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Musical signs, symbols and their meanings






                                                                               SIGN                                     NAME                   MEANING

Stave or Staff
Is the fundamental framework of music notation, upon which symbols (like notes) are placed. The lines on a basic five-line staff are designated a number from one to five, the bottom line being the first one and the top line being the fifth.
Leger line
Used to extend the staff to pitches that fall above or below it.
Bar line
Used to separate measures/beats and connect the upper and lower staffs
Double bar line
Used to separate two sections or phrases of music.
Connects two or more lines of music that are played simultaneously


                                             SIGN        NAME                         MEANING

Treble Clef
Also called the G clef because the centre of the spiral rests on the second-from bottom line -the G line
Bass Clef
Also called the F clef, the line or space between the dots in this clef is the F below middle C (which is where the curved part of the sign with a Black Circle rests on)
Alto Clef
Also known as the 'C clef', this clef points to the line representing middle C. Positioned here, it makes the centre line on the staff middle C, and is referred to as the "alto clef." This clef is used in modern notation for the viola, a stringed instrument similar to the violin.
Neutral Clef
Used for pitchless instruments, such as percussion. Each line can represent a specific percussion instrument within a set, such as in a drum set.
Octave Clef
The Octave Clef is is a normal treble clef symbol with the number 8 printed above or below. The number 8 directs the musician to play the music an octave lower than indicated (with the number 8 below the treble clef as seen in the picture) or an octave higher than indicated (with the number 8 above the treble clef).
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