Pop Music Theory


25: Treble Staff

Lesson 25: Treble Staff

We write melodies on the musical staff; this lesson shows how. You need to know your pitch names (Lesson 3: Pitch Names) for this lesson.

The "staff" is a set of five lines:

Each line, and each space between lines, gets its own pitch-letter. So, which pitch-letter goes on which line (or space)? Well, that depends on which clef we use.

The clef is a symbol that we place on the staff to show which letter goes on which line. There are two common clefs, the G clef and the F clef; for now, we'll just use the G clef.

The G clef looks like this:

The G clef is actually a fancy letter G. It's usually placed on the staff like this:

The G clef shows you where to find the "G line": The G line is in the middle of the spiral. Here's the staff again, with the G line colored purple and a "G note" placed on it:


When the G clef is placed on the staff this way, with the G-note on line 2, the clef is called the treble clef and the staff is called the treble staff. The G on line 2 is the G above middle C.

Now that we have this G line as a starting point, we can find the pitch-letters below and above this G, namely F and A, on the spaces below and above the G line:


From here we can keep going up and down, and find the pitch-letters for every line and space on the treble staff. Here they are:


When you understand how to find pitches on the treble staff, go on to Treble Staff Game to practice and test yourself.


1: Introduction
2: Pitch & Keyboard
3: Pitch Names
4: Letters Game
5: Sharps & Flats
6: Half-Steps
7: Whole-Steps
8: Steps Game
9: Scales
10: Major Scale 1-2-3
11: Major 1-2-3 Games
12: Major Scale 1-5
13: Major 1-5 Games
14: Chords: Major Triads
15: Major Triad Games
16: Minor Triads
17: Minor Triad Games
18: Major Scale 1-8
19: Major Scale Games
20: Scales Above 8
21: What Next
22: Keys
23: Roman Numeral Chords
24: Diatonic Triads
25: Treble Staff
26: Pitch & Frequency

© 2017 Conrad Albrecht. All rights reserved.