Jump to content
Anecca

How do you read this clef?

Recommended Posts

To my understanding, when you have a C clef by itself, the little arrow in the C clef designates middle C, and that's easy enough to follow.

Check out the first pic, and see the first staff. The C clef is on the first line of the pentagram. This would indicate that middle C is the first line, but then there's a G clef right after:

post-8797-130040211071_thumb.jpg

And on the second picture, the C clef is on the fourth line (counting upwards) in the bottom staff.

post-8797-130040212735_thumb.jpg

What does the C clef being there mean, if it is to be "negated" by the ensuing G clef? How does the C clef being there affect the performance?

Are both staves performed using the G clef, but the C clef designates which octave they are, so that the different melodies have room to play, rather than for them to be performed in a single octave (which would be impossible)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To clarify, the C Clefs are from the original score. The G clefs have been substituted for ease of reading - the top one designates actual pitch, while the bottom one indicates that the written pitches sound an octave lower (only i the second example - in the first, both clefs are the same.)

If you really want to have fun with clefs, pull up Bach's the art of fugue... I also see you're having good fun with Fux :santa:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oooh, I understand now. That's why there's a 10th on the second example, and a 6th before that. Yes, makes sense.

I also see you're having good fun with Fux :santa:

Yeah, haha. You must know it prodigiously to know that the pics I put up were from it :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oooh, I understand now. That's why there's a 10th on the second example, and a 6th before that. Yes, makes sense.

Yeah, haha. You must know it prodigiously to know that the pics I put up were from it :D

The replaced C-clefs are a dead giveaway ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's so annoying when textbooks do that. They need to just teach how to read the c-clefs and stop substituting treble clefs/bass clefs in place of. Annoying. Glad, PF and Daniel answered it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rare C-clefs are unnecessarily to learn. I mean, really, who is ever going to use Soprano or Baritone clefs in regular use?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rare C-clefs are unnecessarily to learn. I mean, really, who is ever going to use Soprano or Baritone clefs in regular use?

Perhaps. But it depends upon what kind of music you regularly perform, and what sources you use to perform it.

I have had to perform Baroque music on period instruments, reading rare works from facsimiles of 17th Century parts because no modern editions were available; sometimes, if there is more than one viola part, the second viola is written in tenor clef - tricky, but you learn fast when you have no choice.

Also, early choral/vocal scores almost invariably make use of C-clefs for the soprano, alto and tenor parts, and again, modern editions are not always available. For example, Florilegium recorded a series of CDs they called "Bolivian Baroque," performing all the works presented from scores and parts that had been preserved in the archives of Jesuit Missions for 250 years; there were no other sources readily available, particularly for the works written by the missionaries and natives themselves, so they had no choice but to read the music as it had been notated. The use of C-clefs in vocal music was standard practice well into the Classical era; check out the Neue Mozart Ausgabe, and you'll find that even ol' Wolfi was a traditionalist about this, though the printed scores have been transcribed into modern clefs for ease of study.

My experience has been that it's best not to dismiss such things out-of-hand as obsolete and therefore useless. I am at present trying to master Medieval and Renaissance notational conventions, because in my line of work, you never know when you might need to use them.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rare C-clefs are unnecessarily to learn. I mean, really, who is ever going to use Soprano or Baritone clefs in regular use?

Period musicians. ;)

I mean, there are traditions in music that never will go away. For example, picc trumpet players will ALWAYS have to know how to read trumpet in D, though save natural trumpet your instrument will more than 90% of the time not be in D. French horns will always have to know how to transpose ridiculous keys in orchestra. Music written before our time have different demands.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Then there's also the practice of learning to transpose by means of reading the music in imagined other clefs. My score-playing teacher was an adherent to this method and forced me to learn all those clefs for this purpose. I'm not personally a huge fan of that way of transposing, but still, it is a rather widely spread method which certainly has its advantages.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where do/did you go to school, Gardener?

I've yet to meet a teacher who transposes by clef. Yet I've found that it is vastly easier to do than interval transposition. I wish I'da learned that rather than interval. I use it when I can (for example: reading D trumpet in A = bass clef fingerings, reading C trumpet in C = bass clef with normal fingerings, etc). I'm rather limited in that I have no experience with clefs other than treble and bass.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where do/did you go to school, Gardener?

In Switzerland, but the teacher I'm speaking of is from Holland and lived in the US for a great part of his life, so I don't really know where he picked it up. I don't think the majority of the teachers over here teach transposition by clef, but there are a few.

I think it has both advantages and disadvantages.

Primary advantage: If you know it well, it's really fast, because it removes one step from the whole process. Instead of first reading a G, then transposing it by a minor third down to an E you just read an E right away. Transposing by interval might be easily fast enough if you're just reading a single voice, but if you have to play a whole score on the piano, you'll want every speed advantage you can get.

Primary disadvantage: It can get kind of messy when you have lots of accidentals in addition to key signatures. This is especially prevalent in music that isn't classically tonal, but polytonal or not bound to any tonality at all, etc. Transposing a 12-tone piece by clef never quite makes sense, because essentially, when you transpose by clef you always have to change the imagined key signatures. And this only really fits for music that -has- a key, to me.

So all in all, intervallic transposition seems more versatile, whereas transposition by clef is probably faster for music it applies well to. Probably best to be able to do both!

P.S. To be honest, I never -really- got into the clef transposition thing. I always cheated a bit in those lessons. The teacher would point to a part in a score and ask me "what clef would you read this in", so I would answer with what he wanted to hear and then secretly transpose by intervals anyway :happy:

Yes, I was a bad, bad student. I just had more pressing things on my plate than practice every day for score playing lessons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

*laughs*

I hear you on the advantage and disadvantage you list. I obviously do both to some extent. I personally feel the advantage of NOT having to perform that extra step of "re-placing" notes outweighs the disadvantage of having to figure out what accidentals mean. You have to do that to an extent with interval transposition anyway.

In non-tonal music, it's messy either way. x_x With interval transposition you have a huge amount of visual garbage (accidentals, accidental white notes like E# and Cb). With clef transposition, I can only imagine: I've never had to transpose atonal music from a key other than C, which is easiest by interval transposition.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In Switzerland, but the teacher I'm speaking of is from Holland and lived in the US for a great part of his life, so I don't really know where he picked it up. I don't think the majority of the teachers over here teach transposition by clef, but there are a few.

Who is it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...