What is The Treble Clef?

Treble clef G clef on music staff (image by Wikimedia Commons)

One of the most common types of music clefs, the treble clef is an important musical symbol to understand. If you’re learning how to read music or play an instrument, you have probably seen the treble clef many times before. So what is it?

Today, we’re going to talk about the treble clef. We’ll talk about what it means, how to draw a treble clef, and the treble clef notes.

What is the Treble Clef?

So what is a treble clef?

A treble clef is a type of music notation that tells the musician what pitch to play the music in.

When you combine this with different key signatures, you will know exactly what pitch the music should be performed in.

G clef with G 4 note (image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

The treble clef is also called the G-clef, because it wraps around the G note line. It is used for instruments and voices that play in a higher register, such as a soprano singer, or the right hand on a piano.

Instruments that Use the Treble Clef

Most of the instruments that play in treble clef have a higher register.

Some instruments that use the treble clef include:

  • Violins
  • Flutes
  • Clarinets
  • Trumpets
  • Recorders

Some instruments, like the piano, harpsichord, and accordion, use both the treble clef and bass clef.

If an instrument uses treble and bass clefs, the treble clef is usually played by the right hand.

How to Draw a Treble Clef

Learning how to draw a treble clef can be a bit tricky, but with practice, you’ll get the hang of it.

Start by drawing a dot underneath the music staff. Then draw a line up to the top of the staff. That’s the stem of the treble clef.

Next, draw a curve and start drawing a figure 8 shape, going all the way down to the bottom line. But instead of closing off the figure 8, draw a little spiral curving around the second line on the staff.

As you get more practice, you’ll get better at drawing the treble clef.

Just make sure that the curl goes around the second line– that’s why it’s called a G clef!

Treble Clef Notes

Since most instruments use notes on the treble clef staff, it’s important to learn how to recognize the different notes and their place on the music staff.

notes and scales on treble cleff music staff (image by Wikimedia Commons)

We’ll start by learning the notes on the lines.

From top to bottom, the G clef notes are E, G, B, D, and F.

An easy way to remember these notes is to use the phrase, Every Good Boy Deserves Fun.

The notes in the spaces are super easy to remember, because from top to bottom, they spell out the word face. F, A, C, E.

With practice, you’ll be able to start sight reading the treble clef notes in no time!

Special Types of Treble Clefs

There are several different kinds of special symbols and placements for the treble clef.

One that you might see in your sheet music, especially for tenor singers, is a tiny number eight attached to the bottom of the clef, like this:

treble cleff with transposition octaves (image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

This means that the notes should be played one octave lower than originally written.

If you see two treble clefs overlapping, this is also an octave marker. When you see the two overlapping clefs, play the music one octave lower.

These special clef notations are also called tenor clef. They’re not super common any more, but you still might see them from time to time.

Summary

treble clef clip art (by Wikimedia Commons)

Treble clefs are the most widely recognized music clef.

Treble clefs and bass clefs control what order the music notes go on the staff.

To remember the order of the music notes, just remember, Every Good Boy Deserves Fun, and FACE.

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions about music theory, let us know in the comments below.

Jessica Roberts
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