Musical symbol at the front of a staff

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Last seen on: Daily Celebrity Crossword – 6/5/19 Wayback Wednesday

Random information on the term “Clef”:

Chiavette (plural of Italian: chiavetta, [kjaˈvetta] “little clefs”) is a system of standard combinations of clefs used in polyphonic music of the 16th through 18th centuries, differing from the usual chiavi naturali (the combination of soprano, alto, tenor, and bass clefs.) Typically, these clefs place each staff line a third lower than usual. (A second possible set of clefs, in contrabasso, places each staff line a third higher; this is less common outside of Franco-Flemish compositions.)

The first author to mention a standard set of high clefs is Silvestro Ganassi dal Fontego, in his 1543 Regula Rubertina, chapter 22, which instructs the musician to transpose such music down a fifth.Other theorists, such as Adriano Banchieri (1601) and Picerli (1631), indicate to transpose down a fifth if there is no key signature, and a fourth if there is a flat indicated. By mid-century, Italian commentators only mention a transposition down a fourth, and still later the practice seems to have been to transpose downward by a third to account for the high pitch of Italian organs. The Austrian theorist Johann Baptist Samber (1707), meanwhile, gave as his rule to transpose downward by a fourth if the bass is notated in F3, but a fifth if it is notated in C4.

Clef on Wikipedia