Musical notation in a nutshell
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Representation of pitch

Staff, stave or pentagram: Framework of music notation. The five staff lines and four intervening spaces correspond to pitches of the diatonic scale - the higher the note on the staff the higher its pitch - which pitch is meant by a given line or space is defined by the clef, the ''leftmost'' symbol on a staff. G clef or treble clef: The most commonly encountered clef in modern notation; it assigns G above middle C to the second line from the bottom of the staff. F clef or bass clef: It appears nearly as often as the treble clef, to represent a bass pitch range; it assigns F below middle C to the second line from the top of the staff.

Notes on G and F clefs:


All possible clefs:


Notes on keyboard:


Accidentals and key signatures

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Representation of duration

Note sign Music-wholenote.png Music-halfnote.png Music-quarternote.png Music-eighthnote.png Music-sixteenthnote.png Music-thirtysecondnote.png Music-sixtyfourthnote.png
Rest Music-wholerest.png Music-halfrest.png Crochet2.PNG Music-eighthrest.png Music-sixteenthrest.png Music-thirtysecondrest.png Music-sixtyfourthrest.png
Equivalent number of crotchets (or beats in a 4/4 time signature) 4 2 1 1/2 1/4 1/16 1/32
English semibreve minim crotchet quaver semiquaver demisemiquaver hemidemisemiquaver
American whole note half note quarter note eighth note sixteenth note thirty-second note sixty-fourth note
Spanish redonda blanca negra corchea semicorchea fusa semifusa

Beams connect quavers and notes of shorter value. They usually reflect the natural rhythmic grouping of notes, for example, several notes which are to be sung to one beat.


Dotted note: One dot lengthens the note by one-half its value, two dots by three-quarters and so on. Rests can be dotted in the same manner as notes.

Time signatures

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by Androide23Androide23
on 1230257732|%e %B %Y


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