How to read sheet music ?
Almost each and every music lover on the face of this planet Earth wants to play songs on their own but everybody isn’t able to do so. It takes your keen interest, quality time and ability to read music from sheets. If you are willing to do so, then nothing can stop you from playing music, you would also be able to create your own music. But tongue has no bones, for that to happen you need to make efforts, stockpile a circle of music enthusiasts in your neighbourhood who can play instruments and get yourself ready to read music from sheets. You don’t need to pay huge fee at music classes, fully concentrate on this guide and you will definitely be able to read music from sheets.
Before getting started with the reading phase, there are few things you need to know about music. For a layman music is just a thing to be listened but professionally music is a complete language which can be read. It’s a language composed of symbols and each symbol represents a particular value which can be rhythm, pitch, speed, etc. Let’s start our journey of music learning with basic symbols.
Elementary Symbols of Notation:
- The Staff:
The Staff is a symbol of music comprising of five parallel lines distanced by four spaces in-between. Each line and each space in this symbol represents letters which form a musical note. These lines and spaces constitute notes A-G and this sequence starts from bottom of the Staff to the top.
- Treble Clef:
Out of the two key clefts i.e. treble clef and bass clef, let’s start with treble clef. It is composed of an ornamental G written on the left side. On taking though look, you will notice the innermost loop of ornamental G encircling a line and this line is “G” line in the staff. Treble clef plays its role in the higher intensity musical instruments like violin, flute which have high pitch. Treble clef also finds its use in notating higher notes on musical keyboard. Each line in the treble clef starting from bottom represents “E G B D F” while as each space starting from bottom represents letters “FACE”.
- Bass Clef:
This clef can be recognised by looking at its mirror image of ornamental “C” alongside with two dots on its right side in-between 1st and 2nd space. The line of the Staff in between two dots represents “F” and is also known as F clef. It is used for low pitch instruments such as cello or tuba. Bass clef also finds its use in notating lower notes on musical keyboard. In this case, lines represent “GBDFA” and spaces represent “ACEG”.
Tips for Clefs:
In case you have problem remembering the letters in the Staff sequentially, you can remember the following mantra altogether.
Every Good Boy Does fine for EGBDF and FACE for FACE
Good Boys Do Fine Always for GBDFA and All Cows Eat Grass for ACEG.
As already told, the Staff comprises of 5 lines and 4 spaces and acts as a platform for both clefs and notes. These notes interpret musician regarding which letters to play for how much time. Sticking to the notes, a note is constructed of head, stem and flag. The note head can either be black or white and this head rests on a particular line or space representing which note to be played. Exceptionally, this note head can be seen outside the staff and that time, it is marked with a line above or below it to represent a letter to be played.
Note stem is basically a vertical line arising from note head. If the note head is pointing upwards, note stem will arise from right side and vice versa. The upward and downward alignment of stem doesn’t contribute t the playing of music but t just helps to keep the note head on the Staff neatly making a note easily readable. It is seen that notes which sit above B line have stems aligned downwards and below B line, stems are seen downwards.
The last part of a note is its note flag which rests on the left side of note stem. It’s there to let you know the length of note. It enables you to shorten as well as lengthen the size of note. Length of note can be extended by other ways also which include adding a dot after note head, it will increase note duration. Same procedure can be used to shorten the length of note.
Now you clearly know about all the parts of a note and their functions o you can easily recognise, alter and adjust the pith, length of notes. After your complete grasp over clefs and notes, you can move on to picking up a beat but you should only do that after you have clearly understood the elementary idea of reading sheet music. In case you want to grasp more knowledge regarding this issue, you are being recommended to visit library and pick up any genuine book of music while you will be able to solve the music making puzzle inside your head. You see the field of music is as vast as any other subjects of knowledge whether it’s world history or world geography. Even the history of music dates back to ages. Music has always been the chief source of entertainment whether it was the era of Abraham Lincoln or present Barrack Obama.