Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Year 10 Media - Section A Music Promotion Coursework Project

Happy New Year! We hope you had a lovely Christmas break. As you have already discovered, you starting a new Section A coursework project on the topic of 'Music Promotion'. The Doodle will be an online space where you can access all sorts of resources, links, essays, ideas to support you with this new project in order to maximise your marks and realise your creative ambitions in the marketing of a new band or artist. To suceed in this project you need to begin to look critically at how artists and bands are REPRESENTED in the media? Explore HOW and WHY these REPRESENTATIONS appeal to their TARGET AUDIENCE? And, finally HOW MEDIA INSTITUTIONS (RECORD LABELS, MAGAZINES, PRINT MEDIA, TV ADVERTS, RADIO) CONSTRUCT AN IDENTITY AND IMAGE FOR THE BAND/ARTIST?

Here are some links to get you started:

BBC Radio 1 site dedicated to supporting artists in promoting themselves in the industry. This site is full of top-tips on how to create a 'Press-pack'; how to write a band 'biography' and much more:

A set of useful prompt questions to get you analysing a CD cover using skills of denotation and connotation - the skills required to get an A*-C in the essay for this project.

An example of a GCSE Media CD Cover analysis essay looking at Missy Elliot. It is a bit brief but well constructed:


When analysing any CD cover, consider the following points:

Genre: as well as considering the genre of music that the CD belongs to, you must also consider the generic conventions of the CD cover itself: what goes on a typical CD cover? Consider how the front and the back are different and contain different sorts of information: why is this? Remember, on a shelf in a shop, people are attracted to the cover first, then turn it over to read the back. On the front cover, CD covers will typically have the artist or name of the band, the name of the album, an image and stickers (such as parental advisory, or announcing a particular well-known track). What purpose does all this serve? If some CDs deviate (veer away) from the convention, why is this?

Lettering / font styles and sizes: how does the lettering fit with the genre of music or design? For instance, Marilyn Manson’s greatest hits CD uses gothic font to complement his style. Some punk bands have very basic handwritten type styles to fit with their ‘basic’ or anarchic image.

Image: what picture is on the cover? Is it a design or artwork? Is it a photograph of the artist? Look at the mise-en-scene (how the scene is set). This includes colours, props, lighting, make-up and clothing, how the star or subject is posed (eye contact, facial expressions etc). Consider the messages given out by choices of colour and connotations (associations) gained. How will the audience react to the CD? Do different people receive different meanings? If so, how and why?

Stars / icons: is this image of the artist one you’d expect to see? For instance, a star like Beyonce always has an image constructed on glamour and sex appeal whilst a punk band like Green Day tend to focus more on social issues to sell CDs. Do bands or artists have particular props, costumes, dress, fashions that are instantly recognisable? For instance, Eminem’s hair colour, Marilyn Manson’s contact lens and metal teeth or Slash’s top hat? Some stars constantly challenge their audience’s expectations, like Madonna. Her CD covers reflect the new image or re-branding that she is going for.

Representation: look at how bands or artists and the genre are represented and how the audience will react to that. For instance, hip-hop stars have been criticised for portraying guns, cars and ‘gangsta’ images. Critics say this presents a negative image for young people to follow and also sets up stereotypes of black culture. This type of music has been criticised in portraying women as sexual stereotypes. If your CD either challenges or reinforces stereotypes this may be something to comment on too.

Audience: who exactly will buy this CD? Try to be specific. Why will someone buy a CD? Is it because they want escapism and pleasure, or to gain a sense of their own identity or feeling of belonging? Or are they buying it because they have been influenced by someone else?


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