The Music Staff: What It Is And How To Use It

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The music staff is the key to reading music.

The musical staff is an important part of written music. It allows musicians to read the details of the music. However, there are many aspects to the staff, and it can be confusing for new musicians. Here are some details about the staff and how to read it properly.

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Best Self-Study Workbook
Alfred's Essentials of Music Theory: A Complete Self-Study Course for All Musicians (Book & 2 CDs)
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The best music theory book for self-study at home that includes an answer key in the back, CD's for ear-training, a short explanation of each concept, practice exercises, and a glossary of music terms.

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10/21/2021 12:02 am GMT

What is a Music Staff?

The music staff is nothing but horizontal lines that run parallel to each other.

The Music Staff

How Many Lines and Spaces are in the Staff?

There are total of 5 lines with 4 spaces in between.

The Music Staff Lines

How to Read the Music Staff

We number the lines and spaces starting at the bottom moving up towards the top.

The Music Staff Spaces

Usually, reading the staff from bottom to top is the direction we use most.  There are exceptions to this idea, but for now this is a good place to start.

Please note:  Reading from bottom to top is not a set-in-stone rule, but a guideline to help get you started.

Why Do Musicians Use the Music Staff to Read Music?

The purpose of the music staff is to hold music notes and other music symbols that provide us with valuable information.

Music Staff Summary

The music staff is one of the most important things to understand when you want to learn to read and write music. It is essential to learn how to read and write music because it helps us all be better musicians.

Music is the most popular form of art in the world, and it brings people together. It is a universal language spoken by all people.

Key Points to Remember

  1. The staff consists of five horizontal lines.
  2. There are four spaces between the lines.
  3. We read it starting at the bottom moving up towards the top.

Useful Quick Music Theory Reference Guides

Popular Music Theory Cheat Sheet
Music Theory and History SparkCharts
$4.95

This foldable 8x10 inch music theory cheat sheet is an excellent quick reference guide when you need to find the answer fast. The side 3-hole punch allows you to keep it in a 3-ring binder. It is sturdy and folds out featuring music theory and notation on the front and music history on the back.

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10/21/2021 12:00 am GMT
Essential Dictionary of Music: The Most Practical and Useful Music Dictionary for Students and Professionals (Essential Dictionary Series)
$6.99

A practical pocket-size music theory dictionary and music notation reference guide that is perfect for all musicians from beginner to professional.

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10/21/2021 12:00 am GMT
The Hal Leonard Pocket Music Dictionary
$9.99

A convenient music theory book that is small enough to fit in your pocket, backpack, or instrument case. A great reference guide for all musicians at any level of music study.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase through our links, at no additional cost to you.
10/21/2021 12:00 am GMT

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