Did the video overwhelm the music?

Written by Huiyuan Zhou

Music video is hard to evaluate. The genre possesses an odd particularity, comprised of intangibles that have analogs to pop music like syncopation, rubato, articulation, and grain; it’s frigile. (Vernallis, 2014)

When we learned sound as added value to images from Michel Chion , can we define the video in a music video as ‘added value’ to music?

Although music videos were initially produced just as industry promo, they have undoubtedly affect the visual-sound relationship after almost 40 years’ development.The methodology that people treat them as short films is no longer new. For example, when we look at A-Ha’s “Take on me”, where the director applied the technology to present a love story, it’s undoubtedly an innovative assemble of moving images and music. However, does the story overwhelm the music a little bit? For those who never listened this song, will viewers have more impression on the video or on the music?


screenshot from

Music video, for me, is an audio-visual art composed of sound and images. There are many extraordinary directors including Steve Barron, who is the director of .

Michell Gondry also have directed many works that well illustrated this video art, such as where Michell applied the images to the lyrics appropriately and added a brandnew visual value to the original music.

And his video for Metronomy’s Love Letters.

Did the video overwhelm the music? Well, it happens. But we as audience have our own judgement of a work. Why don’t we expect some more?


Vernallis, C. (2014). Unruly media. 1st ed. New York: Oxford University Press Inc, p.211.


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