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Nice article. In all my years of studying music I had no idea about “alto” and “tenor” clefs. And I thought I was good. Thank You. cf

I’ve learnt a lot of new ideas concerning the alto clef and tenor clef of whose difference never existed in my thinking. Thank you.

More helpful and precise to define which pitch you are talking about when referencing for instance a “C”. Is it C3, or C4 or?

i was reading for 5th grade theory from the work book of Trinity college.. found it difficult to understand the tenor clef.. but you made it very simple and interesting

If the musical staff had more than five lines, it would be too difficult to read. Locating middle C between the bass and treble clef makes perfect sense. So does locating it on the middle line of the alto clef if you are only using one staff. I suppose the whole point is to avoid placing notes too far above or below the staff.

This is amazing. I just learned about the Alto clef after my son brought home a viola. I lived in the world of treble and bass on the piano all my life.

Why use alto and tenor clefs at all if they’re only one note value away from treble clef? Because it’s MIDDLE C, not the octave above. Thanks for your explanation; now I understand that my new double bass method isn’t just being draconian and forcing me to learn an arbitrary and cruel clef. It better represents the register, and after a few weeks I’ll probably appreciate fewer ledger lines as a result.

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