Images of America -
Analyzing Music Videos: Vince Gill
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
"Worlds Apart" - Vince Gill
What did you think of Vince Gill's "Worlds Apart", other than
it was "country music?" If you looked at this video as a picture
of the U.S., what would it say about the country? What's right with the
country? What's wrong with it? Who lives here? Does the video leave you
with a sense of hope or hopelessness about the future?
As the video opens, we see a succession of quick shots as an introduction.
All Vince Gill video stills ©MCA Records
Why were these images chosen?
To preview the entire video?
To set the tone? What is the tone?
To indicate that the song is not just a "lost love" song?
To interest you by using strong, stark images?
All of the above, or none of the above, or for other reasons? What reasons?
Do you think the video takes the theme of "Worlds Apart" and moves
it from the personal (divorce) to the neighborhood (gangs) to the community
or national level (black church burnings). Or, do you think the video moves
thematically from the personal (family) to the secular (gangs and prisons)
to the religious (churches). Or, does it move on a lot of levels at once?
Vince Gill's location in the video appears to be a large empty loft.
Does this represent loneliness?
What other images in the video does the backlit, paned window bring to mind?
Images can have overtones that carry meaning beyond their context. The
farmer's hand crumbling the dirt could come right out of a story about the
during the Great Depression. The fire burning in front of the minister
evokes memories of the days when white racists burnt black men alive, not
just their churches.
Do you think these crossover images might be intentional?
Are these evocations of gangs real? What do gangs have to do with being
What feelings does the video want to evoke at the end? What does it
say about race? How does it say it?
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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