The basic elements of sound include: loudness, pitch, contour, duration (rhythm), tempo, spatial location, reverberation, and timbre. (Levitin, Daniel J. This is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession. p. 14. NY: Plume/Penguin, 2007.)

Music contains eight basic components or building blocks. The brain transforms these building blocks into higher-level qualities including meter, harmony, and melody. The process of listening to music involves mental coordination of multiple characteristics of the music, or dimensions. (Sternberg, Barbara, PhD. Music & the Brain. p 1-4. CA: Institute for Natural Resources, Home-Study #2320, 2009).