Undoubtedly, the first step in creating my Advanced Portfolio should be to answer the following question: “what actually is a music video?”. The following post begins to explore this question with more in-depth, specific research to follow.
“A music video is, in essence, a combination of film and song. The imagery is played simultaneously to the music creating a short film.”
What is their purpose?
Music videos are majorly a marketing device used by artists to promote the music recording/album. Sometimes (and more historically), they have a more artistic purpose, however, are usually still a means of advertising. In the case of the most recent music videos, it is becoming increasingly common for music videos to have powerful messages and be highly controversial.
The success of a artist/albums advertising campaign is most effective when synergic; for instance where the audio track is released concurrently to the music video and other merchandise.
A brief history of music videos:
Just less than 100 years ago saw the introduction of elements to film/cinematography that built the framework for the modern music video. In 1926, with the invention of film with synchronized sound, the concept of a music video arrived. Around this time, Warner Brothers were the first company to release videos with music on a wider scale.
Over the next 50 years, the industry expanded, but not at any particular pace, seeing gradually increasing numbers of films being released. In the 1980’s, when MTV began broadcasting music videos (as a way of bringing music to television), their popularity soared and the purpose behind music videos we know today was born.
When are they used?
Combining video with music offers a whole new experience and consequently, are used when an artist wishes to impact on their audience. The music can offer a new perspective to the viewer and, therefore, the artist ensures their message is portrayed correctly. They also allow less well known artist to make a statement and break onto the scene with a creative/controversial/impactful music video that takes the audience by storm.
However, music videos are not always used. This can be for a variety of reasons including:
- Some say the visual experience detracts form the audio, hence lessening the impact of the music;
- The song is strong enough individually and there is no purpose for a video.