Pitch

The Music Staff
A Music Staff is a set of lines and spaces. The music staff was inspired by the frets on a guitar. At first notes were written only in the spaces.
Both lines and spaces have been used for the last millenium. Though three- and four-line staves were common at one time, today we use a five-lined staff. Each line and space represents successive letter-names. What those letters are depends on the placement of the clef.

When notes go off the staff there are three options.

1. Extend the current staff with LEDGER LINES .
2. Change the clef.
P I T C H
3. Us "8va" to shift the octave as indicated at right.

8va means an octave higher and 8ve, or 8vb, an octave lower. Sometimes 8va is used for an octave lower. The bracket shows the direction.

Next Top