About Music Videos

A music video or song video is a short film integrating a song and imagery, produced for promotional or artistic purposes.Modern music videos are primarily made and used as a marketing device intended to promote the sale of music recordings. Although the origins of music videos date back much further, they came into prominence in the 1980s, when MTV based their format around the medium. Prior to the 1980s, these works were described by various terms including “illustrated song“, “filmed insert”, “promotional (promo) film”, “promotional clip”, “promotional video”, “song video”, “song clip” or “film clip”.

Music videos use a wide range of styles of contemporary video making techniques, including animation, live action filming, documentaries, and non-narrative approaches such as abstract film. Some music videos blend different styles, such as animation, music, and live action. Many music videos interpret images and scenes from the song’s lyrics, while others take a more thematic approach. Other music videos may be without a set concept, being merely a filmed version of the song’s live performance.

There are 3 types of music videos:

  • Performance based, narrative based and also concept based. These three different types of music video are used for different purposes depending on the message the band or artist are wishing to convey to their audience.Performance based – This type of music video is when the band or artist performs to the camera for most or all of the video. Along with the bad performing is usually sequences of footage which can or cannot relate to the song at all. This style is usually preferred by rock bands as it gives a chance for them to show the different instruments within the band and all of the band members playing together. :

This type of music video relays on the audience focusing only on the band rather than having to follow a story throughout the video. There is often a wide use of different camera angles and different shots of the band playing along with different shots of random images which are often used throughout music videos of this kind to break up the performance of the band. The shots can be to do with the song or not, sometimes a use of random shots are used and sometimes the band is simply shown traveling from one point to another.

  • Narrative based – This type of music video relays on the audience focusing on a story throughout the music video which is matched to the lyrics and story told in the song. This type of music video often uses actors rather than showing the band or artist themselves however, sometimes the band are also shown throughout in clip in between the narrative being told. This type of video is also used if the song is also used in a film and therefore there is a range of sense from the movie also cut into the music video.


This type of video is often used when the band or artist is trying to put a message across to the audience either about the story behind the song or wether it be ideas behind the song. This type of music video is typically for longer songs as the idea of the song has to be acted out.

  • Concept Based – this is based around a single concept or idea. These types of videos are fairly unusual with a particular editing or filming technique. There are not many of these kinds of videos either as coming up with a concept can often be a hard challenge to complete.



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