Through thousands of years, written music language has been considered the standard method of communication in the world of music. There is no difference between today’s music sheets and those of 300 years ago. Sounds and symbols are agreed by all musicians and songwriters to be displayed by notations. There are so many types of notes that require you to remember so as to process your work easily such as pitch, timing, duration and other factors. Some of them are even harder than you have ever seen in your life. Moreover, special effects and timbre can be shown as well by using unique words and notations.
In this article, basic knowledge will be introduced to you to help you read music better and faster. However, it is up to you to apply other methods as long as they can assist you in selecting the right notations and use them correctly. The best way to read music sheets correctly is practice to accumulate more hands – on experiences and avoid common mistakes.
Before we move on, you should know what a music sheet is and what to do with it when holding one in your hand.
Basic Knowledge About Music Sheet
When taking a look at the music sheet, even for the first time of your life, don’t panic. It is a vital part of learning real music theory. The first thing you need to care about is the staff. This is the most important part of the music sheet since it contains notations and makes them readable with related meanings.
The staff is the most basic symbol and the foundation of other related information. Staff consists of five parallel lines and the space between them. All the lines and spaces are numbered for further use, including the outside part of them. The lines are counted from bottom to top, from lowest to highest. Never forget this rule because it will help you to know how to read the notes.
After knowing the staff, let’s begin with the treble clef. It is always the first symbol you encounter when reading music. Describing it is quite difficult, but you will never forget it since it appears in every music sheet you see. It tells you the range of the instrument you are playing and how to read the pitch of the notations.
- The Treble Clef or G clef is a version of G letter in Latin. Learning how to write it is vital since you will have to make use of it every single line of the staff.
- Five lines from bottom to top represent these note: E G B D F
- Fours space represent others with the same way of numbering: F A C E
- With beginners, it might be such a task of a challenge to remember these things, but there’s a little tip to learn them quickly: With the lines, we have “Every Good Boy Does Fine, ” and with the spaces, we can spell them “FACE.” Another way to you is trying some online recognition tools to build them up in your memory system.
Now with the Bass clef which is also known as F clef, we have something different from the G clef. This type of clef is used when you want to represent notations with lower registers such as the bass guitar, piano frets in the left or trombone. Similar to Treble Clef, we have something to remember as well.
- The symbol stands for the F letter in Gothic.
- Five lines represent these notes: G B D F A which can be known as “Good Boys do not Fool ”
- The spaces are referred to as these letters: A C E G which is “All Cows Eat ”
With this knowledge, you have known the reason why the sheet is written with parallel lines and the meanings of the symbols at the beginning of each line. Next, up, we will find out the structure of a note and see how we can write those notes on the staves.
Learn About The Notes
Every sound can be performed on the music sheet by notes, no matter how long or how high it could be. It is the combination of letters and other additional symbols. A note is created by three basic parts: the note head, the flags, and the stem.
- The note head is an oval – shaped symbol with two colors black or white. It stood for the status open (white) and closed (black) of the note. The performer looks at these notes and knows what to play.
- The stem is the line that is attached to the note head. The stem can point up or down according to the position of the note on the staff. If the stem is up, it is on the right side of the note and vice versa. The stem has no effect on the meaning of the note
- The flag is the stroke which is a curve and attaches to the stem. The flag is always on the right of the note It is used to modify the duration and other statuses of the note. Be careful when using them.
- These three factors represent the value of the sound. The sound is estimated by the duration and the pitch of the beats. When using these notes, you can tap your feet along and see the similarity between them.
Here is the homework for you:
- Learn these music theories by heart. They are the most basic one so don’t be lazy and skip them since you cannot rely on anything else to know how to read the music sheets.
- Practice drawing the G-clef and the F clef. Make sure the curves are perfect, and the positions are correct every time you place your pen down.
- Remember the lines and spaces and which note each line or each space Don’t worry if you cannot remember from the first time.
- Try to write some notes on the staff for the first time.