The staff

The staff consists of five horizontal staves. Notes can be written either on or between the lines. Lines and spaces are always counted from the bottom up.

Each note in the staff represents one of the seven white keys. The higher position a note has in the staff, the brighter the tone. The lower position a note has in the staff the deeper the tone.

Notes are always read from left to right, and notes placed above each other is played simultaneously. Notice that we can move beyond the five lines in the system using ledger lines.

The treble clef

The high notes on the piano is notated in a so-called Treble clef. The clef is always placed at the beginning of the staff. Notes in the treble clef is played with the right hand.

Note that the treble clef wind around the 2nd line in the staff. The treble clef specifies that the second line of the staff is the tone G (just above middle C).

Every time we move upward from a line to a space or a space to a line we rise to the next note in the musical alphabet. And also, every time we go down, we go backwards in the musical alphabet. Below you can see and hear all the white keys in the treble clef up to two ledger lines.

The bass clef

The bass clef is used to show notes in the lower register. Notes in the bass clef is played with the left hand.

The two dots in the bass clef determines that F (below middle C) is located on the 4th line in the staff. See and hear all the notes in the bass clef up to two ledger lines below.


Piano sheet music use a treble clef and a bass clef. They are connected in a parenthesis on the left side of the staves. This is called a score.

Notice that middle C is notated in both the treble clef and the bass clef. It is the same note, just notated in each clef.