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Sentence to think about :  In the busy world of show business, it is not necessary to be a good musician to be familiar with the music.  Pierre Dac
Sentence to think about :  I am not a musician, but I love music passionately, and if air touches me, it amuses me, I listen with delight, I will not consider whether the music is French or Italian, I think Just as there is only one.  Carlo Goldoni
Sentence to think about :  That you become a teacher, scholar, or musician, have respect for the "sense", but do not imagine it is taught.  Hermann Hesse
Sentence to think about :  To make a bad musician, it takes at least five years of study. As for making a bad actor, it only takes ten minutes.  Coluche
Sentence to think about :  The musician is someone who can be relied on to provide reassurance to the neighbor, but it is also a reminder of what human excellence.  Yehudi Menuhin
Sentence to think about :  In the artistic hierarchy, the birds are the greatest musicians that exist on our planet.  Olivier Messiaen
Sentence to think about :  The music is the soul in harmony with all that exists.  Oscar Wilde
Sentence to think about :  The vase gives form to the emptiness, and music to silence.  Georges Braque
Sentence to think about :  What good attendance Plato, when a saxophone can also do us a glimpse of another world ?  Emil Michel Cioran
Sentence to think about :  Without music, life would be a mistake.  Friedrich Nietzsche
Sentence to think about :  We do not sell music. We share it.  Leonard Bernstein
Sentence to think about :  The more one knows about music, the less one is able to say something worthwhile.  Patrick Süskind
Sentence to think about :  The opera is opera, the symphony is the symphony, and I do not think it is nice to dance with the orchestra.  Giuseppe Verdi
Sentence to think about :  Mass of love - it seems that music is that for women.  Edmond et Jules de Goncourt
Sentence to think about :  There is no music more enjoyable than the variations of tunes.  Joseph Joubert
Sentence to think about :  Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.  Ludwig van Beethoven
Sentence to think about :  The real music is silence, and all notes are framed by silence.  Miles Davis
Sentence to think about :  The music, the most beautiful religion in the world where we are not threatened or promised.  Minou Drouet
Sentence to think about :  Jazz is what allows us to escape from everyday life.  Stéphane Grappelli
Sentence to think about :  The music deserves a second language compulsory in all schools in the world.  Paul Carvel
Sentence to think about :  Music gives a soul to our hearts and wings to thought.  Platon
Sentence to think about :  The beauty of music - like light - is that of speed, mobility, elusive.  Jean-Michel Jarre
Sentence to think about :  You do not need a brain to listen to music.  Luciano Pavarotti
Sentence to think about :  Music should humbly seek to please, the extreme complication is contrary to art.  Claude Debussy
Sentence to think about :  People who do not stand a chance to change the music world are those who do not like music.  Ben Harper
Sentence to think about :  The music drives the hatred in those who are without love. It gives peace to those who are restless, she comforts those who mourn.  Pablo Casals
Sentence to think about :  Our era is no longer music. She hides in the noise of men in their solitude suggesting what she thinks is music.  Jacques Attali
Sentence to think about :  It's not quite true that music soothes the soul. I even believe that harmony, a little in excess, leads the better man made ​​to a state of stupor and senility quite frisky.  Alphonse Allais
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In solfeggio, a key traditional music or spelling in the spelling key today is the most common graphic signs placed at the beginning of the scope and whose function is to indicate a note marker associated with a line.

The key is necessarily the beginning of any significance, but may also occur elsewhere: in this case, it was simply dealing with a key change, a phenomenon quite similar to the change of measure.

The three key figures

There are three key figures: the treble key, which indicates the G3, near of the A of the tune, and for the treble, the tenor key, which indicates the C3 ut is the ancient name of C which concern the sounds of the medium, finally, the bass key, which indicates the F2 who concern the bass sounds.


treble key

bass key

tenor key

The design of the keys is derived from letters G (for SOL), F (for FA) and C (for DO or UT), which we had always put on a primitive line of the staff around the XIth century in order to attach to the absolute height line. The scribes have gradually transformed the appearance of these letters until getting the graphics of the current key. This finding is in fact the origin of the scope of the invention, is attributed to an Italian monk, Guido of Arezzo.

Eight keys and their position on the staff

Figure Each key can in principle bind to any line of the staff, we should have a full 15 keys. However, the practice has only kept two of F keys, four keys of UT and two key SOL. A key from C to B, the G3 is of the same octave as the C3.

  • Summary table of eight keys:
    Les huit clefs usuelles.

The role of different key

Each instrument or voice each having its ambitus own particular extent, the choice of the key allows you to write a score for that instrument or the voice, using up five lines of the staff, without too many extra lines increase .

Traditional Allocation

Nowadays, the key shows only one particular area of the range of heights. Until the mid-XVIIIth century, however, the key determined more precisely the type of voice and, by extension, the type of instrument landing.

  1. The treble 1st
    Formerly used by the violin for example in French music of the XVIIth century is nowadays abandoned;
  2. The treble key 2nd
    Assigned to treble and melody in general is rather one whose use is most prevalent. It is currently the key to all the voices, except for serious male voice. It is used by many instruments: violin, flute, clarinet, trumpet, right hand of the harp and keyboard instruments, piano, organ, harpsichord, etc.. as well as the instruments more graves in their highest register (violin viola, cello).
  3. The key of UT 1st
    Formerly used by the soprano (pitched voice of women and children), it now serves as the orchestral transposition.
  4. The key of UT 2 nd
    Formerly used by the mezzo-soprano (middle voice of women and children), it now serves as the orchestral transposition.
  5. The key of UT 3rd
    Formerly used by the contralto voice (deep voice of women and children), it is mainly used today by viola and cello in its upper register.
  6. The key of UT 4th
    Formerly used by the tenor (high voice of men), it is mainly used today for the cello, trombone and bassoon.
  7. The key ofF 3rd
    Formerly used by the baritone (middle voice of men), it now serves as the orchestral transposition.
  8. The key of F 4th
    Earmarked for bass instruments, it is used almost as much as the treble key. This is the key to the bass voice (deep voice of men) and baritone.
    It is also used by many bass instruments: stringed instruments (contrabass, cello, bass guitar, left hand on the harp), wind (bassoon, trombone, tuba) or keyboard (piano, organ, harpsichord), etc...

Finally, we note a key of F 5th, which was sometimes used in early Renaissance (nine keys at the time), but while the treble is still in many manuscripts of the XVIIIth century, this key of F 5th was quickly abandoned in practice. It produced the same notes that our current clef, two octaves lower.

The knowledge of all the keys is essential as musicians wishing to study the transposition, orchestration or composition, the others may be content with the key corresponding to their type of voice or instrument.

Seven major keys

The bass key F 4th and G 1st actually producing the same notes the heights of sound, cons, two octaves differ between these two keys, one can consider that there in fact seven keys. It is not by chance that the actual number of keys corresponding to the number of notes. Indeed, these seven keys allow the assignment of any name of note to any location on the staff or line spacing.

For example, the figure of note placed on the front line can take any name as the key used:
La même note dans les sept clefs.

We can indeed use different keys to transpose a score. Thus, to play two tones above a part written in treble key, the C must be E, the D, F, the E, G, etc... Just change the key of G in the key of F. Thus the G will become B, the A, C, the B, D, etc... It will also change the armor, and some accidentals, sharps, flats, etc... , that is another story.

This "implementation by the key" is not known by musicians of all countries, and appears linked to some French traditional music theory. Furthermore, it has the disadvantage of not always indicate the octave sounds real good. This process is a misuse of the historical sense of these different keys, whose existence was necessitated by the implementation but by a desire to avoid the additional lines.


Listing of treble key octavied.

Traditionally, the notation of certain instruments or certain voice can shift the actual pitch of the note marker, and therefore, the whole question of one octave vocal range, or more if necessary. This is a permanent octave.

  • For example, party recorder soprano or sopranino, written in treble key, must be played an octave above.
  • The tenor part, written in the treble key, must be sung an octave below, the bass part, written in key of F 4th, must be played an octave lower, bass guitar and also play an octave lower than indicated their keys (respectively G and F). In this case there is sometimes a "small eight" stuck under the key: for example in the treble key for the tenor parts.

Other notations on the key

The notes represented on the staff does not only depend on the key placed on it, in effect depending on the range color desired, the main notes of the scale may be altered a semitone. To avoid having to always note the half-tones, so very common to carry out major chords of notes in this range, the changes of a semitone (sharp, B-flat) notes major scale indicated by the key alone are then scored in just the armor near the top of the key score.

You can then cancel the half-ton of armor, note by note, by completing each of a B-natural in case of need, but the game played on stringed instruments or organ, the perfect chromatic harmony n is normally not obtained by playing the corresponding note of the major scale, but altered it slightly lower (or higher) in half-tone canceled the frame. The frame of the key does not normally naturals except to indicate that a note most of the range is in fact not changed according to the main note of the major chord, and mark and the dissonance is intended by composer. This particular case should only apply in the works played with different instruments, to serve as secondary instruments must agree with the notes played with the major principal instruments.

This notation of naturals is now little used in the "modern" music today, where simple major and minor scales are the most frequent, and where the keyboard instruments rarely allow the expression of these pure lines, in fact, this is often the performers who fit themselves and give the notes of their instruments in interpreting the scores according to the desired sound effect (the dissonances and other changes are now common and often volunteers). This notation is not necessary for the game with a single type of instrument or when alterations in semitones are not possible: in this case instruments emphasize a fairly defined frames and therefore also a limited number of keys based the limited number of lines they can play and give without dissonance.

Besides the armor, there are also frequent time signature indicating the length of the measures (and the number of notes or chords played in the rhythm of core), or other abbreviated notation to indicate the tempo ( or variation thereof) and the expressiveness of the notes. Their notation in the key rather than next to every note simplifies reading and understanding of score.

(Source: - copyright authors - article under GFDL)

Creation date : 14/03/2009 15:53
Last update : 05/04/2009 10:04
Category : - Solfeggio
Page read 34909 times



In music, the ambitus is the interval between the lowest note and highest note, of  a score, a voice or an instrument, it is synonymous with the word register.

In the case of a piece of music, the ambitus is the range of notes that will reach to restore a piece.

The ambitus must be carefully distinguished from the tessitura which means in turn notes that an interpreter can be achieved without special effort with his voice or instrument, an interpreter may have to exceed its tessitura of an extreme number of notes - in the acute or the grave - with which he is less comfortable to repay all the ambitus of a song.

More fundamentally, the tessitura or the registry are linked to the absolute pitch of notes, while the ambitus is an interval, a relative height between the worst and most acute. The ambitus as well if (a transposition near) a melody is singable or playable on a given instrument.

The chromatic scale

In solfeggio, the chromatic scale refers to a musical scale consisting of seven degrees of the diatonic scale of five notes added intermediaries, each sharing your past two semitones through accidentals.

  • While the diatonic scale is in the form of isolated diatonic semitones framing alternating groups of two and three-tone chromatic scale is a succession of semitones - five chromatic semitones and seven diatonic semitones. This quasi-identity blurs intervals joint benchmarks and tends to generate a fuzzy tone.
  • The chromatic scale and the intermediate notes :


The harmony

In its broadest sense, the word harmony means traditionally one of the four elements of music - the others being the rhythm, the melody and timbre.
Harmony is the deliberate use of frequencies simultaneously, with a view to provide relief and depth to the song or instrumental performance : she represents the aspect vertical music, while the melody is the aspect horizontal.


In a music system, the word melody means the dimension that takes into account the heights emitted by a source, individual or collective, instrumental or vocal in a musical production of any kind. The main melody is opposed to the rhythm, another component of the music.
Because it is a succession of sounds with different frequencies, a melody is a succession of intervals. Indeed, from the standpoint of the interpreter, like that of the listener, each note of a melody is determined by the melodic interval that separates it from the previous note.

The octave in music

The etymology of the word octave just music: it takes eight grades to have a frequency twice as high.
Indeed, the one to play in tune, it must produce a frequency of 440 Hz to play the octave above, it is necessary to produce a frequency of 880 Hz, ie, exactly twice.
In music, an octave is the interval between two sounds whose fundamental frequency of one is twice the frequency of the other. Divided into several sub-intervals, it allows to define the ranges.

The rythm

The rhythm is in music, which determines the duration of notes to each other. The rhythm, melody, tempo and nuance are the four main facts to characterize a given musical phrase.


In western music, solfeggio (or music theory) is the study of elements to read, write, play or sing a score. The ultimate goal of reading music is to hear a musical work, its orchestration and its interpretation, no other medium that its interior hearing.


In western music, the word means a tone scale music belonging to the tonal system.

  • Caught in a broad sense, the word "tone" can refer to the tonal system as a whole.
  • The word can also take the direction of height, its fundamental to some instruments.
  • The word tone can be used as a synonym for tone.

A tone is defined as the set of intervals, melodic and harmonic as well, between hierarchical levels of a given scale compared to its fundamental level, called tonic. A tone is characterized by both the tonic and its mode.
Each key is constructed from the diatonic scale.

The tone is also a means to locate a musical instrument in relation to C reference.
The flute, violin or piano are in C, that is to say that when the C is played, it really means to do. The B-flat trumpet sounded really flat so when playing a do. The horn (in F) is heard when playing an F do.

The tone is very important because it will allow transposition and transcription of partitions in C in tones of instruments with different pitches.

Some instruments and their tone:

  • Ut: Piano, strings, flutes and piccolo, oboe, bassoon, C trumpet, trombone, tuba, bass tuba.
  • D flat: the old piccolos.
  • Re: Trumpet in D.
  • Eb: alto saxophone and baritone, small bugle, horn in E flat, alto (small tuba), clarinet, bass tuba.
  • F: Cor.
  • Sol: Trumpet in G.
  • The: Oboe d'amore, the trumpet.
  • Bb: soprano saxophone, tenor tuba (euphonium and baritone), B-flat trumpet, flugelhorn, clarinet, bass tuba (bombardon).