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Section 1.2 Notation

Notes are written on a five-line staff. A clef orients the lines to a reference point. For example, the G clef, when placed on a five-line staff, becomes the treble clef, the most well known clef. In treble clef, the notes on the lines are \(\text{E}\)–\(\text{G}\)–\(\text{B}\)–\(\text{D}\)–\(\text{F}\) from lowest to highest, often remembered through the traditional mnenomic “Every Good Boy Does Fine.” The spaces are \(\text{F}\)–\(\text{A}\)–\(\text{C}\)–\(\text{E}\) from lowest to highest. Staves (the plural of “staff” in musical terminology is “staves”) are extended by the ledger lines.

Note names of lines and spaces in treble clef

The F clef, when placed on a five-line staff with the dots surrounding the second line from the top, creates the bass clef. See the example for the names of lines and spaces, and for mnemonics to remember them.

Note names of lines and spaces in bass clef