Piano Sheet Music

Introduction to Piano Sheet Music

Piano sheet music can be known by various names eg piano score, the dots, and is available in various formats such as printed versions in single song sheets or in compilation books, downloadable files eg PDFs, viewable files (displayed online within applications) or mobile device versions.

Sheet music specifies which notes are to be played, the sequence in which they are to be played, the rhythm with which they are to be played and also other performance guidelines such as which notes are to have accents, are to be played staccato (short and sharp) or legato (smoothly joined), crescendo (getting gradually louder) or diminuendo (getting gradually quieter). It usually shows the treble clef (showing the higher notes – usually played by the right hand) and bass clef (covering the lower notes – usually played by the left hand).

 

Do you Need to Learn to Read Notation?

The ability to read or write notation does not prevent you from being able to compose music as proven by several successful composers who were unable to read music sheets, such as Sir Paul McCartney and Irving Berlin (one of the most successful songwriter of the 20th century). The Beatles Complete sheet music book series is a good example of notation that has been created many years after the original performance of the songs by the artist as an interpretation of the original recording. It is very possible for someone to play music without having ever mastered reading musical notation and there are software programs eg Sibelius which can automatically produce a written score, based on the notes played by the musician – or a score can be manually produced by an arranger, as is common when pop songs are arranged by sheet music publishers.

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