chapter  4
23 Pages

A polyphony of images

This chapter demonstrates the different ways in which the visual polyphony can be brought about. It suggests different possible explanations for music video's tendency towards visual multiplicity: it is connected to musicality of the music video image, historical tradition of experimental cinema, and technology. There are many different techniques for achieving this kind of visual polyphony. Chion points to one of most common: "The thing that most closely resembles the polyphonic simultaneity of sound or music on the visual level is the rapid succession of single images". The chapter suggests the general polyphony of images in music video might be thought of as an extension of a musical logic in which the multi-tracked character of the music is met by a multi-track image. The polyphony of images was already a fairly common feature of many early music videos, but, in recent videos, it seems to have been further amplified as a consequence of the increasing use of digital imaging techniques.