Music Theory Definitions


There are two main clefs in piano, one is the Treble Clef (figure 1.1), it is generally played with the right hand. Now, the other lovely clef is called the Bass Clef (figure 1.2), and it's almost always used by the left hand. I won't go very in-depth about all this as I've done video's on this before, you could check out Piano Lesson #5.


An interval is the distance between two notes on the piano, also it can be called the distance between two pitches.

Note values

In music we have a set tempo that we play the music at. This is the pace of the music, but what if we don't want to play every not equal length? Well, that's why we have different types of notes! That way we can keep a steady beat, while still having short notes or long notes to add effect! (figure 4.1). Also, my Piano Lesson #5 is on this topic.

Time signatures

Ever see those little numbers at the start of a song like 4 4 or maybe you saw a 3 4 or even a 6 8? Those are called “time signatures”. These things actually serve a very important purpose. They designate how many beats each bar will get, and also what note are we going to count as one beat. The top number tells us how many beats there are each bar. So if we're in 4/4 we're going to count 1,2,3,4, 1,2,3,4 and so on. What if it's 3 /4? Well, it's pretty simple, we're just going to count, 1,2,3, 1,2,3 etc. Pretty easy hey? Yup! Now, the bottom number is going to tell you which note up there is going to count for 1 beat. Usually there is a 4 in the bottom, so that means that a quarter note is going to be 1 beat. What if there's an 8 in the bottom? Well, this can get confusing, but all it means is that an eighth note is one beat.

Dynamics and signs

Seen things like F or P written on the music? Well these actually mean something! (*laughing* Obviously right?) Anyway, F is short for the Italian word Forte, which means Loud. There are MANY more, so instead of typing them, I explain a few of these in piano lesson #6. You could also check out this link to Wikipedia.
Thanks for reading, I know there is very little info here, but I will try to add more in the future. Also if you'd like to add content to this page, just e-mail me and send me what you typed up, I'll go over it and if it's acceptable and accurate, I'll post it, with full credit given to you!