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#655803 - 09/09/05 06:44 PM Alto Clef
Prophetic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/02/04
Posts: 98
I'm trying to learn this clef (Organ) and I'm just wondering.... how? I'm doing it by intervals right now.

#655804 - 12/07/05 08:12 PM Re: Alto Clef
Poof Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 53
Loc: TX
Hello! I searched the alto clef on google, which you've probably already done, but found a viola forum where someone has tried to explain the alto clef. This is probably old news to you, but I hope it helps! Here's where I found it: http://www.8notes.com/f/32_22807.asp?y=1&sterm=alto%20clef
Think of the fierce energy concentrated in an acorn! You bury it in the ground, and it explodes into an oak! Bury a sheep, and nothing happens but decay. ~George Bernard Shaw

#655805 - 12/07/05 08:40 PM Re: Alto Clef
PerformingYak Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/16/05
Posts: 205
Loc: Lightning Ridge, Australia
Its easier when you are going from alto clef and playing on violin. I kinda think up and octave and down however many steps.... by interval too. After you've used it a few times you kind of get to know what note is which. I did it the same way learning bass clef when I began playing piano, memorised B then added a couple more to my memory and finally it becomes automatic.
"Work hard and strive to reach the power of bland"

#655806 - 01/03/06 03:33 PM Re: Alto Clef
whippen boy Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 3886
Loc: San Francisco
Are you working on Widor's 2nd Symphony (Salve Regina movement) or de Maleingreau's Symphonie de la Passion?

Or Bach? Or something like Corrette?

The Widor comes with some practice. It helps to hear a recording - play the alto clef part along with the recording too.

I find it helps to (sort of) memorize the part. Then when the alto clef part appears, I almost have to blank it out, mentally - and rely on my muscle memory to get me through.

The Symphonie de la Passion on the other hand, is practically impossible. Huge chord clusters, highly chromatic & full of accidentals. It goes on, page after page after page. \:\(

I'm not sure pianists are aware of what we organists (sometimes) have to go through! I've not seen alto clef in any piano pieces that I can recall.

It's not so bad when you play one clef at a time, but in organ music you may see F clef, G clef, and C clef simultaneously!
Grotrian 225
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M&H "A" at home

#655807 - 07/19/07 10:36 PM Re: Alto Clef
bukopaudan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/03/06
Posts: 506
Loc: USA
I'm learning the alto clef too. I did research on it at first and have tried to approach it different ways but this is how I'm learning it:

1. Learn the lines and the spaces. (Just like with treble and bass)

Lines: F A C E G
Spaces: G B D F

2. Photocopy a single page of music or something similar and carry it around with you, every time you have a free moment, whip it out and see how fast you can say the notes.

3. Sight-reading.

Hope this helps--good luck to you!
"Music can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable." -Leonard Bernstein

#655808 - 10/15/07 05:13 PM Re: Alto Clef
David Marsden Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/18/04
Posts: 43
Loc: Utah
sweet melody is right. I think the trick to learning alto clef is simply to learn how to read it. Get away from the "transposition" mindset and learn the notes by line and space. Sight read. Practice naming notes. Both are great suggestions.

I've played viola for nearly 30 years now, and I have more trouble communicating in English than I do reading alto clef. But I often have to play out of hymnals where I read the tenor line in bass clef. My approach there is not to think "what would this note be in alto clef?" but rather, that note is a G or A or C.

Best of luck.
David Marsden
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#655809 - 12/23/07 05:00 AM Re: Alto Clef
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 12715
Loc: Canada
In addition to what Tony says, it is also handy to know that the middle of the clef sign where the two backward C's meet is like an arrow point directly at middle C.


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