Music videos are so 80s/90s, right? They belong with the era when MTV screened wall-to-wall vids instead of 'reality' TV? Try telling that to the millions who bought Gangnam Style; were they really simply loving the music? 1.6bn (and still climbing) have viewed the video on YT, not to mention the many re-makes (school eg, eg2), viral ads + celeb link-ups (even political protest in Seoul) - and it doesn't matter how legit it is, this nightmare for daydream Beliebers is making a lot of money, even from the parodies + dislikes. All this for a simple dance track that wouldn't have sounded out of place in 1990 ... but had a fun vid. This meme itself was soon displaced by the Harlem Shake. Music vids even cause diseases it seems!
This blog explores every aspect of this most postmodern of media formats, including other print-based promo tools used by the industry, its fast-changing nature, + how fans/audiences create/interact. Posts are primarily written with Media students/educators in mind. Please acknowledge the blog author if using any resources from this blog - Mr Dave Burrowes

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Genre in music vids

[see links list on this]
The following is from a Word doc uploaded to slideshare:
When I incessantly harp on about citing sources, I apply the principle myself too!!!

Using genre theory in an essay

Perhaps these paragraphs could be the opening paragraphs for an essay about Genre for Question 1B of G325, or perhaps they could be used part way through the essay. In each case, the theorist/ quotation/ theory provides a way of introducing/ developing the argument.

1. As a concept, genre needs to be applied differently to music videos than to, say, film or television programmes. Whereas genres such as sci-fi or thriller are found across different media forms (film/ TV/ radio drama…), it is rare for a music video to use genre in this way (except, perhaps, as an intertextual device, such as REM’s use of the Western in the video for ‘Man on the Moon’). However, an alternative and more useful way of considering genre is to look at musical genres. Andrew Goodwin’s theory that there are conventions that exist within music videos according to musical genre (performances in rock videos; choreography in pop) is a useful way of understanding my video.

2. Nicholas Abercrombie identifies the use of genre for media producers when he writes “Television producers set out to exploit genre conventions”. His argument is that media producers can re-use conventions, creating formulaic and conventional products that are familiar and appeal to the audience, but that are also likely to succeed and therefore are less risky for the producer. In my production of a music video, I looked to exploit conventions of the rock music video, creating a conventional video that, whilst not entirely formulaic, is familiar to the audience and likely to succeed.

3. According to Katie Wales, 'genre is... an intertextual concept', and nowhere is this more appropriate than with music videos. Music videos often revel in intertextuality, using nods to other texts as a way of creating meaning and appeal to the audience. Wales’ statement suggests that genre exists in the relationship between texts rather than in the actual text itself, and in my music video production I used references to other texts and conventions of other music videos to establish familiarity for the audience and to help them understand the meanings and representations of my video.

4. “Genre is not simply given by the culture, rather, it is in a constant process of negotiation and change.” David Buckingham
It is important to recognise that genres shift and change over time, and Buckingham’s statement above acknowledges this. I would argue that this is vital to understanding music videos, where in order to appeal to the audience and seem cutting-edge and new, the producers have to reinvent and revise generic conventions to create a fresh and appealing but recognisably packageable product.

5. In creating my music video I was keen to draw upon familiar generic conventions of the rock performance video, but to also try to develop some of these conventions. In this way, my video can be understood in terms of Christian Metz’s theory that genres go through stages: the Experimental/ the Classic/ the Parody/ the Deconstruction. I would argue that my video utilises enough classic conventions of the genre so as to be recognisable as belonging to the rock genre, but that it also seeks to deconstruct and take apart some of these conventions, and in doing so develops the genre.

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