The melody is the tune, and consists of a single
succession of notes ordered in a particular way.
In popular commercial music, the melody is usually
hummable … meaning that it is relatively easy to
recognize, and remember.
The rhythm is the pulse.
Musicians consider the
heartbeat as the oldest
Many people refer to the
rhythm as ‘the beat’.
There is movement in
everything, particularly in
Some instruments, i.e.
drums, are highly
effective in establishing
rhythms in music. Drums
are common to every
culture in some variation.
Tempo refers to the rate of speed … how quickly or
how slowly the music is played. The tempo indications,
or ‘markings’ must appear on the written page,
(manuscript or score).
Imagine how important this information is for
In music, the term ‘dynamics’ is used to
communicate volume … how loudly or softly
should the musician play the notes.
Some of the symbols used to indicate the
process of getting louder or softer, originated
as mathematical symbols.
= crescendo, gradually getting louder
= decrescendo, gradually getting softer
The timbre of an instrument refers to the quality
of it’s sound … what distinguishes it from other
musical instruments by sound.
In music, the timbre is the color of the music. A
flute has a different and softer timbre than a
saxophone, though they are both members of the
wind family of instruments.
Texture in Music . . .
. . . can be perceived as levels of density, detectable
aurally by the listener. This density is most easily
understood through the number of melodies playing at
Texture in music is associated with complexity of
construction. A composition for solo instrument has a
different (i.e. thinner) texture than one for a band.
Two or more musical lines
moving together in a
harmonic relationship. One
of those lines is usually
dominant as melody.
melodic lines moving at
the same time.