Music is very fascinating for many people so it's no surprise that scientists have actually developed a field of study that allows them to investigate how music really works. The field of music studies things like rhythm, harmony, structure, form, and even the texture of different kinds of music. Musical theorists not only study how music works but how people perceive music as well. Music theory can be defined as the study of how music works and affects the world.
Elements of Music
There are elements of music. Melody is a series of notes that goes in succession. Pitch is defined as how someone perceives the tone of music. Scales and modes are how musical notes are arranged (there are 12). Rhythm is the arrangement of sounds and harmony is how notes are arranged around a melody. Consonance is a harmony with tones that flow well together while dissonance is a harmony with tomes that create complex interactions. Dynamics refers to the loudness or softness of a note and the texture is the overall sound of a piece of music. The form of music represents the syntax of a song.
Musical Cognition and Perception
Musical cognition is basically an interdisciplinary approach to understanding music and its behaviors. People who study musical cognition go into things like rhythm, how music affects emotions, and even a listener's reaction to music. What happens when someone is listening to an acoustic guitar being played? Meanwhile, musical perception deals with how people perceive music. How do they react to it? Do they understand a melody that is being played?
Theories of Harmonization
Theories of harmonization include what's known as "part-writing." This is the process of writing songs in parts instead of as a whole. Musical set theory is a theory that lets people categorize certain musical objects and then describe the relationship between them. There are many different theories and some are unique to individual scientists.
Semiotics is the study of sign processes and music semiotics is the study of signs and how they apply to music. That means people study the connotations of sounds and what meanings typically apply to those types of sounds. For instance, louder notes correspond with positive emotions. Music semiotics also deals with actual signs for notes as in musical notes which are written on paper known as notations. Notations let musicians know which notes to play. It also applies to the study of the relationship between music and math, exploring how music and math both follow similar principles and even similar rhythms.
Many people listen to music without knowing about the components of a piece of music. Understanding a little bit more about music theory will enable a person to appreciate music a little fuller.