Modulation is the process of varying one or more properties of a high-frequency periodic waveform, called the carrier signal, with the amplitude of low-frequence modulating signal which typically contains information to be transmitted.

The three key parameters of a periodic waveform are its amplitude ("volume"), its phase ("timing") and its frequency ("pitch"). Any of these properties can be modified in accordance with a low frequency signal to obtain the modulated signal. Typically a high-frequency sinusoid waveform is used as carrier signal, but a square wave pulse train may also be used.

Source: Wikipedia.