TonalityGUIDE - basic tonal music theory and analysis for undergraduates
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Introduction to tonality More about the TonalityGUIDE analysis tool kit Clefs, note labels, intervals and transposition
chord identification understanding voice-leading style awareness

The ToolKIT, which is accessible from all pages of the site, outlines the three main analytical skills that TonalityGUIDE.com aims to develop. It also links to a short introduction to the study of tonality as well as a reminder of some basics (note and interval labels, clefs and transpositions).

Basic Music Literacy
introduction note names intervals clefs transposition

Clefs tell you what notes the lines and spaces on the stave refer to and instruments are written in different clefs to avoid ledger lines. The four most common are treble (which curls around g1), alto and tenor (which centre on c1) and bass (in which the two dots centre on f1).

The example shows middle C (c1) in the four most common clefs (treble, bass, alto, tenor):

The table below shows which clefs are used in writing for some common orchestral instruments:

Instrument Clef
Flute Treble
Oboe Treble
Clarinet Treble
Bassoon Tenor, Bass
Horn Treble, Bass
Trombone Tenor, Bass
Violin Treble
Viola Alto
Cello Bass
Bass Bass (although the parts are written an octave higher than it sounds)


The Tonality GUIDE tonal music analysis tool kit
information and orientation as you browse around TonalityGUIDE.com
chord identification
understanding voice-leading
style awareness

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TonalityGUIDE - Tonal Harmony and Voiceleading - Table of Contents