Peter Musser
Performing Arts
Material Type:
Middle School, High School, Community College / Lower Division
  • Harmony
  • Melody
  • Meter
  • Music
  • Open Illinois
  • Pitch Elements
  • Rhythm
  • Timbre
  • Time Elements
    Creative Commons Attribution
    Media Formats:
    Downloadable docs, Text/HTML

    The Basic Elements of Music

    The Basic Elements of Music


    This open book by Catherine Schmidt-Jones has units on time elements (rhythm and meter), pitch elements (timbre, melody, and harmony), and the combination of these elements. The textbook is being provided in both PDF and html formats for download.

    Downloadable resources

    This is an OER Commons-hosted copy of The Basic Elements of Music (cc-by) by Catherine Schmidt-Jones. This could originally be found on OpenStax CNX, the content of which has been migrated to the Internet Archive.

    The contents are broken into 3 units (the below table is provided for reference only; at present the content can only be accessed by downloading the resource from the Section Resources.

    1 Time Elements

    1.1 Rhythm
    1.2 Simple Rhythm Activities
    1.3 Meter in Music
    1.4 Musical Meter Activities
    1.5 Tempo
    1.6 A Tempo Activity
    1.7 Dynamics and Accents in Music
    1.8 A Musical Dynamics Activity
    1.9 A Musical Accent Activity

    2 Pitch Elements

     2.1 Timbre
     2.2 Melody
     2.3 Harmony

    3 Combining Time and Pitch

    3.1 The Textures of Music
    3.2 A Musical Textures Activity
    3.3 An Introduction to Counterpoint
    3.4 Counterpoint Activities: Listening and Discussion
    3.5 Counterpoint Activities: Singing Rounds
    3.6 Music Form Activities
    3.7 Form in Music