Both rhythm and form deal with music in time. Rhythm concerns the sequencing and ordering of the moment-to-moment events, from the steady pulse underlying the music to the unlimited array of rhythmic patterns riding above it that help to add both unity and variety. It may be useful to think of rhythm as the engine that moves the music forward and gives it the feeling of always going somewhere. We will begin our exploration of music fundamentals here. Form, on the other hand, is about how an entire piece of music unfolds in time, that is, how the various parts or sections go together to create a musical shape that is both recognizable and pleasing to the ear. The 12-bar blues is one such example of musical form that we will explore. Melody and harmony are also related; they deal with pitch and its musical manip-ulation. Melody is the horizontal unfolding of pitch over time. It creates the shapes that we identify as songs. Harmony, on the other hand, involves the vertical aspect of pitch, and how various sounds (or chords) go together to create pleasing and inter- esting combinations (or progressions). Because this book deals with tonal music, we will spend a great deal of time working with these two elements. The elements of timbre and texture are related to the sounds of instruments and voices. Timbre refers both to the sounds of individual instruments and voices, such as the trumpet, piano, tenor voice, or guitar, as well as to various combinations of instru- ments, such as the early rock ’n’ roll band, the string quartet, or the church choir. All of these individual instruments and ensembles have their own unique timbre. To learn more about timbre, including a discussion of instrumental families and the ranges of individual instruments, see Appendix I, A Brief Introduction to Timbre. Texture, on the other hand, refers to the number of individual voices, or instrumen- tal lines, a piece of music may contain. When discussing musical texture we speak of a thick or a thin texture, and whether it is monophonic (a single melody line), homo- phonic (a melody with accompaniment), or polyphonic (two or more equally important melodies, as in a fugue or a round). This book will focus primarily on rhythm, melody, and harmony, but will also deal with all six of these elements to one degree or another. You will find that each style of music has developed its own way of defining, weighing, and combining these elements, and that if you can identify these differences, your understanding of music, as well as your ability to perform some of it, will increase dramatically.