How to Read Music (with Pictures)

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How to Read Music

Updated: September 6, 2019

This article was co-authored by Michael Noble, PhD. Michael Noble is a professional concert pianist who received his PhD in Piano Performance from the Yale School of Music in 2018. He has been playing piano since 1995, and has performed at Carnegie Hall and at other venues across the United States, Europe, and Asia.

There are 5 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

Western written music is a language that has been developing for thousands of years, and even the music we read today has been around for over 300 years. Music notation is the representation of sound with symbols, from basic notations for pitch, duration, and timing, to more advanced descriptions of expression, timbre, and even special effects. This article will introduce you to the basics of reading music, show you some more advanced methods, and suggest some ways to gain more knowledge about the subject.

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