Music Video Theorists

Andrew Goodwin
Sven E Carlson
Carol Vernalis

Andrew Goodwin       

Goodwin was born in Sydney, Australia, and began learning the violin at the age of five.[citation needed His father, a school teacher, was a fan of classical music and collector of opera gramophone records]. While singing in St. Andrew’s Cathedral choir, he continued learning the violin, piano, and organ.

He beleived that every audience looked for 5 key aspects in a Music videos

  • Thought beat

  • Narrative and performance

  • Star image

  • Relations of visuals to the song

  • Technical aspects of the music Video

Thought Beats

This form of analysis consists of three major steps
 Looking  at the structure of a song inorder to gain knowledge of the music itself, by understanding its   chorus and the verse

Listening to the voice of the artist and how he is uniquely indentified compared to other singers.This can help develop star image

Goodwin has identified that  Songs can sometimes tell a story, with the artist being the storyteller. This gives the music video a communication device, as they tell us as the audience a story and we listen to the artist.

Narrative and Performance

Goodwin suggested that most songs do not give us the complete narrative


We only tend to attain a brief understanding of the song and then tend to make up our own idea of what is being told 


The aritst or band who orginally sang and who own the song should also be the ones acting in it as helps increase authenticity by making the music video seem more realistic to the audiences and in establishing a relation with then 


He suggest that music vidos ignore common narratives and lay more focus on making it more commercial to attract larger audiences 


He also suggested that the narrative and the music video work together in the making of a music video which would keep audiences watching over and over again 

Star Image 

Goodwin suggest that the star image of an artist plays  a very vital role in a 

music video. They help in making the music video look more appealing to the audiences and bringing a individuality to the video by the way the artist is portrayed. The start image an artist defines himself, the costume, moves and appearance. This help to promote the artist/star’s image in public and also helps to promote the video and build a following 

 Technical Aspects

Andrew says that the technical aspect helps to hold the music video together Aspects such as 

  1. camera work, movement

  2. angle

  3. mise-en-scene

  4.  editing

  5.  sound

  6.  special effects.

  7. editing

  8. cutting

  9. post production

  10. All forms of use of camera.

Relationship of visuals to the song 

 There are three ways visuals are used to promote a song :


Some music videos use some shots or clips to explain the meaning of lyrics to their song and the genre.


Is a  situation in which the meaning of the song is completely ignored in the music video.


This is when the images and camera shots are  repeatedly shown through out the music video and are enforced into our vision. 

Sven E Carlson

 He suggested that there are two category music videos fall into:

  1. Performance  

  2. Conceptual

 Binary opposites drives the narration of the video

 Performance Based

Performance based music videos include artists or bands singing and peroforming 

These can be of:

  • Dance performance 

  • Instrumental performance

  • Song performance

Carlsson believed that the performer is often made into a ‘commerical exhibitionist’ this is where the performer is made into almost a selling item; someone that fans often aspire to be and these scenes will be extremely high in quality and have a gloss to them.

 Another type is the televised bard, which is a singing storyteller who uses on screen images instead of inner, personal images.

 The third and final type is the elctronic shaman, sometimes the shaman is invisible and only his/her voice that anchor the visuals

Conceptual Based

The audience watch something beyond the artist that aims to have artistic ambitions and they focus  on the cocept behind the imagery more than just the peformance

John Stewart

  1. The music video have the outlok of TV commercials , with several of close-ups and lighting being used to focus on the star’s face.

  2. He sees visual reference in music video as coming from a range of sources, although the three most frequent are perhaps cinema, fashion and art photography.

  3. Stewart’s description of the music video as ‘incorportating, raiding and reconstructing’ is essentially the essence of Intertextuality, using something with which the audience may be familiar, to generate both nostalgic associations and new meanings.

  4. The video allows more access to the performer than a stage performance can. The mise-en-scene, in particular, can be used to emphasise an aspirational lifestyle.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s