Staff or stave
The fundamental latticework of music notation, upon which symbols and notes are placed.
Ledger or ledger lines
Ledger lines are used to extend the staff to pitches falling above or below it, and extend a small distance to each side.
Bar lines are used to separate measures.
Double bar line
Double bar lines are used to separate two sections or phrases of music.
Dotted bar line
A dotted bar line subdivides long measures into shorter segments for ease of reading.
An accolade or brace connects multiple lines of music that are played simultaneously. Depending on the instruments playing, the brace, or accolade, will vary in design and style.
Treble clef (G clef)
The treble clef symbol is used to show where the pitch G, denoted by the center spiral, above middle C is located on the staff. It is also the most commonly used clef in music notation.
Alto and tenor clef (C clef)
This clef points to the line or space representing middle C. Also called the "alto clef".
Bass clef (F clef)
The line or space between the dots in this clef denotes F below middle C.
The neutral clef is used for pitchless instruments, such as some of those used for percussion.
Breve or double whole note
Note lasting twice as long as the whole note, or twice as long as the number of beats per measure.
Semibreve, or whole note
Note lasting the full count of the measure
Minim, or half note
Note played for two quarter note counts
Crotchet, or quarter note
Note played for one quarter note beat
Quaver, or eighth note
Note lasting one eighth note beat
Semiquaver, or sixteenth note
Note lasting one sixteenth note beat
Demisemiquaver, or thirty-second note
Note lasting one thirty-second note beat
Hemidemisemiquaver, or sixty-fourth note
Note lasting one sixty-fourth note beat
Beams connect eighth notes and notes of shorter value. Used for numerical grouping, making it easier on the reader.
Note lasting the full count of the note, plus half of its value. The quarter note shown would last a total of three eighth notes.
Major second or whole step