Images of America -
Analyzing Music Videos: Van Halen
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
"Right Now" - Van Halen
"Right Now" is an exploration of life in the U.S. As you watch
the video, look carefully at the images. Are they mostly positive? Mostly
negative? Are these images of your life? If you were making a video about
your life in this country, what different images would be significant to
you? Which of your own images would be significant to other people? Who?
All Van Halen video stills ©1992Warner Bros. Records
In the above still, what does the marionette represent?
What recent news stories does this refer to?
In the above still, what do the children's images say?
Why are the children girls?
Is the above image a political statement? Do you agree with it?
What kinds of workers are represented?
Are they the ones who work the hardest for the least?
Is the minimum wage
law a good thing?
Bare trees (above) are a common image of loneliness. What image would
you have used?
What in your life supports or negates the above statement?
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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