The Staff, Treble Clef and Bass Clef

Music is most commonly notated using the Staff (and tablature.) The staff consists of five horizontal lines on which musical notes lie. The lines and the spaces between the lines represent different pitches. Lower pitches are lower on the staff and higher pitches are higher on the staff.With the blank staff we can't yet tell what notes to play. We use Clefs to tell us which notes correspond to which lines or spaces. The most common clefs are the Treble Clef (also known as the G Clef) and the Bass Clef (or F Clef).

The Treble Clef spirals around the second line from the bottom. This spiral tells us that notes on this line are G.

From here we can figure out the other note names simply by going forward or backward through the musical alphabet: A,B,C,D,E,F,G.

If we need more notes above or below the staff we add Ledger Lines, which extend the range of the staff. (Middle C is the first ledger line below the staff in Treble Clef.)
The Bass Clef has two dots, above and below the second line from the top. The dots tell us that this line is F.

The note names in Bass Clef are:

Middle C is the first ledger line above the staff in Bass Clef.

Learn about the Alto and Tenor Clefs