Elements of Music

  • The Elements of Music



    Essential Questions: 

    1. What is music made out of?

    2. How does it change?

    3. How can we use Elements of Music to express ideas and feelings?



    Students will be able to name, define, evaluate, perform and create with the Elements of Music.



    Sound           Vibration, Timbre, Tone
                        Silence, Noise

    Pitch             Tone Patterns

    Rhythm         Beat Patterns

    Dynamics      Volume - Quiet, Medium, Loud

    Tempo          Speed - Slow, Medium, Fast

    Form             Overall Pattern - Structure




    Music is made from patterns of sound and silence.

    Sounds are vibrations that travel through the air and into your ear where you can hear them!

    Vibrations are tiny movements. 


    Our voices make a vibration. It’s like a buzzing bee. You can feel the vibration in your throat when you hum.

    A tone is a clear, smoothly vibrating sound, like a bell.


    We can sing a clear tones with letter sounds ike “oo” or “aah”


    Noise is made from very loud or rough sounds.


    We can make noises with letter sounds like “ss” and “ch”


    Silence is no sound at all or very, very quiet.


    In music a moment of silence is called a rest.



    Different objects make different kinds of sounds when they vibrate because of their materials, shape and size.

    Instruments make different sounds because of their materials, shape and sounds.

    Big objects, animals or people tend to make lower sounds.

    Small objects, animals or people tend to make higher sounds.

    Inside our ears we have an “ear drum” that translates the air vibrations into the sounds we hear in our mind. We must be very careful not to damage our ear drums. Keep ears your clean, never put anything in your ear and avoid loud noises.

    Our voices sound different to us if we hear a recording because we are used to hearing the vibrations travel through our bones too, not just the air.

    Sound effects made by all sorts of items are used for music, movie soundtracks and video games




    The different quality of sounds is called "timbre" (pronounced TAM-ber).


    A good way to understand "timbre" is to think of how different people's voices sound unique to them. This is because they have a unique size and shape to their mouths.


    Sound travels in invisible waves through the air, however you can sometimes see objects vibrating when they are making a sound.


    Sound pressure, or loudness, is measured in “decibels.”


    Cities have laws stating that music louder than a few decibels cannot be played if it bothers neighbors. These are called “noise ordinances”.