Words You Must Know if You Are Learning To Read Music

Understanding the language of music is not as hard as it looks. Once you learn how to read music, you will open your mind to a whole new world.

But before you get there, there are some basic words you need to be familiar with.

Get to know them well because you will use them a lot.

Here goes:

The staff

This is a pattern of five lines and four spaces where music is written. Each line and each space represents a particular letter, which in essence is a particular musical note between A and G.

Treble Clef

Out of the two clefs you need to know about, you have this one. It resembles an ornamental G. It is sometimes called the G clef. It represents higher pitches so to say. Higher notes are written on the treble clef.

The lines and the spaces on this clef have the note names EGBDF and FACE respectively.

Bass Clef

The other clef you need to know about is the Bass Clef. It is also called the F clef. It represents lower pitches so to say. Lower notes are written on the bass clef.

The lines and spaces for this clef have the note names GBDFA and ACEG respectively.


These are symbols that go on the staff to tell the musician which note to play and for how long to play it. They have a head, a stem and a flag.

Some notes have white heads and some have black heads.

The position of the note’s head tells us which note to play.

The flag is the curvy design on the right of a note’s stem. It indicates how long to play a note. Multiple flags mean the note is ever shorter than others. T

here are whole notes, half notes and quarter notes.

Another way to extend the length of a note is by using a dot. It adds have of the note’s duration on the affected note.

A tie can also be used to extend a note.

Leave your comment