By Yiro Abari High
In keeping with tradition, this book begins with definitions of terms that are inescapable and fundamental to the understanding of the subject of the book.
Sound is a sensation that is perceived by the ear and which is caused by air vibration. If one should strike the leather surface of a musical drum, it vibrates. The vibration is relayed to the surrounding air. The air, in turn, relays the vibration further until it reaches the ear. The sensation this causes to the ear is called sound.
In chemistry, an atom is the building unit of matter. In biology, the cell is the building unit of organisms. In music, the building unit of sound is the beat. Music beats are commonly referred to as musical notes.
A regular arrangement of sound notes constitutes music. By technical implication, an irregular configuration of sound notes gives rise to noise.
Melody is the audio identity of a song. Melody is what comes out when sound notes are arranged in a distinct way. The basis of melody in a song is in the uniqueness of the time gap between successive notes, the pitch variation of the notes or both.
If one should take two sets of five notes each and of the same pitch intensity but modify the time lapse between the notes in each case, he ends up with two distinct melodies. In a second case, if he maintains the same time lapse between the notes in the two cases but modifies the pitch intensities of the notes, he ends up with another set of distinct melodies.
The time gap between the first and the last in a train of musical notes which are played repeatedly in the course of a song is known as the rhythm of the song.
Different instruments in a song could play with distinct rhythms but they are shuffled, appropriately, to produce a bigger, harmonized rhythm. Rhythm is the heartbeat of a song, the pulse of a song.
A song is a piece of music with a distinct melody and serves the purpose of message delivery, relaxation, dancing, healing, etc. It can be purely vocal, instrumental or both. When a song is solely vocal, it is referred to as a-cappella.
A singer is the person whose voice is heard in a song. His action, referred to as singing, involves dragging or compressing the lines of his message, known as lyrics, to fit into the rhythm of the song that could be imaginary if the song is without instrumentation or real if there is an instrumental accompaniment.
Music elements, as used in this book, refer to the different bits that make up the music. They include the vocals, lyrics and the sounds from the different instruments used in a song.
The act of putting together the different elements of music to make a song is known as music composition. A music composer is one who puts together the different elements to make the song.
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