Music has always been something that speaks to the soul. People listen to music to relax, to create an atmosphere, to set a mood. Music consists of two main parts namely the melody and lyrics. By combining these two aspects simultaneously you create a harmony that goes beyond explanation. The melody creates the correct atmosphere to bring you the true message of the lyrics. For ages people has been satisfied with an audio experience only, but as the music industry developed, people developed a need for an audio-visual musical experience. Music videos was the answer to that need. There were, and still are, many music lovers that have a negative view about music videos. They believe that music videos only have a marketing purpose and nothing else. There is some truth in this, but is a music video totally useless when it comes to the message a song wants to deliver?
You have to experience the song without a picture to really understand it. To really appreciate the work of a musical artist you have to experience a song through every mechanism available, through the artist’s voice, through the specific music instruments, through the carefully selected melodies, through the wonderfully written lyrics. Your first experience of a song and its interpretation should be by audio only. You have to be able to capture its meaning before it is corrupted by a visual expression. A song has to be free to speak a personal message and if a song is able to do that it is only because of artistic perfection. A music video takes away an artist’s majestic power of illustration.
Music videos are not all that bad. The nice thing about music videos is that they give you a new approach to the song, another perspective that may not have been experienced during your first interpretations of the song. It opens your mind for new possibilities with a song. A music video is also a good medium that helps you to understand a song if you are not good at interpreting them. Not everyone is a good interpreter of musical literature. Music videos are also a great way of bridging the language gap for fans who enjoy the music of a foreign artist, but don’t understand a word he or she is singing. After exploring a song trough audio only, it is always pleasurable for fans to see all the mechanisms of music combined in a music video, where you can experience the music with your eyes, ears and soul, all at the same time.
A music video should not be your first experience of a song, because that is when the theme of the song is killed. You have to focus on the music and lyrics to really appreciate the abilities of the artist. Not everyone looks good in a music video, but there are many, “not-so-good-looking” artists that produces great music. A music video is only a different medium through which one can experience a song, the music video itself cannot speak to you in a personal way, only the song can. The music video only brings you the central theme of the song, the abstract, theoretical meaning. Therefore it is true that a music video on its own, gives you a very limited perspective and can, at most, be an extension to musical expression, but can’t be the expression itself.