Alto 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. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

{Alto clef}, {Bass clef}. See under {Alto}, {Bass}. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Alto clef — Alto Al to, n.; pl. {Altos}. [It. alto high, fr. L. altus. Cf. {Alt}.] 1. (Mus.) Formerly the part sung by the highest male, or counter tenor, voices; now the part sung by the lowest female, or contralto, voices, between in tenor and soprano. In… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • alto clef — n. a C clef on the third line of a staff: used in notation, esp. for the viola …   English World dictionary

  • alto clef — Counter tenor Coun ter ten or (t?n ?r). [OF. contreteneur. Cf. {Contratenor}, and see {Tenor} a part in music.] (Mus.) One of the middle parts in music, between the tenor and the treble; high tenor. [1913 Webster] {Counter tenor clef} (Mus.), the …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • alto clef — noun a clef that puts middle C on the third line of a staff • Syn: ↑viola clef • Hypernyms: ↑clef …   Useful english dictionary

  • alto clef — Music. a sign locating middle C on the third line of the staff. Also called viola clef. See illus. under C clef. [1875 80] * * * …   Universalium

  • alto clef — noun The C clef when placed on the third line of the staff in musical notation. Also known as the viola clef for it use in music for viola and viola da gamba although it used as well for other instruments.<br style= clear:both; /> …   Wiktionary

  • alto clef — noun Music a clef placing middle C on the middle line of the stave, used chiefly for viola music …   English new terms dictionary

  • alto clef — al′to clef n. mad a sign locating middle C on the third line of the staff • Etymology: 1875–80 …   From formal English to slang

  • alto clef — /ˈæltoʊ klɛf/ (say altoh klef) noun Music a sign placing middle C on the third line of the stave …   Australian English dictionary

  • 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. [1913 Webster] Note: The clefs are… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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