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Unruly MediaYouTube, Music Video, and the New Digital Cinema$
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Carol Vernallis

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199766994

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199766994.001.0001

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Music Video’s Second Aesthetic?

Music Video’s Second Aesthetic?

(p.207) Chapter 10 Music Video’s Second Aesthetic?
Unruly Media

Carol Vernallis

Oxford University Press

MTV’s first broadcast happened in 1982. Music video has since undergone shifts in technologies and platforms, financial booms and busts, and changing levels of audience engagement. While music videos hit a low point around the turn of the millennium, they have reemerged as a key driver of popular culture. This resurgence resembles MTV’s first moment: it is again worth asking what music video can do and where it fits. Video styles and genres have changed. The traditional definition of music video—a record-company product that puts images to a pop record in order to sell the song—has become too narrow. Instead we might describe music videos as containing heightened sound-image relations we recognize as such. While today’s videos can reflect great technical proficiency, eighties videos bear the trace of the performers’ and director’s efforts as they attempted to make audiovisual connections. This chapter reconsiders video aesthetics across this 30-year gap.

Keywords:   Aesthetics, digital, music video, MTV, genre, popular songs, audiovisual, video, history

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