C Clef – Reading Music Lesson #16

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This reading music lesson is a supplement to the Alfred’s Essentials of Music Theory self-study workbook. While no book is perfect for learning how to read music, this is one of the best available. The concise explanations, brief practice exercises, ear-training CD’s, glossary of music terms, and answer key make it an excellent value. Buy this top-rated self-study course for beginners to advanced musicians and follow along with me.
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Alfred's Essentials of Music Theory: A Complete Self-Study Course for All Musicians (Book & 2 CDs)
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10/21/2021 12:02 am GMT

The C Clef is a symbol on the music staff that looks like the letter “C”.

In fact, that is exactly what it used to be before it turned into a more elaborate design.

The center where the two C’s meet indicates the location of the note middle C on the staff.

C Clef

This “C” can appear in any line or space of the music staff.

C Clef

Moveable Clef

That is why the C Clef is considered a moveable clef.  The center of the two C’s can move around to any line or space.

While this was handy in the very early stages of written music to keep all notes on the staff and avoid ledger lines (something we’ll talk about later), it can be a little bit confusing.

Fixed Clef

Now you know why later on in history, the treble clef and bass clef (which were also moveable at first) were established in standard notation “fixing” the “G” or “F” to the same line every time.

For this reason, the treble clef and bass clef are considered to be a fixed clef.  Those 2 clef signs will not move around on the staff any more like the C Clef can.

More Than 1 C Clef

There are many different types of C Clefs, but most of them are not in use today.

For our purposes here, we are going to concentrate on the Alto Clef.  This is the kind of a C Clef viola players still use today.

We’ll talk about this more in our next lesson.

Helpful Music Theory Reference Books and Guides

Popular Music Theory Cheat Sheet
Music Theory and History SparkCharts
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This foldable 8x10 inch music theory cheat sheet is an excellent quick reference guide when you need to find the answer fast. The side 3-hole punch allows you to keep it in a 3-ring binder. It is sturdy and folds out featuring music theory and notation on the front and music history on the back.

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10/21/2021 12:00 am GMT
Essential Dictionary of Music: The Most Practical and Useful Music Dictionary for Students and Professionals (Essential Dictionary Series)
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A practical pocket-size music theory dictionary and music notation reference guide that is perfect for all musicians from beginner to professional.

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10/21/2021 12:00 am GMT
The Hal Leonard Pocket Music Dictionary
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A convenient music theory book that is small enough to fit in your pocket, backpack, or instrument case. A great reference guide for all musicians at any level of music study.

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10/21/2021 12:00 am GMT

One Reply to “C Clef – Reading Music Lesson #16”

Blessing Mupeta

I am a taxi driver in Lusaka. But i intend to attempt music theory grade 5 ABRSM exams in March 2018. Look towards being assisted in learning material.

BLESSING MUPETA

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