What are the Basic Ingredients of Music?

The Basic Ingredients of Music

To make a cake, a baker uses basic ingredients like flour, sugar, and oil. To make music, a composer – a person who makes up music – uses basic ingredients too. They are tone, rhythm, melody, and harmony.

Tone is the difference in pitch between two notes. Pitch is the highness or lowness of a note’s sound. Notes are the building blocks of a piece of music.

Different notes are held for different lengths of time. Some notes last a long time just as some sounds do. Think of the slow swish-swish of windscreen wipers. Other notes last a short time – like the rapid raindrops in a storm. A composer mixes slow and quick notes to create rhythm.

Melody is the part of music that people hum. To make a melody, a composer mixes tones and rhythms. Short pieces of music, such as songs, have only one melody. Very long pieces of music, such as symphonies, have several melodies.

A composer creates harmony by sounding three or more notes together. Most music in Western countries is based on the idea of harmony.

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