Music videos are interesting texts to analyze, as they convey messages through moving image, music and text (song lyrics). Music videos are seen by a wide audience of young individuals over the entire word through various online channels (YouTube) an television (MTV).
This lesson invites you to think about what kinds of symbols and images you would include in a music video, based on the lyrics of a popular song by Beyonce, ‘Girls run the world’. Then we will compare your understanding of the text to that of the art director who made the actual music video. Finally, you can read a critical response to this video, as a good example of textual analysis. Through this process, you will gain an understanding of how the language of music videos (i.e. costumes, sound, light and symbols) is used to entertain. This relates to the final learning outcome for Part 1.
Your understanding of the lyrics may have been very different from the director’s. In the case of the Beyonce video it is quite appropriate to be critical of the portrayal of women. The representation of women seems to show the exact opposite of what the lyrics intend, namely and expression of gender equality. Here you see how Briony Lipton wrote critically about this music video on her blog. Here critical response is a good example of textual analysis. After reading her blog, find another video that you are critical of and try writing a similar piece.
READ THE TEXT HERE Wishful Thinking
Written task 2 – Briony Liption’s critical response is similar to the kind of essay you could write for a written task 2. You could write a similar essay, focusing on the fourth prescribed question:
“Which social groups are marginalized, excluded or silenced within the text?”
Your answer should discuss the role of Africans, women and men as ‘social groups’ that are marginalized, excluded or silenced within the music video.