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how to read music

Learn To Read Music – A Gentle Introduction…

by Tania Gleaves on November 2, 2015

Figuring out how to learn to read music may seem intimidating — especially if you’ve never paid any attention to sheet music before. But once you learn the basics, you’ll discover a whole new world that paves a road of confusing symbols with a coat of comfortable, natural, and perfect logic. This article serves as a quick primer for what you’re about to encounter in music notation. And once you’ve finished reading, you’ll discover that it isn’t so intimidating after all!

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The Setting

Every piece of sheet music contains a set of staff lines. StaffTreble clef lines are groups of five lines and four spaces that hold the notes you’ll see and play. Also known as ledgers, they also hold the Clef symbol which indicates which hand you’ll play with. The Treble Clef (S-Shaped) indicates right hand work while the Bass Clef (C-Shaped) indicates left hand work. To make music legible, notes are separated by bar lines. Bar lines divide notes into measures which also make music legible. It’s much easier to read music that’s separated into parts than it is to read music that isn’t — much like the way it’s easier to read an article that’s separated into paragraphs.

The Music

Earlier we mentioned that staffs hold the notes that you’ll encounter. Notes, which can look like solid and hollow circles, sit right on top of a line or right in the middle of two lines. The placement of these notes corresponds to a particular pitch and each pitch corresponds to a piano key – and more…

Notes not only represent pitch, they also represent rhythm. A solid circled note for example, can represent a quarter or a whole beat while a hollow note can represent two beats or four whole beats at once. If you see a small dot next to a note, it means that note should be played a little longer.

Learn To Read Music Timing

While figuring out how to learn to read music, you’ll see other symbols that teach you when to play the notes we’ve been talking about. If a dot sits next to a quarter note for example, the quarter note (which is normally played for one beat) is then played for two beats. If you see an arc type shape that appears to connect two notes beneath or above it, it indicates that those two notes should be played as one.

Other symbols include rests and time signatures. Some rests look like little black hats whereas time signatures look like fractions. You’ll find a song’s time signature on the first staff. It tells musicians the number of beats that are in each measure and it describes kind of note counts as one beat. You’ll find rests all over the place however and since they’re the only shapes that look like squares, they’re fairly easy to locate. Try to remember that a solid “hat” on the second line of a staff indicates that you should stop playing for four whole beats. Half of a hat on the third line indicates that you should rest for two beats.

Two kinds of rests don’t look like hats at all. They look like lazy W’s (Ws pointing to the left) instead and if you see one, it means you should rest for only one beat.

Get a more thorough lesson on How To read music here

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Piano Lessons Made Easier – How To Read Music Notes

by Tania Gleaves on October 11, 2015

One of the basic lessons of learning to play the piano involves how to read music notes. Reading music notes is like learning your ABC’s. Effectively reading music notes requires you to learn the basic parts of a music sheet; sometimes they call this song sheet.

If you look at the music sheet, you will notice that the notes are embedded on five horizontal lines with spaces in between them. This is called staff. It helps you how to read music notes correctly because each line and space represent different keys on the piano.

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The symbol placed at the beginning of the staff is called clef, which serves as a guide to read the different pitches on the music sheet. There are actually two kinds of clef, one is called the treble clef and the other one is the bass clef.

treble clef

bass clef

When both clefs are put together with a vertical line, they form the so-called grand staff. These clefs play a vital role in playing the piano since both treble and bass clef shows you different notes to play together in order to produce the sweet sounding music.

grand staff

After learning the basic parts of a music sheet, the next agenda we have on how to read music notes is learning the different pitches corresponding to each line and space of the grand staff. The pitches are represented by the first seven letters of the alphabet. As mentioned earlier, these pitches correspond to different keys on your piano.

piano keys

Knowing this, how do you know whether you have to play the corresponding key or not? This is where the role of the notes comes in. There are actually five notes you can play. When these notes are placed on the grand staff, you must pay attention where they are positioned and what they look like. These notes represent different symbols which show you the duration of each pitch played.

different notes

Here is the breakdown of the notes’ different duration:

  • Whole note – receives 4 counts
  • Half note – receives 2 counts
  • Quarter note – receives 1 count
  • Eighth note – receives half a count
  • Sixteenth note – receives quarter a count

How to read music notes is definitely easy once you have mastered all of these basics. The simple illustrations guide you in playing the piano effectively using the basic knowledge of reading music notes. So go ahead and start fumbling with your hands on the piano keys to play your favorite music sheets.

Click Here And Learn How To Read Music Notes The Right Way!

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The Play Piano Roadmap – Your Journey From Beginner To Advanced

September 7, 2015

Whether you already play piano or want to learn, I’m glad you stumbled across this page. It means there’s one more person out there looking for a better way to add music to his or her life, or perhaps to improve on an already established skill set. Either way, welcome. The good new is, I’ve […]

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How to Read Music – Definitions to Help You Learn

August 21, 2015

L earning how to read music is like learning another language. It has its own letters, syntax and grammar. Whether you are learning to play the piano through the classic method or the chord method, you’ll have to be familiar with how to read music. A page of music has a lot of symbols and […]

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Music Bar Lines

August 17, 2015

Introducing the Bar In order to represent pitch and tone, music notes need a staff. If you’ll remember from our other lessons, the music staff is a system of five horizontal lines and it provides a foundation for all the beautiful music that we hear. Notes sit on, above, between, and below these lines. But […]

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Key Signatures – A Beginner’s Lesson…

August 13, 2015

What Determines The Quality And Quantity Of A Song’s Notes When watching musicians play piano, you may see them refer to a piece of music in the key of “A” or “C.” These letters refer to the key that the music is played in or its key signature. Key signatures are what determines the quality […]

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Music Time Signatures – What Are They?

May 22, 2015

When you start studying piano lessons, you will learn the basic knowledge of music which also includes music time signatures. Time signatures are composed of two numbers in the form of a fraction which tells you the number of notes and the kind of note receiving one beat in each measure. Say what?! That might […]

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Music Theory Key Signature – The Basics

February 20, 2015

You have been hearing about the music theory key signature during your first piano lesson but do you know what they are made of? Key signatures are actually one of the basic foundations of playing the piano. These music fundamentals guide you in “tuning” the music pieces you are playing. Music theory key signature can […]

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Piano Music Notes – Hear Them Speak To You

February 17, 2015

Unless you plan to play music by ear, you’ll need to learn how to read sheet music for piano. Sheet music displays the notes of a song and musicians interpret it as if they were reading the words of a speech. It isn’t difficult to read piano music notes once you understand the basic structure […]

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Piano Sheet Music Confidential

January 23, 2015

Piano sheet music has been around since the birth of the piano. It is the diary of the process of the composer. All of the heart and soul of piece lies within the notation of the sheet music. Sheet music can be used to record or to create a musical score. Musicians often use it […]

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