What is Sheet music? How to read sheet music?4 min read
Be the music maker and the dreamer of dreams. Music is a great gift to mankind. It has a mysterious beauty to it that you can never unlove! The life of a person seems to go on without effort when s/he is filled with music. Certainly, without music, life would have been a mistake. Also, those who dance to its beat would be considered insane! Isn’t that scary enough to even imagine?
Coming to the main matter, sheet music is something that renders powerful support to all music lovers. Technically speaking, it is a handwritten or sometimes printed form of musical notes that has musical symbols written on it. The musical symbols can be in various forms- pitches, rhythms, or chords of any song. The usage of sheet music isn’t a modern day thing but it is prevalent since olden times. The fact to ponder here is that sheet music is generally written or printed on a single sheet. In simple words, one song or a piece of work is embedded on a single sheet.
How to read sheet music?
Before moving forward, it is very important to note down the basic terms of sheet music. The first thing that you need to know before reading sheet music is the sequence of notes, all memorized backwards and forwards!
Do you know where the problem lies? The problem lies in learning sheet music through books which are indeed very complicated. But worry not! Our goal is to explain everything to you and show how much you can make it to the most. Follow these simple steps to make your musical journey even better!
Staff and Treble Clef
You might be wondering what staff is. The staff is the space where musical notes are written down. This space comprises vertical lines and cavity (space) between them. Every line represents a variant musical note. The extra lines apart from the main lines on the staff are called ledger lines.
The G symbol note is referred to as treble clef (G-Clef).
Learning the location of the keys
You may have observed black and white keys on a piano or keyboard. It is very important to understand what all those keys mean. There are 7 different tones on a piano- A,B,C,D,E,F and G. For example: FGABC or GABCE. Take time in memorizing this set of octaves.
Understanding sharps, flats and naturals
Sharps and flats are actually the augmented versions of notes. For instance, if someone tells you to play a sharp note that means to play the next note which is higher than the previous one. On the other hand, playing flat means to play the next note on a lower scale.
Knowing the mechanism of notes
Notes which are there on the staff tell us about the note letter to be played on the musical instrument and also it tells us how long to play it. Basically, there are 3 parts of each note: note head, stem and the flag.
The note head is either filled or open i.e., black or white respectively.
Individually, the note head which is there on the staff tells us which note to be played and when to be played. Also, there are times when the note heads will sit above or below the lines and four spaces of a staff as well.
Coming to the note stem, it is actually a thin line that extends either up or down from the note head itself. The line present there extends from the right if pointing upward or from the left if it’s pointing downward.
Last but not least! Note flag is recognized as a curvy mark to the right of the note stem. It tells us how long to hold a note.
Finger Numbers for music Players
While we learn how to read sheet music, it becomes very important to remember that each of our fingers are numbered from 1 to 5 (including the thumb). Counting otherwise, the thumb is numbered as 1, the indexed finger is numbered as 2, middle finger is numbered as 3, ring finger as number 4, and the little finger as number 5. All music players – from beginner to advanced level – use finger numbers for reading sheet music.
Benefits of learning sheet music
Learning sheet music is beneficial in so many ways that you can’t even imagine! The world of music is beyond imagination. The core advantages of learning sheet music are as follows.
It gradually unlocks a world of expression and freedom on the musical instrument. This indicates that you will be able to play in any party, function, wedding ceremonies, band or even perform professionally.
You can easily sight read on other instruments as well. For instance, you can work with strings, brass, or woodwinds.
It is a mode of communication where you can converse with other musicians through its linkage.
It is very important to bring a sense of magic into your life. Try gathering and playing to friends and family. There is no better way of developing your playing. Just remember to keep it real and practical. What’s important is to check your expressions, tone and then you are ready to go. Nail the stage. Know that you are the best and you know the best!