Experiencing Music Video

Aesthetics and Cultural Context

Carol Vernallis

Columbia University Press

Experiencing Music Video

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Pub Date: June 2004

ISBN: 9780231117999

480 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $36.00£30.00

Pub Date: June 2004

ISBN: 9780231117982

480 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $105.00£88.00

Pub Date: June 2004

ISBN: 9780231508452

480 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $35.99£30.00

Experiencing Music Video

Aesthetics and Cultural Context

Carol Vernallis

Columbia University Press

Music videos have ranged from simple tableaux of a band playing its instruments to multimillion dollar, high-concept extravaganzas. Born of a sudden expansion in new broadcast channels, music videos continue to exert an enormous influence on popular music. They help to create an artist's identity, to affect a song's mood, to determine chart success: the music video has changed our idea of the popular song.

Here at last is a study that treats music video as a distinct multimedia artistic genre, different from film, television, and indeed from the songs they illuminate—and sell. Carol Vernallis describes how verbal, musical, and visual codes combine in music video to create defining representations of race, class, gender, sexuality, and performance. The book explores the complex interactions of narrative, settings, props, costumes, lyrics, and much more. Three chapters contain close analyses of important videos: Madonna's "Cherish," Prince's "Gett Off," and Peter Gabriel's "Mercy St."

Experiencing Music Video is the first book I'd ever read that really does take music video seriously. Carol Vernallis is an obsessive, passionate and continuously surprising video viewer, and succeeds in creating a quite new analytic field.

Simon Frith, University of Stirling

A thorough, stimulating account of the art of music video. Vernallis provides imaginative analyses that are sensitive to the expressive dimension of image/ sound combinations. She shows how the power of music videos depends largely on the elusive associations conjured up by fleeting images and swift turns of sound.

David Bordwell, Department of Communication Arts, University of Wisconsin - Madison

Vernallis has done what no one else has to date... she has seen beyond the surface of the music video and has found the true and unique language of the art form.

Francis Lawrence, film/music video director
Acknowledgements
Introduction
Theory
Telling and Not Telling
Editing
Actors
Settings
Props and Costumes
Interlude: Space, Color, Texture, and Time
Lyrics
Musical Parameters
Connections Among Music, Image, and Lyrics
Analytical Methods
Analyses
The Aesthetics of Music Video: An Analysis of Madonna's "Cherish"
Desire, Opulence, and Musical Authority: The Relation of Music and Image in Prince's "Gett Off"
Peter Gabriel's Elegy for Anne Sexton: Image and Music in "Mercy St."
Afterword
Notes
Bibliography
Index

About the Author

Carol Vernallis is associate professor in the Media Arts and Studies Division of the Communication Department at Wayne State University.