The Elements of Music

When pondering about the relations and tensions between the core elements of a musical work I got drawn to the reality of my need to perceive a bigger picture, wider understanding – the structure of a piece and the core elements of music.

It seems that the elements serve most fully as a team; melody, rhythm and harmony – each one of them has a different role in making a piece woven together beautifully, creating a colourful fabric.

When composing, I have experienced how harmony affects melody. So powerfully, that many times without a certain harmony played on the piano, the melody would’ve not been born at all. Melody can’t escape rhythm, rhythm is quite primal without harmony or melody, harmony feels incomplete without melody.

Thinking about the elements got me curious, and I started to do a little research on the topic. There are actually quite a few elements and intrigue details in a musical work – how to learn to listen well, hear and perceive those better?

“…it’s so hard to describe music other than the basic way to describe it – music is basically melody, harmony and rhythm – but I mean people can do much more with music than that.   It can be very descriptive in all kinds of ways…”

~Charlie Parker

This blogpost evolved then to be a little study of the core elements of music. I have collected some information below and hopefully it can trigger conversation and thought processes. It can serve as a “basic toolkit” for us, which we can expand and build upon later.

Elements Of Music by Naomi Gerrard

Access Toolkit


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