[Harp-L] Harmonica and Sheet-Music [digression on cleffs]

Just for the information of anyone interested, as far as I know (and I studied as much music theory as there seems to be, even if much of it seemed useless at the time), there are actually four C-cleffs (which place the C on the first, second, third or fourth lines, starting at the bottom), two F-cleffs (which place the F on the third or fourth lines) and two G-cleffs (which place the G on the first ord second lines). I think they provide all possible combinations (although I've never checked whether it's really so).

Nowadays, the most common ones are the treble (G on second) and bass (F on fourth) cleffs. C on third and C on fourth are also used (I don't know whether that is the right way to name them in English, though). Viola parts are usually written using C on third, and bassoon parts use C on fourth. These two cleffs are also occasionally used for other instruments, to avoid writing notes in awkward positions.

When I studied harmonising (that is, they gave you a bass line with chord names and you had to write four-part hamonies including them, which was tricky, since all the parts had to be more or less melodic, and there were lots of rules, like not allowing two voices to jump a fifth at the same time, and things like that - I was very good at forgetting these rules), which was mandatory for anyone studying music in an official centre, the four voices were written using bass cleff, and C on second, third and fourth, which I think was the typical way of writing down old vocal music. I think that right now this way of writing is seldom used, and they're using treble cleff for the two higher voices and bass cleff for the two lower. I'm talking of classical music training in official conservatories, which, at least over here, have always been very traditional. Which means I can read fluently in fife cleffs, and with some hesitation in the other three. Wasted
 time, probably.

Eliza Doolittle

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