In order to understand the scores that make up a piece of music, it is necessary to know what a staff is and how to read it correctly. It may seem difficult at first, but with a little practice, any beginner will be able to understand musical scores and their signs in no time.
When we sit down to listen to our favorite song or an orchestra perform, we may think for a moment that making music is easy.
Professional musicians make it seem that everything is simple, because they seem calm when they manage to give continuity to all the musical notes, without mistakes, while the melody goes up and down without interruptions following a perfect beat. However, behind that tranquility are years of practice and great effort.
Regardless of what instrument a musician plays and what level of education they have, everyone began their musical education by learning how to read sheet music on a staff. Therefore, the skill of reading music is something worth acquiring as soon as possible in order to practice correctly and improve as an artist.
What is a pentagram?
Have you ever been told about the C clef or notation signs and you don’t know what it’s all about? Well, all this happens in the pentagram.
The musical staff is the place where each of the musical symbols are written to give the instrumentalist the guidelines he needs to know in order to correctly execute any composition.
This is made up of five lines and four spaces that divide them. There will be the representations of each of the musical notes either between the lines, on them or below them.
The lines are numbered from bottom to top, and the musical notes on the staff are arranged according to the Western musical notation system. For that reason, in order to identify them, you must first know the order of the notes.
Who created the pentagram?
Actually, the creation of the staff was preceded by many inventions that, as they evolved, made it easier to read musical notes. Its most rudimentary origins date back to the Middle Ages, when Gregorian singers began to use a set of signs that represented the height of the song.
Specifically, the staff was created by Ugolino de Forlí, a Renaissance-era composer and music theorist.
This Italian started from the tetragrammaton, which was invented by the Benedictine monk Guido d’Arezzo, and added one more guideline so that the writings were more specific. This made the compositions easier to read.
What patterns can be found in a staff?
Depending on the difficulty of the composition, the number of people playing the piece, and other things, you may be able to find more than just notes on the staff.
A score shows the key signature of the composition, the keys, the intervals, the rests, the tempo, the time signature and the duration of each musical note. For that reason, some symbols are completely black, others are white, and so on.
In case the musical work is made to be interpreted by a single person, it is necessary to work with a solo staff. There, only the notes of a single musical instrument are written.
On the other hand, the stave system speaks of the union of several staves, thanks to the key of the score, located in the left section. This is done for pieces in which two or more musical instruments must be used at the same time.
The name of each instrument will be on the left side, indicating that the music written below is made for that instrument; thus avoiding confusion.
How to read a pentagram?
The first thing you need to know to correctly read sheet music with notes is to identify what the key of the composition is . This will indicate the position on the staff of the musical notes.
The treble clef is probably the most popular in the world of music. This is because it is usually the most used, as it is suitable for instruments such as the flute or the violin. As for the piano notes, for example, these are written in the key of Sol and Fa. This is because right-hand notes work in treble clef, while left-hand notes will work in bass clef.
If you don’t know how to identify the key, then you better know which key works with which instrument. That way, if you know you’ll be reading flute notes , you’ll already have an idea of what you’ll be working with.
So, taking this instrument as an example, you will already know that, starting from the sun position, you can identify the notes ascending and descending; always following the order of the notation system: Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Si. Additional or imaginary lines can be used to write higher or lower notes.
Remember, the secret to reading a score is to know what the key signature of the composition is and the key of the notation.
Are there exercises for reading sheet music?
Well, fortunately, yes. In fact, they are necessary to facilitate learning for children in conservatories. So, if you have difficulty reading the musical notes, it is possible to start with exercises that allow you to get used to the staff.
One of the best known and easiest exercises to do is assigning a color to each musical note. That way, if you get lost in the sea of black and white notes, you can start learning by associating the line on which the note is positioned to a specific color.
After doing this, it is recommended to transcribe simple sheet music such as the classic “Hymn of Joy” and start practicing.
Always start with a simple musical reading and, by memorizing the position of the notes, you will be able to dare with more complex musical pieces in black and white.