Music Made of Sounds

Music Made of Sounds

Music is made of sounds and we can use any sounds to make music.

A Music of Sounds?

It may at first seem rather silly to think about music in terms of sounds. Often music is conceived of in terms of notes, tempos (tempi) and rhythms. However, not all sounds can be thought of in this way.

Notes vs. Sounds

Music is made of sounds. But while standard musical terms and notation are able to describe some sounds:


These sounds are all easily described by the musical score.
They have a clearly defined pitchloudness and duration.

They are not able to describe every sound:


These sounds can not be easily described by standard musical notation.
They are more complex, with interesting textures and properties.

Musical notes are a very pure type of sound, with a clearly defined pitch and duration.

Sounds are not always so pure and simple; in fact, this is one of the things that makes listening to sounds so interesting!

Not Merely Notes

As the Japanese composer, Toru Takemitsu wrote,

“Music is not merely notes on paper. It begins with an active listening to sound.”

A Photograph of the composer Toru Takemitsu