One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Any of several symbols placed at the left-hand end of a staff, indicating the pitch of the notes written on it.
- ‘For one thing, he himself tells us that he had learned all the old clefs before he was 12.’
- ‘On the man's upper left arm is an image of the grim reaper playing a red guitar below a man playing a guitar in the shape of a musical clef.’
- ‘In the upper corner of a forest, a staff-appears with G or F clef and one note, and the options are CDEFG.’
- ‘He also said the pianist may benefit from singing or playing individual parts, especially when there are transposing parts or those that use transposing clefs.’
- ‘Guidelines for clefs, key signatures, bar-lines, and notes are similarly drawn in.’
Late 16th century: from French, from Latin clavis ‘key’.
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