Melody, Harmony, and Rhythm – The Three Components that Make up Music

As well all know, music is the supreme art of combining sounds to transmit feelings and moods. The three elements that make up music are melody, harmony and rhythm.

Melody is a linear succession of notes. This is the voice in the song which is perceived as one single source. A melody can be produced by a human voice, by a guitar solo, or by other instruments such as a saxophone or a violin. On the keyboard, the melody is played as single notes, not as chords.

Harmony is the combination of simultaneous sounds, such as chords. This is what accompanies the melody. There are many different types of chords which relay various kinds of emotions. On the keyboard, harmony is played by playing more than one note at the same time.

Rhythm is the pulse, or the beat, of any sound. Rhythm must always be present in music. Melody must always have a rhythm. Music can also be made up of just rhythms. On the keyboard we can make rhythms with chords and also with the melody.

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