clef

15 ENTRIES FOUND:

clef

noun \ˈklef\

music : a sign that is placed at the beginning of a line of written music to show the pitch of the notes

Full Definition of CLEF

:  a sign placed at the beginning of a musical staff to determine the pitch of the notes

Illustration of CLEF

Origin of CLEF

French, literally, key, from Old French, from Latin clavis — more at clavicle
First Known Use: circa 1577

Rhymes with CLEF

clef

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Musical notation symbol at the beginning of a staff to indicate the pitch of the notes on the staff. Clefs were originally letters, identifying letter-named pitches, that were affixed to one or more of the staff's lines (thus providing a “key” to their identity). Knowing the identity of a single line permitted the musician to identify all the other lines and spaces above and below. Clefs were first regularly used in the 12th century. The Gothic letter forms of G and F evolved into the modern treble and bass clefs, respectively; the letter C evolved into the rarer alto, tenor, baritone, and soprano clefs.

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