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 noted.

"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?

The Video:

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 society?

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?

Quick Links

Introduction - Analyzing Music Videos
Music Video Assignment
Analysis Tips
Comparing and Contrasting Music Videos
Grading Rubric

Stills of Sample Videos, with Sample Analysis Questions:
Billy Joel.....Erykah Badu.....Pop up Videos.....Tracy Lawrence

Rage Against the Machine.....Vince Gill.....Van Halen.....Aqua.....12 other videos

For Teachers...

For examples of recent student projects on analyzing music videos:
Student Work

E-mail me.

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