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Music theory

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  • 1. Music TheoryGeeta Gohil

2. Narrative Narrative refers to the way the story of a film is told, as well as the actual story itself. In your studies of narrative you will considernarrative structure. This refers to the order in which the action takes place. It is also important to consider where the audience is placedin relation to the narrative and whose eyes we see the story through. This is not always the central character. We may observe thenarrative subjectively and we may even see events through different characters eyes at various points in the narrative. StructureThere are 3 ways in which a narrative can be structured.1. Circular Circular Narrative is one which begins at the end. This may sound strange but you are more than likely to have seen a filmthat does just this and then proceeds to tell the story through a series of flashbacks before returning back to where the video started.E.g. - Titanic2. Episodic - there are flashbacks in which no in circular. A good example would be Forest Gump. The episodic narrative iscomparable to how fictional books break up a story into chapters. Often these chapters follow on sequentially but sometimesdifferent viewpoints or aspects of the story are told in different chapters and these interrupt the chronological flow. It may be thatthe story uses parallel narratives in order to show the different versions and experiences of the same event.3. Linear - This narrative structure is simple and is the most common one used. It refers to a story that is being told in the order inwhich the events happen from beginning to end. E.g. - Coldplay - The Scientists 3. Narrative Narrative viewpoint is important to consider as a narrator can tell us which character we are meant to feel mostconnected to and the camera can also add to this by showing us relationships or events from their POV, it's evencommon that the narrator is part of the story. Restricted Narrative - the audience only get to know as much as the characters do. This way the audience are aspuzzled as they on the same page as the characters in solving out what is happened as the film/music video goes on. Omniscient Narrative - this narrative creates suspense rather than mystery because we know lots of aspects of thenarrative and we are just left in suspense about how the main characters will find out. This narrative gives that audience a 'god-like' perspective. the audience sees events in which the characters don't ormight not be aware of other plotting against them. 4. NarrativeThe Relationship Between Song Content and Narrative Content Illustration: The narrative in the video very closely echoes the lyrical content of the song Amplification: The narrative whilst inspired by the song adds a narrative element to complement the themes/subject matter of the song Disjuncture: The narrative seems to hold very little relationship to the song and quite arbitrary (random)Conventions Narrative is subordinate to performance Songs rarely tell complete naratives Music videos resusts classic realistic narratives (stories with beginning, middle and end with a full cast of charactes.) Music video narratives tend to reflect a sense of story and are more thematic in their approach The audience consumes music videos in a loose, more casual way. Music videos need to have repeatability built into them Most important is the authenticity of performance. 5. TheoriesTzvetan Todorov suggested there were 5 stagesto a narrative: Equilibrium A happystart A disruption of thisequilibrium by an event A problem occurs A realisation that adisruption has happened An attempt to repair thedamage of the disruption the problem is solved A restoration of theequilibrium A happyendingErving Goffman character theory suggested that there are 4 main types ofcharacters in media text or production:Protagonist (leading character)Deuteragonist (secondary character)Bit player (minor character whose specific background the audience is not aware of)Fool (character who uses humour to convey messages)Allan Rowe Narrative involves theviewer in making sense of what is seen,asking questions of what we see andanticipating the answers. In particular,narrative invites us to ask both what isgoing to happen next and when andhow will it all end. Narrative operateson the tension between ouranticipation of likely outcomes drawnfrom genre conventions and thecapacity to surprise of frustrate ourexpectations.Claude Lvi-Strauss - he suggests that allnarratives are based around the conflict ofbinary oppositions.Some examples of binary opposites:Good - EvilWeak - StrongYoung - OldMale - FemaleVladimir Propp character theory suggested that there were 7 character types in the100 tales he analysed:-Villain (struggles against hero)-Donor (prepares/gives the hero some magical object.-Helper (helps the hero in the quest)-False hero (perceived as a good character at the start but is actually evil)-Dispatcher (character who makes the lack known and send the hero off)-Hero (reacts to the donor, weds the princess)-Princess (person the hero marries) 6. TheoriesAndrew Goodwin- 5 key aspects for music videosThought beats, seeing the soundNarrative and performanceThe Star imageRelation of Visuals to songTechnical Aspects of Music VideoGoodwin also says that music videos should ignore common narrative. It's important in their role of advertising. He says that narrativeand performance go well together so the audience don't lose interest. Meta narrative is a big story that shows the development of a starover time. 7. GenreGenre not only covers the common conventions of a certain genre or sub-genre of the product however it needs to includethe ideas of how genres are developed and how the institutions use genre to certain markets.Genre is a critical tool that helps us study texts and audience responses to texts by dividing them into categories based oncommon elements.Genre is important as it plays a part in the construction of identity and different. Genre is applied different to music videosthan to Film or television. Its rare for a music video to have a genre of sci-fi which is common amongst TV and Film. Analternative way of considering genre is to look at musical genres such as Hip-Hop, Indie or Country.Theorists which are relevant to Genre are; Denis McQuail The genre may be considered as a practical device for helping any mass medium to produceconsistently and efficiently and to relate its production to the expectations of its customers. Katie Wales Genre is... an intertextual concept Christine Gledhill Differences between genres meant different audiences could be identified and catered to... Thismade it easier to standardise and stabilise production Tom Ryall (1978): Genre provides a framework of structuring rules, in the shape of patterns/forms/structures, whichact as a form of supervision over work of production of filmmakers and the work of reading by the audience. 8. Representation Representation refers to the construction in any medium (especially the mass media) ofaspects of reality such as people, places, objects, events, cultural identities and otherabstract concepts. Such representations may be in speech or written form as well as still ormoving picture. The easiest way to understand the concept of representation is to remember that watching aTV programme is not the same as watching something happen in real life. All mediaproducts re-present the real world to us; they show us one version of reality, not realityitself. So, the theory of representation in Media Studies means thinking about how aparticular person or group of people are being presented to the audience. 9. Representation The term refers to the processes involved as well as to its products. For instance, in relationto the key markers of identity -Class, Age, Gender and Ethnicity(the cage of identity) -representation involves not only how identities are represented(or rather constructed) withinthe text but also how they are constructed in the processes of, production and reception. Theorists Laura Mulvey - this theorists argues that cinema positions the audience as male. Thisapplies to the video we are analysing as the woman wishes that she has the same status as aman and when listening to the lyrics and watching the video we are able to tell that shebelieves that men are the dominant sex. Stuart Hall argues that media doesn't not portray reality accurately but they construct it asto what they see as ideal. 10. Media Language Media Language Media conventions, formats, symbols and narrative structures which cue the audience tomeaning. The symbolic language of electronic media work much the same way as grammar works in printmedia. Stuart hall: encoding and decoding; preferred/ negotiated/ oppositional readings. Denis McQuail Uses and Gratifications theory (audiences consume media texts for Suveillance; PersonalIdentity; Personal Relationships; Escapism/ Diversion. Ien Ang audiencehood is becoming an even more multifaceted and diversified repertoire of practices andexperiences. Media language is used to tell story and is part of editing. Semiotics - Ferdinand de Saussure (1857-1913) - the signifier and signified. Roland Barthes (1913-1980) - denotation and connotation Stuart Hall (1981 ) encoding and decoding (preferred reading) 11. Media Language Roland Barthes (1913-1980) - denotation and connotation. This is a theory we are all familiar with and looks at how the audience willinterpret meaning from a particular media text. However, this interpretationis often influenced by society and the audience members own experience ofthe world. The denotation is an object placed within media texts. It is thenup to the audience to draw on their own cultural, social and historicalknowledge to interpret its connotations 12. Media Language Stuart Hall (1981) Encoding and Decoding.Continuing to look at meanings within a media text, Halls theory thinks about thepreferred meaning of a text.