What's the meaning of the Alto clef »

Alto clef

This page is about the meaning, origin and characteristic of the symbol, emblem, seal, sign, logo or flag: Alto clef.

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When the C-clef is placed on the third line of the stave, it is called the alto clef. As with all C-clefs, this line indicates the position of middle C.

This clef (sometimes called the viola clef) is currently used for the viola, the viola da gamba, the alto trombone, and the mandala. It is also associated with the countertenor voice and therefore called the counter-tenor (or countertenor) clef, and is used also for the alto voice and for instruments playing a middle part (such as oboes and recorders).[citation needed] A vestige of this survives in Sergei Prokofiev's use of the clef for the English horn, as in his symphonies. It occasionally turns up in keyboard music to the present day (Brahms's Organ chorales, John Cage's Dream for piano).


Graphical characteristics:
Asymmetric, Closed shape, Monochrome, Contains both straight and curved lines, Has crossing lines.

Category: Musical Symbols.

Alto clef is part of the Clefs group.

More symbols in Clefs:

A clef (French: clef; “key”) is a musical symbol used to indicate the pitch of written notes. Placed on one of the lines at the beginning of the stave, it indicates the name and pitch of the notes o… read more »

More symbols in Musical Symbols:

Modern musical symbols are the marks and symbols that are widely used in western musical scores, styles, and instruments today. This is intended to be a comprehensive guide to the various symbols enc… read more »

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