C-clefs

There are four kinds of C-clefs:

C-clefs

Soprano clef

The soprano clef set the position of the C note on the staff united states of america (stave united kingdom) on the first line.

The soprano clef was used for soprano voices (upper women voices), that's why this clef is called soprano clef, but nowadays this clef is only used for transposition for some players, and for conductors.

Soprano clef

Here are positions of the music notes with a soprano clef:

notes positions in soprano clef

Mezzo-soprano clef

The mezzo-soprano clef set the position of the C note on the staff on the second line.

The mezzo-soprano clef was used for mezzo-soprano voices (middle voices of women and children), that's why this clef is called mezzo-soprano, but nowadays this clef is only used for transposition for some players, and for conductors.

Mezzo-soprano clef

Here are positions of the music notes with a mezzo-soprano clef:

notes positions in Mezzo-soprano clef

Alto clef

The alto clef set the position of the C note on the staff on the third line.

Alto clef


The alto clef was used for the contralto voices (lower women voices), that's why this clef is called alto clef.

Nowadays the alto clef is used by:

  • Viola
  • Viola da gamba
  • Alto trombone

Here are positions of the music notes with a alto clef:

notes positions in alto clef

Tenor clef

The tenor clef set the position of the C note on the staff on the fourth line.

Tenor clef


The tenor clef was used for the tenor voices (upper man voices), that's why this clef is called tenor clef.

Nowadays the tenor clef is used by:

  • Cello (in the upper register)
  • Double bass (in the upper register)
  • Trombone (in the upper register)
  • Bassoon (in the upper register)

Here are positions of the music notes with an tenor clef:

notes positions in tenor clef

How to draw a C-clef

Here is shown how to draw a C-clef:

How to draw a c-clef

Evolution of the C-clef symbol

In the book A history of music by Charles Villiers Stanford and Cecil Forsyth, a representation of evolution of the C-clef is exposed (source):

Evolution of the C-clef symbol

Test your knowledge



How many C-clef are there?

There are four C-clefs: Soprano, mezzo-soprano, alto and tenor clef.

  • one
  • two
  • three
  • four
  • five
  • too much
  • none


C-clefs set the position of:

C-clefs set the position of the C note.

  • A note
  • B note
  • C note
  • D note
  • E note
  • F note
  • G note


The soprano clef set the position of the C note on:

The soprano clef set the position of the C note on the first line.

  • first line
  • second line
  • third line
  • fourth line


The mezzo-soprano clef set the position of the C note on:

The mezzo-soprano clef set the position of the C note on the second line.

  • first line
  • second line
  • third line
  • fourth line


The alto clef set the position of the C note on:

The alto clef set the position of the C note on the third line.

  • first line
  • second line
  • third line
  • fourth line


The tenor clef set the position of the C note on:

The tenor clef set the position of the C note on the fourth line.

  • first line
  • second line
  • third line
  • fourth line
Tenor clef

Tenor clef

Article about the tenor clef (C-clef). Description and usage of the bass clef and how to draw it.

Alto clef

Alto clef

Article about the alto clef (C-clef). Description and usage of the bass clef and how to draw it.

Mezzo-soprano clef

Mezzo-soprano clef

Article about the mezzo-soprano clef (C-clef). Description and usage of the bass clef and how to draw it.

Soprano clef

Soprano clef

Article about the soprano clef (C-clef). Description and usage of the bass clef and how to draw it.


External links to learn more about :

1 - https://www.dolmetsch.com/musictheory1.htm
2 - https://www.dolmetsch.com/musictheory14.htm
3 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clef
4 - https://musicterms.artopium.com/c/Cclef.htm


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