Writing Music

Home - Music Notation

Writing Music Notes and Noteheads

Most music is written on a staff of five parallel lines. Pitch in music is the highness or lowness of a sound, and it is indicated on the staff with notes. The part of the note that indicates pitch is called the notehead. Noteheads are small oval shapes that are written on lines of the staff, or in the spaces between staff lines. There are two types of notehead: closed noteheads and open noteheads.

 

Closed notehead:
Closed notehead

 

Open notehead:
Open notehead

 

 

When writing noteheads in the spaces of the staff, make sure that the notehead is in the center of the space, touching both the line above it and the line below it.

Closed and open noteheads in spaces of the staff:
Noteheads in spaces on the staff

Noteheads that are on lines need to be centered directly on the appropriate line, so that the top of the notehead is in the middle of the space above it, and the bottom of the notehead is in the middle of the space below it.

Closed and open noteheads on lines of the staff:
Noteheads on lines of the staff

Always be neat when writing noteheads. If a notehead is too big or too small, or too high or too low, the musician reading what you have written will not know what to play. Good music notation results in good communication, which results in good music performances.

 

 

 

Here are some common errors to avoid when writing music notes:

Avoid! These noteheads are too small:
Example of noteheads that are too small

Avoid! These noteheads are too big:
Example of noteheads that are too big

Avoid! These noteheads are not centered on the appropriate line or space:
Examples of noteheads that are not properly centered

 

 

Music Notation

How to Write Music

Besides blank staff paper, this site includes instructions on how to draw music notes and symbols. You can learn how to draw notes, ledger lines, clefs, rests, note values, accidentals, time signatures, and other musical symbols.

Getting started with the basics:
Noteheads
Ledger lines
Treble clef
Bass clef
Accidentals

 

If you like this site, please share it with others!
Like Kyle Coughlin Music on FacebookFollow Kyle Coughlin Music on Twitter
Like Kyle Coughlin Music on Facebook

Follow Kyle Coughlin Music on Twitter