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Glossary - elements of music

elements of music

rhythm (including tempo and metre): the organisation of sound and silence using beat, rhythm and tempo (time)

pitch: the relative highness or lowness of sound. Pitch occurs horizontally (as in a melody) and vertically (as in harmony)

dynamics and expression: the relative volume (loudness) and intensity of sound and the way that sound is articulated and interpreted

form and structure: the plan or design of a piece of music described by identifying what is the same and what is different and the ordering of ideas in the piece

timbre: the particular tone, colour or quality that distinguishes a sound or combinations of sounds

texture: the layers of sound in a musical work and the relationship between them

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