You are on page 1of 16

Andrew Goodwins Theory

Andrew G0odwin recognised 5 key aspects that are often featured in music

1. Thought beats Seeing the sound of the song

2. Narrative and performance

3. The Star image

4. Relation of visuals to song

5. Technical aspects of the video

Goodwin believed that these features helped the video become more than just
an advertisement for the artist, but rather something that can be interpreted to
have different meanings from the viewers and achieve a greater purpose.

Key Aspects Of A Music Video
> In pairs, pick a genre of music, e.g. Boyband, Punk, Rap, HipHop, RnB, Dance, Rock etc.
> Pick three music videos of that genre, each by a different artist.
> Make a note of the genre conventions (common visual, aural and technical codes
they share)
Think about:
Narrative style (narrative, performance, concept
Representation of gender, ethnicity, class and age
Editing pace, montage / continuity editing?, effects and transitions used (symbolism)
Cinematography: shot sizes, angles and framing (and what they show / symbolise)
Mise-en-scene: Lighting (mood), colours (symbolism), performance, facial expression,
body language, costumes (symbolism), settings (symbolism - and number of changes of

> Identify how each of the acts has a distinctive star
Think about how mise-en-scene and cinematography
are used to establish this:
Mise-en-scene: setting, body language, costumes and
make-up, lighting
Cinematography: postion of camera, framing, shot sizes,
movement and angles

Goodwin saw this aspect as seeing the sound in your head and categorised it
into three parts:

1. Firstly, to achieve this in a video, the structure of the song verses must be taken
into consideration.
2. The artists voice, which is often unique, should be considered as an aspect of
the video, as it can create identification with the viewers. This links to Barthes
grain of voice theory, which states that singing is an expressive instrument,
and should be seen as an instrument of its own.
3. Lastly, the story that the artist tell in their lyrics often gives them a unique
image, gaining them a reputation as a storyteller. Therefore, the video is used
to visualise these lyrics and emphasise the artists storytelling.

Thought Beats Seeing The Sound
Through The Beats-Seeing the sound
Therefore the features you need to look for in music are the
lyrics, beat and the sound. The lyrics need to be observed
carefully in order to help influence the storyline of the music
video. The beat needs to be heard in great detail in order to
perfection the cuts when editing.
Goodwin also points out the artists mode of address. Many
songs are seen as a story, the singer is the narrator. This
makes the music video a 2 communication device, telling the
story and listening to the story.
The voice of the singer needs to be analysed so the actor can
conquer the miming with the correct timing and expression.
When you hear a song, you feel the emotion and the message
wanting to be put across by the artist which is usually what is then
seen in the music video.
Bruno Mars Grenade is a prime example of the lyrics matching the

The lyrics speak of Mars giving everything for a girl he loves, shown
here how he is willing to carry a piano all the way through a city, up a
hill to serenade her. The but you wont do the same is addressed
when Mars finally reaches the girls house to find she has a new man
and has broken his heart.

There is a relationship between lyrics and visuals. The lyrics are represented
with images.
I would go through all this pain,
Take a bullet straight through my brain,
Yes I would die for you baby,
But you wont do the same!
Similarly to step 2, the tone of the music must match* the visuals
featured in the music video.
Listen to the audio track of Grenade cut straight from the video and
you can hear the upset in Brunos voice and his face whilst singing in the
video looks pained as though he is heartbroken.
The music itself is all in minor chords reflecting the visuals of the videos
protagonist being pained.
Extra sounds effects added into the music video include glass smashing
and a thunder cloud creating a dark, upsetting mood.

*However, sometimes it is deliberate to contradict the sounds or lyrics with the visuals to emphasise the emotion. For
example, how sad the song really is by involving animals frolicking in a field happily, together in harmony.
n3There is a relationship between music and visuals. The tone and
atmosphere of the visual reflects that of the music.
Goodwin stated that music videos should aim to avoid a stereotypical narrative
structure, in order to achieve their role of advertising themselves to the
Therefore, they then become both the narrator and the participant within the
music video, in order to tell a story, but at the same time make the video exciting
for their particular target audience.
This narrative also helps to increase the authenticity of the song for the
audience, as techniques such as lip syncing to increase the suspension of belief
for the audience.
Narrative And Performance
Goodwin also recognised that music videos rely partly on the image of the star
involved on the video.
If an artist has a unique image, then it will attract a wider audience to their
videos, and make them instantly recognisable. Shot types such as close ups are
used to increase the effect of the star image on the audience from the outset of
the video.
The Star Image
For example, Michael
Jackson is instantly
recognisable in any of his
videos, and he uses his
star image to make them
become popular.
Depending on your music artists genre or the style of song
choice depends on what style of video is created.
For example, rock bands tend to opt for stage performances,
showing the singer shouting down a microphone, the
guitarists thrashing the chords and the drummer putting all
their body into hitting the drums, expressing how tough
and hard rock is.
Another example would be for pop music or a girl band
featuring the artist(s) performing a dance routine to the
song, focusing on
the sexual element in the video.
Music videos demonstrate genre characteristics.
Goodwin categorised three ways in which music videos relate to the visuals of

1. The first way is through ILLUSTRATION. This is where a song tells a story using a
series of illustrations that link to the lyrics being said at the current time. This is
arguably the most effective way of creating a link with the song.
2. The second way is to AMPLIFY the visuals. This is where the images that are
shown add a extra layer of meaning to the lyrics, allowing the audience to
develop their own interpretations of the song.
3. The third way, which is much rarer, is DISJUNCTURE. This is where the meaning
of the lyrics in a song are completely ignored, and the video creates a
c0mpletely different meaning.

Relation Of Visuals To Song
In his theory, Goodwin also considered the technical aspects of a music video
that help to keep the entire thing looking professional, while the other key
aspects are put to work:

1. The first way the technical aspects help is through the CAMERA. A variety of
camera angles and shots must be used in order to keep the video innovative.
2. The second way is through SOUND. This means that the video must match the
pace and the rhythm of the song.
3. The third way is through MISE-EN-SCENE. Several inner aspects of this are
important, and can make or break a video. For example, the setting, costume
and props are all vital in creating a music video that conveys the message the
creator wants with the song theyre using.
4. The final way is through EDITING. Changing the pace of clips, or adding certain
effects once the video is filmed can improve its quality and make it achieve a
greater effect on the audience.
Technical Aspects Of The Music Video
Andrew Goodwin also noticed 6 codes and conventions of a music video that
help it to appeal to a wider audience:

1. Relationship between lyrics and visuals (see slide 6)
2. Thought beats (see slide 3)
3. Genre related style (see slide 5)
4. Close ups
5. Voyeurism
6. Intersexuality

Codes And Conventions Of The Music
Close ups are conventionally used in many music videos, in order to further
establish a brand image for the artist, and to sell more of the artists singles.
They are also often used in a voyeuristic manner with female artists, in order to
try to attract more males to their videos, and sell more records. The male viewer
will like what they see, become attracted to the artist, and want to come back
for more, linking to the hypodermic syringe theory.
The videos also often use voyeuristic angles to sexualise and fetishise women,
and they often include a male person for the viewer to project their ego onto.
Close Ups And Voyeurism
This step in the theory isnt always applied but is mainly used
when the artist is linked to other medias.
Movie soundtracks or parodies of other medias is used in few
music videos as they are shown globally and may not be
universally understood. It can also be used as a promotion
technique. People who like the intertextual reference in the
video, will like the video. Those who like the artist will then go on
to like the intertextual reference.
Beyoncs Work it Out video features
clips from the film Austin Powers in
Goldmember, a film she features in,
promoting the artists video and acting