Close Reading of a Music Video – FINAL


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NOTE: Before submitting this final, revised version of your Close Reading of a Music Video, you will have participated in a peer review and received feedback. It is expected that you will revise your work in response to the feedback you received in this assignment.

For this writing assignment, you should perform a close reading of one of the music videos posted below.

Note, this should be the final version of your Close Reading, submitted after participating in peer review, and then incorporating feedback. Please make sure you upload the correct version of your work!

“Conduct a CLOSE READING (Critical Analysis) of ONE of the Music Videos provided below.”

What is a Close Reading?

In a close reading, a writer provides a careful and concise interpretation of both the structural and content components of a text. The idea is not to try to explain the whole text at once, but to focus on what meanings specific structural elements and aspects of the text’s content presents.

Close readers typically choose a key idea, theme or set of themes that they see as prevalent in the text and then use their close analysis to support their reading. See, for instance, the analysis of bodies in “Everybody Hurts” in the “Commodity Substitution” article from the previous module.

The author discusses how the fragmentation of bodies defers desire and hinders commodity substitution while referring to how bodies are represented. A close reading would look even more specifically at how the bodies are presented (what lighting is used, how is the text edited, what are the camera angles) as well as the combined impact of visuals and sounds (analyzing how bodies are arranged when certain words are used, the meaning of the song’s lyrics, etc).

For terminology or descriptions of music video style and content see the readings for this module.

For the analysis of the music video, consider first what is its main idea or thesis?

Then, what ARGUMENTS are used in the video: think about lyrics in addition to the use of color, sound, lighting, color (or lack of color), and other special effects. Each may be considered as an argument. How effective is each component (argument) in supporting the thesis?

There is no maximum length on this paper, and I am more concerned about your ability to look closely at technical or narrative details in the videos and analyze the meaning of those details. Your essay should, however, be at least 5 paragraphs in length, and not less than 750 words (average 3 pages).

Please do not use any external sources for this paper.

Choose only one video from the selection below. Analyses of other videos will not be graded.

CHOOSE ONE of the following Music Videos for Analysis: Please note that YouTube content is constantly changing, so if the link provided does not work, please search the content of YouTube for a version of the music video that you are able to view.

  1. Public Enemy 911 is a JokeLinks to an external site.
  2. Radiohead All I NeedLinks to an external site.
  3. BeyonceIf I Were a BoyLinks to an external site.
  4. BjorkAll is Full of LoveLinks to an external site.

4. Childish Gambino

This is America

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