visuals deviate or contradict the meaning of the song.

Relationship Between Music and Visuals

David Fincher employs slow rhythmic cuts to match the slow tempo of the music and the visuals show a brief narrative leading to the performance element which dominates the majority of the music video. The music creates a mood of relaxation, with the harmonies progressing from the skeletal aspect toward the complex version of the song. Fincher uses set-ups of rehearsals and writing, tracking the arc from song conception to performance. The visuals illustrate the process of creating a song.

Relationship Between The Lyrics and Visuals

The relationship between lyrics and visuals fall under two categories. Visuals fall under the categories of both amplify and disjuncture.

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"Time for tuxedos for no reason"

"I be on my suit and tie sh*t"

"Let me show you a few things"

"Tight denim and some dunks"

Relationship Between The Lyrics and Visuals

The shots I selected displayed amplification and disjuncture in the video. The first shot demonstrates amplification and this is constructed by using the costume aspect of the mies-en-scene. The second shot shows disjuncture. However this example is subtle given the effect that the media text is not constricted to genre conventions, but makes a reference to them. In terms of disjuncture, again they use costume to present the music video moving away from the lyrics, shifting from casual attire to "suits and ties" throughout the video. The use of disjuncture creates a narrative arc and an element of voyuerism. The video places the audience as spectators who see the construction of the song and video and then shifts perspective to audience, watching the performance of the song.

Promotion of the Artist

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Promotion of the Artist

David Fincher uses close-ups to present the artists and juxtaposes to representations of them. He conforms and challenges Dyers theory of representation that artists must either be constructed as a real product or as an ideal product. It seems constricting the music video in a way that we see the artists, doing run-of-the-mill activities such as watching basketball. The effect of this makes the artists seem more accessible and relatable and it also helps promote the artists other ventures (Jay Z becoming a sports agent). However, the luxurious lifestyle they have incites envy in the audience and causes them to imitate and aspire to be like the celebrities.

This causes fans to not only research other songs or products to promote the artist, but also influence the way they dress. This apparent as there has been an increase in young men dressed in smart apparel after the video was released.