A musical staff represents the time line of
musical sound events. It is generally made up of five lines and four spaces. Notes are
placed on these line and spaces to inform which pitch should sound. Notes placed on the
top or each other would sound in harmony. Notes placed side by side of each other would
sound as melody.
The notes on the musical staff indicates how high or
how low the pitch will sound. The higher up the note is placed on
the musical staff, the higher the pitch will sound. The lower the
note is placed on the musical staff, the lower the pitch will
sound. If notes are to go higher or lower than the five lines of the musical staff, ledger lines can be used to extend the staff.
A percussion staff may
have any number of lines depending on the type of instruments used. Keyboard percussion
instruments and most percussion instruments of determinant pitch
are usually notated on the musical staff. Instruments of indeterminate pitch may be notated in any number of lines depending on the
category it belongs. The three categories are metals, woods and skins. Some categories are
subdivided into smaller groups of the same family such as drums, tom toms, wood blocks,
tam tams, cow bells and so on. Such instruments, though its pitch
is indeterminate, produce different high and low sounds. Each of these instrument, derived
of the same family, will be assigned its own line or space on a percussion
staff. There are many ways to write for percussion. The important thing to remember is
to make the music as easy to read as possible for the percussionist.