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Elements of Music
Rhythm:Musical duration, long vs. short.
Melody:A collection of pitches.
Harmony:More than 1 pitch played at the same time.
Timbre:The qualities and colors of sound.
Form:How music is organized.
Expressive:How music is played.


Pitch, Cleff, and Staff Notations

The Pitch of a musical tone is a measurement of how high or low it sounds.

Musical Notation is the written language of music. the symbols of this language indicate the precise oitch and duration (length) of every note.
Other musical qualities, such as tempo (speed), loudness, tone quality, or style of playng, also can be indicated through notation.

By themselves, note symbols can indicate only general upward and downward movement of a melody. When placed on the lines and spaces of a five-line staff, however, thses same symbols can indicate exact pitches. A clef sign, placed at the left-hand side of a staff, is used to denote the general range of the notes and, more importantly, a referene pitch.

=Treble Clef or G Clef =Bass Clef or F cleff

Music in our "Western" culture is written on five lines and four spaces:




This collection of lines and spaces is called a staff.
We can refer to each line and each space by its number. A staff doesn't usally have numbers writtn beside the lines and spaces. We've put them there to show the fact that we number them from the bottom. On the staff we place notes and rests. at the begining of each staff we place an object called a"clef". A clef tells us which ntes are which. The two most common clefs are the "treble clef" and "bass clef". When a treble clef staff and a bass clef staff are joined together it forms a "grand staff".

Ledger Lines are short horizontal lines representing an upward or downward extention of the staff. They are drawn through the stems of notes too high or too low to be located dirctly on the staff.

Piano/Keyboard Layout







An interval is the distance between tow pitches. The smallest interval normally used in our music is the half step (also called a semitone). The interval between any white key on the piano and an adjacent black key is the half step. Notice, however, that there is no black key between E and F, or between B and C.

Between any two adjacent white keys, the interval is called a whole step or a or whole tone, which is equal to two half steps.

Looking at the piano keys, G and A are a whole step away from each other, the black key located between them is G sharp and A flat.

Whole tones are witten on the staff so that if one note is written on the line, the other must be on the space above or below it. If one note is written on a space, the other must be on the line above or below it.



CATION: However, just because two note are placed on a staff in this manner, don't automatically assume they are whole tones. Take this interval, for example: The "E" is on the line directly below the "F". But as you can see from the diagram of the keyboard above, these two notes are only aone semitone apart-there is no black note in between them. The rule about placement of the notes on the staff is only part of the procedure. You must now in order to make it a whole tone higher: There is one other place on the keyboard where there is no black note btween white notes: between "B" and "C". So a whole tone above "B" would be "C#".


A symbol added to a pitch name to raise or lower a pitch by a half step. This i called a chromatic alternation, and the symbols that are used are: