Search

What is a Music Video? What are the types of Music Videos we usually come across?

Updated: May 28, 2021


A music video is a short film, of variable length, that integrates a song or album with imagery that is produced for promotional or artistic purposes. It provides a visual addition to the audio so that the audience has something to recall when remembering the song thus it can stick to the audience even more. By releasing a music video it promotes the single used, the newest album, the artist, the record label and any products used as product placement. This in return increases profits for the artists and the record label.






What is a Music Video?


A music video is a short film, of variable length, that integrates a song or album with imagery that is produced for promotional or artistic purposes. It provides a visual addition to the audio so that the audience has something to recall when remembering the song thus it can stick to the audience even more. By releasing a music video it promotes the single used, the newest album, the artist, the record label and any products used as product placement. This in return increases profits for the artists and the record label.


Types of Music Videos :



1. Performance-Based

2. Narrative

3. Conceptual


Performance Based Videos


Have you seen Single ladies by Beyonce? Isn't her performance just amazing? Or let's just talk about the iconic Boy band flourishing in the hearts of their Army( is what they call their fans) these days, BTS. All the music videos featuring them are performance-based. Performance-based music videos are mostly the artist/band performing their song. These include dancing, lip-syncing, live concerts, or musicians playing musical instruments. Performance-based music videos mostly build a relationship with the audience to show off the star's identity.





The videos usually use a variety of different locations and outfits which reflect the atmosphere of the song. Various camera angles, movements, and shots are also used in performance-based videos which also help to reflect the atmosphere of the song, as well as helping to establish the artist's identity. Performance-based videos are a very common convention in the rock genre where the artist/band will perform the lyrics on stage in front of the audience. These videos don’t have any specific message for the audience or there is no concept or idea behind the song or the video. These types of videos mostly include close-up shots of the artist and the artist making direct eye contact with the viewer. Performance-based music videos are the most common among all three types.



Narrative Based Videos


Narrative-based music videos attempt to tell a story that features in the lyrics or that is suggested in the lyrics and then dramatized in the video itself. Narrative-based videos are often found when they feature footage from a film. Narrative-based music videos often establish a clear relationship between the lyrics and the visuals of the song. This engages the audience to the video as they continuously watch what's going to happen next. Either the actors are acting according to the story or the music artists are performing. Narrative-based music videos might include a performance of the actors or the musicians, but they focus mainly on the narrative. Narrative-based music videos require the viewer to understand the lyrics of the song clearly and these types of music videos are easily understood and enjoyed by the audience.





Taylor Swift's 'You Belong With Me' was written after she overheard a male friend of hers speaking to his girlfriend on the phone. He acted defensive as his girlfriend yelled at him, and said to her, "No, baby...I had to get off the phone quickly... I tried to call you right back... Of course, I love you. More than anything! Baby, I’m so sorry." Out of the sympathy she felt towards him in the situation, Swift developed a concept for a song. In a writing session with co-writer Liz Rose, Swift explained the situation along with her idea and conceived the song's opening line, "You’re on the phone with your girlfriend / she’s upset / she's going off about something that you said." Together, they developed a storyline, which described Swift being in love with the male friend and her having the desire for him to break up with his current girlfriend, for her. Swift described the song's concept as "basically about wanting someone who is with this girl who doesn't appreciate him at all". This is an example of a narrative-based music video.


Concept Based Videos


Concept-based music videos are based on a specific concept or a theme. The concept can be magic, supernatural, historical, religious, scientific, or any other idea which is based on a concept or a theme. Mostly concept-based videos intrigue a specific class or target audience, according to the idea of the music video. These videos are not as easy to understand as the other two types are and they are more difficult to produce. Many makers and artists prefer using this type of music video to not confine themselves to have to tell a story or be on stage but to create and define their own concept making them aesthetically beautiful along with the meaningful aspect of it. Concept-based videos can be thematic(based on a theme) or symbolic(symbols throughout the video create a certain meaning). These music videos can be very interesting if the content is fully understood by the viewer. The unusual content of the video is what attracts most of the people.





Sia's video for 'Elastic Heart' shows a man and a girl inside a cage which seems to present them as caged animals. This is shown through their appearance e.g. the dirt on their bodies and their body movements e.g. when he attracts the girl by putting his hand out and she smells it (how you attract animals) and when she bites his finger. This has nothing to do with the lyrics and is an example of a thematic concept-based video. However, concept videos can be interpreted in different ways by different people.


Performance, Narrative, or conceptual?


Every music producer, artist, or record label uses one of these three types to present their work and do justice to their vision. They take up the type that suits them the best and gives the audience a better understanding of the song and what it is about which in turn would prove appealing to their audience and help them promote themselves.









114 views0 comments