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Component 2B

Music - Music Video and Online Media

Section B requires a detailed study of music through focusing on two contemporary music videos and the online, social and participatory media surrounding the artists. In addition, learners study one music video from the past to enable learners to develop their understanding of media language and of how representations reflect, and are influenced by, relevant contexts.

The contemporary media industries are increasingly dependent on each other for the production, distribution and circulation of their products. This is particularly evident in the music industry, where forms such as the music video have developed both as products popular with audiences and as marketing. Learners will also be able to explore how the music industry uses conventional online forms such as websites as well as social and participatory media. This will enable learners to explore a range of industry and audience issues.

Websites, by their very nature, are dynamic and updated to respond to industry and audience needs. Learners are required to study the following elements of their chosen websites:

  • the design of the home page, including its use of images and topical material

  • links to other content, including audio-visual material and music videos

  • interactive links, including to social and participatory media.

    For this component, learners must develop their knowledge and understanding of all aspects of the theoretical framework as follows:

Media Language

  • the various forms of media language used to create and communicate meanings in media products

  • how choice (selection, combination and exclusion) of elements of media language influences meaning in media products, including to create narratives, to portray aspects of reality, to construct points of view, and to represent the world in ways that convey messages and values

  • the relationship between technology and media products

  • the codes and conventions of media language, how they develop and become established as 'styles' or genres (which are common across different media products) and how they may also vary over time

  • intertextuality, including how inter- relationships between media products can influence meaning

  • fundamental principles of semiotic analysis, including denotation and connotation

  • theoretical perspectives on genre, including principles of repetition and variation; the dynamic nature of genre; hybridity and intertextuality

  • theories of narrative, including those derived from Propp


  • the ways in which the media re-present (rather than simply present) the world, and construct versions of reality

  • the choices media producers make about how to represent particular events, social groups and ideas

  • the ways aspects of reality may be represented differently depending on the purposes of the producers

  • the different functions and uses of stereotypes, including an understanding of how stereotypes become established, how they may vary over time, and how stereotypes enable audiences to interpret media quickly

  • how and why particular social groups may be under-represented or misrepresented

  • how representations (including self- representations) convey particular viewpoints, messages, values and beliefs, which may be reinforced across a wide range of media products

  • the social, cultural and political significance of particular representations in terms of the themes and issues that they address

  • how representations reflect the social, historical and cultural contexts in which they were produced

  • the factors affecting audience interpretations of representations, including their own experiences and beliefs

  • theoretical perspectives on representation, including processes of selection, construction and mediation

  • theoretical perspectives on gender and representation, including feminist approaches

Media Industries

  • the nature of media production, including by large organisations, who own the products they produce, and by individuals and groups

  • the impact of production processes, personnel and technologies on the final product, including similarities and differences between media products in terms of when and where they are produced

  • the effect of ownership and control of media organisations, including conglomerate ownership, diversification and vertical integration

  • the impact of the increasingly convergent nature of media industries across different platforms and different national settings

  • the importance of different funding models, including government funded, not-for-profit and commercial models

  • how the media operate as commercial industries on a global scale and reach both large and specialised audiences

  • the functions and types of regulation of the media

  • the challenges for media regulation presented by 'new' digital technologies

Media Audiences

  • how and why media products are aimed at a range of audiences, from small, specialised audiences to large, mass audiences

  • the ways in which media organisations target audiences through marketing, including an understanding of the assumptions organisations make about their target audience(s)

  • how media organisations categorise audiences

  • the role of media technologies in reaching and identifying audiences, and in audience consumption and usage

  • the ways in which audiences may interpret the same media products very differently and how these differences may reflect both social and individual differences

  • the ways in which people’s media practices are connected to their identity, including their sense of actual and desired self

  • the social, cultural and political significance of media products, including the themes or issues they address, the fulfilment of needs and desires and the functions they serve in everyday life and society

  • how audiences may respond to and interpret media products and why these interpretations may change over time

  • theoretical perspectives on audiences, including active and passive audiences; audience response and audience interpretation

  • Blumler and Katz's Uses and Gratifications theory.

Component 2B: List
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