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In the very beginning of the Music Video history, people got introduced to a term called 'Illustrated Music'. It consisted of photographic images painted in color and projected in sync with the music or song.
In 1920s, 'Talkies' marked the end of silent era. It featured many singers, musicians and dancers. Though the sound and the video appeared in sync in the 'Talkies' it was in fact played on two different devices.
After a year, Animation artist Max Fleischer introduced a series of sing-along short cartoons called 'Screen Songs'. Where they used animated visuals along with the music like bouncing ball hopping on the lyrics to encourage audience to 'sing along'.
In 1930s 'Musical films' came in picture. Walt Disney released animated films like 'Fantasia' and 'silly symphonies' that were based around pieces of classical music.
In 1940s new concept called 'musical films' and 'Visual Jukebox' came into being. 'Visual Jukebox' became very famous in no time. Musical film was 3 min. film featuring music and dance performances. Visual jukeboxes were installed in restaurants, bars and public places, where one could enjoy the musical films just by putting a coin in the jukebox.
According to the music historians, in 1959 a singer and songwriter named J. P. ‘the Big Bopper’ Richardson, was the first person to use concept “Music Video” in an interview.
In 1960s, new visual jukebox called ‘Scopitone’ was introduced in France.
In 1964, The Beatles set the basic visual vocabulary of today’s Music videos with the example of musical segments in the film called ‘A Hard Day’s Night’. They took the genre to new heights with their groundbreaking films ‘Strawberry fields forever’ and ‘Penny Love’ made in early 1967. They used many new techniques like reverse film effect, dramatic lighting, unusual camera angles and rhythmic editing which created height of the ‘Psychedelic Music’ period. They illustrated the song in an artful manner rather than just creating a film.
In 1970s, Music televisions started music shows like ‘Countdown’ and ‘Sounds’.
1980s onwards, Music video became mainstream and it marked the start of music channel like MTV. The buggles’ ‘Video killed the radio starts’ was the 1st Music Video played on MTV in 1981.
In 1990s, MTV started listing directors with the artist and songs credits and Music Video became an auteur’s medium. Inspired from this, many famous Music video directors brought unique vision and style to the music videos they directed. And the concept of ‘big budget music videos’ came in picture.
Michael Jackson’s ‘Scream was the most expensive music video of all the times. (1995) He was the one to create the concept of short film music video that has a beginning, middle and end.
Towards the end of this era, MTV started many music channels around the world to telecast music videos.
2005 onwards the Internet became the fastest and easiest medium to enjoy music videos. Websites like you tube made music videos available all over the world. Inspired by the success on the Internet many artists started uploading their work and creating channels of their own.
History of Music Video:
Graphical representation of history of Music video on timeline.