The Staff, Clefs and Ledger Lines
................1.1.1 The Staff
................1.1.2 Treble Clefs
................1.1.3 Ledger Lines
................1.1.4 Bass Clef
................1.1.5 Relationship between the Treble and Bass Clefs
The staff as shown in figure 1 is the basis on which notes are shown. The structure of the staff looks very similar to that of guitar tablature, but the way it is interpreted is completely different. For guitar tablature there are 6 lines, which each represent a string on the guitar. The staff however has 5 lines and 4 spaces, where each of the line or space represent a white key on a piano.
The "Clef" is what is used to assign specific notes to each of these lines and spaces. There are 2 clefs that are usually used, the "Treble Clef" and the "Bass Clef".
The "Treble Clef" is shown here in figure 2. It is also sometimes known as the "G Clef" as it wraps around the line which represents G (second line from the bottom). When the treble clef is placed on the staff, the lines and spaces represent notes as shown. To clarify this, let us look at an example:
The notes on this short piece of sheet music would be ADDGFA. Obviously on real sheet music there would not be labels like there are here.
If you look closely at the sheet music in figure 3, you may have noticed something peculiar about the way the last A is written. It is written on an additional line, which is above the staff. This is in fact called a "Ledger Line", and is used to extend the staff when required.
The "Bass Clef" is shown here in figure 4 . It is sometimes referred to as the "F Clef", and when a bass clef is placed on a staff, the lines and spaces represent notes as shown.
There is a theoretical staff called the "Grand Staff", which consists of 11 lines and is shown here in figure 5. If we remove the middle line we can see the relationship between the 2 staves. Note that the C shown on the right is referred to as "Middle C".