Musical Notes 101 – A 5 part Series

A few days ago a reader from Netherlands asked me a question

“Are musical notes universal for all instruments?”

The answer is “Yes”  The only difference is the register of notes which is playable by the different instruments. The difference in the musical scores for different instruments lay in the different staffs that are uses to portray the music notes that need to be played to bring out the tune.

For example, a piano will be able to play a great range of notes as it has 88 keys. Piano pieces are composed with both hands in mind therefore there are notes for both treble and bass clef.

The  violin, on the other hand,has  a pitch range from G3 (G below middle C) to C8 (the highest note of the modern piano.) The top notes, however, are often produced by natural or artificial harmonics. Most notes playable on the violin are in the Treble clef register.

In this 5 part Musical notes 101 series I will be mentioning about basic score reading in relation to my two major instruments – Piano & Violin.

Let me start you off with the basic parts of a score.

Some definitions:

Treble Clef : A symbol located at the beginning of a staff to indicate the pitches of the notes placed on the lines and spaces of the staff. The treble clef is also called the “G clef” because the symbol at the beginning of the staff (a stylized letter “G”) encircles the second line of the staff.

Bass Clef: The F clef, the clef that locates f (below middle C on the fourth line).

Bar line: Bar lines are placed on the musical staff to separate the divisions of time. Time is divided in groups of pulses as defined in the time signature. The space between two bar line is called a measure or bar.

Once you are able to identify the following you will be able to move on to recognising notes on a score.

Tune in to the next part tomorrow.


Post in this series

– Musical Notes  101 (Part 1)

– Musical Notes 101 (Part 2)

Musical Notes 101 (Part 3) The violin

Musical Notes 101 (Part 4) The Piano

-Musical Notes 101( Part 5 Care for your Instrument