In this tutorial I will cover the very basic starting points for learning Music Theory. I assume you know nothing about music or musical notation. First, let's cover some basic definitions and concepts that are key to understanding Music Theory.
Pitch - Pitch is defined as the quality of sound that determines if it is a 'high' sound or a 'low' sound. Keys on the left side of a keyboard are 'low' pitched, and keys on the right side are 'high' pitched. This pitch is determined by the frequency of the sound waves that are creating the sound. Higher pitched sounds have a higher frequency, which is measured in Hertz (Hz) or Kilohertz (kHz). The human ear can hear from roughly 20 Hz to 20 kHz. All musical pitches fall between these two extremes.
Note - A note is the term used to refer to a specific pitch. Notes are referred to by the first 7 letters of the alphabet (ABCDEFG). These 7 letters are arranged across the keyboard in a repeating pattern. We will talk more about this pattern later.
Staff - A staff is a collection of lines used to notate musical phrases and ideas. Staffs are arranged in a pattern five lines with four spaces in between. The value of a note written on a staff is determined by which line or space it is written in. The lines and spaces represent different notes depending on which type of staff it is, which is determined by the Clef which is placed at the beginning of the staff. We will cover this in detail in the future.
Notehead - refers to the symbols that are used to represent notes on a Staff. There are several different types of noteheads which will be covered in the future.
These are only some of the most basic concepts necessary to learn Music Theory. In the next tutorial, we will explore the basic usage of Staffs, Clefs, and Note Names.