The Musical Staff & Various Clefs Reading between the lines
We begin learning to read sheet music by breaking down the various attributes and notation used. I’ll explain each symbol’s function and common use individually with illustrated images. Let’s start by referring to the sample staff pictured below. If you need notation images for reference or illustrations, you can download a set here.
The musical staff is constructed of 5 horizontal lines separated by 4 spaces used for the placing of the symbols of musical notation of the major and minor scaling systems. The staff is divided by vertical lines or bars, also called bar-lines, separating the measures of time in the musical phrases.
The grand staff consist of staves (pl) of both the lower and higher pitched voices or instruments and may be two or three stacked staves connected by double vertical end bars. Refer to the staff illustration below.
The Clefs Determining the Pitch
A clef is placed at the beginning of the first measure of the staff indicating the pitch of the instrument for which the music is written.