Pop Music Theory


Lessons in Order

1-7 (Intro & Pitch) +
8-18 (Major Scale) +
19-29 (Chord Progressions) +
30-34 (Hook Chords) +
35-41 (Written Notes) +
36: Written Notes: Treble Staff
42-50 (Song Chorus) +

Lessons by Topic

Strategy +
Pitches +
Scales +
Written Notes -
36: Written Notes: Treble Staff
Chords +
Chord Progressions +
Melody +
Songwriting Steps +
Science +
Games & Tools +
Song Examples: Crazy +
Song Examples: Rolling Stone +

Detailed Contents

Get Future Lessons

Lesson 36: Written Notes: Treble Staff

This and the next several lessons introduce reading and writing written notes. You'll need this to read the examples in our melody lessons, e.g. Lesson 44: Hook Melodies, as well as to learn to play and analyze songs from sheet music and fake books.

Just reading these lessons will not make you able to read music; you also need lots of practice learning to play written music. We can't give you that in this theory course; most people need a teacher to help with that. Think of these written-notes lessons as an introduction and reference.

Before taking this lesson, you should know:

The Treble Staff


This first "written notes" lesson shows you the treble staff, which is what we write the notes on. A music staff is a set of five lines:



We write the notes on these lines and on the spaces between the lines. Each pitch-letter (C, D, E, ...) goes on its own line or space. Which pitch-letter goes on which line or space? Well, that depends on which clef we use:

A clef is a symbol that we place on the staff to show which letter goes on which line. There are two common clefs, the G clef and the F clef; for now, we'll just use the G clef.

The G clef looks like this:



The G clef is actually a fancy letter G. It's usually placed on the staff like this:



The G clef shows you where to find the "G line": The G line is in the middle of the spiral. Here's the staff again, with the G line colored purple and a "G note" placed on it:

G

When the G clef is placed on the staff this way, with the G-note on line 2, the clef is called the treble clef and the staff is called the treble staff. The G on line 2 is the G above middle C.

Now that we have this G line as a starting point, we can find the pitch-letters below and above this G, namely F and A, on the spaces below and above the G line:

F G A

From here we can keep going up and down, and find the pitch-letters for every line and space on the treble staff. Here they are:

D E F G A B C D E F G

When you understand how to find pitches on the treble staff, go on to Lesson 37: Treble Staff Game to practice and test yourself.




Lessons in Order

1-7 (Intro & Pitch) +
8-18 (Major Scale) +
19-29 (Chord Progressions) +
30-34 (Hook Chords) +
35-41 (Written Notes) +
36: Written Notes: Treble Staff
42-50 (Song Chorus) +

Lessons by Topic

Strategy +
Pitches +
Scales +
Written Notes -
36: Written Notes: Treble Staff
Chords +
Chord Progressions +
Melody +
Songwriting Steps +
Science +
Games & Tools +
Song Examples: Crazy +
Song Examples: Rolling Stone +

Detailed Contents

Get Future Lessons


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