In this lesson, we cover the two most basic parts of music theory: pitch and rhythm.

What is MUSIC?

We all love some kind of music – and everyone’s opinion of what is GOOD music differs, but how do we define music? What makes it “music” and not noise?

Let’s make this simple:

Definition of Music

Music is Organized Sound


How Do We “Organize” Sound?

Sound can be organized and become music in the following ways:

  1. Rhythm (How Long a Pattern Lasts)
  2. Pitch (How High or Low A Sound Is)
  3. Dynamics (Volume: How Loud or Soft A Sound Is)
  4. Timbre (Quality or Type of Sound Created)
  5. Tempo (How Fast or Slow A Pattern Goes)
  6. Articulation (The Way A Sound Starts and Ends)

Every piece of music and song incorporates all of these topics, but we are going to start out with the two most important and basic: Pitch & Rhythm.

What is Pitch?

477923541Pitch is how we measure how high or how low a sound is! There are a lot of other words you might hear when someone is talking about pitch: these include “tone” “intonation” “note”.

When someone is singing “in tune” – they are singing the correct pitches!






[little video about science behind pitch]







We show PITCH in music on a STAFF.
A staff has four lines and five spaces.
When we put a NOTE on a line or a space on the staff, the staff helps us to know how high or low the pitch is!


What is Rhythm?

Rhythm is made up of patterns of sound – TIME

a BEAT is the constant measurement of time in music, and then we can break a beat into smaller parts (this is called subdividing)


Tools we use: metronome

Measurement of Beat: Beats Per Minute (how many times a beat occurs in one minute)