OpenStax CNX

You are here: Home » Content » How to Read Music

About: How to Read Music

Module by: Catherine Schmidt-Jones. E-mail the author

View the content: How to Read Music


Name: How to Read Music
ID: m43040
Language: English (en)
Summary: Written music can show you how to play a piece of music that you've heard, remind you how to play a piece that you don't have memorized, or teach you a piece you've never heard before. Here are some suggestions for getting started.
Subject: Arts
Keywords: common notation, music notation, read music, sheet music, staff
License: Creative Commons Attribution License CC-BY 3.0

Authors: Catherine Schmidt-Jones (
Copyright Holders: Catherine Schmidt-Jones (
Maintainers: Catherine Schmidt-Jones (

Latest version: 1.1 (history)
First publication date: May 24, 2011 5:00 pm +0000
Last revision to module: Feb 8, 2012 10:20 am +0000


PDF: m43040_1.1.pdf PDF file, for viewing content offline and printing. Learn more.
EPUB: m43040_1.1.epub Electronic publication file, for viewing in handheld devices. Learn more.
XML: m43040_1.1.cnxml XML that defines the structure and contents of the module, minus any included media files. Can be reimported in the editing interface. Learn more.
Source Export ZIP: ZIP containing the module XML plus any included media files. Can be reimported in the editing interface. Learn more.
Offline ZIP: An offline HTML copy of the content. Also includes XML, included media files, and other support files. Learn more.

Version History

Version: 1.1 Feb 8, 2012 10:20 am +0000 by Catherine Schmidt-Jones
new module

How to Reuse and Attribute This Content

If you derive a copy of this content using a OpenStax_CNX account and publish your version, proper attribution of the original work will be automatically done for you.

If you reuse this work elsewhere, in order to comply with the attribution requirements of the license (CC-BY 3.0), you must include

  • the authors' names: Catherine Schmidt-Jones
  • the title of the work: How to Read Music
  • the OpenStax_CNX URL where the work can be found:

See the citation section below for examples you can copy.

How to Cite and Attribute This Content

The following citation styles comply with the attribution requirements for the license (CC-BY 3.0) of this work:

American Chemical Society (ACS) Style Guide:

Schmidt-Jones, C. How to Read Music, OpenStax_CNX Web site., Feb 8, 2012.

American Medical Assocation (AMA) Manual of Style:

Schmidt-Jones C. How to Read Music [OpenStax_CNX Web site]. February 8, 2012. Available at:

American Psychological Assocation (APA) Publication Manual:

Schmidt-Jones, C. (2012, February 8). How to Read Music. Retrieved from the OpenStax_CNX Web site:

Chicago Manual of Style (Bibliography):

Schmidt-Jones, Catherine. "How to Read Music." OpenStax_CNX. February 8, 2012.

Chicago Manual of Style (Note):

Catherine Schmidt-Jones, "How to Read Music," OpenStax_CNX, February 8, 2012,

Chicago Manual of Style (Reference, in Author-Date style):

Schmidt-Jones, C. 2012. How to Read Music. OpenStax_CNX, February 8, 2012.

Modern Languages Association (MLA) Style Manual:

Schmidt-Jones, Catherine. How to Read Music. OpenStax_CNX. 8 Feb. 2012 <>.