Half step
Each movement of one key, black or white, is the movement of a half step. A half step is the smallest difference in pitch on the keyboard.
Musical symbols that raise and lower notes by half steps.
Musical symbol that raises a note one half step to the right.
Musical symbol that lowers a note one half step to the left.
Musical symbol which negates a sharp or flat; the white keys.
Enharmonic tones
Notes which have the same pitch, but are notated (spelled) differently.
Diatonic scale
An eight-note musical scale composed of seven pitches and a repeated octave.
represents notes which are generally higher, like the treble EQ controls of your stereo. also known as the “G Clef” because the sprial of the clef curls around the note “G.” The notes on the spaces of the treble clef staff spell FACE. The notes on the lines are EGBDF, which can be remembered by the phrase, “Every Good Boy Does Fine.”
made of 5 lines and 4 spaces. Notes placed lower sound lower, and notes placed higher sound higher.
represents notes which are generally lower. is also known as the “F Clef” because the dots on the clef highlight the note “F.” The spaces can be remembered as A C E G (All Cows Eat Grass), while the lines are G B D F A (Good Boys Do Fine Always).
combines treble and bass clef together by using a bar line and a brace. Middle C is notated between these two staves.
allow us to extend the range of either staff to play higher or lower notes. To use ledger lines, simply continue to name the notes of the musical alphabet.
The distance between any two notes.
Whole step
An interval consisting of two half steps. The interval of a whole step is often referred to as a “major second,” represented “M2.”
Double Sharp
Musical symbol what raises a note two half steps to the right on the keyboard.
Double Flat
Musical symbol that lowers a note two half steps to the left on the keyboard.
A repeating pattern in music. In music notation, measures are separated by a bar line.
Bar line
The vertical line which separates measures, or “bars,” in music.
The primary pulse in music.
A repeating pattern of beats in music.
Beat Division
The interaction between the beat and secondary pulse of a meter.
Simple Meter
Meters with two divisions per beat.
Compound Meter
Meters with three divisions per beat.
The first beat of a measure. There is a feeling of emphasis on beat 1.
Time Signature
Appearing at the beginning of a written piece of music, the time signature indicates the meter of the piece.
Common Time
another name for music with four beats per measure. This is the most common metric pattern around the world.
The speed of the beat.
How many beats of a song are played in one minute. This term is a measurement of tempo, and is used interchangeably with “tempo.”
Note Head
indicates the highness or lowness of the pitch. can be either hollow or filled.
A vertical line which is attached to an hollow or filled note head in order to produce a desired rhythmic value.
An indicator that the beat has been divided, as in the case of eighth notes, or subdivided, as in the case of sixteenth notes. An eighth note has one, while a sixteenth has two. are only used when single instances of the note are written.
An indicator that the beat has been divided or subdivided. joins the stems of two or more eighth or sixteenth notes together. As with flags, eighth notes use one beam, and sixteenth notes use two beams.
A moment of silence within music, notated rhythmically.