One of the most interesting things about learning piano is that it’s truly like learning a new language – just as you learn how to decode words on a page to read them aloud, you are learning to unlock the symbols on the page to play music.
Directly after the treble and bass clef, you will see the key signature: a collection of sharps or flats that indicate which notes to alter within the music, as well as what key you are playing in.
You will also see a marking indicating what tempo the piece should be played (for example, allegro, indicating lively, or largo, indicating very slow). These markings tell you how loudly or softly to play the music, and when to gradually increase or decrease the sound.
You will see a marking similar to a hairpin for a crescendo, or gradual increase in sound, and a reverse hairpin for a decrescendo, or gradual decrease in sound. Another category of markings you will see is for articulation, or the way in which notes begin and end. If you have read my previous blogs, The Piano Keyboard, and Locating Middle C On the Piano Keyboard, you should be able to identify all the notes on the piano keyboard, and locate Middle C.
Now lets take a first look at how to read piano sheet music, and how it relates to the piano keyboard.
Going up the C Major scale from middle C, next is D, then, E, F, G, A, B, and back to C one octave higher, then D, E, F, G and so on. Randy Cole -I grew up in a small town in northwest New Jersey, and was privileged to have a mother who loved music.
To save to your computer, once the page is on your computer monitor screen, click and hold the mouse button (IBM users click right button) and "save this image as. You will find that these worksheets do not print with the high resolution of other files found at Sheet Music Online. Instead of just black dots on a page, you’ll see beautiful melody and chords right before you. It’s a whole different world, and this article will help you to more easily understand what all the symbols mean.
The finger you use will depend on the location of the note within the phrase, as well as the hand position you are using. As you progress on the piano, you’ll get to know these common sheet music terms very well.
The letter ‘p’ indicates to play piano, or softly, while the letter ‘f’ stands for forte, or to play loudly.
The location and length of the crescendo and decrescendo markings show you how long they should last and where to begin and end them. In the written music, you will see symbols like accents (similar to a forward arrow), indicating to play the note with emphasis, or staccato (a dot above the note), indicating to play the note with space before the next note (slightly shorter than full value). So you may see espressivo (play with great emotion) or appassionato (play passionately) marked in the music, among many others. Instead, try going on a treasure hunt for these markings and symbols, and see what you discover about the music itself as a result!
Enjoy live interaction and real-time performance with friendly teachers in a fun group setting. The right hand plays the top half, designated with a Treble Clef (Example #1), and the left hand plays the bottom half, designated with a Bass Clef (Example #2).
Going down the C Major scale from middle C is B, A, G, F, E, D, and back to C one octave lower, then B, A, G, F, and so on (Example #4). You want to move your fingers freely across the keys with as little movement of your hand as possible. Use any graphics program to open and print these pages, or simply use Netscape or Internet Explorer to open and print!
Over 70,000 items, the only source on the Internet where you can be assured that what you order. That way, when you look at a piece of sheet music, you won’t think it’s Greek; you’ll see music! For this reason, you will often see finger numbers marked in the music to indicate which finger you should use. Sometimes this also includes a specific metronome marking, which is a guideline to understand the range of tempi that are possible.

You will also see slurs, lines that slope above or below a group of notes, which signify to connect the notes smoothly together as you play them. She acted as principal flutist of the orchestra and wind ensemble at California State University, Sacramento, and then went on to receive her degree in Music Performance from New York University. Learn more about Nadia here!
Well, learning the basics of how to read sheet music can help you achieve all of these, and in a shorter amount of time than you might have thought!At its very simplest, music is a language just like you’d read aloud from a book. In general, the treble clef is where right hand notes are placed, while the bass clef is where left hand notes are placed. Finger numbers are an essential aid to playing well, as they will ensure that you maintain a good hand position and move naturally around the keyboard without awkward finger tucks.
Your thumbs are #1, your index fingers are #2, your middle fingers are #3, your ring fingers are #4, and your pinkies are #5 (Example #5). Once you know the piano note names, you will be able to read from the two staffs to play the correct notes with the correct hand.
And they represent the pitch, speed and rhythm of the song they convey, as well as expression and techniques used by a musician to play the piece.
Think of the notes as the letters, the measures as the words, the phrases as the sentences and so forth. All music contains these fundamental components, and in order to learn how to read music, you must first familiarize yourself with these basics.The StaffThe staff consists of five lines and four spaces. Each of those lines and each of those spaces represents a different letter, which in turn represents a note. The bass clef notates the lower registers of music, so if your instrument has a lower pitch, such as a bassoon, tuba or cello, your sheet music is written in the bass clef. There are three parts of each note, the note head, the stem and the flag.Every note has a note head, either filled (black) or open (white).
Where the note head sits on the staff (either on a line or a space) determines which note you will play.
In that case, a line is drawn through the note, above the note or below the note head, to indicate the note letter to play, as in the B and C notes above.The note stem is a thin line that extends either up or down from the note head. The direction of the line doesn’t affect how you play the note, but serves as a way to make the notes easier to read while allowing them to fit neatly on the staff.
As a rule, any notes at or above the B line on the staff have downward pointing stems, those notes below the B line have upward pointing stems.The note flag is a curvy mark to the right of the note stem.
Whether a note head is filled or open shows us the note’s value, or how long that note should be held.
A dot after the note head, for example, adds another half of that note’s duration to it.
So, a half note with a dot would equal a half note and a quarter note; a quarter note with a dot equals a quarter plus an eighth note. Two notes tied together should be held as long as the value of both of those notes together, and ties are commonly used to signify held notes that cross measures or bars.The opposite may also happen, we can shorten the amount of time a note should be held, relative to the quarter note. Faster notes are signified with either flags, like the ones discussed above, or with beams between the notes. Beams do the same, while allowing us to read the music more clearly and keep the notation less cluttered. As you can see, there’s no difference in how you count the eighth and 16th notes above. When reading music, the meter is presented similar to a fraction, with a top number and a bottom number, we call this the song’s time signature. The top number tells you how many beats to a measure, the space of staff in between each vertical line (called a bar). The bottom number tells you the note value for a single beat, the pulse your foot taps along with while listening. Tempo tells you how fast or slow a piece is intended to be played, and often is shown at the top of a piece of sheet music.
A tempo of, say 60 BPM (beats per minute) would mean you’d play 60 of the signified notes every minute or a single note every second.
Musicians use a tool, called a metronome, to help them keep tempo while practicing a new piece.

A scale is made of eight consecutive notes, for example, the C major scale is composed of C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C.
The interval between the first note of your C major scale and the last is an example of an octave.
The C major scale is very important to practice, since once you have the C scale down, the other major scales will start to fall into place. Musically, whole tones, or whole steps between the note letters, would limit the sounds we’re able to produce on our instruments.
The distance between the C and the D keys in your C scale is a whole step, however the distance between the E and the F keys in your C scale is a half step.
Every major scale you’ll play on a keyboard has the same pattern, whole-whole-half-whole-whole-whole-half. Look at the C major scale again on the keyboard below.Semitones, or half-steps on the keyboard, allow us to write an infinite variety of sounds into music.
A sharp, denoted by the a™? symbol, means that note is a semitone (or half step) higher than the note head to its right on sheet music. Conversely, a flat, denoted by a a™­ symbol, means the note is a semitone lower than the note head to its right. If a note is sharp or flat, that sharp or flat extends throughout the measure, unless there’s a natural symbol. Scales are named after their tonic, the preeminent note within the scale, and the tonic determines what key you play in. You can start a major scale on any note, so long as you follow the whole-whole-half-whole-whole-whole-half pattern. Now, following that pattern in keys other than the key of C will require you to use sharps and flats. That tells you to maintain those sharps or flats throughout the music, unless of course there’s a natural symbol to override it. You will begin to recognize the key signatures of pieces based on what sharps or flats are shown.
We’ve searched through our massive sheet music catalogue to present to you the very best cover songs that you might not even had known are covers.
We’re sure you’ll agree this list is brimming with amazing musical talents from a variety of eras and genres! Once songs are downloaded to the iPad, they are stored locally on the device, allowing musicians to play their sheet music even if they are unable to access the Internet.
This type of sheet music provides you with the ability to sing the vocal line for your favorite song with a piano accompaniment. You can see that the vocal line is separated from the piano accompaniment, and that the accompaniment complements the singer’s voice. Our Data team (pictured here with some geeky robots ordered from the fine folk over at Think Geek) researches a song’s origin, arrangement, history, lyrics, style and copyright holder well before the song can be turned into a sheet music download. As you can imagine, the older a song gets, the harder it is to research — especially if there are different versions of lyrics in other languages.
You might understand why they have to research all the information they can about the song, but do you know why they need to track down the copyright… Leave a Reply Cancel reply 257 comments Roma L.
This helps me understand easily how to read certain notes… Angel - 81 I appreciated the help! It helped me a lot, because before i read the steps on the site, I was clueless about reading music. Reply Angel - 44 I think it needs a section just for trumpets, trombone, tuba, French horn, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and flute. Reply Vik - 2 Ia€™m writing an easier way to learn and memorize music in an effective way, I’ve been a trumpet teacher for 10 years!

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