Story analysis of 14 famous music videos: general conclusion

This page is the general conclusion of our full narrative study in e-book format of 14 music videos.

All different, all the same

As we saw it there are many ways to make a music video:

Perfectly narrative clips

  • Thriller – the story of a young man who loves to terrorize his girlfriend
  • Stress – the story of a group of merciless vandals
  • First Of The Year – the story of generous gangsters
  • Bangarang – the story of a little girl who tortures a pedophile
  • Am I wrong? – the story of an ordinary customer who disturbs a fast-food restaurant
  • Freestyler – the story of a teenager who dreams of controlling the world

Imperfectly narrative clips

Few narrative clips

  • Remind Me – description of an all too technical, loveless world
  • Look – poetic crossing of metaphors of pleasure and pain, of life and death

Number of plots and actantial roles

In the majority of the narrative videos, we also find some variety especially in the number of plots, even if most of the stories only have one or two plots (No Surprises, Stress, Bangarang, etc), sometimes three (Am I wrong? – if we count the mini-plot of the greedy customer), while none have more than seven plots (Thriller) – which can obviously be explained by the short format of the videos. Nevertheless, it would not be impossible to tell 20 mini-plots in a few minutes. If you like this idea, it can make for a good creative exercise 😉

The characters and actantial roles are rarely more than five or six, most of the time they are two or three, Hero vs. Antagonist or Hero + Helper vs. Antagonist.

This formal simplicity makes the genre of music videos look like the genre of songwriting, which is often very simple too and distinguishes it from the complex narrative structures that we find in:

  • Novels (The little prince: 25 plots, 17 actantial characters having 54 actantial roles)
  • Movies (The Godfather: 27 plots, 15 actantial characters having 100 actantial roles; Pulp Fiction: 10 plots, 19 actantial characters having 30 actantial roles)
  • TV series (Game of thrones, seasons one and two: more than 100 plots, 67 actantial characters having 174 actantial roles).

Universal themes

Despite fundamental differences of shape, of aesthetics, of structure, we often cross the same themes, especially a strong emotional element like:

Those universal themes obviously guarantee a strong potential of identification from the audience to the stories.

Did you like this page?
[Total: 0 Average: 0]