There is music and there are visuals to enhance the feel of it. The music part of it, with the songs, instruments and the tunes make the essence of the feel the song gives. But by the day, increasing importance is being given to the visual of the music. Not just in motion pictures, but music videos as a concept are being given a lot of importance to.
The second song on this week’s billboard top 100 is All About That Bass by Meghan Trainor. While the song has catchy beats and funny lyrics, what holds one’s attention more than the effect it has on the ear is the impact it creates on the eyes. With loud colours and attention grabbing movements, one quickly switches to concentrating on the video more than the music part of it.
American rock music until a few decades ago was about bands performing live on stage and releasing their discs. From records to cassettes to compact discs, they have moved gradually. However, with modern technology, which nobody is sure is serving as a boon or a bane, has changed the needs of the listeners and the freedom of exploration of the makers. As Television became a common feature in every living room, songs and musicians came alive into houses. Eventually, they started having the need to produce content for the visual medium as well. Because playing just songs with a blank screen on TV would be no different from listening to the same songs on the radio.
Individual musicians and bands then put in the extra effort to conceptualise and make relevant videos for proper viewing of the song. The verb here changed from ‘listening’ to ‘viewing’. This also means division of the concentration put into work. Most modern music videos are made with an intention to promote and market them. Although the beginnings of music videos can be dated much further, they became popular when MTV based their Television format around the audio and visual medium. Prior to that, music videos were called ‘promotional clip’ or ‘illustrated song’.
The Television’s requirement for music videos increased so much that music video airing shows started being broadcast and eventually, several Television stations that run just on the basis of music videos have also started.
This trend, in modern day could be dangerous. It can be said that it is in a way taking away from the music and the capability of the musician and encouraging the all-round performer. Many musicians and independent singers today strongly reply on enticing music videos when the song is not as good.
We have also seen cases where the reviews to the songs have not been very positive but they gained importance due to their video. A recent example is Priyanka Chopra’s single ‘Exotic’.
Further, music is supposed to be a personal experience. One can listen to music and run their imagination wild through the song. But a music video tends to restrict it. For example, Coldplay’s Paradise is a great song that makes you wander into your soul, imagine and dream. Then they came up with a brilliant video. The video is great but it is so enticing that it becomes hard to concentrate on the song while watching the video.
A few great bands, in this scenario, took the decision to not come up with music videos. Coming to think of it, going back in time and sticking to originals seems like a much better idea for music to flourish in its pristine form.