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Semester Exam Study Guide
This is a Treble Clef:
The bottom part of the treble clef circles the G line.
[This is for all students except low brass.]
This is a Bass Clef:
The two dots on this clef surround the F line.
[This is for low brass and percussion only.]
Mnemonic Devices
If you are reading notes on a treble clef, the lines (from bottom to top) can be remembered this way:
Every Good Boy Does Fine
Also, if you are reading notes on a treble clef, the spaces (from bottom to top) spell the word FACE.
[This is for all students except low brass.]
If you are reading notes on a bass clef, the lines (from bottom to top) can be remembered this way:
Good Boys Do Fine Always
Also, if you are reading notes on a bass clef, the spaces (from bottom to top) can be remembered this way: All
Cows Eat Grass
[This is for low brass and percussion only.]
At least 1 or 2 questions will ask you to identify a note outside of the staff. Count your way up or down the
musical alphabet to determine the note name. (If you go up the staff, you go forward in the musical alphabet. If
you go down the staff, you go backward in the musical alphabet.)
This is a flat: ♭ It lowers a note by a half-step.
This is a sharp: ♯ It raises a note by a half-step.
This is a natural: ♮ It cancels a sharp or flat that was previously placed on a note.
Enharmonic notes are two notes that sound the same but are written differently. There are five common pairs
of enharmonic notes: F♯ & G♭, G♯ & A♭, A♯ & B♭, C♯ & D♭, and D♯ & E♭.
There are 4 ways to determine the names of key signatures:
1. If a key signature has 2 or more flats, the name of the key is the name of the next to last flat. (The last
flat is the one on the far right, and the next to last flat is the one next to it.)
2. If a key signature has only 1 flat (B♭), it is the key of F.
3. If a key signature has no sharps and no flats, it is the key of C.
4. If a key signature has 1 sharp or more, you go up a half-step from the last sharp. (The last sharp is the
one on the far right.)
The top number in a time signature tells you how many beats are in a measure. The bottom number in a time
signature tells you what kind of note gets the beat.
Semester Exam Study Guide
This is a staff:
placed.
It’s a collection of lines and spaces on which music is
Ledger lines
staff.
are used to place notes in the music that are outside of the
Bar lines are used to separate the music into measures. Measures are units of music.
A double bar line indicates the end of a piece.
Repeat signs
are used to indicate that a section of music needs to be repeated.
When you see 1st & 2nd endings
, you play the first ending, repeat back to the beginning
of the repeated section (or the beginning of the music if it’s not indicated), play until you get to the first ending
again, skip the first ending, and play from the second ending onward.
A one-measure repeat sign tells you to repeat the previous measure.
When you see the words D.C. al Fine, you go back to the beginning and play until you see the word “Fine” and
stop.
When you see the words D.S. al Coda, you go back to the D.S. sign
skip to the Coda
, and play to the end.
When you see a fermata
A tie
, play until you see the words “To Coda”,
, you hold that note (or rest) until the director cuts you off.
is a curved line that connects two or more notes of the same pitch, while a slur
connects two or more
notes of different pitches.
A pick-up note is a note or group of notes that are played before the first full measure.
Semester Exam Study Guide
Dynamic Symbol
Dynamic Marking
Volume
pp
Pianissimo
Very soft
p
Piano
Soft
mp
Mezzo-Piano
Moderately soft
mf
Mezzo-Forte
Moderately loud
f
Forte
Loud
ff
Fortissimo
Very loud
A crescendo indicates that the music gradually gets louder, while a decrescendo indicates that the music
gradually gets softer.
The terms rallentando and ritardando indicate that the tempo gradually slows down, while the term accelerando
indicates that the tempo gradually speeds up.
Staccato
Staccatissimo**
Short
Very short
**This one is not on the test.
Note
Note Name
“Housetop” accent
Short and loud
Whole Note
Number of
Counts in 4/4
4
Half Note
Accent
Loud
Whole Rest
Number of
Counts in 4/4
4
2
Half Rest
2
Quarter Note
1
Quarter Rest
1
Eighth Note
1/2
Eighth Rest
1/2
Sixteenth Note
1/4
Sixteenth Rest
1/4
A dot next to a note
Rest
Tenuto
Full value
Rest Name
adds one half of the note’s value to a note.