Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Carol Vernallis Music Editing

Carol Vernallis is well known for her theory based on music editing. Her areas of specialization are music videos and recent films. Her research deals more broadly with questions of sound and image in moving media.
She is also known for her book Experiencing Music Video: Aesthetics and Cultural Context, which was published in 2004. The book provides a theoretical account of a genre. It is the first to articulate a theory of how music, lyrics and image can be placed in relation, and also the first to provide detailed analyses of individual videos that show the parameters of sound and image at work in a temporal flow.

Vernaliss' theory is based around 4 key concepts that all relate to the way a music video is manufactured. These concepts include: 
  • Narrative
  • Editing
  • Camera movement and framing 
  • Diegesis 

When describing the narrative aspect, Vernallis suggests that the music video is a visual response to the narrative. She explains that the things that happen on screen reflect the choice of lyrics that the artist is singing. However, Vernallis also says that the narrative might not always be complete and can appear in fragments in the music video (fragmented narrative).


According to Vernallis a clear convention of editing when it comes to music videos included the video breaking the convention of continuity editing. She says that the editing might be more "visible" to the audience and not be hidden such as an invisible style of editing. This means that, the video will have a style of editing that is running throughout the video. These kinds of editing techniques include: 
  • Cutting with the lyrics
  • Jump Cuts
  • Graphic matches 
Camera movement and framing: 

Carol Vernallis states that establishing shots are some of the key features of a music video and that they as well as close-ups are used very frequently throughout the video.


The diegesis is the most important thing in a music video according to Vernallis. Diegesis will be revealed slowly and the actions of the video may be disrupted in some way and won't always be completed. There might also be repetitions throughout the video.

Personally I side more with Goodwin and his theory on the features in a music video, since I believe that there is the element of a star image in a music video and also that the music is cutting to the beat rather than cutting to the lyrics. Also, Goodwin argued that there is a link between lyrics and visuals, which is one of the main things I really agree with. 

1 comment:

  1. You could add a short bit on your view - maybe you side more with Goodwin?


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