Images of America -
Analyzing Music Videos: Aqua
Integrated U. S. History and American Literature Class
Deborah Aufdenspring and Sandra Mings-Lamar
New Technology High School, Napa, CA
(Quick Links to related pages)
Below are some captured stills from a music video that will help you
understand the kinds of analyses you are expected to do. Remember that all
captured stills are the property of the particular music video copyright
holder. Stills are to be used in your scholarly work only and copyrights
"Barbie Girl" - Aqua
This visually stunning and rather un-subtle video speaks volumes about
some Americans' view of men, women and the good life. With the refrain,
"Imagination - life is your creation," the video looks at Barbie's
world through Barbie's eyes. Is there ever any indication in her face that
Barbie thinks something is wrong with her world? When?
Video stills from Barbie's World © MCA Records
The images in this still are stunningly similar to the toys sold to little
girls to help them construct their own Barbie worlds. What do these images
say about Barbie's world? What is the dominant color in the video? Why?
Go to a toy store to look at what Barbie is like in the 1990's. Have she
and her world changed? In what ways?
This image can be interpreted on many levels. How does her detached
arm seem to affect Barbie? Ken? What does this say about Barbie, Ken and
The closing shots of the video show a heart and the words "The
End." What might be ending besides the video? What does Barbie think
the end will be like? If you were going to do a video of Barbie's life in
10 years, what story would you tell? What images would you use?
Introduction - Analyzing Music Videos
Music Video Assignment
Comparing and Contrasting Music Videos
Stills of Sample Videos, with Sample Analysis Questions:
Billy Joel.....Erykah Badu.....Pop
up Videos.....Tracy Lawrence
Rage Against the Machine.....Vince
For examples of recent student projects on analyzing music videos:
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