A clef from French clef "key" is a musical symbol used to indicate the pitch of written notes. This line serves as a reference point by which the names of the notes on any other line or space of the stave may be determined. There are three forms of clef used in modern music notation: F , C , and G. Each form assigns its reference note to a line and in rare cases, a space depending on its placement on the stave. Once one of these clefs has been placed on one of the lines of the stave, the other lines and spaces are read in relation to it. The use of different clefs makes it possible to write music for all instruments and voices, regardless of differences in tessitura. Because the modern stave has only five lines, it is not possible to represent all pitches playable by the orchestra with only one clef, even with the use of ledger lines.
Clefs in Relation to Middle C
It is essential for a musician to be able to read the music in front of them, as it tells them which lines or spaces represent each note. There are many types of clefs, but the four that are regularly used in modern music are Treble , Bass , Alto , and Tenor. It is the most commonly used clef today and is usually the first clef that musicians learn on their music theory journey. When the treble clef is indicated, the lines and spaces represent the following notes:. When the bass clef is indicated, the lines and spaces represent the following notes:.
This is what is known as the grand staff. It includes the treble clef and bass clef. Pianists read from the grand staff. Middle C is the note exactly between the bass and treble clefs, as noted in the image above. It is known by many other names, but for these tutorials I will be calling it "middle C". Middle C is located in a different spot for each clef, but it remains the exact same pitch.
In this lesson we shall take a look at the treble clef and the notes that it consists of. Music is notated using a staff. The staff consists of five horizontal lines and spaces on which musical notes lie. Higher notes or pitches are higher on the staff while lower notes or pitches are lower on the staff. The treble clef forms part of the treble staff. This clef tells us which notes correspond to the various lines and spaces. It is also known as the G clef because it spirals around the second line from the bottom. This line represents the note, G. Once you can locate this G note, it is very easy to find the other notes. You can use whichever one suits you.