The Grand Staff

Pic. 1 – The Grand Staff

Piano music is written on 2 staffs.  When the staffs are used together, they are called the ‘Grand Staff’.  In general, the right hand plays the notes on the top staff, and the left hand plays the notes on the bottom staff.

Treble Clef:
The treble clef is placed on the top staff and shows the notes that are above middle C.  The right hand usually plays these notes.

Bass Clef:
The bass clef is placed on the bottom staff and shows the notes that are below middle C.  The left hand usually plays these notes.

Brace:
The brace is the curved line to the left of the clef signs that connects both of the staffs.  Without the brace symbol, the hands would play separately.

Ledger Line:
The ledger line is a small line segment that extends the notes that can be written on either the bass or treble staffs.  In the picture above, notes C, D, E are on ledger lines below the bass staff.  Notes A, B, C are on the ledger lines above the treble staff.

Middle C:
On the grand staff, middle C is written on the short ledger line between the bass and treble staffs.  The right hand plays middle C if it is closer to the treble staff.  The left hand plays middle C if it is written closer to the bass staff.

You may also find these links useful:
Enharmonic Notes
Order of The Sharps
Order of The Flats
Music Terms & Symbols For Pianists
Suzuki Method For Piano

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