Genre and Music Video: Configurations and Functions

Diane Railton and Paul Watson

in Music Video and the Politics of Representation

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780748633227
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671021 | DOI:
Genre and Music Video: Configurations and Functions

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This chapter describes four genres of music video — the pseudo-documentary music video, the ‘art’ music video, the narrative music video and the staged performance video — identifying their key generic codes and the differing legitimating functions they perform. Any particular music video's own generic properties are often subsumed under the genre of music that it is promoting. Although genre works as a framework of signs in relation to which difference and variation can be both produced on the one hand and read and understood on the other, music genres do not provide such a framework for the production or consumption of music videos. The four genres examined here describe the formal and aesthetic features of an important number of both historic and contemporary music videos. Genres of music video, and the edges between them, are every bit as contingent as those in film, literature and popular music itself.

Keywords: pseudo-documentary music video; art music video; narrative music video; staged performance video; generic properties

Chapter.  12518 words. 

Subjects: Media Studies

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