Music is organized sound. People can make music using anything that makes sound, but usually they make music with specially designed musical instruments or their voices.
There are many different kinds of music. Since ancient times, people have made music and instruments to make music. Although each culture has unique musical traditions, the basic concepts of rhythm, harmony and melody are common to almost all music. Rhythm describes the duration of sounds and the gaps of silence between sounds. Harmony is the interplay of two or more musical tones sounded at the same time. A melody is a sequence of musical tones. In simple popular and folk songs, the melody is the part that someone sings.
The author of a piece of music is often called a composer or songwriter. Composers usually try to arrange sounds in a way that is pleasing for listeners. In order to accomplish this, they combine sounds in patterns. Sometimes the pattern is simple and sometimes the pattern is complex.
When a composer writes music, he or she uses special symbols called ‘notes’ to describe the sounds that musicians should play. Notes tell musicians how high or low a sound is as well as when and how long to play a sound.
Musical instruments create vibrations in the air that people can hear. The speed of the vibration determines the pitch of the note. Faster vibrations produce higher tones and slower vibrations lower tones. When one vibration is twice as fast as another is, the notes produced have a special relationship. They are said to be an octave apart.
Most music uses only a limited group of notes called a scale. In western music, a scale often has seven notes in each octave. The white keys on a piano form a seven-note scale. Music has an underlying regular time structure. For example, dance music often has a repeating pattern of four beat patterns with emphasis on the first and third beats. This underlying rhythmic structure is represented in written music as a time signature.
A cassette is a case with a tape inside it that tells a tape recorder what to play. Cassettes, also called 'tapes', used to be used all the time but Compact Dics are usually used instead these days.