LESSON 3: Key Signature / Time Signature / Staff Components

  • Learn about the Key Signature & Time Signature.
  • In what order are the Clef and Signatures on the Staff?

Key Signatures

Learn what the Key Signature and Time Signature are, and see what order you put the Clef and Signatures on the Staff.

Key Signature

The key signature indicates what sharps and flats are needed, and places that information at the beginning of the staff. Without key signatures, all sharps and flats would have to be written out over and over again, individually, in every bar for every affected note. Key signatures also tell the musician what scale is in use at a glance.

key signature

Time Signature

The time signature tells how the music is to be counted. The top number tells us how many beats per bar. The bottom number tells us the pulse.

staff elements clef key signature time signature

Order of Elements on Staff

Now we will take a look at the order of these elements as they appear on the Staff. The first element you will add to the Staff is the Clef. Next comes the key signature, following the key signature is the time signature. That's the order of the elements as they would appear on a Staff of music.