In music, what do melody, rhythm, texture, pitch, timbre and dynamics mean?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Melody, rhythm, pitch, timbre and dynamics are all important aspects of music. Think of them as the different "pieces of the puzzle" that come together to create music. 

MELODY is a sequence of notes/pitches that could be called the 'theme' of the music.  Example of this: when you sing/hum your...

See
This Answer Now

Start your subscription to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your Subscription

Melody, rhythm, pitch, timbre and dynamics are all important aspects of music. Think of them as the different "pieces of the puzzle" that come together to create music. 

MELODY is a sequence of notes/pitches that could be called the 'theme' of the music.  Example of this: when you sing/hum your favorite song, you are usually singing/humming the melody of the song.

RHYTHM deals with the length of each note/pitch.  For example: when you are singing your favorite song, how long you hold each word/note is the rhythm.

PITCH deals with how high or low a note is. Each note has a specific pitch. When you go to a piano and play one of the keys, you are playing a pitch.  For example: when you are singing your favorite song, the exact note you are singing each word on is the pitch.  Each note in a melody is a pitch.

TIMBRE deals with the quality of the tone of each note/pitch.  What does the sound 'sound' like? A loud trumpet has a very brassy abrasive sound. A kazoo has a very pinched nasal sound. 

DYNAMICS deals with the volume of the music. How loud or soft is the music? Common dynamic terms are piano (soft), mezzo-piano (medium soft), mezzo-forte (medium loud) and forte (loud).  You can also have dynamic changes such as crescendo (gradually get louder) and decrescendo (gradually get softer).

In summary, all of these aspects of music work together like a beautiful puzzle with intricate pieces to produce music.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team