Beginning to Read Music

by John Craton

Extending the Pitch

We said earlier that it is possible to play notes of higher or lower pitch than what we can put on the five-line staff. When we want to extend our pitch range, we can add notes above or below the staff by using ledger lines. These are counted as lines and spaces just the same as the notes on the five-line staff. The small lines through, above, or underneath the note are just short parts of a line that in theory extends all the way through the music. We use these ledger lines rather than a staff of ten or more lines to make it easier to read. A violin can play from a low G below the staff (third space below the staff) to a B above the staff (second space above the staff) when in 1st position. [Practice these in your workbook.]

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