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36: Treble Staff

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Lesson 36: Treble Staff

This lesson teaches the treble staff, which is essential for reading music.

Before taking this lesson, you should know: pitch names (Lesson 3: Pitch Names).

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 Lesson 37: Treble Staff Game to practice and test yourself.


1: Introduction
2: Practicing Songwriting
3: Pitch Names
4: Letters Game
5: Sharps & Flats
6: Half-Steps & Whole-Steps
7: Steps Game
8: Scales
9: Major Scale 1-2-3
10: Major 1-2-3 Games
11: Major Scale 1-5
12: Major 1-5 Games
13: Chords: Major Triads
14: Major Triad Games
15: Minor Triads
16: Minor Triad Games
17: Major Scale 1-8
18: Major Scale Games
19: Keys
20: Roman Numeral Chords
21: Scales Above 8
22: Diatonic Triads
23: Using Diatonics
24: Tonic Function
25: Subdominant & Dominant
26: Diatonic Function Analysis
27: Natural Minor Scale
28: Natural Minor Games
29: Minor Key Triads
30: 7th Chords
31: 7ths Games
32: Suspended-4th Chords
33: Time: Beats & Measures
34: Starting a Song: Hook Chords
35: Melody: Chord Tones
36: Treble Staff
37: Treble Staff Game
38: Note Lengths
39: Tied & Dotted Notes
40: Rhythm: Rests
41: Key Signatures
42: Syncopation
43: Pentatonic Scales
44: Hook Melodies
45: Hook to Chorus: Rolling Stone
46: Melody Rhythm: Rolling Stone
47: Non-Root-Bass Chords
48: Embellishing Tones
49: Diatonic 7ths
50: Pitch & Frequency

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