If you want to learn how to read music then you’ve come to the right place. The goal of this tutorial is to teach you the basics of music so that you are able to:
- Actively read notes on several staves.
- Quickly decipher rhythms in various meters and signatures.
- Identify chords and progressions
Notation – What is it?
According to the dictionary, Dictionary.com, Notation is “a system of graphic symbols for a specialized use, other than ordinary writing.”
This is generally a good definition of Notation. However it may contain a lot of terms you may not be familiar with. One way to think of Music Notation is as a universal language, a form of communication that is unseen by your listeners!
When someone reads music, they process the information. They see what the notes are and the duration of each note. It is then translated from sheet music (graphic symbols) into music (“an art of sound in time that expresses ideas and emotions in significant forms through the elements of rhythm, melody, harmony, and color”) for the ears.
Notation – What’s it do?
It may be helpful to think of how reading music notation and sheet music can help you:
- Reduces misinterpretations between people.
- Can create a universal language that overcomes cultural barriers.
- Open up new possibilities for you to explore and expand your knowledge of music.
- Allow the creation and communication of your own music
This tutorial starts from the absolutely beginning in music theory. It starts at the ground and works up.
This is not something that is expected to be mastered over night. Don’t think you will be able to power through this whole tutorial in a single sitting. Read a few lessons, take a break, then do a few more. Give the information some time to sink in.
If you start getting lost: Go back and review!