Music holds a significant purpose in our everyday lives. It is a form of entertainment and plays a major role in activities, such as dances and ceremonies. Sound is an important characteristic of music. Its four properties include pitch, duration, tone, and volume. Highness or lowness describes pitch, while loudness or softness describes volume. The measures of volume are pp, p, mp, mf, f, and ff.
The seven classifications of music are woodwinds, strings, brass, percussion, keyboards, electronics, and voice, the oldest of the seven. Woodwinds are composed primarily of flutes and clarinets, strings include guitars and violins, brass includes trumpets and trombones, percussion includes bass drums and cymbals, keyboards are made up of organs and pianos, and electronics include the synthesizer. Two of the most important elements of music are rhythm and melody. Rhythm is the flow of music through time. Its numerous aspects are beat, meter, accent, syncopation, and tempo. Beat separates music into equivalent intervals of time that can be represented by a time line. Meter is the organization of beats into groups. Accents are used to distinguish louder notes from others. The speed of a beat is called tempo. Melody, the more important of the two, is a set of single notes that combine to produce a whole. Melodies can be vocal and instrumental, long and short, and simple and complex.
Music is also composed of textures, the numerous diverse layers of sound heard at once. A monophonic texture is a single lone line. A polyphonic texture is made up of several lines competing for attention. A homophonic texture is one melody accompanied by chords. Music during the middle ages was primarily vocal, with the use of instruments as supplements. Gregorian Chant, the official music of the Roman Catholic Church has a sacred, vocal, and monophonic texture. It was named after Pope Gregory I. Gregorian Chant symbolizes the church as a whole, instead of one individual.