“Music is the universal language of mankind.”
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, American Poet & Educator (1807-1882)
Every language has its own alphabet, sound, and structure. It is used for writing and reading for communication. It is the same with music. They have their own notes, beats, and other elements to make music readable. Reading music is also called sight-reading. A piece of formatted music on paper is called a music sheet.
Not all people can read music, because they believe that it's hard to do it. But for others, why is it special to read music?
Why Reading Music is important?
"All actors have scripts created by the writers. Same with musicians, they have a melody script to follow, especially if it is newly created by a composer."
This is the reason why sight-reading is so important in stage performances to track down correctly their notes and keys.
How to Start Reading music?
Learning the functions of each element can already help you comprehend when reading a music sheet. So try to familiarize them carefully.
|2. Excited to read music now?|
8 elements of Sheet Music
The 5 lines you see are called the Staff and there are 4 spaces. This is where the keys and notes are placed.
Clefs are the specific range divisions of music. It is useful to know what octaves and keys that you are focusing on.
3 Types of Clefs
|Treble Clef||Alto Clef||The Bass Clef|
The Treble Clef is also known as G Clef because it represents the G above middle C.
|The Alto Clef is also called the C Clef: its middle point is the middle C. Some articles say that it's also called the Tenor Clef.||
The Bass Clef is also called the F Clef: its two dots encircle F below middle C.
3. Measure Lines
Measure lines or bar lines are the lengths of a specific number of beats played at a particular tempo.
4. The Notes
Songs have slow and fast beats. Good thing that these beats can be also transcribed into music notes! It's so cool. Music notes are used to know the duration of a key. Here's a short video about music notes. Normal beats follow the timing or your walking footsteps, while the fast beats follow the timing running foosteps
5. The Keys
Just like the piano keys, the staff and spaces have their corresponding keys. The middle C (C4) has an invisible line down the staff.
Treble Clef's Staff keys
|Bass Clef keys|
|For lines:||For spaces|
An "accidental" sign in music is placed above or left of a note to show the change in pitch. A sharp (♯) raises a note by a semitone; a flat (♭) lowers it by a semitone; a natural (♮) restores it to the original pitch.
7. Time Signatures
Time signatures are the number of beats in a measure line. This will let you know the timed beats of the song.
8. Dynamic Marking
Dynamic marking is helpful to know how soft or louder your piece with be.
piano (p) = "soft"
pianissimo (pp) = "very soft"
forte (f) = "loud"
fortissimo (ff) = "very loud"
mezzo piano (mp) = "medium soft"
mezzo forte (mf) = "medium loud"
crescendo (cresc.<) = "gradually louder"
diminuendo (dim.>) = "gradually softer"
Excited to read music now?
Creative Soul Music School's comprehensive music education includes theory, ear training, sight reading, technique, and history with the best and most experienced music teachers in the Fort Worth, Southlake and Keller. Learn more here