The very first notion to find out when sorting out how to read sheet music is how one can distinguish how high or low the pitch of a note is – have an understanding of this and, believe it or not, you’re going to be already well along the way to reading music.
Note pitches are named after letters A-B-C-D-E-F-G. As opposed to continuing onto H-I, etc.. it starts off again at A. This line of 8 notes through A-A or B-B, C-C, etc.. is actually an octave. These notes could very well be played on virtually any tuned instrument. For a piano, all of these notes correspond to the white keys.
Naturally, the initial key step that you’d like to know in order to have the ability to read sheet music is what note to play when. Instead of just generating letters on a page, the worldwide process of communicating which notes are to be played is by means of the staff.
Staff notation is created on a grouping of five horizontal lines known as a staff (or stave) and is the platform on which music is written.
A note should be put on specific lines or spaces – the higher up the stave, the higher the note will sound. Clearly music can make use of a considerable amount more than simply the 9 notes of a stave (5 lines and 4 spaces), therefore we really want some way of having the capability to depict these extra notes.
Ledger Lines are other lines which may be placed above or below the staves in order to lengthen the pitch range of the stave.
Fine. But utilising ledger lines leaves you with two problems…
1. A lot of our music is going to look very complicated if we simply just keep adding ledger lines above and below the stave.
2. We still have no idea precisely what notes are on which lines/spaces.
Fortunately, support is to hand in the form of Clefs….
Clefs are symbols used at the start of a stave to designate specified lines/spaces to targeted pitches. The simplest way to understand this is to consider the note Middle C. Middle C is this specific note that you’ll hear about lots. If truth be told, there is nothing particularly amazing about middle C; it’s not really in the middle of anything! It is the C which happens to be nearest to the center of a piano. ( For you to find a C on the piano check out the white note to the left of the 2 black notes. If you wish to identify middle C find the one that is nearest to the center of the piano.) Middle C is designated to a specific line anytime we use a clef at the start of the stave.
With the use of these clefs we now have substantially extended the number of notes that can be viewed on simply these 5 lines and 4 spaces. Combine this with a number of ledger lines and there are loads of notes!
So we understand the method of the stave, ledger lines and clefs. The next thing when grasping how to read sheet music is to sort out which lines/spaces relate to which notes in these 2 clefs. The most effective technique of learning the note names is via these rather simple rhymes….
The Note Rhymes
For the Treble Clef lines….
For the Treble Clef spaces it really is not hard given that the spaces produce the word “FACE”.
For the Bass Clef lines….
For the Bass Clef spaces….
Take a moment to write your own…… whatever is best suited for you and assists you learn how to read sheet music quickly.
I hope you found this article useful. You can find easy to use, helpful ways to learn how to read music at http://www.learnhowtoreadsheetmusic.com.