Fundamentals of Music You Should Know


What is your best song or band, or instrument? Everybody loves music, whether it is plain instrumental or a singer. Music is a major fragment of each known society, past and present, and communal to all human cultures.

The emotions found in music, its composers and players’ moods, and the performance’s place varies from time to time. Moreover, one person’s favorite music can be boring to another person.

Apart from just enjoying your favorite song’s melody and words, there’s more to music that you need to know. Besides, how else can you claim to love something you don’t know anything about? Read on.


What Is Music?

We live in a world full of sounds, from birds chirping at dawn, waves lapping in the ocean, cars honking in traffic, to people chatting. However, people have found ways of putting together specific sounds in purposeful ways to form a particular atmosphere or even to convey ideas or emotions. These organized sounds are what we call music.

Music is an assortment of synchronized sound or sounds. Therefore, making music is the technique of setting sounds and tones in a specific order, regularly combining them to create a fused composition. People who are good at making music or music producers creatively unify sounds for a preferred result like jazz and more.

Consequently, music is from sounds, vibrations, and silent moments that don’t need to be pleasant or pretty. The sole purpose of music is to express a wide range of experiences, emotions, and environments.

Furthermore, different human cultures make music differently. You will find musical instruments like drums and flutes that go back thousands of years with different roles. More so, several African cultures used drumming as a tradition for critical ceremonies. Not to mention the ancient Egyptians used music in religious rituals. Today, you will find different musicians touring the globe singing and performing songs that put them on the fame board.


What Is Music Theory?

By comprehending the numerous notes, tones, and music notations through practice, the study of music is what we often term as music theory. For centuries now, music theory continues to grow by observing various music composers and instrument players and getting to know how they create and play music.

Music theory also includes studying and evaluating the elementary building blocks of music such as rhythm, pitch, form, harmony, etc. From a logical angle, it also defines the beliefs and thoughts related to music. Certain people, more so those involved in Indian classical music, have faith in music as a way to help you link spiritually.

Conversely, from a stringent scientific or technical viewpoint, it is possible to conclude that the study of any audible occurrences and silence is also a part of music theory. Sounds interesting? Luckily, you can acquire comprehensive knowledge about music at any age or stage in life from a music school like Music Lessons in Austin, TX.


What Is Musicology?

Musicology is the basic study of how music operates, making music theory one of its subfields. Also, musicology is a sub-field in the field of arts which conveys how endless the study of music tends to be. The bottom line is, just like most fields in art, you must have perseverance, passion, and dedication to learn and understand all about it.

There are two main categories in the musical aspects such as;

  • Abstract aspects
  • Practical aspects

Abstract aspects are those factors that have more emphasis on the science behind music, like tonal alterations, interval interactions, dissonance, and consonance, etc. therefore, abstract aspects focus more on the mechanics behind sound and music.

Conversely, practical aspects consist of rhythmic relationships, creativeness, style, and feel. These are factors that have an emphasis on performance and artistic appearance than functional theory.

Music theorists are the experts who teach and research music and even write musical articles. For you to teach music, you must qualify for a university-level Ph. D or M.A. To enable thorough music analysis, experts use Western music notation like the graphical and mathematical analysis.

Moreover, statistical, comparative and descriptive are other methods of analysis. Besides, culture is also the main focus of modern musicology. The musicologists deliberate on music creation’s location and reasons, not forgetting the social relationships formed and sustained through music.


Key Fundamentals of Music

The phenomena used to compose music primarily touch on the human senses. To understand well on music theory, one has to study how these phenomena work harmoniously. The phenomena consider melody, rhythm, scales, and tonal systems. All these work like a blend that rouses the listener to generate the magic of music.

So, let’s talk about the five core fundamentals of music you should know;



Pitch is one of the most important words in the field of music. Everything starts with a pitch, for instance, melody and harmony, scales and chords. However, people often misunderstand and consider a different aspect to the actual meaning. So, let’s get this straight once and for all!

Take an instrument of your choice and play a note. Whether you strum a guitar string, pluck a piano key, or even blow a saxophone, the tool will produce a sound wave.

A sound wave is the vibrations of air molecules traveling back and forth, generating a wave of pressure that moves from the instrument producing the sound allowing our ears to pick up the sound. Frequency is the basic element of a sound wave that is generally the wave’s cycle’s speed. Pitch is, therefore, how the human ear grasps and recognizes that frequency. In other words, the pitch is the frequency of a note.

Furthermore, if a note sounds higher or lower than another, it means that it has a higher or lower frequency than the other note. Also, to measure pitch, you will calculate mathematically the number of times a sound wave repeats in a second. The result stands in an S.I. unit of Hertz (Hz).



The scale comes from a Latin word that means ladder. However, many people do not understand the difference between scale and pitch. A pitch consists of 7 keys in the middle of two notes. However, a scale, even a variance of a single note, can change all the succeeding notes. A scale is a collection of notes in a layman’s language that comes in a sequence of rising or falling order of pitch.

On a rising scale, every note is higher in pitch than the previous one; and on a descending scale, every note is lower in pitch than the latter.

For instance, pick any section of music, study it and try to define the notes included. If the unit starts with a B note, change it to a C note. After that, you will notice that all the succeeding notes will also have to change consequently.



All music that exists is a combination of sound and time. You can have music without an instrument producing sound for over a while. It would be true to say that rhythm is a component of music that deals with time. In matters of life, rhythm is the regular recurrence of a pattern over time. Similar to music, rhythm is the repetition of beats.

However, in that definition, an important element is missing; silence. Because rhythm is the grouping of beats or notes in a sequential loop at equal pauses of time, it also means that you need to arrange silence in the same way as sounds.

Incorrect placement of silence can affect rhythm in two ways. First, it will disrupt the flow of any rhythm. Also, it will expose fresh likelihoods through experimentation. Thus the beauty of music is that mistakes can habitually lead to new possibilities. An expert tip involves a master improviser creating a ‘mistake’ into a piece to develop a part of the whole.



There’s no music without melody. Melody is, therefore, a sequence of musical notes organized systematically with appropriate placement of silence to generate the most basic building blocks of song production.

This is why the construction and organization of melody are of key importance in music theory. To understand melody well, think of it as the section of music you are most familiar with. That is, the tune or singing is the melody of the song.



When you play together three or more notes of the same pitch simultaneously, you get a chord as a result. Chords add volume to music and also make the necessary movement that creates harmony. Chords and chord alterations are similar to foundations of a building whereby they provide vital elements but not as notable as the visible structure.

In this similarity, the melody is the audible arrangement, the most noticeable section. Different blends of chords produce other sound effects on the listener and change the attitude which the sound generates in the listener’s mind.

Finally, music is more than what you hear on the radio or in the concerts you attend. With this basic knowledge, you are better positioned to understand what, why, and how your favorite song sounds the way it does. Besides, music makes the world rotate!