Music theory
Music theory is the study of how music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

 works. It examines the language
Language may refer either to the specifically human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, or to a specific instance of such a system of complex communication...

  and notation
Musical notation
Music notation or musical notation is any system that represents aurally perceived music, through the use of written symbols.-History:...

 of music. It seeks to identify patterns and structures in composers'
A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...

 techniques across or within genres, styles, or historical periods. In a grand sense, music theory distills and analyzes the fundamental parameters or elements of music—rhythm
Rhythm may be generally defined as a "movement marked by the regulated succession of strong and weak elements, or of opposite or different conditions." This general meaning of regular recurrence or pattern in time may be applied to a wide variety of cyclical natural phenomena having a periodicity or...

, harmony
In music, harmony is the use of simultaneous pitches , or chords. The study of harmony involves chords and their construction and chord progressions and the principles of connection that govern them. Harmony is often said to refer to the "vertical" aspect of music, as distinguished from melodic...

 (harmonic function
Diatonic function
In tonal music theory, a diatonic function is the specific, recognized role of each of the 7 notes and their chords in relation to the diatonic key...

), melody
A melody , also tune, voice, or line, is a linear succession of musical tones which is perceived as a single entity...

, structure
Structure is a fundamental, tangible or intangible notion referring to the recognition, observation, nature, and permanence of patterns and relationships of entities. This notion may itself be an object, such as a built structure, or an attribute, such as the structure of society...

, form
Musical form
The term musical form refers to the overall structure or plan of a piece of music, and it describes the layout of a composition as divided into sections...

, texture
Texture (music)
In music, texture is the way the melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic materials are combined in a composition , thus determining the overall quality of sound of a piece...

, etc. Broadly, music theory may include any statement, belief, or conception of or about music.