Staff, stave

DEFINITION

The fundamental latticework of music notation, upon which symbols are placed. The five staff lines and four intervening spaces correspond to pitches of the diatonic scale - which pitch is meant by a given line or space is defined by the clef. With treble clef, the bottom staff line is assigned to E above middle C (E4 in note-octave notation); the space above it is F4, and so on. The grand staff combines bass and treble staffs into one system joined by a brace. It is used for keyboard and harp music. The lines on a basic five-line staff are designated a number from one to five, the bottom line being the first one and the top line being the fifth. The spaces between the lines are, in the same fashion, numbered from one to four. In music education, the mnemonic "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge" is used to remember the value of each line from bottom to top. The interstitial spaces are often remembered as spelling the word "face" (notes F-A-C-E).

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