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Secondary V • 1yr.

What are codes and conventions of a song (that is not a music video just an audio)?


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Explanations (1)

  • Explanation from Alloprof

    Explanation from Alloprof

    This Explanation was submitted by a member of the Alloprof team.


    Hello CalmSwan8973,

    Let's take a look at this question together. To begin with, would you say you have a good comprehension of what codes and conventions are?

    This is a very good definition you can find on this website:

    Codes are a rule-governed communication system of signs which have an agreed meaning and can be combined according to agreed rules to create meaning in socially recognizable ways within a culture, such as the English language, sign language, baseball coach’s hand signals etc. Codes can be divided into three categories – technical, symbolic, and written. Technical codes are all the ways in which equipment is used to tell the story in a media text, for example the camera work, framing, and lighting in a film. Symbolic codes are the images and sounds that demand interpretation of what is beneath the surface of what we see. These include objects, setting, body language, clothing and colour. For example, a character's actions show you how the character is feeling. Written codes are the words (both written and spoken) that demand knowledge of the way texts are written / constructed and how words are used. For example, they come in the form of headlines, captions, speech bubbles and language style. Conventions are the generally accepted ways of combining codes. There are general conventions in any medium, such as the use of interviewee quotes in a print article, but conventions are also genre specific such as scary music in a suspense thriller, or a twisted ankle for the victim in a horror film. Codes and conventions are used together in any study of genre – it is not enough to discuss a technical code used such as camera work, without saying how it is conventionally used in a specific genre. For example, the technical code of lighting is used in some way in all film genres. It is a convention of the horror genre that side and back lighting is used to create mystery and suspense – an integral part of any horror movie.

    Then, is there a genre in particular you need to study? Is there a specific song you are looking at? Codes and conventions will vary upon the genre you are looking for. We will wait for your precisions and will gladly help you with your question :)


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