Narrative Structure in Music Vid

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  • 8/11/2019 Narrative Structure in Music Vid


    Narrative structure: music videos

    a music video can be a narrative or non-narrative genre as well as music genres

    this means the clip either follows a story line or simply a visual representation of the


    Non-narrative music videos are the most common because what it looks like is more

    memorable than what happens

    Many music videos are hybrids/multigeneric texts (meaning they follow more than

    one genre)

    Narrative music videos

    A simple or complex narrative can determine whether a music video becomes a short-


    Simple narratives have a basic situation for a fantasy with a collage of imagery in

    between- these spaces make room for the audience to create their own fantasy.

    Complex narratives often demonstrate genre divisions of full-length films. There can

    be horror clips, melodrama, film noir etc. These videos move the song towards the


    Non narrative videos

    A fantasy can also be created by images and music combined without a narrative and

    produces an emotional effect.

    Cuts are quick and we see lots of different images/shots in just about 3 minutes-

    constant shifting of topic/subject resembles a dreamlike structure.

    Follow a loose theme rather than a story- like dreams

    Use of images with powerful mental associations to create similarity to dreaming-

    work like symbols that call thoughts to mind instead of having to express them


    Enrique Eglasias - Hero

    This is classed as a simple

    narrative music video. Used to

    promote the artist but also to

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    have another medium in which the audience can stay engaged and entertained.

    Enrique Iglesias (Hero)is sent on a quest to overcome the evil gang of thugs (Villain)with

    the aid of Jennifer Love Hewitt (Helper)for the gift of Jennifer (Reward)Villain Hero


    During the first stage of equilibrium the camera uses close ups of both Iglesias and of

    Jennifer. The settings are open, sunny and peaceful looking. This connotes that everything is

    ok between the two of them and undisturbed. However this quickly changes during the

    disequilibrium stage. Suddenly the two of them seem trapped and especially Iglesias when

    he is shot in a frame within a frame. The lighting is darker and more foreboding whilst the

    two heroes are also shot from further away and the camera chooses to frame the lower half

    of their bodies rather than their faces connoting that something bad will happen to them as

    it draws the audience to feel less emotionally connected with them. The shots of the lower

    half of their bodies could also connote sexuality and masculinity. The necklace that is

    frequently shown a close up of (which symbolises its importance) is also a dangling cause.

    Suddenly the villains are shown. They are shot in narrow focus and with MLS. This allows the

    audience to feel less empathy for them whilst the fact that they are wearing black could also

    connote their evilness. The recognition stage is shown with the return to close ups of both

    the heroes and villains which allows the audience to see the full extent of the conversation

    and Iglesias discovery. The change from recognition to reparation is also seen in the media

    language. In this stage the camera zooms in to Iglesias face and of Jennifers reaction. It also

    zooms out from the close ups of the villains face which connotes their evilness and with the

    heroes wearing white connotes their purity and innocence. Finally the new equilibrium is

    signified by the dark surroundings and rain which symbolises that a new equilibrium has not

    been reached as the hero dies. Also we are shown more close ups of Jennifers face and of

    her distress a further symbol of the loss of the new equilibrium.

    EquilibriumIglesias and the

    love interest are happily


    Disequilibriumthe car breaks down

    then they are attacked by a group of


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    Enrique Iglesias is clearly shown as the Hero in this music video. He is usually shot from

    either straight ahead or slightly below, giving the audience something to identify with as the

    media language constructs the image of Iglesias being one of them and a person who they

    can relate to. He is also shot using close ups of his face or body. This allows the audience to

    gain a more personal connection with him so that they in turn will feel what he is feelingand (due to many of the shots being taken from his point of view- restricted narration) see

    what he sees. This therefore allows the audience to empathy with him as a person and

    treats him almost like one of their own. The audience will furthermore care what happens

    to him. When the camera is on Iglesias he is usually shot in the centre of the frame. This

    further demonstrates his importance to the narrative and that the audience should

    concentrate more on him, feeling more empathy. The mise en scene also suggests this hero

    like status. There is usually bright light on or around him connoting an angelic and

    innocence whilst this purity would also draw in the audience's eye and in turn make them

    empathise with him. On the other hand the gang is also clearly shown to be the villains inthis music video. They are usually shot from slightly below, which whilst connotes

    Recognitioniglasias knows the gang

    wont let them go

    Reparationhe decides to fight them

    New equilibriumiglasias dies but

    knows love interest is not in harms


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    dominance also make them less appealing to the audience as the audience would feel that

    the gang would believe that they were above the audience. Also there are no close ups of

    the gang and during any shot there is always at this two or three of them in the frame at any

    one time, connoting their unimportance to the video and that the audience should feel no

    connection with them. When the gang is shot they are never straight ahead, usually in apyramid formation with the leader at the front. Also they are all dressed in the same or

    similar clothes. This suggests that none of the men stand out and are largely unimportant to

    the narrative. Due to this the audience won't be able to identify with any individual and be

    able to identify with them. The darkness of their clothes my also suggest evilness as well.

    Jennifer Love Hewitt is wearing white, connoting her purity and innocence. Something that

    also tells the audience that she is the hero's reward as usually the rewards for Heroes are

    innocent and pure. This is also reflected by the amount of light on or around her giving her

    an angelic quality and allowing the audience to empathise with her. Like the Hero she is also

    placed near the centre of the frame, shot from straight ahead and has frequent close ups.This reflects her importance to the narrative and that the audience should empathise with


    King Kruleout getting ribs

    Firstly, the mise en scene in terms of set in this video stands out remarkably as its very bare

    and minimal. This could be a suggestion of the empty space left behind from the love

    interest he is singing about and a representation of his mind-set (all blank, apart from his

    thoughts of the girl). The set and artificial lighting could also reflect the fabricated emotions

    that the love interest has shown and also how fame has almost put him in the spotlight,

    shutting him out from other thing.

    Another thing to take note of is that the

    video is uninterrupted and has no cuts;

    This video would generally be

    classed as a non-narrative musicvideo, although some people

    could argue there is always a

    narrative, it may just be more sub


    Non narrative music videos

    usually classed as a performance

    to showcase the artist. Although,

    they a lot more abstract and open

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    this along with the camera thats constantly in motion (moving away to a long shot then

    back in toclose ups) shows his very unstable and erratic mind set. The camera work in this

    constantly has Krule in the frame; this is done to showcase him as an artist, ranging from his

    style in clothes to his persona. This all collectively helps the viewer create a rapport with

    the artist, further increasing the level of sympathy they feel for him, helping them feel themessage of the song in more depth.

    The video is also a good representation of the style of music the artist performs. The light

    twangy guitars and soft piano melody acompniants are extenuated by the very dream like

    video. Also the fact that there are no cuts shows his stream of consciousness and emotion

    being poured out to the audience. The uninterrupted shot also helps maintain the flow of

    the song as there is not strong tempo or beat driving it (its very free flowing and expressive)

    again helping represent the artists style and vibe. The minimalistic nature of this video

    leaves room for the viewer to fill in the blanks with their own experiences of love and lust.the fact that Krule is constantly changing his eyeline to and from the camera shows that he

    almost cant face the problem or dilemma in front of him (the girl) and he is struggling to

    come to terms with his heart break (his mind in constantly elsewhere) .

    Although the video appears non narrative there are some themes to suggest otherwise. The

    old lady that is framed on the side of Krule symbolises the girl he is singing about. The old

    lady exemplifies the very dreamlike, artistic elements found in non-narrative videos; she

    suggests that the girl krule sings about has changed and moved on (aged) without him. This

    also is an example of vouyerism; the old lady is looking on into krules new found fame type

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    lifestyle, as he looks on as though she is not there, suggesting he is trying to block her out

    and move on.

    Although there is no set narrative, there is still a ring narrative present, as the shot at the

    beginning and end are both the same (panning down to the floor, suggesting krule has a

    new found equilibrium without the love interest.

    But most importantly the video is set out to promote and showcase the artists work, style in

    music, clothes, personality etc .

    Kanye WestRunaway (full length)

    This 30 minute video by kanye

    west would be described as a

    complex narrative. This slightly

    more abstract music/short film

    was released and included

    some of his albums best songs,

    as well as a narrative that runs

    throughout. This video is a

    prime example of how artistsuse music videos to promote

    themselves in an unusual and

    appealing way, setting them apart from other artists in terms of their style and creative


    Firstly, the video takes heavy influence from film, such as the opening film titles and also the

    ending titles. we are taken through the story with breaks of different songs, these songs as a

    collective help connote the mood of the video and help the audience contextualise the

    narrative as a whole and extenuate any moods or emotions being conveyed. In terms ofmise en scene linking with genre, this music video comes across as slightly arthouse. The

    bright colours and eccentric ideas help define kanyes unusual style of beats and also reflect

    his extremely creative personality.

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    at the start of the video we have

    kanye represented as a hero type

    figure rescuing a girl; this is shown

    through his positioning centre frame

    over her suggesting he has morepower. The fire and the siloute also

    exemplify this; kanye is shown

    engulfed in darkness, suggesting his

    is a very dark and mistirious

    character, along with the

    fire/fireworks which conotes his explosive enregy and the start of their new relationship.

    The girl thtoughout the film is a physical representstion of his music.

    The colour from the smoke signal and also the parade suggests the over whelming scale of

    their unfolding relationship and the light and hope that will follow.Kanye is introducing

    her to his world - the flashing lights, the fame, the glory that comes with celebrity. He is

    introducing the music to the music industry. Taken more symbolically, what this scene

    represents are the hooded masses praising Michael Jackson in death, when they crucified

    him in his life. Kanye feels this way. What he is trying to say here is, like Michael, one

    day people will overlook his flaws and celebrate his musical genius, but only after he is

    gone. The girl is allured by the prospects of fame and glory.Arguably the red smoke could

    connote or foreshadow future danger or threat to their relationship.

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    The dinner scene represents Kanyes relationship with the hip-hop industry and

    audience. Here, he attempts to revive his art by reintroducing himself after a long

    hiatus, as he brings the Phoenix to dinner with him. The Phoenix, as a manifestation of

    his music, looks different than everyone else at the table. This represents Kanyes

    sound, which implements soul samples, live violins, and heavy lyrics, as opposed to the

    monochromatic, formulaic approach to hip-hop music that many others are taking. Theother people at the table point and whisper in awe at Kanyes take on the art form,

    suggesting that yes, it is beautiful, but it goes against the grain of what the usual

    commercial hip-hop record should sound like (shown through mise en scene of kanyes

    girls distinctive brown costume). The line, Do you know shes a bird?, suggests that

    you cant make hip-hop the way he does, as it does not apply to todays trends. The

    white colours in the shot represent the community and them viewing themselves as

    purethey are represented as very pretentious. The camera work and editing in this

    section is very representative of kanyes mind set. The steady pans and still camera

    movement, aswell as very long cuts, are symbolic of kanyes attitude towards the public

    as he is staying calm and collected in such a irritable and judgemental situation.

    The cuts continuously between kanye away from the table and the guests exemplify

    kanyes individuality and his feeling of not belonging as a group. He is surrounded by

    ballet dancers which signify the beauty and creativity which he manifests in; although

    their black costumes as opposed to classic white or pink show how there is an underlying

    level of dread that follows him through the narrative. The high angle crane shot of the

    table shows all the food and mess of the guests (public) and how their greed and

    indulgence is a distraction of the real beauty (the dancers) as they pay no attention to


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    Equilibriumkanye is driving

    through the forest

    Disequilibriumkanye finds an

    injured girl

    recognitionkanye and his girl are

    not accepted by community

    reparationkanye realises the

    reality of it and decides to go his

    own way despite what others think

    New equilibriumkanye decides to

    let her go