Clefs and Orchestral Score Reading1

November 11, 2017 | Author: Mihai Stefan | Category: Clef, Pop Culture, Sheet Music, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Trombone
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Clefs and Orchestral Score Reading In addition to the treble and bass clefs, orchestral scores employ the use of two other clefs: alto and tenor clef.

Alto clef is a C-clef that places middle C on the third line of the musical staff. In orchestral scores, alto clef is used to notate viola parts and occasionally some high trombone parts. Alto clef is also used occasionally to notate the music for choral and solo contralto vocal lines in choral/orchestral and operatic works, most notably in the works of Johann Sebastian Bach and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Tenor clef is a C-clef that places middle C on the fourth line of the musical staff. Tenor clef is used in many orchestral scores for cello, bassoon and trombone parts that have a high tessitura. Except when the music for these parts is in the upper range, these three instruments are ordinarily written in bass clef. Tenor clef is also used to notate the music for the choral and solo tenor vocal lines in some choral/orchestral and operatic works. In addition to alto and tenor clef, there are three other clefs that have limited degrees of application in orchestral score reading: soprano clef, mezzo soprano clef and baritone clef.

Soprano clef is a C-clef that places middle C on the first line of the musical staff. In orchestral scores, soprano clef is most notably used for the choral

and solo soprano vocal lines in some early European editions of the choral/orchestral works of J. S. Bach and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Mezzo soprano clef is a C-clef that places middle C on the second line of the musical staff. The baritone clef is an F-clef that places the F below middle C on the third line of the musical staff. The mezzo soprano and baritone clefs are not used to notate music for any modern instrument or voice. Instead, they are primarily used as part of the system of transposition with clefs that is taught in many music conservatories and employed by many orchestral musicians, including conductors. For more information about transposing by clef, select the link below. Transposition By Clef Conclusion: Fluency in reading music in alto and tenor clefs is absolutely necessary in orchestral score reading. Fluency in reading music in mezzo soprano and baritone clefs is optional for orchestral score reading, as part of an overall system of transposing music at sight. Additional Resources: Practical Manual for the Study of the G, F and C clefs By Georges DANDELOT http://home.comcast.net/~flute0001/Reading_Music/preface.html

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