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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000228.txt from 1997/09

From: elspeth4@-----. Grant)
Subj: Re: Why only treble clef?
Date: Sat, 6 Sep 1997 00:54:23 -0400

Probably so they don't have to keep switching clefs and confusing us,
which is not to say that it might not be good for clarinettists to learn
to read bass clef so they can transpose easily. I think they probably
chose treble because the clarinet range goes somewhat both below and
above it, and it's quite a bit more common than alto clef. :-) I don't
know the real answer, though, just to add my opinion I would say I much
prefer one clef to two, although I read bass clef just fine. I think
piano uses the 8va marking so much to keep overlapping parts out of the
same clef and to avoid putting ledger lines where they won't fit. In my
opinion, many clarinet notes off the clef would be better read on 8va as
well, (up or down) also even though I read the notes fine as they are.
BTW, and I know this is off the subject, does anyone besides viola
players read alto clef routinely??


"You can swim all day in the Sea of Knowledge
and come out completely dry. Most people do."
--The Phantom Tollbooth

On Fri, 05 Sep 1997 19:54:01 -0400 Mark Charette <>
>This is possibly a very naive newbie question but ...
[I didn't think so! It's a great question. Made me think.]

>considering the range of a clarinet, why is only the treble
>(G) clef generally used? Even though I'm a poor (read that
>as bad :) piano player, I learned to read a bass clef and
>I'm used to seeing 8va or 15va for notes above or below the
>staff. I find using multiple clefs and the octave markings
>much easier to read, *especially* reading manuscript.

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