Music Basics
The Science
The Stave & Clefs
The Notes
The Timing
The Bars


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The Stave & Clefs

The stave is a group of five horizontal lines that composers use to write their music. A note is placed either on one of the lines or in a space between them. The virtical position of the note tells the musician what note to play. Staves can be used alone or in pairs, one on top of the other, if the instrument has a wide range of notes like a piano.

If an instrument can play notes that are higher or lower than the five lines each stave can show, ledger lines are drawn to extend the stave.

The clefs are used to help the musician find their notes on the stave. There are three clefs, the G clef and the F clef are used most often. There is also the C clef. The G clef is sometimes called the 'Trebble clef' because it indicates the higher notes, and the F clef is called the 'Bass clef' because it indicates the lower notes.

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