(please note: if you are reading this on a mobile device, the images intended to be displayed to your left will appear on top and images intended to be displayed to your right will appear underneath)

Musical notes are written on a 5 line diagram called a stave. Each line indicates a different note, depending on the ‘clef’ placed at the beginning of the stave. For this lesson, we will be sticking to the 2 most common clefs; Treble Clef and Bass Clef.

To the Left is an image of a treble clef. A Treble clef shows you the ‘higher pitch notes’ in a piece of music. You would see this clef on sheet music to read notes for your right hand on piano, guitar, violin, flute, saxophone, oboe and many more!

To the right is an image of a bass clef. A Bass clef shows you the ‘lower pitch notes’ in a piece of music. This would indicate what to play with your left hand on a piano, a bass guitar, a double bass, cello, tuba and several more!

Below is a diagram of the notes on a stave, depending on the clef.

To begin with, lets take the notes outside of the stave away, and focus on the notes on and between the lines.

Treble clef: The bottom line indicates the note E. Following from E you just count up the musical alphabet (without counting sharps/flats). notes on the lines go in the following order from bottom to top – E – G – B – D – F. To remember this you could remember the saying; Every Good Boy Deserves Food. The notes indicated in between each line is in the following order from bottom to top: F – A – C – E. Familiarize yourself with the note placements within the stave before outside. (for reference, the C under the stave with a treble clef is named ‘middle C’).

Bass clef: The bottom line for the bass clef indicates the note G. following from G you just count up the musical alphabet (without counting sharps/flats). notes on the lines go in the following order from bottom to top G – B – D – F – A. To remember this you could remember the saying; Good Boys Deserve Food Always. The notes indicated between each line is in the following order from bottom to top: A – C – E – G. Familiarize yourself with the note placements within the stave before outside. (for reference, the C above the stave with a bass clef is named ‘middle C’).

notes outside of the stave follow the same pattern (one note per line and one note in between). The lines outside the stave are called ‘Ledger lines’ which are used to extend the stave upwards/downwards to include more octaves.

Each note in music has a different length/duration indicated by different symbols. With each note type, their is also a corresponding symbol called a rest; which indicates the period of silence of equal duration.

Next we are going to show you several common note symbols and their relative rest.

On the left side of your stave is your note and the right side is your rest. This symbol indicates a Semi Breve (also known as a Whole Note) and it’s relative rest. A Semi Breve lasts for 4 beats, which is twice as long as a Minim (shown below).

On this stave we have a minim (also known as a half note) and it’s relative rest. A Minim Lasts for 2 beats, which is twice as long as a crotchet (shown below).

 

On this stave we have a Crotchet (also known as a Quarter note) and it’s relative rest. A Crotchet lasts for 1 beat, which is twice as long as a Quaver (shown below).

 

On this stave we have a Quaver (also known as a Eighth note) and it’s relative rest. A Quaver lasts for 1/2 beat, which is twice as long as a Semiquaver (shown below).

 

 

The last example we are going to display here is a Semiquaver, (also known as a Sixteenth note) and it’s relative rest; both last for 1/4 beat. After a Semiquaver you have Demisemiquavers followed by hemidemisemiquaver etc.

Notice the difference between the quaver and semiquaver (both note and rest) is an extra line. After semiquaver, you just add an extra line each time (although these are fairly uncommon).

we will end this lesson here so you can take some time to go over everything. When your ready, click here for part 2!

(below is a diagram of all your rests and their official terms for future reference)

 

 

 

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