In the melody, harmony and rhythm tutorials you learned that rhythm is closely related to tempo and meter and is the flow of music through time.
Rhythm can fall into two categories:
Simple rhythmic music - Like Mozart, Haydn or the Beatles. Have quite simple rhythms with the main rhythmic interest concentrated in the melody line and minimal rhythmic support from other parts.
Simple rhythmic music - Excerpt from Mozart’s Symphony in No. 40 in G minor, 1st
The second category is:
Complex rhythmic music - May involve several rhythms working together or against each other (counterpoint). For example in dance or modern jazz, the drums or drum loops maybe doing something completely different to the rest of the music
Excerpt from Intex Systems’ Drum Track 2
Composing Tip: Dance music almost always starts with the basic groove or drum loop that remains in the forefront right through the mix.
From the Melody and Harmony tutorials you learned that Melody is a series of single notes that add up to a recognizable whole. It is the basic main theme or melodic material.
However, not all music has a tune.
If there is a conventional melody, the first thing to work out is the mode or scale the melody uses.
The most common scales are major and minor but there are many other types of scales available. Some examples:
You may recall from the Harmony tutorials that major scales are built from half steps and whole steps.
Half steps occur from the 3rd to 4th note and the 7th to 8th note of the scale. All others are whole steps.
All other scales are simply alterations of the major scale.
Listen to jazz, blues or ethnic music and they use all kinds of different scales.
The scale is at the core of the music and is what makes that style of music distinctive.
Not all scales have the same number of notes per octave.
Many composers invent their own.