Lesson 2: Ledger lines and the octave | Music basics | Music | Khan Academy


– [Tutor] If we would
like a note below the D, which is on the bottom of the staff, we need to add what is
called a ledger line, if we add this ledger line, we then can put a note on that line and it will be a C, one note below the D. This ledger line can be
used in either direction, so the note above the
treble clef staff is a G, if we add a ledger line and put a note on that ledger line, it will be an A. These ledger lines can be
used above or below the staff and there is no limit to how
many ledger lines we can add, but after four or five ledger lines, the notes become very difficult to read. Let’s go back to the single ledger line below the treble clef
staff, this note is a C, if we add a note below this
ledger line, we create a B and if we add a second ledger line and place a note on
that second ledger line, it will be an A, we always remember that
it is the seven letters of the alphabet that
we use in naming notes, so if we’re at a C and go down, descending in pitch, then it goes to a B and if
we add a second ledger line and place a note on that
line, it will be an A. Now let’s look at all the different notes, that we’ve discussed from the
A below the treble clef staff to the A above the staff, now we see there are three
As, one below the staff, one in the middle of the
staff and one above the staff, these three notes all
sound like the same pitch, but one is low, one is in the middle register and one is high, if we count from the
low A to the middle A, we see that the middle A is the
eighth note above the low A, the distance from one A to
the next is called an octave, which comes from the Latin,
octava, meaning eight-part, we can now read two octaves
of music on the treble clef, the low A to the middle A is one octave, the middle A to the A above
the staff is the second octave. There are two memorization tools that some use to remember
the treble clef notes, the spaces are F, A, C, E, which of course spells FACE and the lines are E, G, B, D, F, Every Good Boy Does Fine.

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