What Are The Basic Elements of Music?
As we all know music is a universal language and everyone speaks it, this is one of the reasons why we do not need to understand the language a music is sung before we can enjoy it, we do not listen to music first with the intent to enjoy the language (although some people do but it is not always the case), people listen to music to enjoy different parts of the synergy that came together before that track could be released, it could be because of the beat, because of the voice of the singer, because of the lyrics, or a particular instrument played in the song.
There are more and more musicians rising everyday but most of them do not sit back and ask themselves crucial questions, they just believe when they jump behind the mic they will do their thing and the beat maker will do his thing and the producer will do his thing and all other music professionals will do their thing then they release the music and expect people to stream the music? Well, music is all about experimenting but before you experiment there are certain things you should be aware of to guide you to make a professional musical experiment that people will love. Before you get behind that mic, before you release that track please read this article to the end. If you have the intention of going into music, or you are already into it and you are not getting the required results, this article is for you. It will make you go from an up and coming artist to a mainstream artists if you put in the work.
MUSIC has 3 essential components which are rhythm, melody and harmony, the average musician will find it near impossible to develop a deeper understanding of musical content without taking a closer look at the intricacies of rhythm, melody and harmony. On a secondary level we have what we call orchestration and form. Now rhythm is the organization of music in respect to its timing and its relation to the beat and how the rhythm is divided into separate parts that moves in a linear direction. Conversely melody is a single musical line that consists of a succession of pitches that moves again in a linear fashion, now melody is made memorable through what I call repetition. Harmony this is the combination of two or more notes or sounds simultaneously that is organized in a vertical fashion. Harmony represents how chords functions in a song and how they relate to each other. Although music is made up from a combination of rhythm, melody and harmony it gets it depth from how its organized from orchestration. This is how music is arranged and distinguishes between solo and accompaniment elements of the music you intent to play or create. One sub concept from orchestration is what is called Counterpoint which means two independent melodies happening simultaneously. Now that brings us to FORM. Form is how we organize music into phrases, sections and songs. Form is the blue print for the map of the music you intend to make from the very beginning to the end.
Now let us get to understand the meaning of BEATS and relate it to rhythm. What is the beat? The beat is the internal frame work of the music, it is like a heartbeat, a constant pulse that does not change, in music beats are organized into sections which are called measures and those are separated by bar lines. There are many ways to organize your beats the most common way is to have four beats per measure. This is called common-time, This can also be referred to as the time signature, an example is One, two, three, Four/ Two, Two, Three, Four/ One, Two, Three, Four/ Two, Two, Three, Four. Beats are organized on the grid and it measures outlines, usually the time signature is at the top left corner of the Ableton live but it can be in other places depending on situations. Tempo is the speed of a piece of music, speed is measured in beats per minute of BPM. If you have a song that has 60 beats per minute you will hear one beat for every second, and most times you will have a tempo map, use it to set the tempo for different parts of your song. Finally, to cap it all off and to make you understand better, In Rhythm each note represents a different amount of beats, first is the whole not it takes four beats or one measure think of it as one whole pie, it brings it all together. At this point, I hope new and future musicians get to understand the rudiments of music and put it into consideration when making their songs, it may seem not important because the listeners may not care, but take it from a seasoned musician that has worked with plenty of musicians, these things matter a whole lot, it is just like the Rule of 3rds in design, understanding these things are key to making a beautiful piece of music. Let these concepts guide you and remember to be consistent, practice makes perfect.