Lesson 4 Staffs & Clefs

“Granny Vee’s Music House”

Where do music notes live?  Why in a music house, of course!  It’s officially called the GRAND STAFF.

The squiggly symbols in the “music house” below are called “clefs”.   The word “clef” means “key”.  Remember, all houses need a key to enter!  So there is always one at the beginning of music, too.

The  squiggly symbol on the top of the “music house” is the treble clef and it sits on the lines (staff) of the treble staff.  The notes on the treble staff sound higher than the bass notes.

Memory Tip: Both “treble” and “top” start with “t” in their spelling.  The treble’s on the top!

The backwards “c” symbol with the two dots is the bass clef and sits on the lines of the bass staff. The notes on the bass staff sound lower than the treble notes.  Just as the basement of a house is lower, you can remember that the bass notes are lower and on the bottom.  Also, “bass” in music is pronounced like “base” in “basement”.

Memory Tip: Both “bass” and “bottom” start with “b” in their spelling.  The bass is on the bottom!

Together, the treble staff and the bass staff make a “big music house” called the GRAND STAFF.   (“Grand” means “big”.)

ACTIVITY: You can recite the following in a sing-song manner to help you remember this lesson.  When you say “the treble’s on the top” use a high voice.  When you say “and the bass is on the bottom”, use a low voice.

The treble’s on the top and the bass is on the bottom

The treble’s on the top and the bass is on the bottom

Of the Grand Staff, of the Grand Staff

And in the middle, there’s a “C”!

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