Brad Osborn deposited Content and Correlational Analysis of a Corpus of MTV-Promoted Music Videos Aired Between 1990 and 1999 in the group Society for Music Theory (SMT) on Humanities Commons 2 months, 3 weeks ago
From 1990 to 1999 MTV promoted a series of 288 music videos called “Buzz Clips”, designed to highlight emerging artists and genres. Such promotion had a measurable impact on an artists’ earnings and record sales. To date, the kinds of musical and visual practices MTV promoted have not been quantitatively analyzed. Just what made some videos Buzzworthy, and others not? We applied two phases of content analysis to this corpus to determine the most common sonic and visual signifiers in Buzz Clips, then processed the results of that content analysis using polychoric correlations. Our findings show high degrees of shared variance between certain pairs of musical and visual elements observed in the sample music videos. We interpret a number of these relationships in terms of their relevance to a performer’s perceived ethnicity and gender, showing how certain audiovisual features regularly accompany white men (e.g., electric guitar) while others regularly accompany women and performers of color (e.g. drum machines).