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Basic Music Notation

Lesson 4 - Grand Staff: Diagram of the Piano Keyboard

printable version

I. Index

1.  Introduction
2. The Music Staff
3. Clef Signs
4. Treble Clef
5. Bass Clef
6. Grand Staff
7. Conclusion

II. Content

1. Introduction
In this lesson, you are going to learn how to represent the keys you learned in music notation. Music notation is used to record music in written form. Music notation is written on what is called a musical staff. In piano, two staves are used. These two staves combine to form what is called the grand staff.

2. The Music Staff
Let's take a look at the musical staff. Think of it as a visual representation of the piano keyboard. Each line and space on the staff represents a white key on the piano keyboard. Moving notes up on the staff from line note to space note or space note to line note corresponds with moving to the right on the piano keyboard.

3. Clef Signs
Let's take a look at clefs. To make each space and line represent a specific white key on the piano, clef signs are used. Piano music uses two clef signs, the treble clef, also called the G clef, and the bass clef, also called the F clef.

4. Treble Clef
Let's take a look at the treble clef, also known as the G clef. The G clef makes the line that the circular part of the G clef sign wraps around a G above middle C. From this, you can figure out what the rest of the notes are.

5. Bass Clef
Let's take a look at the bass clef, also known as the F clef. The line between the two dots of the F clef is where the F below middle C goes. From here you can figure out the rest of the notes.

6. Grand Staff
The two staffs combine together to form the grand staff. You'll notice that middle C appears in two different places on the grand staff. Actually, the line that the middle C appears on is the same line. In order to make the grand staff easier to read, the line between the two staves were removed and the two staves were spaced further apart.

7. Conclusion
Good work! You have just learned how to represent the keys on the piano keyboard as music notation.

Now try out what you have just learned on our virtual piano keyboard below...

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