Experiencing Music Video: Aesthetics and Cultural Context
1 Jan 2004
Columbia University Press
The music video was born because of a sudden expansion of new broadcast channels in search of cheap programming and a boom in new editing equipment and visual postproduction effects. It has exerted an enormous influence on popular music: pop songs are now longer, more open, and malleable. Here at last is a study that treats music video as a distinct multimedia artistic genre, different from film, television, and photography. Carol Vernallis describes how musical and visual codes work together in music video and reveals modes of representing race, class, gender, and sexuality that have come to characterize the music video form. The book explores the function of narrative, settings, props, costumes, space, lyrics, and much more. Above all, Vernallis takes the form seriously. Three chapters of the book contain close analysis of popular videos: Madonna's "Cherish," Prince's "Gett Off," and Peter Gabriel's "Mercy St."