When reading music there are a few basic things to learn. The paper used is called manuscript paper. In musical notation music is written on a staff or stave (a system of 5 parallel horizontal lines across the page). Two or more staves may be combined above and below each other when writing for piano, groups of instruments, etc. A collection of staves with musical notation written in this way for 2 or more instruments is called a score.
The clefs (or signs) exist in order to show on which line or space of the stave a specified note pitch is to be placed. (Pitch just means height of the sound, that is: how high or low the note sounds.) The clef will always be shown at the beginning of each stave of musical notation.
The Treble Clef is a sign that means notes are quite high. The Treble Clef looks like this: and started its life centuries ago looking like the letter G with the cross-piece of the G written on the second line up of the stave. This made any note written on the second line up a note pitch of G (just up from middle C on a piano). Over the centuries, hand-written musical notation manuscripts have gradually restyled the G clef into what it is today, but it still coils around the second line up. So, remember that in notation a treble clef is a G clef and you’re half-way there!
A quick break before the next clef – go to our easy music pieces page where you can listen to lots of simple but fun, original tunes for you to learn if you are beginning to play a solo musical instrument. Also this site has these easy tunes arranged as duets for piano with a choice of many different solo instruments.