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Using the library find one text book and one specialist book to research the concept of GENRE: summarise your findings.

I gathered my research from the book ‘Key concepts in Popular music’ by Roy Shuker. My findings consist of: •Genre can be defined as a category or a type and is a key component of textual analysis (a media form that is self contained). •Genre is used to analyse and differentiate popular music and films. Once something is given a genre it is then easily identified by consumers. •Fans of music will then begin to identify themselves with particular genres and begin to learn more about that genre. Musicians will do the same. •I learnt that the the usual approach to define a genre is to ‘follow the distinctions made by the music industry, which, in turn, reflect both musical history and marketing categories’. It is also said by Frith that another way is to ‘classify them according to the way they sell themselves as art, community or emotion, their ideological effects’. •Critical analysis of popular music genres have concentrated on the fluidity they obtain as it has been claimed that there were some rigid boundaries. The example of art rock has been used by Chambers. •Especially in more recent times, musicians have began to borrow elements from existing styles and incorporate them into into their own and new forms. Many artists can expand over multiple genres throughout their careers now. This process is strongly present in hybrid genres, when different styles engage with each other, for example jazz rock. •The surface styles of popular music are moving fast where as the structures of the genres are moving more slowly. •It is useful to distinguish hybrid genres with meta genres; meta genres are looser styles such as alternative, rock and world music. •Also important to realise the significance of sub genres like heavy metal and techno. These are both examples of strongly differentiated genres. ‘Mainstream’ genres are constructed and operated with commercial systems of record companies and marketing. There are three ways look at when trying to identify the characteristics of popular music genres: 1. The stylistic traits present in the music, (e.g. Christian rock and Glam rock). 2. Iconography/visual, (performances, dress, make-up, hair styles). 3. The primary audience (the relationship between the fans and the genre).


Using the internet summarise the ideas of Andrew Goodwin and apply them to the 2 videos that you are researching. In his book ‘Dancing in the Distraction Factory’, Andrew Goodwin listed the 6 characteristics that may be found in music videos. He stated that they may contain them all or they may only contain a few.

‘1. Music videos demonstrate genre characteristics (e.g. stage performance in metal video, dance routine for boy/girl band). genre characteristics 2. There is a relationship between lyrics and visuals (either illustrative, amplifying, contradicting). 3. There is a relationship between music and visuals (either illustrative, amplifying, contradicting). 4. The demands of the record label will include the need for lots of close ups of the artist and the artist may develop motifs which recur across their work (a visual style). 5. There is frequently reference to notion of looking (screens within screens, telescopes, etc) and particularly voyeuristic treatment of the female body. 6. There is often intertextual reference (to films, tv programmes, other music videos etc).’ 1. Everytime by Britney Spears is a song of the pop genre and it featured an innocent looking girl dressed in white singing to the camera. This agrees with Goodwin's first point as most original singers of that genre are or need to obtain the ‘innocent’ look. Griminal's video also agrees with this point as it is of the genre of grime, a street music genre. The artist is therefore singing the majority of the performance scenes outside on the road and on some steps. 2. There is only a slight correlation between the lyrics and the visuals for the Britney Spears song Everytime, where as there are many direct links in the video Invincible. This is especially towards the end when he is trying to contact his love interest. She is not answering his phone calls while the lyrics heard are ‘ phoning your phone, you’re rejecting my calls’. This is a direct correlation. 3. When there is no singing, only the notes of a piano being heard in the Everytime video, the protagonist Britney Spears is seen running down a corridor in slow motion. The final note at the end of the song is a high piano note and is played at the same time that a new born baby smiles for the 4. In both of the videos that I chose to analyse there are many close ups and medium shots of the artists/protagonists. There are more closeups in Everytime as it is a more personal song and has the more emotional narrative of the two. In Invincible there are more medium shots as the main focus is on the artist but an artist of the grime genre has a certain reputation to uphold and people are also interested as to what clothes or labels he is wearing.


5. Britney Spears is seen wearing sunglasses for approximately a minute and a half of the video Everytime, suggesting that she is hiding away from people which is confirmed by the narrative of the video. There are no majorly sexually suggestive shots of the artist but although the song is emotional and close to her, she still has a certain ‘sexy’ image that she needs to uphold for her fans. Therefore there is a shot of her getting into the bath and one where she is wearing only a shirt and running.

In Griminal’s video to the song Invincible, there are not many suggestive shots or any voyeurism at all. The niche role of the love interest is shown as ‘sexy’ but not in a degrading way as she is made to look good and respectable as she is fully clothed all the time, opposite to many modern music videos. There is only one provocative shot of the protagonist that is featured when he is changing. This is not normally a seen thing on grime videos, in contrast to how very common it is in the RnB genre.

6. Neither of the videos Invincible or Everytime feature intertextual references.

Research task 2  

Research task 2

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