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The Treble and Bass Clefs

When preparing students for the general knowledge component of ANZCA practical exams we always discuss the different music clefs.

There are 9 distinct music clefs that have been used throughout history.

In our modern music, only four clefs are used on a regular basis: the treble clef, the bass clef, the alto clef and the tenor clef. The treble clef and bass clef are used far more often than the alto and tenor clefs.

In our lessons at Caroline Springs School of Music, we keep our definitions and meanings of all music symbols very simple and easy to understand. Clef, means; key. Bass clef is for low pitched instruments (or left hand piano) and treble clef is for high pitched instruments (or right hand piano). We should also know the bass clef is the “F” clef and the treble clef is the “G” clef.

We make sure all of our drummers know the percussion clef. It is a non pitch related clef, pictured below:

Brendan Hains

Principal Instructor at Caroline Springs School of Music

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