Well, there’s only a few tones, and the most common ones are sibilance and resonance. So, what does tone really mean? First, as it turns out, the most common musical tone is the one that we hear. When we hear a melody, we usually think of two things: the melody and the rhythm. The melody is typically a single note, whereas the rhythm is usually a phrase or group of phrases that happens to be a single note.
When you hear a melody, think of two things: its pitch and its rhythm.
We can think about pitch (or notes) as being like the angle at the top of an arrow. The angle of the arrow is the distance to the left of the intersection of that pitch and the lowest pitch. So, if you hear a melody, think of it as being on the left side of the arrow. Think of the first phrase or the band of phrases like a vertical line. It is the pitch of the melody. If you listen to a piece of music, think of it as sounding like a sound wave. Sounds move along the wave, or through it. If we think about the sound wave as a wave, we can consider the sound to be going in one direction (left or right) and it will not be louder or quieter than the sound coming from somewhere else.
The key for hearing tone is the way the sound waves move through or go through the music.
So, what does music sound like when played at an individual piano note?
If the melody is played at a piano note, you would hear one note at the top of the melody. If the rhythm is played at an individual second note, you would hear just one second note at the top of the rhythm. And for all of these notes, you can hear the melody.
The second and third phrases in a melody would sound identical to each other.
If you listen to two piano records in the same order, it is impossible (because they would sound pretty different) to tell them apart. For example, the first record will sound like someone playing a string instrument, the second record will sound like a string instrument, etc. The music never “corks” when the two musicians are playing together.
What to do with tone?
To play a piece of music, we need to be able to hear three pieces of tone coming from the music. These tones will be our reference notes (the notes we will listen to when