Violin/Key Signatures


uncle duke wrote at 2014-10-16 16:17:37
Know/learn the name of each line and space of the staff. A staff is made of 5 lines and 4 spaces. The spaces are in between the 5 lines. Starting on the bottom line and finishing with the top line, the lines are named E,G,B,D,F. The spaces in between the lines are named F,A,C,E. This wilst cover all TREBLE-clef music or scales no matter the key they're written in. The above mentioned lettered lines and spaces applies to piano, guitar, tenor sax, treble clef baritone and violin. Just remember that the names of the lines/spaces won't change letterwise. At the top left corner you'll see a treble clef symbol. To determine which key the composer wrote his music in is done by looking at the amount of flat symbols, sharp symbols, or natural symbols written just to the right of the top left treble clef symbol. In the key of C major there won't be any flat, sharp or natural symbols. That tells a player that this music is in the key of C major. Let's say another piece of music has 3 flatted symbols next to the top left treble clef symbol. Look CAREFULLY at which line or space the flatted symbols are on. It's telling you to play those notes in their flatted position/fingering for the entire piece of music until written otherwise. The next piece of music could have 5 or 6 flatted notes in it's key signiture. The reason being- it's the composers decision. In a simple world all music could be written in G or Bb. Just my opinion though. Take the time to learn your basic scales- the flat, sharps or natural symbols will/should be there at the top. Over time, you'll know what the key the music is written because learned your scales. Somewhere during a piece of music the composer will sharpen of flatten a note or 2. That will stay that way until the next measure of music- pay attention.  Like Mr. Fisher said, it's easier than it sounds.  


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James S. Fisher


Please Note: For an accurate appraisal of your instrument's value or history, I must advise you to take it to a local luthier or string shop for an evaluation. It's really not possible to do this with any accuracy via email.

However, I am happy to answer other questions about violins, bows, violin playing, and violin/bow repair. I can also talk with you about what bows, rosin, strings, cases, shoulder rests, etc. might work best for you and your particular instrument. (There are some great new products on the market.) I've taught violin and fiddle playing for the past 18 years and will answer questions about playing and technique.


I've been studying the violin for over thirty years. I started teaching in 1996. In addition to my training at Lebanon Valley College and at the Violin Institute, I handle violins, bows, and customer questions of all sorts on a daily basis in my shop - J.S. Fisher Violins,


I hold a Bachelor of Music degree from Lebanon Valley College, as well as certificates in violin repair, violin maintenance, and bow rehairing from the Violin Institute at the University of New Hampshire.

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