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Piano's Piano on the Net
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Staff and Keyboard

Student NotesCongratulations! You are in the BIG leagues now, you are using both hands to play the piano. You've also learned the importance of finger placement. Now let's take a look at some more interesting ways in which music is written to help the player play.

Look at The "Climbing Song" above. Do you notice anything different? It is the same song and will be played the same way, but as you can see there are some new looking notes on the staff. Look at the eighth notes and you will see that they are all connected now. This is a helping aid for the player of the song. "That's You." A composer will group notes per beat by adding a "Beam" to them. This beam ties notes together for each beat. And, it is also used to help keep track of the first half of a measure and the last half of a measure.

You will see eighth and sixteenth notes tied together with a beam as a general rule. This also helps the notes on the staff to be less confusing when there are lots of eighth notes or sixteenth notes used in a single measure. It is time now for you to use your music notebook with the blank staff paper. If you have misplaced it, you can go back to lesson 4 and then return here.

Copy what you see on the staff above into your notebook and label it The "Climbing Song." The correct way to draw notes is to first make the circle part of the note on a line or a space. Then draw the stem. Then add the flag or beam as needed. When you are done, go to the next paragraph.

A quick note about stems and beams.
As you have learned there are five lines drawn for either the bass clef or the treble clef on the staff. Look at the middle (3rd) line in either clef. If a note falls below this line, then the stem is drawn pointing upward. If a note falls on or above this line, then the stem is drawn pointing downward. Look back at the previous page, before beams were added to the eighth notes and you will be able to see this more clearly.

12 Note Companion

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