F-clefs

There are two kinds of F-clef:

- The bass clef
- The baritone clef

As the bass clef is quasi only used, the bass clef is also named the F-clef.

Bass clef and baritone clef

Bass clef

The bass clef is generally used for the low-pitched sounds, it set the position of the F note on the staff united states of america (stave united kingdom). The origin (the dot) of the bass clef indicates the position of the F note.

F note position in bass clef

From this reference, all other notes will be placed before and after the F note:

Note positions in bass clef

Below are more music notes in bass clef and some music notes with ledger lines:

Note positions in bass clef with ledger lines

What instruments use the bass clef?

Here are some instruments using the bass clef (F-clef):

String instruments:
- Cello
- Double bass
- Harp for the left hand
- Guitar
- Bass guitar


Wind instruments :
- Woodwinds: Bassoon, contrabassoon, fagott, contrafagott
- Brass: Tuba, trombone, euphonium, saxhorn, horn..

Keyboard instruments:
- For the left hand of the piano, the organ, the accordion and the harpsichord.

Voices:
- Baritone voice
- Bass voice

Octave bass clefs

An octave bass clef is a normal bass clef with the number 8 printed above or below:

- If the number 8 is below the clef, then all the music notes will be performed one octave lower.
- If the number 8 is above the clef, then all the music notes will be performed one octave higher.

In the following example, all C notes have the same pitch:

octave bass clef

How to draw a bass clef

How to draw a beautiful bass clef:

#1) Draw a dot on the fourth line:

How to draw a bass clef

#2) Draw a curve clockwise like this:

How to draw a bass clef

#3) Draw two dots around the fourth line:

How to draw a bass clef

Evolution of the F-clef symbol

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

Evolution of the F-clef symbol

Key signatures in bass clef

The key signature are different depending on the clef used, because the position of sharps and flats depends on the position of the note. Here is the position of sharps and flats for a key signature with a bass clef and a baritone clef:

position of sharps and flats with a bass clef and a baritone clef

Another kind of F-clef, the baritone clef

The baritone clef is generally used for transposition, it set the position of the F note on the staff. The origin (the dot) of the baritone clef indicates the position of the F note.

F note position in baritone clef

From this reference, all other notes will be placed before and after the F note:

Note positions in baritone clef

Below are more music notes in baritone clef and some with ledger lines:

Note positions in baritone clef with ledger lines

learn to read bass clef with fun

With this game, you will learn to read bass clef with fun:

Test your knowledge



The bass clef set the position of the:

The bass clef set the position of the F note on the staff

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


What does the number 8 written above the bass clef do?

All music notes will be performed one octave higher with a bass clef and an upper 8.

  • one octave lower
  • one octave higher
  • nothing else matters


What does the number 8 written below the bass clef do?

All music notes will be performed one octave lower with a 8 below the bass clef.

  • one octave lower
  • one octave higher
  • nothing else matters
Bass clef

Bass clef

Article about the bass clef (F-clef). Description and usage of the bass clef and how to draw it. All you want to know about the bass clef.

Baritone clef

Baritone clef

Article about the baritone clef (F-clef). Description and usage of the baritone clef and how to draw it. All you want to know about the baritone clef.


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/f/Fclef.htm


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