Reading music is much like reading a book--to a reader, it's second nature, but to a person learning, it can be very difficult. Learning to read music itself isn't hard, but it does take time to make it second nature. Aside from reading rhythm and pitches, there really isn't much to music.
An easy way to remember the names of the lines on a treble clef is my using these acronyms:
In addition to these seven notes, there are notes in between most of them. These are called half steps. To indicate for a musician to raise or lower a note a half step, a sign is placed in front of the note. A note that has been raised or lowered is called an accidental. To indicate down one half step, "" is used, and to indicate up one half step, "" is used. Every note can have a sharp or flat sign in front of it, and once an accidental is used for the first time in a measure, it stays in effect for the rest of that measure only for that pitch. If the natural pitch of the written pitch is desired, then a natural sign () is used.
Composers often wish to change the key signature of a piece of music. By changing the key, they are telling the musician that indicated notes will always be changed as indicated, unless indicated otherwise with another key change or an accidental marking.
Order of Flats-Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb, Cb, Fb
Order of Sharps-F#, C#, G#, D#, A#, E#, B#,
|Sharp Key||Name of Sharp Key||Flat Key||name of Flat Key|
|1 Sharp||G||1 Flat||F|
|2 Sharps||D||2 Flats||Bb|
|3 Sharps||A||3 Flats||Eb|
|4 Sharps||E||4 Flats||Ab|
|5 Sharps||B (same as Cb)||5 Flats||Db (same as C#)|
|6 Sharps||F# (same as Gb)||6 Flats||Gb (same as F#)|
|7 Sharps||C# (same as Db)||7 Flats||Cb (same as B)|
Music would be nothing without rhythms, which are the duration of the notes. What good is a note if you don't know how long to play it? To solve this problem, the duration of the note is indicated by the appearance of the note. The system of note values are all related, with a whole note receiving the most duration (four beats in common time), and the half note half that of a whole note, and a quarter note half of a half note, and so on. It may be easy to think of the note values as a large pie--just like the one pictured in the illustration to the left.
These rhythms can be combined to gether as well.