Music Television (Discussion)

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Types of expression

Allan contends that one can group music videos according to types of expression—separate from genres based on content. That is, genres such a rock, pop, rap, country and R&B are the most common way of grouping music videos, but cutting across those genres are certain expressive forms. Allan lists four of them:

  1. Performance - Group 5
  2. Narrative - Groups 6 & 1
  3. Nonnarrative - Group 3
    • G3:
  4. Graphic - Groups 2 & 4

Each group should be prepared to explain the characteristics of their "type of expression" to the class, and choose one video that exemplifies it. (The video must be available online.)

All groups

  1. List four ways that the Replacements' Left of the Dial breaks the conventions of the music video. Be as specific as possible and draw examples from the video.
  2. List the five principal antecedents of (or influences on) music television and explain the specific aspects they contributed to music TV.
  3. While discussing "The Sound of Video," Allan discusses the mix of music and nonmusical elements in music video.
    • Aside from genres and types of expression, what generally characterizes the music presented in music videos?
    • How can nonmusical elements be used?


  1. Butler, Jeremy G. Television: Visual Storytelling and Screen Culture. New York: Routledge, 2018.

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