Conventions of Music Videos

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n/a to 1975

The first time any word was spoken on merging film with music was in 1894 when a man who publishes music sheets, hired and payed an electrician named George Thomas, who created film in a live performance by synchronizing it with a magic lantern that showed projected images. After this innovation, this technique became very common and was popularized due to that fact of how mind blowing the process was, leaving people at that time taking any chance they ever got to go see a magic lantern in a museum.

A little further in time around the late 60’s, film equipment became drastically more accessible and much more affordable as time went on. This resulted in sky rocketing growth in creating broadcast television and marked the beginning of pop culture getting a span of attention. These technological advances and what they had to offer, were being used by music artists such as The Beatles, to promote themselves and their brand. They (along with other artists) would explore all these new innovations whilst doing this.

1980 to 2004

The first ever music video ever was aired on MTV in the mid 80’s, this soon paved a new way of promoting music and made a huge impact on cinematography and music, and technology itself. Shortly after in the early 90’s, music videos became more and more popularized and started to become a main stream piece of art when it came to artists putting out music. This would soon introduce listing the directors of the music videos, crediting the directors with the artist/s. Different directors would have different and unique types of videos, which would keep each of them original and keep building off the brand they create for themselves.

2005 to n/a

Since 1997, music videos could be found in many places on the internet if you knew where to look. However, in 2005 the popular site named YouTube had been launched and probably made the biggest impact to the entire music industry as a whole. At this point MTV had abandoned having music videos on their programme and had started airing reality shows instead in the early 2000’s on wards.

Combining the fact that the prices for equipment needed to produce a music video, and the fact that the quality was only getting better and better each day, resulted in an explosion of music videos being released everyday. This made it that more important to put more creative spins on music video meanings and using them as for the purpose of promotion for the artist and the music alone to reach a wider audience.


Andrew Goodwin Theory

“Music videos ignore common narrative as they are essentially advertisements. As consumers, we make up our own meaning of a song in our minds: a music video can anchor meaning and gives the record company/artist a method of anchoring meaning”

Is a quote from Andrew Goodwin that explains his theory in which a music videos purpose is purely for advertising and promoting the artists art and brand. Goodwin’s theory counters the idea of having a narrative and have a leading story line to either match the lyrical distribution of the song, or just any narrative to go over the audio.



This music video is about the main artist ‘NAV’ being in the hip-hop/rap scene for a number of years now, and how successful his run has been. Him and the collaborating artist Travis Scott brag about their various successes and conquests, likening themselves to NBA Champions, hence the title of the song. The visuals to this song don’t follow a particular narrative, but the music video was made purely to promote this particular song.

This song was part of an album released by NAV on the 18/5/18, and the pattern that follows with album releases (from any artist), consist of having the artist and/or record label select a few songs from the album that they feel can reach big numbers and possibly be hits.

So they invest and put money into making a music video for the song(s) to promote and advertise the song and help it receive more attention and help it reach other music outlets. This song is a perfect example of this process, and therefore proves the Andrew Goodwin theory.



Childish dropped the track on the morning of July 11, 2018 in the middle of the summer. Fittingly, the tracks were released on Spotify under the title ‘The Summer Pack’. This is the first new music from Gambino after the hit, “This Is America”.

With the song, Gambino covers various issues facing our world today, including the growing world population, artificial intelligence, climate change, water scarcity, air pollution, Colony collapse disorder (the dying of bees) and deforestation.

The music video was released on September 2nd. It features an animated Gambino walking down the street alongside many other rappers in animated cameos.



“Stairway to Heaven” is one of Led Zeppelin’s most famous recordings, and it was even voted the greatest rock songs of all time. It tells the story of a greedy woman who is overly optimistic about her unpromising future.

The song resonated with young listeners, opening up a door to a different realm of spirituality and transporting them into a more mystical view of life. The vagueness of the lyrics also allows listeners to interpret the song in their own way, adding to the magic and mystery of the track.















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