A Note on the Elements of Music

Music is different from sound. It’s obvious even to the most untrained ear. Compared to the simple sounds that we hear every now and then, there are certain qualities to music as opposed to the sounds that we hear every now and then.

These qualities are also referred to as the elements of music, and so, here are descriptions of a few:


#1: Beat & Meter


There’s a beat in every song and this is what gives music its rhythmic pattern. Each of these notes are grouped in a measure and can consist of 2,3 or 4 beats. Most of these beats correspond to the notes and rests that are a part of the music.


#2: Melody & Harmony


The melody is, put simply, the tune of a song while the harmony is usually played to accompany and support the music, either as chords played along with the melody or as broken chords.


#3: Key


Also referred to as tonality, the key is the main pitch around which the composition is based either using the scale (C scale), the chord (C major triad) or main note (key of C).


#4: Music Notation


These are symbols that are used to represent music especially when it is being noted down. The meter, pitch and rhythm of a piece of music are usually expressed through these symbols.


#5: Musical Instruments & Voice


There are a number of musical instruments that are used to play music, and they are usually classified using the Sachs-Hornbostel system. Your voice is also included as an instrument amongst the lot, and it must be pointed out that no two voices are the same.