Musical sounds are represented by graphic signs, some that define their horizontal concept, that is, their duration, and others that define their vertical concept, that is, their height.

1. Vertical terminology

Represented by five horizontal lines equidistant from each other.


They are signs that describe the notes written on the staff. The main keys are SOL and FA in the fourth line. There are other clefs such as C clefs, but they are not often used in popular music.


Represented by signs that are written on the lines and spaces of the staff. Each note is equivalent to a certain musical sound.

Additional lines

Notes that cannot be written on the staff due to their height use the additional lines, which are short lines, parallel and equidistant from the staff, written above and below it.

Grand pentagram

It consists of the union of two staves, the upper one in SOL clef and the lower one in FA clef in fourth line.

2. Horizontal terminology

The duration of a sound is determined by the figure of the note that represents it. The figures currently in existence are the following:

  • Round
  • White
  • Black
  • Quaver
  • Semiquaver
  • Fuze
  • Semifuze

There are other figures in disuse such as the square (worth twice the round), the garrapea and the semigarrapea.

Silences or pauses

These are signs that indicate the interruption or absence of sound. Each note corresponds to a rest of equal duration.

Writing figures and notes

The notes that are written on the lines must be crossed by them, those that are written in the spaces must internally touch the lines that delimit them. White notes and figures of lower value are written with a stick called stem, which is written up when it is to the right of the note, and down when it is to the left. It will be written to the right when it is below the center line of the staff, and to the left when it is above the center line. On the same center line you can write up or down.

The brackets that are written for the eighth notes and figures of lower value are placed to the right of the stem, at the end of it and with the opposite inclination to it.

Slashes are used in place of square brackets when at least two notes can be slashed.