Welcome to Beginners Piano!
This is a class for people who are serious about piano playing, so if you're one of them, then you're in the right place. It takes skills to play good, as well as patience, so please be considerate of the time that I have to type certain things up.
4. [Tears of the Dead Star
1. The Notes, Keys, and Octaves
The Notes, Keys, and Octaves
Notes and keys of the piano are, of course, the most important part. At first glance, sheet music
(upon which the music is written) appears only to be nothing but a bunch of circles and symbols. However, once you know the basics, it will become very simple to read.
Notes are placed on the staff
by order of pitch
(the highest-sounding notes go higher on the staff than low-sounding notes). At the beginning of each stave, a clef is placed. Clefs tell the musician where on the piano the notes are. All notes above Middle C (the very center note of a piano and placed in between the two staffs that make up a Grand Staff) are placed on the Treble Staff, while notes lower than Middle C are placed on the Bass Staff. Also, clefs tell which hand this particular part of the music is played with. Treble notes are played with the left hand, and Bass notes are played with the right.
(Don't pay attention to the "C5" ect. thing; we'll discuss that in Lesson 2.)
Notes on the piano are ordered alphabetically, from "A" to "G". These seven keys create a set called an octave. (An octave is the same letter name given to a key, though higher or lower in pitch and position and never the same key. They do, however, have the same sound.) After a G note has been reached, they start again back at A and continue down through all of the keys. There are a total of 88 individual keys on a piano, which includes the black keys (see Lesson 2). There are also 7 octaves and 3 extra keys.
Octaves are often represented in music with certain symbols so as to make the reading of the music easier to understand. (As soon as I find a picture, I'll put it up here ASAP.) They are also good indicators of where the notes are placed both on the piano and in the sheet music. Generally speaking, the first 8 notes on either staff are most recognized, while their octave counterparts are not as much so and can be found simply by counting 8 spaces up or down from the position of one of these notes. In time, most if not all positions on the staff will be memorized.
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