Definition of alto clef in US English:

alto clef


  • A clef placing middle C on the middle line of the staff, now used chiefly for viola music.

    • ‘Depending on the type of trombone and what type of ensemble you're in, the music for trombone could be written in either the tenor, bass, or alto clefs.’
    • ‘The wedding cake, with chocolate covered strawberries between the layers, was decorated with treble clefs for Rachel's violin and alto clefs for Nick's viola.’
    • ‘The alto clef encountered when reading the viola part poses a challenge.’
    • ‘It is usually written in bass clef, although tenor trombone players with orchestral experience are often comfortable with tenor and alto clefs as well.’
    • ‘This editor permits single or double stave notation utilizing the treble, bass, tenor and alto clefs.’


alto clef

/ˈôltō ˌklef/