Reading music

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At the scale: A beginner
At the scale: A beginner


Passion, patience and practice are essential for a budding musician.

Almost everyone knows that these funny little symbols – black ovals with stems and tails – have something to do with music. But have you ever wondered what these symbols actually mean?

In its written form, music (and that may sound strange because music is usually listened to) is a representation of the pitch (frequency) and the duration of each note. The notes are written on a provision of five lines and four spaces called the ‘stave’ or ‘staff’.

Black and white

Different kinds of notes are placed on this stave and look much like an army of black ants running around on paper! Almost all genres of western music use this system of notation to represent music on paper. Other systems of music like Carnatic, Hindustani or Arabian use their own systems of notation.

What makes the western system of staff notation the most used the world over is perhaps the fact that it is universal. One piece of music is not interpreted any differently in London from how it is in Lahore. Also, every instrument follows the same method of notation. If you know how to read music for one instrument, you know how to read it for all other instruments as well.

Of course, you will have to learn how to actually play the instrument to know what the music you read sounds like. You can not only know what music sounds like, but also what it looks like!

There are many western classical music schools in the city that can teach you how. All one needs are passion, patience and practice! You will also need to own the particular instrument you wish to learn. This is because you will need to practise everyday, especially as a beginner.

Hidden talent

Many imagine music to be something that only inherently talented geniuses can learn. And while talent is a definite prerequisite, hours of practice are needed to bring that talent to the fore. For many, the musician within is latent until you try your hand at music. It is then that the hidden talent begins to be made manifest. As you begin, the feeling for some is as if they are attempting to scale Everest. But the joy you have later, having learnt an instrument, is unmatched! So who knows, maybe there is a musician in you? Of the many western classical music schools in Hyderabad, here are a few where you can learn the violin, the piano, the guitar, the recorder and many more instruments-Keys in Red Hills, Grace School of Church Music in Sikh Village and Scalamour in Karkhanna.

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