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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
clef
noun
COLLOCATIONS FROM OTHER ENTRIES
bass clef
roman à clef
treble clef
COLLOCATIONS FROM CORPUS
■ ADJECTIVE
bass
▪ Formerly, notes written in the bass clef were written a fourth lower than the required pitch instead of a fifth higher.
▪ The bass clef is used for the lower parts of the compass, the tenor for the higher.
treble
▪ The treble clef is always used even for the bottom notes.
▪ Its part is generally written in the treble clef on B or G to distinguish it from the side-drum.
▪ Its part is written in the treble clef and sounds two octaves and a tone lower.
EXAMPLES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
▪ the treble clef
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ Formerly, notes written in the bass clef were written a fourth lower than the required pitch instead of a fifth higher.
▪ His parts are always notated in tenor clef and have a range of c to f'.
▪ Its part is generally written in the treble clef on B or G to distinguish it from the side-drum.
▪ Its part is written in the treble clef and sounds two octaves and a tone lower.
▪ Parts are notated for him in five different clefs bass, tenor, alto, mezzo-soprano and soprano.
▪ The bass clef is used for the lower parts of the compass, the tenor for the higher.
▪ The treble clef is always used even for the bottom notes.
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Clef

Clef \Clef\ (kl[e^]f; 277), n. [F. clef key, a key in music, fr. L. clavis key. See Clavicle.] (Mus.) A character used in musical notation to determine the position and pitch of the scale as represented on the staff.

Note: The clefs are three in number, called the C, F, and G clefs, and are probably corruptions or modifications of these letters. They indicate that the letters of absolute pitch belonging to the lines upon which they are placed, are respectively C, F, and G. The F or bass clef, and the G or treble clef, are fixed in their positions upon the staff. The C clef may have three positions. It may be placed upon the first or lower line of the staff, in which case it is called soprano clef, upon the third line, in which case it called alto clef, or upon the fourth line, in which case tenor clef. It rarely or never is placed upon the second line, except in ancient music. See other forms of C clef under C, 2.

Alto clef, Bass clef. See under Alto, Bass.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
clef

1570s in a musical sense, "character on a staff to indicate its name and pitch," from Middle French clef (12c.) "key, musical clef, trigger," from a figurative or transferred use of classical Latin clavis, which had only the literally sense "key" (see slot (n.2)). In the Middle Ages, the Latin word was used in the Guidonian system for "the lowest note of a scale," which is its basis (see keynote). The most common is the treble, violin, or G-clef, which crosses on the second line of the staff, denoting that as the G above middle C on the piano.

Wiktionary
clef

n. A symbol found on a musical staff that indicates the pitches indicated by the lines on the staff

WordNet
clef

n. a musical notation written on a staff indicating the pitch of the notes following it

Wikipedia
Clef

A clef (from 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 on that line. This line serves as a reference point by which the names of the notes on any other line or space of the stave may be determined. Only one clef that references a note in a space rather than on a line has ever been used.

There are three types of clef used in modern music notation: F, C, and G. Each type of clef assigns a different reference note to the line (and in rare cases, the space) on which it is placed. (G and F clefs are placed as treble and bass clefs, respectively, in the vast majority of modern music.)

| Clef

| Name

| Note

| Line

|

| G-clef/Treble clef

| G4

| passes through the curl of the clef.

|

| C-clef

| Middle C (C4)

| passes through the centre of the clef.

|

| F-clef/Bass clef

| F3

| passes between the two dots of the clef.

Once one of these clefs has been placed on one of the lines of the stave, the other lines and spaces can be read in relation to it.

The use of three different clefs makes it possible to write music for all instruments and voices, even though they may have very different tessituras (that is, even though some sound much higher or lower than others). This would be difficult to do with only one clef, since the modern stave has only five lines, and the number of pitches that can be represented on the stave, even with ledger lines, is not nearly equal to the number of notes the orchestra can produce. The use of different clefs for various instruments and voices allows each part to be written comfortably on the stave with a minimum of ledger lines. To this end, the G-clef is used for high parts, the C-clef for middle parts, and the F-clef for low parts—with the notable exception of transposing parts, which are written at a pitch different from their sound, often even in a different octave.

Clef (disambiguation)

Clef may refer to:

  • Clef, a symbol used in musical notation,
  • Cross Language Evaluation Forum (CLEF), which fosters research and evaluation of cross-language information retrieval
  • Clefs, Maine-et-Loire, a village in France,
  • Treble-clef, a type of zinc finger in molecular biology
Clef (app)

Clef is a San Francisco based technology company, known for developing a mobile app that creates a two-factor authentication for websites. It allows users to access sites with a single login password management service which stores encrypted passwords in private accounts. It has a standard verification method that requires access to data on the mobile phone to confirm the user’s identity. The application requires a Wi-Fi or mobile network and user can login by waving phone at the screen.

Clef was founded in 2013 by Mark Hudnall, B Byrne and Jesse Pollak. It raised $1.6 in seed funding in 20 November.

Usage examples of "clef".

The measures for divorcing Henry from Anne of Cleves were carried on at the same time with the bill of attainder against Cromwell.

Jacob told me unky was working night and day at preparations for your keeping the wedding at Cleves.

Sir Hugh told the family at Cleves the new guest they were so soon to expect, assuring them he was become a very fine young gentleman, and bidding Indiana, with a significant nod, hold up her head.

Marchmont by the hand, and assuring him he would weigh well all he had said, and take no measure till he had again consulted with him, remounted his horse, and slowly walked it back to Cleves.

Camilla to Mandlebert, in quitting Cleves, and the tears with which he saw her eyes overflowing, had annihilated all his resentment, and left him no wish but to serve her.

I had to read treble clef instead of bass and play it an octave down to fit trombone range.

Tyrold would not accept him for her chevalier, he had ridden hard to the parsonage of Cleves, whence he hoped he had brought her one too unexceptionable for rejection.

Anne of Cleves, whose father, the duke of that name, had great interest among the Lutheran princes, and whose sister, Sibylla, was married to the elector of Saxony, the head of the Protestant league.

Once she had pulled the copies of the jeu a clef off the nets, there was nothing to distract her.

In front of a red plush curtain the band wore white Eton jackets, the music stands were white with glittering clefs and the piano as white as a tooth, although the pianist was in khaki.

Playroom--an obvious converted warehouse with plaster saxophones, trumpets and music clefs alternating across the edge of the roof.

They hit the Central Avenue Strip, daytime quiet, a block of spangly facades: the Taj Mahal, palm trees hung with Christmas lights, sequined music clefs, zebra stripes and a big plaster jigaboo with shiny red eyes.

I fed a little chlorous acid into the tank and the Columbine followed her up eagerly, the infra-calyxes warbling delicate variations on the treble clef.

It lighted Clefs hands, and they became cleaner, stronger, the fingers more nimble.

By his second or third year at Waldzell he was reading and playing the notations, clefs, abbreviations, and figured basses of all centuries and styles with tolerable fluency.