Pitches and Clefs
In FIGURE 3-4, you see the two staves used for piano music. Together, they form one super-sized staff called the grand staff.
Notes are written on both the lines and the spaces of each staff. In order to name the pitches, a clef is used; the clef defines or delineates each line and space. The best way to understand this is through example. The first space from the bottom in the treble clef is F. The first space from the bottom in the bass clef is A. The spaces look the same, but they represent different notes (and even different octaves). This is illustrated in FIGURE 3-5.
FIGURE 3-4: The Grand Staff
FIGURE 3-5: Coparing Clefs
In the following figures, a generic note head will signify pitch. Later in the chapter, you will learn about note names and rhythms. FIGURE 3-6 shows you all of the lines and spaces for each clef. Use a mnemonic device to help you remember the lines and spaces. In
FIGURE 3-6: F A C E on the Treble Clef
FIGURE 3-7: Every Good Boy Does Fine on the Treble Clef
To remember the lines on the treble clef, think of EGBDF as an acronym for Every Good Boy Does Fine. Again, read from the bottom up. See FIGURE 3-7.
Follow the same procedure for the bass clef. To remember the spaces, use the mnemonic device ‘All Cows Eat Grass’. See FIGURE 3-8.
For the lines on the bass clef, use the phrase Good Boys Do Fine Always. See FIGURE 3-9.
FIGURE 3-8: 8: All Cows Eat Grass on the Bass Clef
FIGURE 3-9: Good Boys Do Fine Always on the Bass Clef