Research Seminar

Dr Catherine Strong - RMIT University

Music videos and representations of death and dying

While music can easily be understood as a medium that can help people come to terms with grief, loss, and mortality, the role that music videos might play in this process has not been theorised. Drawing on the work of Gibson and Partridge, this paper argues that representations of death in music videos can be conceptualised as non-transgressive, transgressive, or ‘real’. As such, they can reinforce the tendency in Western culture for death to be hidden, use death as a form of rebellion, or, in rarer instances, present insights into the actual processes of decline, dying and death that are not accessible through listening to music only. The co-presence of music and visuals in these cases creates new possibilities for exploring mortality.

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