When I was 7 years old, I had just begun to learn how to play the piano. My piano teacher, Mrs. Permison, taught me a few often used mnemonic devices to help me read and remember notes on the treble- and bass-clefs. Here is a humble ASCII representation of both clefs, with an explanation near the bottom:

     |\
|----| )--------------------------------------------F---
|    |/                     E
|----/------------------------------------------D-------
|   /|                  C
|--/-|--------------------------------------B-----------
| /  |\             A
|/--(|,\--------------------------------G---------------
||   - |        F
| \__|_/----------------------------E-------------------
|    |      D                   
|  (_|                         -C-
|       B
|---------------------------A---------------------------
|  ____                                         G
|-/----\-.--------------F-------------------------------
| |     \                                   E
|--\----|.----------D-----------------------------------
|   \) /                                C  
|-----/---------B---------------------------------------
|  \_/                              A                  
|-----------G-------------------------------------------
The treble clef notes can be remembered as thus:
For the notes on the lines:
Every Good Boy Does Fine.
For the notes between the lines:
"FACE"

The bass clef notes can be remembered as thus:
For the notes on the lines:
Good Boys Do Fine Always.
For the notes between the lines:
All Cows Eat Grass.

Big Dogs In Pink Mumus Take Turns With Silly Sisters Of Ferrets, K?

Beuthanasia, Diazepam, Innovar, Phenobarbitol, Morphine, Telazol, Torbougesic, Winstrol, Sodium Pentothal, Sodium Phentobarb, Oxymorphone, Fentanyl, Ketamine.

Animal Hospital drugs controlled by the FDA.

Just since we're already in musical mnemonics - a few different ways to remember the order of sharps on the staff I've recently encountered (I am no musician, most of the time)

  • Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battle (or for the flats - which is the reverse: Battle Ends And Down Goes Charles' Father)
  • (pointed to me by a scar faery) Father Christmas Gave Dad An Electric Blanket
  • , and for the flats: Blanket Explodes And Dad Gets Cold Feet
  • Flower Children Get Dumber After Every Bummer
  • Fast Cars Get Driven Away Even Buicks
  • Fat Cats Get Drunk After Eating Beans

With so many other arrangements appearing in music theory in the western staff system, and the letter notation for notes (as opposed to the Spanish/Italian/whatever "Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Si...") there must be other helpful mnemonic devices as well...

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