Basics in Music Notation #2: The "Other" Clefs

Whether you know the feeling or not, no one likes being the "other".  

The uncle no one really talks about at family dinner.  

That Tinder boi you hide from your rich husband.  

Coconut milk substitute.

The black sheep.

The other clefs.

We already talked about the Bass and Treble clefs, and more than likely you will only experience those two, or maybe just the one, out in the wide world.  

But, in the unlikelihood that you turn down the wrong German alley, full of foreboding and uncertainty, I'd like for you to at least be prepared so you can react accordingly.

The Alto and Tenor Clefs...

You might be saying, "If I'm unlikely to run into this, then why teach this as the second lesson?"  

And you might be right, from a student perspective.  

From a teaching perspective, I'm not only being a dick, but I'm ensuring that you will have a firm knowledge of staves and notes and how to find them.  It is only going to make things easier as we go if you are able to look at images of sheet music and not resemble someone reading an alien language.

Also, it really is to be a dick.  Sorry.

So what is so special about these bad boys of the clef community?  It is technically one clef, but it signifies two different registers.  The C clef, as it is also known, is placed to center on 'middle C', but with an exception.

If it is used for ALTO clef, middle C is on the 3rd line of the staff.

If used for TENOR clef, middle C is on the 4th

The idea behind this is the ease of writing and, even more importantly, reading.  

Having notes flying outside of the staff lines gets a bit tricky to deal with, especially when sightreading a piece or keeping your writing neat and organized.

Not much to say beyond that, so yes it is a short lesson.  The bulk of the heavy lifting is on you to follow up with the busy work on the exercise pages.

Though music is generally written with treble or bass clef, exercises will focus on these two, and then on all four clefs to sharpen your attention to detail and familiarity with the staff as a whole.

Head over to the EXERCISES to cover the following:

Intro to Theory EX#3: Identify the Note in the Alto Clef

Intro to Theory EX#4: Identify the Note in the Tenor Clef

Intro to Theory EX#5: Identify the Note in the Given Clef

You'll find the next lesson in this chapter here:

Basics in Theory and Notation #3: Ledger Lines and Note Stems

You'll find the previous lesson in this chapter here:

Basics in Theory and Notation #1: The Musical Staff

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Lazer Monk

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