Accidentals change notes higher or lower.
Accidentals give you a wider range of music and are needed in every key but C major (and A natural minor).
Learn the names of piano keys and how to read notes before you learn the accidentals.
Pieces don’t sound right if they’re not in the right key– without the right accidentals!
This post is targeted towards beginner pianists as a resource for piano teachers and their students.
Add a Comment
Reading piano keys, explained.
Learn how to recognize any piano key and how the music alphabet works.
You’ll also learn where middle C is and why it’s so important.
This post is for beginner pianists as a resource for piano teachers and students.
The Music Alphabet and Notes
Notes are the musical language: you should play, hear, and understand them to communicate musically.
Every tone in music is a “note” that you can recognize with a letter name or write on the staff.
- For example, the classic “Mary had a Little Lamb” uses three (or four, depending on your version) notes which are arranged in different patterns to form the song.
- “Hot Cross Buns” uses three notes, too.
Knowing the piano keys and musical alphabet isn’t enough– you need to know how to read it on a staff, too.
Learn how to read notes on the staff quickly and easily with these little tricks.
The five lines form a staff; there are two sets of five lines joined together by a brace on the left– the whole thing is called the grand staff.
On each staff, there is a symbol.
The treble clef, or G clef, is on top.
The bass clef, or F clef, is on the bottom.
- The treble clef (top) tells you about notes generally above Middle C.
- The bass clef (bottom) tells you about notes generally below Middle C.
Note reading for the two clefs are different, so make sure you look at the clefs before you begin to sight read.