Music is written in notes on a staff or stave. These notes are A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. They do not go beyond G and do not necessarily start at A or end with G. Notes are placed on the staff to represent the pitch at which they are to be played.

The staves on which these notes are written are made up of five lines, distinguished by the clef, which appears on the staff. The treble clef (used in flute, piccolo, violin, piano, and guitar) starts the first line (bottom line) of the staff with E; the bass clef, conversely, (used in tuba, trombone, piano, and bass) start the first line with G.

You will often see notes not on the staff, but above or below the staff – these notes are annotated by small lines on which they either sit directly on, above, or below. These are called leger lines. They are used to illustrate a note that is too high or low to be placed on the staff itself (since you cannot have a staff that displays every possible octave in which a note may be played).

The next consideration pertaining to the clef and their relative instruments is designating a point on which provides a uniform tune. This point is reserved for the note “C”, called Middle C. It’s referred to as Middle C because it is the starting and ending point for a diagram known as the Circle of Fifths. This “circle” illustrates all the major and minor keys.