Timing is everything

Research in music cognition has shown that time as a subjective structuring of events in music differs from the concept of time in physics. Listeners to music do not perceive rhythm on a continuous scale, but recognise rhythmic categories that function as a reference relative to which the deviations in timing can be appreciated. Temporal patterns in music combine two different time scales: rhythmic durations such as half and quarter notes and the continuous timing variations that characterise an expressive musical performance. The silence between the notes.

  • A sound of a certain, definite frequency is called a pitch.
  • Melody is the main part of a composition, made up of successive pitches. It is the part that is remembered.
  • When pitches are played simultaneously in an organised manner, they create harmony.
  • Rhythm is the pattern of emphases or stresses.
  • Tempo is the rate of speed at which a piece of music is played.
  • Combinations of pitches that are pleasing are called consonances, while dissonances are not pleasing. But dissonances can be used if pulling toward resolution to a more consonant combination. For a combination to be consonant, it must rest, without resolution.
  • Timbre, sometimes called tone color, is how we can tell one instrument from another, even if they are playing the same pitch.
  • Most music is organised into beats (regular emphases occurring throughout the whole composition or a part of it).
  • Some beats are major (strong) and some are minor (weak).
  • Syncopation is the holding of a note beginning on a minor beat across a major beat.
  • In an off-beat rhythm, emphasis is on a beat that normally would not receive as much emphasis.