Music, Sound, and the Moving Image

Musical Pathfinding; or How to Listen to Interactive Music Video

Music, Sound, and the Moving Image (2019), 13, (2), 165–185.

Abstract

Since Nicholas Cook’s 1998 Analysing Musical Multimedia, various scholars have attempted to produce analyses of audiovisual media from an equalised, nonhierarchical conception of sound and image. From a musicological perspective, however, this can lead to an inadvertent reification of visual primacy. Furthermore, interactive music videos provide analytical challenges because no two viewings are identical. As such, by the introduction of the user, the traditional sound–image relationships cease to function. Analysing two interactive music videos, this essay has two aims. First, it shows how little it takes for music to be inadvertently muted in audiovisual analyses and then goes on to argue that musical analysis and musicological terminology can serve as a toolbox for amplifying sonic content and as such equalise it with the visual. Finally, it is demonstrated, by means of investigations and interpretations of two interactive music videos, that using traditional musical analysis as the point of departure amplifies the potentials and limits of interactivity in music video.

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LILJEDAHL, ANDERS AKTOR