Properties of Sound and Music

What is sound and what is music? You can have one without the other, but one cannot stand alone. Sounds have been around longer than music, but I imagine it didn’t take long for music to come into play. The properties of sound are tone color, pitch, dynamics and some might argue that even duration is a part of sound.

Treble Clef (Photo via Flickr by Zupao)

Treble Clef (Photo via Flickr by Zupao)

I begin to wonder how music came into this world. No doubt, it was hundreds of years ago and it started with just the sounds our mouths make. Now, however, it is everywhere. It fuels the world. Without realizing it we are constantly thinking of music and sounds. Why, just sitting here the sounds of pencils tapping and the steady sound of paper being turned gives this room a musical hum. The pitch of someone’s sniffling nose and cough almost gives a beat or a tempo. Sure, it is just sounds, but if you have time to enjoy the rhythm and tone of the room you will hear music.

Dynamics comes into play as the door is slammed shut. In fact, it is almost a crescendo. The gathering of bags and putting desks up begins the slow rush to the loudest sound in the room of the door closing. The sighs of students around me give the timbre a sort of mellow anticipation type of feel.

So, sound is not always music, but music is always sound and you can always hear it if you simply listen.

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