Reading Music

Reading music can seem like a daunting and difficult task to some at first. However, it is not as difficult as it appears and anyone can learn how to do it.


There are two types of clefs:

1) Treble Clefs

2) Bass Clef

Typically, the bass clef would be used for instruments and music with a lower pitch.


Time signatures can tell us a lot when we look at music including how many and what kind of notes per measure are to be played. Top number indicates how many notes per measure and bottom is what kind. So, the numbers look like fractions when put together. If the bottom number is a two, it is noted that there are half notes to be played, if the bottom number is a four there are quarter notes, and so on.

Types of Notes

1) Whole notes look like white circles.

2) Half notes look like whole notes with vertical lines attached.

3) Quarter notes look like half notes with a filled in (black circle).

4) Eighth note look like quarter notes with a curly bit attached to the vertical line.

5) Sixteenth note has two curlies.

Eighth and sixteenth notes can be grouped together by attaching their curlies. Only notes of the same type can typically be attached or grouped together.


Similar to different notes, sheet music will indicate where to rest.

1) Whole rest looks like a rectangle attached to a line facing downward.

2) Half rest is an upside down whole rest.

3) Quarter rest is a bizarre squiggly.

4) Eight rest is a diagonal line with a dot.

5) Sixteenth rest is a diagonal line with two dots.

It’s easy

Learning to read music takes time and effort but as seen here, learning the basics is easier than you may have originally thought. Once you have the basics down, it is a matter of counting and putting it all together- it is that easy!