The Elements Of Music: A Quick Refresher

When we hear a sound, our brain analyzes the signal, and lets us know the type of sound that we are hearing. The way our brain interprets music is different, because there are some certain qualities to music. The next time you are listening to music, pay close attention, and you can easily notice these different characteristics. The characteristics can be the speed of the music, the loudness, or a combination of different instruments, all of which are known as elements of music.

These are some of the terms that elements of music are known by:

Beat and Meter.

The beat is referred to as the rhythmic pattern of music, and they are put together in a measure. Meter refers to the rhythmic patterns that are produced when you group beats that are weak and strong together.


Dynamics are the symbols or abbreviations that are used when referring to how loud or soft a piece of music is. Dynamics are also used to indicate when the volume changes in a piece of music.


This is the combination of chords that are played together and the relationship between the chords. Harmony is usually used to support the melody of a song, it can be used either simultaneously with the melody, or behind the melody, to give the music some texture.


This can also be referred to as tonality, it follows a musical composition principle in which the conclusion of the musical piece feels complete by returning to the main key. In other words, key simply is the central note, scale, or chord.


This is simply the tune of a song, it is the memorable part of a song, which is made by playing a succession of pitches.

Musical Instruments.

Musical instruments grouped into five categories, which are: strings, percussion, keyboards, brass, and woodwinds. Our voices are also considered musical instruments, because we can make musical sounds with them.

Music Notation.

These are the symbols that are represents musical notes, they specify the rhythm, meter, and pitch of a song The ability to read musical notations allows musicians to be able to play music without having heard it before.

This is the highness and lowness that are heard in sound, which comes from sound of a vibrating object, and the frequency of the vibration. The bigger the object, the slower the pitch and vibration, and vice versa.


This can simply be described as the arrangement of the note lengths in a piece of music. It is shaped by the music’s meter, and includes elements such as tempo and beat.


This indicates how fast or slow a song should be played.


This refers to the types of musical layers and the number of said layers used to compose a song, and their relationship. It may use only one melodic line (monophonic), two lines (polyphonic), or a main one acccompanied by chords (homophonic).


This is the quality of the sound that allows you to distinguish an instrument from another.