Old "C" clef

• Aug 12, 2015 - 21:50

Hi, gang!!!

Where can I get the old "C" clef (on third space) symbol? ???

Greetings & Blessings!!!!!!!



In reply to by Marc Sabatella

No. None of the today "C" clef are useful to this.

This old (very old, indeed) "C" clef has the same notes distribution like the today "G" clef (C4 is on the third space, not on a line).

Of course, it is intended only to reproduce old scores (before XIX century) fashion.

Greetings & Blessings from Chile!!!!!!!


In reply to by jotape1960

>This old (very old, indeed) "C" clef has the same notes distribution like the today "G" clef (C4 is on the third space, not on a line).<

>Of course, it is intended only to reproduce old scores (before XIX century) fashion.<

Nonsense. It's an archaic affectation and used for the tenor male voice but it was not used in the 18th C. – that moveable C clef was always on a line. In fact, I am pretty sure that I have never seen it before the late 19th C (if even that early).

Where it is normally found is American part singing, mostly in 20th C. SPEBSQSA barbershop arrangements where I have seen it a lot. Frankly, I've not seen one of their books since the 1970s but most of those arrangements did use that clef for the Lead and Tenor.

Nowadays, the correct tenor clef for voice is the G with the 8 at the bottom. This was decided and published by the ACDA about 40 years ago now when they specifically declared the moveable C for choral scores unacceptable, especially the third space tenor clef. Those who want their choral music published need to pay attention to this, I suppose.

Except for some Barbershop and arrangers for male voice who refuse to concede the change, almost no one uses it anymore. That most notation programs don't support it can't help.

I like the old C clef use it sometimes when arranging just to do it. That MuseScore does not support the truly moveable C is one of its many shortcomings and one it shares with Encore. I started with Deluxe Music Construction Set in the mid 1980s and DMCS had no problem with moveable clefs but DCMS only worked on the Amiga and on the Mac before OS 8. Hmmm... dating myself here.

Finale allows any clef can be placed on any line or space with the Clef Designer tool. Finale isn't free, however.

It would surprise me if Sibelius didn't support movable clefs but this isn't a feature you will see in low end notation programs.

In reply to by MikeHalloran

Except for this rather specific, and limited, barbershop usage (and for the XIX c. so called "tenor clef", made by a G clef on second line with a part of the C clef attached to mean 8a bassa and totally equivalent to the modern G8b clef), do you know of other clefs, used in the Western music from Ars Nova to modern time, which are not supported by the "low end notation program" MuseScore?

(Of course, I refer to the meaning and position of the clefs, not to the typographic -- or calligraphic -- shapes, which did change a lot, but would make little sense in a context where today shapes are used for anything else.)

(Side note: the amount of effort spent in the history of music and of music printing to support tenors who cannot read their very own clef is amazing!)

Spend some time pouring through consort music and you will encounter other clefs, none of which make sense anymore.

Being a deep bass singer, I read the correct tenor clef (4th line C) only when updating a baroque or older score.

I remember when the ACDA guidelines came out. They're ok, I suppose, but modern composers should ignore them when they don't make sense. Since no one publishes the 3rd space C anymore, I suppose there's no reason for anyone but Finale to support it - so, if you really, really, really need...

The OP's belief that it is necessary to reproduce old scores is entirely unfounded. I can see aping the look but why would one do it any other way than by hand where you can let your creative juices run amok with calligraphy?

In reply to by MikeHalloran

Sorry to sound polemic, it is not my intention; if it sounds I am, please charge it on my not being a native speaker...

I practice Renaissance music since forty years and I play viola da gamba; I believe to have seen a lot of consort music and quite a number of historic sources; but the only clefs I have met used in them which are not supported by MuseScore are the rotated and reflected clefs used in enigmatic canons (and which I doubt are really supported by any notation programme; and, please, all the clefs I have seen there -- and which are supported by MuseScore -- do make sense, today as then!). It seems to me a bit stretchy to qualify MuseScore "a low end notation programme" on this basis.

With the exception of the "barbershop (pseudo-)tenor clef" describe above (about which, I admit, I have never heard before and which, according to your explanations, has been used in a niche context for a limited amount of time), I have never seen any clef used on a space; so I wonder what the usefulness of supporting clefs on spaces could be.

(About tenor clef, the real and only one, and my little polemic with tenors, any cellist or bassoonist can read it; why tenors cannot?)

In reply to by Miwarre

Yes, though I was mainly a bassist, i was also a cellist and could play the gamba and lute. I know all about clefs including many not supported in MuseScore. Clefs are on lines. The OP is incorrect that it was used in old music as I already pointed out.

But that really doesn't matter. He wants the 3rd space C clef and who are you, I or the ACDA to tell him he can't have that?

I'm also a singer. The tenor clef on the third space, though used extensively in barbershop (a quite active community worldwide), was gaining traction in published choral scores until the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) published their guidelines. I sang at the 1974 ACDA convention in Los Angeles and remember picking up a copy -- else I wouldn't know this.

Anyway, once the ACDA declared that clef unacceptable, I no longer saw it in new music. I like that clef, BTW, and sometimes use it in music for male voices that I self-publish. I'd never use it in a commercial score.

You take issue with my calling MuseScore a low end program? The lack of moveable clefs is only one of over a hundred features that a high end program like Finale can do. It's a minor issue, really, unlike the lack of real time note entry which is huge. Even Encore, another low end notation program, supports that. MuseScore, otoh, supports MusicXML 3 which many other such programs do not (Encore supports v1.3, I think).

One can argue that not all notation programs need to support all features an arranger needs. Fair enough and I have no issue with that. But, like the OP, when you want a notation program to do something and it can't -- and others can -- you can't call it a professional program. Finale is and, to a lesser extent, so is Sibelius. And that's ok.

Neither you nor I nor the ACDA gets to tell composers that what they feel they need to do is wrong. Finale may be a PIA and costs a few hundred $ but, if you need music to look however you want, that's the right tool.

I'm looking at MuseScore as a replacement for Encore, not Finale. It has a lot of promise but is still a long way from being ready for Prime Time. I am hopeful and expect that it will get there someday. Real time note entry is a must as is better documentation. Moveable clefs? Naw... almost no one needs that. If the OP really needs moveable clefs, there's Finale.

Damned autocorrect keeps turning the word into 'clefts'. I hope I caught them all.

Now that SMuFL and Bravura contains the glyphs need to add this old C clef, I would like to add them, at least in the master palette. There are 3 C clefs in SMuFL. Can anyone direct me to a source of information about the use of these clefs? In particular I would like to know on which line(s) they were the most popular and if they should shift the octave like the ottavas clefs.

I'm talking about cClefSquare, cClefFrench, and cClefFrench20C as defined here http://www.smufl.org/version/latest/range/clefs/

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