(From The Introduction)
Reading sheet music is both an art and a way of expressing ideas and emotions. Music is sometimes called a universal language. This language is communication of ideas and feelings among people who are separated by continent, custom, time and space.
Music is conveyed to the mind through the sense of hearing. 'Sound' is the word for anything that may be heard; it can have tone qualities, pleasing and musical. The tones have four properties: pitch may be high or low; length may be long or short; they may be soft or loud; and quality may be different in character, relating to each other much like stair steps or scales.
All music has three elements: Melody, which pertains to the pitch of tone, rhythm, which pertains to the length of tone, and dynamics pertaining to power and quality of tone. These elements are key, key tone, the scales, the braces and score. The key is a family of seven tones; the key tone is the home tone or first scale tone. The scales are seven individual tones taken in regular order. The key tone 'Do' is repeated an octave higher, meaning 8 notes above. Their Italian syllables names are Do, Re, Me, Fa, Sol, La, Ti, Do. The numeral names are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. The alphabetical names are C, D, E, F, G, F, B, C. Modern notation is based on the staff, which is a group of five lines and four spaces between; added lines and spaces can be placed above and below the staff. These added lines are called ledger lines. A staff contains five lines and six spaces, named from below, counting upward. The general name for each space and each line is a degree, for a total of eleven degrees. The total may be expanded by adding short lines and spaces above and below.