Musical Notation

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

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.