Music Theory Resources

Notating and Naming Pitches

Different pitches are indicated in musical notation by moving notes up and down on the staff (five horizontal lines). The higher the note, the higher it is placed on the staff.

When an instrument can play a very wide range of pitches (like a piano), it requires two staves, or a grand staff. At the far left of the two staves are two different clefs - on top is a treble clef, and on the bottom is a bass clef. Clefs tell us the range of pitches that can be represented on the staff lines. A treble clef is used for high pitches and a bass clef is used for low pitches.

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