Music is the art of arranging sounds in time through the elements of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. It is one of the universal cultural aspects of all human societies.
General definitions of music include common elements such as
- pitch (which governs melody and harmony),
- rhythm (and its associated concepts tempo, meter, and articulation),
- dynamics (loudness and softness), and the
- sonic qualities of timbre and texture (which are sometimes termed the "color" of a musical sound).
Different styles or types of music may emphasise, de-emphasise or omit some of these elements.
Music is performed with a vast range of instruments and vocal techniques ranging from singing to rapping; there are solely instrumental pieces, solely vocal pieces (such as songs without instrumental accompaniment) and pieces that combine singing and instruments.