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Elements of Music

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Music, the art of sound articulates ideas, emotions in very many noteworthy forms through various means has evolved in so many ways. Music can be defined as the art of organising sounds to bring about a continuous, unified and reminiscent composition through melody, harmony, rhythm and other musical actions. This paper is going to look at the elements of music, its significance in the society, instruments used to play music and categories.

Elements of music

Compositions of music contain four basic elements; the instrumental and vocal combination executed through some form of media, model of media employed throughout the work also known as genre, large and small subunits of the composition (form) and the texture of the work.

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Ways that music is used in the society:

Ethnomusicologist various categories of instruments

Musical instruments fall under six major categories, these are bowed, strings, woodwind, brass, percussion, keyboard and keyboard. String musical instruments originate as from thousands of years ago, the pitches vary with the length of the string and thickness, weight and tension, the vibration of the strings against the soundboard of the resonator produces sound. However, they come in varied shapes as well as sizes, from the Banjo to the Sitar to the Balalaika.

The Cumbus for instance a string instrument was developed in Istanbul as early as 1990s, its development was as an inspiration of another string instrument in Istanbul known as the Oud. The modern one has a Mylar soundboard fixed and bolted using a tension ring. It is a loud string instrument. Wind instruments also known as aero phones. These produce sound when the column of air in their interior is set into vibration by either through the player’s lips a reed or. There tuning controlled depending with the size of the pipe and the number of holes they have. Wind instruments are varied around the world; these include whistles, flutes, didgeridoo, bagpipes and others. An example is the Duduk from the Armenian; it is among the oldest double reed instruments in the world. This instrument has sound qualities equal to those of the clarinet producing a wide range of melodies; including rhythmic dance tunes. The other popular Armenian instruments include Bloul and Shvi.

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Traditional African musicians sing songs to express life in so many perspectives; however like many cultures in the world they have musical instruments. Percussion instruments for instance include cymbals, bells, gong, and handheld percussion instruments like the maracas, castanets and many more. An example is the Kalimba Thumb piano, which originated from Africa. It is also known as mbira or likembe.  Metal keys are attached on the wooden box that acts as the resonator box. To Play the Kalimba, the player must hold the piano between the palms of both his/her hands while plucking the reeds using his/her thumbs or fingers.

Kodaly, Orff, Dalcroze approaches to music

The Kodaly approach of training supporting music education is a very good approach, whereby children receive music lessons everyday of the week, through the instructional method of guiding the young in school, they become refined and develop their singing personality. According to Kodaly all people are capable of singing if they can speak and understand what they are singing. He further says that great musicianship can only be achieved through singing, given that education is a continuous process, preference to teaching music education at an early age just like Kodaly approach of learning is very important.

Another approach to music is Orff method that does not apply only to children, like Kodaly, he appreciates developing talent as young ones however the adults too can develop by drawing out the student’s inherent affinities, using the best of his voice for melody and rhythm slowly from less complex music to sophisticated type of music. According to Orff, careful planning beginning with speech patterns then rhythmic movements. He states that the beginning of music by transferring human emotions to music motion, the results of thought and will these are emotions are breathing, singing or playing the instrument. All these approaches are that music can be trained just like nobody is born playing certain instrument music too can be learned appreciated and then sang.

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