-‘Music video that features a visual story that is easy to follow’

Features of a narrative music video include:

  • Not having any type of lip-sync singing
  • The story in someway links to the song
  • The lyrics are often reflected in the story

Most common type of narrative is narrative/performance. This is where there is a story being told but also performance of the band/singer is being shown.

Often the music video will mimic a film genre. The band will appear as part of the narrative or as observers. The story generally is a meaningful narrative which normally offers a deeper meaning.


-These types of music videos generally mean the artists are more interested in their music than having themselves being shown on the videos

-The storyline is very easy to follow being quite basic and simple


-Making narrative videos are more difficult to produce as they are very costly


-This is the type of music video that is fully videoing of the band in different shots ana angels

Features of performance music videos:

  • Often contains shots of the performers
  • Can be a live performance, with shots of both the performers and audience
  • Include artists real lives, warming up, practice, touring
  • Can be a particular visual style that goes with the artist e.g. clothing, actions, props
  • Some have odd clips of artist performing in strange places including roof tops, train stations, fields

Quite a few bands use this type of music video including many rock bands.


-Performance highlights the artists performance

-Gives the most realistic view upon the artists/band

-Relatively cheap way of making a music video as theres no need to hire out places to use or actors


-The band have to be established for the music video to be completed and finished and to maintain audience interest



-A video that is based on one idea that has no relevance to the song and is quite obscure

Features of a concept music video:

  • Includes unusual images or narratives to entertain the audience
  • The video doesn’t have any relevance to the song
  • Some images are purely artistic no other explanation

This type of video are more common in electronic music or experimental videos.


-Seen as visually impressive or ‘works of art’

-They are generally very obscure and visually entertaining


-Often can be too confusing for the audience to follow




Early Days by Paul McCartney is an example of narrative music videos. The video is about a group of boys who all are interested in music and performance. most are black suggesting it is set in the time where discrimination was high, however they do have a white friend who teaches them how to play guitar. The story in the video is conveyed to be the story of Paul McCartney’s childhood as in the end of the video he is filmed playing this song with 4 black friends just like the boys.

Another example of a narrative music video is Im Not The Only One by Sam Smith. The lyrics in this song are very easy to understand what he is talking about and the storyline that is being shown in the video. There is no lip syncing in the video as it is being seen from the girls perspective of knowing she is being cheated on. This could be a real life experience he has lived through and therefore made it into a song.

For performance music videos, an example is Slow Hands by Niall Horan. This video includes clips of Niall Horan singing, playing guitar, playing drums. performing at gigs, producing the music in the studio and generally having a good time and enjoying music making with all his team and friends.

Bonfire performed by The Hunna is another performance based music video. In this song, the audience see the band performing in a bare room with purely their instruments and a group of friends in the background. The other main part of the video is the band having a casual gathering type of party with similar people to the ones feature in the performance.

Last of all for an example of concept music videos is Take On Me by a-ha. This is classed as a conceptual video as the story has nothing to do with the song and the lyrics. A female is reading a comic book and a male hand reaches out to take hers. The whole song is based in a drawn comic book where two people are trying to escape. It is seen as quite confusing and very unrealistic which draws the audience in.

Chandelier by Sia is another concept music video as there is once again no relevance to the lyrics. All of Sia’s videos feature the same dancer and have near to nothing to do with the lyrics she sings. The dancer is a gymnast who does a lot of expressionist dancing in the videos to keep the audience entertained and make them wonder the relevance of the dancing and the scenes they are set.


I don’t particularly like performing music videos unless they showy the true side of the artist and how they act, react and treat people. What I like most about ‘Slow Hands’ is Niall Horan is show being cheerful and joking around with all the crew and staff. Some performance videos are quite boring in my opinion as they are just showing different performances of the band.

When it comes to conceptual music videos I find them interesting if performed and created to a good standard as they make you as the audience really wonder if they have any hidden meanings and what they are. If not they are generally very entertaining and draws the viewers in. For example Sia is very good with intriguing her audience and keeping them entertained with the obscure dancing.

My favourite music video genre however is narrative as it always links to the song lyrics in some way and can portray a realistic viewpoint on a certain subject. This could be ranging from relationship problems to loving yourself for who you are. The best part of these videos is that you can address anything and tackle any problem by creating a short story in a song.


One thought on “3 types of music videos

  1. Hi Gabby,

    This is not a bad start and there is some useful detail. However, you need to reference all of your sources and your breakdown of each type needs to be more detailed in terms of technical features.


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