ELEMENTS OF MUSIC
MELODY - Melody refers to the tune of a song or piece of music. It is created by playing a series
of notes one after another.
PITCH – The slower the vibration and the bigger the vibrating object, the lower the pitch; the
faster the vibration and the smaller the vibrating object, the higher the pitch.
RHYTHM – It may be defined as the pattern or placement of sounds in time and beats in music.
Roger Kamien in his book Music: An Appreciation defines rhythm as "the particular
arrangement of note lengths in a piece of music." Rhythm is shaped by meter; it has certain
elements such as beat and tempo.
BEAT – Beats are grouped together in a measure; the notes and rests corresponds to a certain
number of beats.
METER - Meter refers to rhythmic patterns produced by grouping together strong and weak
beats. Meter may be in duple 2/4(2 beats in a measure), triple 3/4(3 beats in a measure),
quadruple 4/4(4 beats in a measure) and so on.
TEXTURE – Musical texture refers to the number of layers as well as the type of layers used in a
composition and how these layers are related. Texture may be monophonic (single melodic
line), polyphonic (two or more melodic lines) and homophonic (a main melody accompanied by
HARMONY – refers to the combination of notes (or chords) played together and the relationship
between a series of chords.
TIMBRE – Also known as tone color; it refers to the quality of sound that distinguishes
onevoice or instrument from another. Timbre may range anywhere from dull to lush, from dark to
bright (such as the sound of glockenspiels).
TEMPO – rate of speed of music. Fast or slow.
o LENTO – has 52 – 68 beats per minute. The Italian musical command lento is an
indication to play in a slow tempo.
o ANDANTE – The Italian musical term andante is an indication to play with a relaxed,
natural, and moderate tempo; a light, flowing rhythm. 76-108 beats per minute;
o LARGO – 40 – 60 beats per minute. The Italian musical term largo is an indication to
play in a slow, broad tempo; to keep beats far apart from one another; “wide.”
o MODERATO – 108-120 beats per minute. Between andante and allegro. The Italian
musical command moderato is an indication to play in a reasonable, moderate tempo; lit.
o ALEGRO – The Italian musical term allegro is an indication to play in a quick,
lively tempo. 120-168 beats per minute;
o ACCELERANDO – Definition: The Italian musical command accelerando (often
abbreviated accel.) is an indication to gradually increase the tempo of a song until
o RETARDANDO – is an indication to gradually decrease the tempo of the music
(opposite of accelerando). The length of a ritardando is extended by a dashed, horizontal
line; and, ...
DYNAMICS – loudness and softness of sound
o Through composed