Student Summer Scholars


music video, color, synesthesia, LIWC



Included in

Music Commons




Scholars have posited relationships between the color palettes employed in music videos and song characteristics such as tempo, musical mode, genre, and lyric emotional expression. However, these relationships are typically examined within the context of individual videos and presented as case studies. In this study, we quantified the color palettes of 160 recent music videos from four popular genres by utilizing “color barcodes,” visual representations of the colors employed within videos, and looked for large-scale correlations between color palette and genre, musical mode, tempo, and performer gender. We also used linguistic analysis software to analyze positive emotion, negative emotion, and anger within the lyrics of our sample songs, and compared these to video color palettes. We found that although musical characteristics such as mode, tempo, and lyrical positive emotion have little measurable impact on video color content, factors such as musical genre may impact both video color content and musical/lyrical characteristics such as anger and negative emotion.