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I've taken a stab at integrating all the clef atricles here, as per the discussion on Talk:treble clef. I'll wait to change the others to redirects until I hear your comments. -- Merphant

I like the integration very much - the whole thing seems much clearer now, with the potential confusion between G clef and Treble clef virtually eliminated. Go ahead and make the other clef pages redirects.
Just one thing: maybe it would be best to put the images under "G clef", "F clef" and "C clef" rather than under "Treble clef", etc. That way we know what they look like from the start. This makes it a bit tricky to distinguish between alto and tenor clefs, but probably the thing to do is to put the alto clef under "C clef" and keep the image of the tenor clef where it is. Otherwise, this is great! --Camembert
Or, here's another idea I've just had - how about making the "Treble clef" section a subsection to "G clef", "Bass clef" a subsection to "F clef" and "Alto clef" and "Tenor clef" subsections to "C clef"? So the overall scheme of the article would become:
  • G clef
    • Treble clef
    • Violin clef [or whatever else you want to call it, when I get round to writing about it]
  • F clef
    • Bass clef
    • Baritone clef [if anybody ever wants to write about it]
  • C clef
    • Alto clef
    • Tenor clef
    • [any other C clefs that people want to write about]

Obviously, I don't mean to use bullet points, you'd do it with headings, I guess. The more I think about this, the more I like the idea of it. I won't touch anything for now though. --Camembert

Yeah, I was thinking of laying it out like that too - group by clef symbol then by clef. BTW, anyone got any idea where to find an image of the old-style F-clef, same quality as the existing images? -- Tarquin

Ok, done. As for the other F clef, Your best bet is probably to find some printed music that uses it and scan it in. I made the others with Finale, but it doesn't seem to have that symbol in any of its fonts. It does have the F and G clefs with the 8, but I don't think those are really necessary to have here. -- Merphant

I have some music that has the old F clef that I can scan if necessary, but I'll look around for a better quality image first. I've scoured Sibelius (the program, not the, erm, composer), but can't find it in any of the fonts there, unfortunately. --Camembert
    • I've wrote a small bit on the french clef, baritone clef and the subbass clef. Sotakeit

Counting notes the right way[edit]

I only count notes from A4 to A5 as a major count (not a minor count) like this: A4-B4-C4-D4-E4-F4-G4-A5 is a correct way. But not from C4 to C5 (C4-D4-E4-F4-G4-A4-B4-C5) because that's not what I want. Should be counted that way instead of using a C-clef.

--Allen talk 03:18, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

Variation in hand-written clefs[edit]

What about including this image or something like it? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 15:51, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

I like the illustration, especially the Debussy example, which would be very helpful to newcomers to music notation because it shows so clearly the relation of the treble-clef shape to the letter G. Is this a copyright-free image? I notice it does not come from Wikimedia Commons, and while the composers' handwriting as such is undoubtedly out of copyright, the arrangement and labeling may not be. There is also the question of placement. This article is already rather graphics heavy, and the logically obvious place for such an image (the introduction of the G clef) would put it in one of the graphically densest parts of the article.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 22:14, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm going to be contrarian and say that illustration wouldn't really add much. It doesn't show any historical progression; it would be akin to showing handwriting samples of famous authors in an article on the alphabet. The forms of the clefs were fixed before most of these composers were born, and the fact that they wrote them hastily doesn't really add much to the reader's comprehension of the clefs' form and meaning. —Wahoofive (talk) 20:49, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Agree. Unless there are references to show the historical transformations leading to the modern form, individual examples don't add anything informative. Tayste (edits) 20:55, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

UK/US English[edit]

I just changed "stave" to "staff" throughout the article, following the recent addition of {{American English}} to the talk page header. I wonder if that header change was prompted by a few edits just before this change to the article's text. I suspect the claim that "In the UK they [lines] are read [numbered] from top to bottom" is specious. The Dolmetsch theory site makes no mention of it. In general, that site does a pretty fair job of describing how terminology varies internationally. Just plain Bill (talk) 17:02, 10 January 2016 (UTC)

Wait, what? I thought WP:ENGVAR applied only to the article itself, not the talk page. The article still states that it uses British English. There needs to be a consensus if the ENGVAR is to be changed like this. Tayste (edits) 00:13, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
PS, the direction (up/down) of numbering lines/spaces in music is a separate issue from the ENGVAR. If this varies around the world then our article should point this out and explain it. Tayste (edits) 00:17, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
Ah, I missed the invisible tag on the article. I've put it back to "stave." I don't believe the numbering of lines "varies around the world" so that should be a non-issue. Just plain Bill (talk) 00:43, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
It was me who added up the template. But I encourage the use of {{American English}} or {{British English}} or whatever to get the style of writing going. Qwertyxp2000 (talk | contribs) 08:41, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
There are still one or two Americanisms floating around in the article, but IMO not so egregious that most readers will mind, or even notice. Just plain Bill (talk) 16:32, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
@Just plain Bill: & @Contributions/Tayste: My edits on the staff notation have been reversed. Basically, staff notation is read from top to bottom; but apparently according to our fellow American it is read from bottom to top. This means that the uppermost staff is the fifth line, and the lowermost staff is the first. Whereas it should really be the other way round. All in all, I can't risk an edit war despite the article clearly affirming it is in British English. When it comes to some standards, the most logical takes place. Vormeph (talk) 13:47, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
When numbering the lines, it is a widely used convention to number them from the bottom (1) to the top (5) of each staff. If you have a reliable source that says UK usage is the opposite, please provide it. Just plain Bill (talk) 22:22, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
In addition to the Dolmetsch site, I can add David Bowman, Michael Burnett, Ian Burton, and Bruce Cole. A Student's Guide to GCSE Music for the AQA Specification (Rhinegold Study Guides) London: Rhinegold Publishing Ltd, 2002, reference on p. 6, and a rather more historical source, Thomas Busby, A General History of Music, from the Earliest Times to the Present: Volume 1 ...1819, reprinted in the Cambridge Library Collection, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 289, both of which refer to the bass clef being on the "fourth line" of the stave. All of these purport to be UK sources. I cannot find any that support the top-down method.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 07:09, 13 January 2016 (UTC)

clefs "no longer in common use"[edit]

In music scores, certainly (although it's not that hard to find the soprano clef if you have some of the old Breitkopf & Härtel complete editions, or sections from them reprinted by Dover). But soprano, mezzo-soprano, and baritone clefs would arguably still be "common" when clef transposition is taught (at least, this guy thinks so). Double sharp (talk) 10:13, 4 March 2016 (UTC)

P.S. The continued existence and usage of old public-domain editions, particularly the fact that many of them are freely available on IMSLP (as opposed to the prices you would pay for a shiny new off-the-shelf Urtext), means that I would not be surprised if people ended up learning at least the "obsolete" soprano clef, in addition to the standard treble, alto, tenor, and bass clefs. I myself have now added fluent reading of the soprano clef to my ever-expanding list of abilities which are only useful in very specific situations. Double sharp (talk) 10:50, 17 May 2016 (UTC)

Lede should use "treble" and "bass" clef[edit]

A recent edit (reverted by Just plain Bill) included the terms "treble clef" and "bass clef" to the table in the lede. While I agree that "alto clef" is problematic, these clefs are very well-known as treble and bass and are rarely referred to as G- or F-clefs, even by musicians. In order to keep the article maximally accessible to non-musicians, I'd suggest re-adding those terms. The fact that the G- and F-clefs can appear on nonstandard lines (and thus have different names) is too obscure for the lede. —Wahoofive (talk) 22:20, 24 March 2016 (UTC)

Fixed it, I think. Just plain Bill (talk) 19:15, 26 March 2016 (UTC)

Thanks. —Wahoofive (talk) 00:04, 27 March 2016 (UTC)

I see this has been reverted a couple of times. Before there are any more revert wars, can we discuss the pros and cons? Would a reasonable compromise be to include the names "treble" and "bass" but leave the C-clef unspecified? Remember, this article isn't intended for music nerds, but for the general public. The phrases "treble clef" and "bass clef" are pretty important. —Wahoofive (talk) 17:40, 28 April 2017 (UTC)

Except that, of course, until a clef has been placed on a staff, it does not possess the properties mentioned, any more than a C clef is automatically to be understood as "mezzo-soprano clef". It is in this respect that it would be misleading to include those names in the table. It is also the case that, directly above the table in question, the article presently states "(G and F clefs are placed as treble and bass clefs, respectively, in the vast majority of modern music.)"—Jerome Kohl (talk) 21:14, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
If that parenthesis does not seem prominent enough to guide the general public, kindly consider the top image, which shows a treble and a bass clef, labeled in the caption, along with the notes they locate on their respective staves. The present layout informs without misleading, in my opinion. Just plain Bill (talk) 23:22, 28 April 2017 (UTC)

My issue is that there's a column labeled "common names" which includes what are definitely uncommon names. Pretty much nobody calls them "G-clef" or "F-clef". This kind of pedantry doesn't serve the readers, regardless of its theoretical correctness. Many readers will glance at the table without reading the text. Why don't we just include staves for the treble and bass clefs in the images in the table? They appear in their usual position in 99.99% of music; there's no reason to cater to the 0.01% of offbeat historical usage in the lede. The C-clef can continue to be shown unstaved; that emphasizes that it is more moveable in practice. —Wahoofive (talk) 06:52, 29 April 2017 (UTC)

Considering you're presently outnumbered 3-1, would you like to consider rewording "Pretty much nobody"? ;-) Sparafucil (talk) 08:47, 29 April 2017 (UTC)
I've changed that heading to "Name" to be consistent with the column's content. The common uses as treble and bass clef are presented in two ways right there next to the table. I see no harm, in fact encyclopedic benefit, in showing the general reader that these clefs are not always treble or bass. Just plain Bill (talk) 15:09, 29 April 2017 (UTC)