One of the first things that you will be introduced to when learning to play the piano is middle C. It is important to be able to locate where middle C is on a piano keyboard. Using middle C as a starting point, you will then learn how to read the other individual piano music notes (There are 7 notes in music by the way; A through G: A, B, C, D, E, F, G) that are written on sheet music.
Sheet music is written on five lines, and is also written on the four spaces between the lines. This arrangement of lines is called the music staff. Piano music uses two staves (the plural of staff), which is called the grand staff. A grand staff is used because there are so many different notes that can be played on the piano (88 notes to be exact) therefore, two separate staves are needed in order to notate where all of the high notes (written on the top staff) are located and where all of the lower notes (written on the lower staff) are located. There is one note that is written directly between the top and bottom staff, where the two halves of the keyboard “come together.” This note is called middle C, because it indicates the middle of the piano keyboard and the middle of the grand staff.
To visually locate where middle C is on the piano, you first must realize how the piano keyboard is configured. Take a look at the example picture (directly above) which shows part of a piano keyboard layout with its white and black keys along with the names of the music notes (A through G) that correspond to each ( white or black) piano key.
Now take a look at the keys on your piano and you will notice that the black keys are grouped together in groups of 2 or 3. These groups alternate, so that you have a group of 2 black keys, then a group of 3 black keys, then another group of 2 black keys, and so on, all the way to the end of the keyboard. Take a moment to locate these groups. Put your finger on the first black key (the one on the left) of a group of 2 black keys. Now slide your finger to the left to touch the white key directly beside it. This is one of the C keys on the piano. If you follow this process with any of the groups of 2 keys, you will find another C. The farther to the right you move, the higher the C will sound, and the farther to the left, the lower the note will sound.
The C that is located right in the middle of the keyboard, (just beneath where the piano manufacturer’s name or piano brand label is) directly in front of where you are positioned when sitting in front of the piano on your piano bench, is middle C. This is the best and quickest way to find middle C on your keyboard. On sheet music, middle C is written on a short line, called a ledger line, written directly below the bottom line of the top staff. If you start at one C and play all of the white keys; also known as the white notes (starting at C, then going on up to play D, E, F, G, then A, then B, in order until you reach the next C, you have just played the C major scale. The C major scale does not use any sharp or flat notes in it (represented by the black keys). There are many pieces of music that you can learn to play that center around the C major scale. If a piece of music is written in the key of C major, you can assume that it will use only, or at least mostly, the white keys, since those are the notes of the scale. Learning your major and minor scales and how to play them on the piano will greatly help you to improve your skills as a musician.
Practice playing the C major scale and locating the Cs on the piano. Find a piece of sheet music and practice locating all of the middle Cs written on the staff paper. On the top staff, called the treble clef staff, C is also the name of the note written on the third space from the bottom, which would be located as the C to the right of middle C on the piano keyboard. Another C is the note written using two ledger lines above the treble clef staff. On the bottom staff, called the bass clef staff, C is also written on the second space from the bottom, and again using two ledger lines beneath the bass clef staff. Take the time to practice finding all the Cs (or C notes) that you can on your piano sheet music, then locate each of the Cs that are on your piano keyboard. Knowing where to correctly locate all of the C notes on the piano keyboard will help you to find and locate other music notes (relative to the position of the notes that you already know how to find) as you progress further along in your piano lessons.
Greetings to Everyone and A Big Welcome to Infinity Music Studio! My name is Suzanne Brittania. I have been teaching piano and voice lessons for over 40 plus years. It is my hope that you will find all the following information, along with the music videos listed within my blog, to be very interesting, helpful and inspiring all throughout your own musical journey.
The videos listed below are of famous opera stars (that I performed with extensively all throughout my earlier musical career) especially during the 1950's and 60's.
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