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Performance based music videos only show the band or artist
performing the song.
It is one of the cheapest and easiest types of music video and is
normally used to promote to main artist.
Performance based music videos enable the artist to show off their
skills and ability to perform enabling viewers to personally connect,
identify and relate to their style of music.
It can also be beneficial for the artist as their image can be portrayed
to a wider audience leading them to be more easily recognised by the
public at home and abroad.
However, successful performance based music videos can be difficult
to produce as they take up a lot of time and require a large variety of
shots to keep the viewer interested.
An example of a good performance based music video is ‘Single
Ladies’ by Beyonce. The music video mainly consists of Beyonce
dancing in a strong routine with backup dancers vigorously
throughout the whole video. She also lip-syncs in the video, and a
variety of shots are used to display her quality performance.
Narrative based music videos generally follow a storyline, or several,
that run parallel to each other throughout the music video.
The storyline typically involves the music artist or actor portraying the
story through the lyrics of the song or sometimes the overall theme of
Narrative music videos can also be divided up by the two different
types: linear and fragmented.
A linear narrative features the story in chronological order, starting
at6 the beginning and finishing at the end.
A good example of a linear narrative is ‘You Belong With Me’ by Taylor
Swift.The storyline depicts Swift being in love with a male friend and
her having the desire for him to breakup with his current girlfriend for
her. In the end, her friend breaks up with his girlfriend and they end up
Contrastingly, a fragmented narrative challenges the audience and
leads them to piece together the story and make sense of it as a
fragmented narrative can start in the middle of the action and return
to the different parts of the storyline throughout the video.
Most music videos include a mixture of both narrative and
The director of the video includes both a story that relates to the
narrative of the song alongside scenes of the artist performing.
Typically these music videos provide a selection of short, quick
cuts between the two types of video to give a balanced
This helps to keep the audiences attention and to maintain their
interest in both the narrative storyline and the actual artist
These videos can be more complicated, therefore more expensive
One video that has a good example of a mixture of all of these
things is ‘Telephone’ by Lady Gaga. This music video features both
a linear storyline as well as also being very heavily performance
based as we see Gaga in strict dance routines throughout.
The positioning and framing of the camera is important as it
defines the position from which the image is created.
A still or moving image can be depicted by angle, height, level and
It is important to consider these when producing a music video as
a range of different camera angles can invoke different emotions
and narratives in a music video.
Performance based music videos typically include several close up
shots of the main protagonist enabling the audience to engage
with the artist through their facial expressions use of body
language and hand gestures.
One example of a music video which involves this is ‘Problem’ by
Ariana Grande which features heavy use of close ups to interact
with the audience.
The movement of the camera is also important in a music video
throughout the use of dolly, zoom, wipe and many more.
Narrative based music videos typically include a selection of
different camera movements to convey a story.
Camera movements are also used in performance based music
videos to highlight the pace of the singer and their surroundings
which form the background.
An example of a narrative based music video which uses a range of
camera movements is “Summer” by Calvin Harris.
Editing is an important process which concludes the making of the
The process involves the editor piecing the video together with a
varied amount of different camera shots whilst ensuring they fit
with the lyrics of the song.
Pop songs generally involved camera shots which are cut to the
beat to keep the audiences interest and make the video flow
whereas slow songs include slow motion and longer shots to fit
the speed and emotion of the song.
Editing also includes special effects such as continuity editing
which is used in narrative based music videos to tell a story and
parallel editing which is used in mixed music videos to show a
visual comparison between the narrative and the performance.
Mise en scene
Mise-en-scene refers to everything that is involved in the music
The three main components of mise-en-scene include subject,
lighting and setting.
The subject refers to the main protagonist within the video as
viewers needs to be able to connect .
Lighting and setting is also very important as they help determine
the success of the video.
Props and costumes are also an important element of mise-en-scene
helping to attract a wider audience. The artists Katy Perry
primarily focuses on mise-en-scene in many of her music videos,
showing off her extravagant and flamboyant outfits.
An example of this is in her music video ‘California Gurls’ featuring
Music videos incorporate different sounds which can be used in a
number o different ways for artistic effect.
Narrative based music videos typically include diegetic sounds to
help create a sense of realism. An example of this is in ‘Pretty
Hurts’ by Beyonce, where she smashes the beauty pageant
trophies and we can diegetically hear the smash.
Some narratives also include narration, helping to tell a story. The
most common type of narration used in narratives is a voice0over
which helps put things in context and explains the basics of the
story conveying what the viewers can see.