Draw a Treble Clef Properly – Learn How
There are many ways (and tips) to teach how to draw a Treble Clef. As a Teacher, I want to set an example to my students so that they learn how to draw a Treble Clef properly, easily and yes correctly!
Did you know that it is actually important to draw the Treble Clef properly – in a specific way for specific reasons?
Who Drew the First Treble Clef?
This picture from Wikipedia and The Harvard Dictionary of Music shows the evolution of what we now call the Treble Clef:
Musical notation began near the end of the 9th Century. Gregorian Chants were first written out using “neumes”. Neumes were simply dots and dashes above the text that indicated changes in pitch.
By the end of the 10th Century, you could actually work as a Musical Scribe, writing out with increased precision the music of the Church.
To make the pitch of the written music relative to the pitch at which it was to be sung, scribes added a horizontal line to indicate a base pitch. At the beginning of this line was written a letter. F, C and G were the 3 most common pitches.
Ask your students to find those Landmark Pitches on the piano. Hint – they learned them in Prep 1 Rudiments!
By adding more lines, the neumes (or early notes) could be written to show direction and changes in the pitch. This is how the Musical Staff started!
Until the Industrial Revolution and the invention of the Printing Press, there were a lot of variations on how the Treble Clef was drawn. Eventually the version of the Treble Clef that we see today became the norm in printed music.
You can read about the full history of the evolution of the Treble Clef online at the Smithsonian Magazine.
10 Composers and Their Treble Clefs
Okay – I guess if you are “famous”, you don’t have to learn how to draw a Treble Clef Properly!
This picture was sent to me on Facebook and I wanted to share it with you.
But it is interesting to see how many different ways Composers wrote a Treble Clef. I tell my students that “just because a composer wrote it that way does not mean that it is right”.
It is very important to draw a Treble Clef Properly!
Why Should We Draw a Treble Clef Properly?
The Treble Clef is also known as the G Clef. We need to draw a Treble Clef properly so that it fulfills it’s purpose – pitching G on the staff.
Did you know that when we draw a Treble Clef properly, we actually pitch 2 different Gs?
So when your student asks why they need to draw a Treble Clef properly, you can explain to them that it helps pronounce the pitches of the notes properly!
If you don’t pitch these two Gs, then your music will not be pronounced properly!
Would your student like it if you, their teacher, mispronounced their name? What if their name was Scott and you wrote Scoff. Sure, it is just a little swoop on top of two letters, but it changes the pronunciation of the name! (PS – my husband’s name is Scott!)
Avoid Pet Peeves through Proper Pronunciation Practices (or how to say my name!)
One of my many Pet Peeves is mispronouncing my name. I don’t mind if you mispronounce my name the first time. However, after I have explained how to say it, it becomes a Pet Peeve if you keep mispronouncing it.
Shelagh is pronounced like “Sheila”, just spelled the Gaelic way.
McKibbon (my married name) is pronounced “Mi-Ki-Bun”. There is no “G” in it. For some reason, I seem to get McGibbon a lot…
U’Ren (my maiden name) is pronounced “You-Wren”. I am a descendant of King Urien Rheged, a late 6th-century king of Rheged, an early British kingdom of the Hen Ogledd (northern England and southern Scotland). Cool, eh?
Can I tell you a secret? Glory often gets called Gloria. Her real name is Glorianna though, but please just call her Glory!
Ask your students if anyone ever has trouble pronouncing their names? If it happens a lot, I bet that it has become a Pet Peeve.
I like to explain to my students that mis-writing the Clef is like mispronouncing the Clef Name – and it is a Musical Pet Peeve.
How to Pronounce the Treble Clef
The Treble Clef is not pronounced Trouble or Tribble (although the Trekker in me likes that one…the Trouble with Tribbles…okay, if you are not a Trekker, you won’t get that one. Sorry).
“Treble” is pronounced “Treb-hul” (it is hard to write that “bll” sound – remember that it is not a “bill” sound, but a “bull” sound).
How to Draw a Treble Clef
On Page 12 in the Ultimate Music Theory Prep 1 Rudiments Workbook, we did an excellent job of simplifying how to draw a Treble Clef.
Students do not need the thicker and thinner lines, or any of the angles, created by the printed font.
In order to draw a Treble Clef properly, they can use the simple steps outlined in the Prep 1 Rudiments workbook.
Draw a Treble Clef Properly – 4 Simple Steps:
- Begin above the staff (in that upper G space) and draw the letter “J” through the staff, ending in the space below the staff.
- Start at the top of the line and draw a “P” to line 4.
- Continue to draw a “d” from line 4 (semi-circle to the left) all the way to line 1.
- Continue to circle up to line 3 and curl around, finishing on line 2.
Practice Drawing Perfect Treble Clef Signs on the UMT Whiteboard!
My students love using their Whiteboards to draw Treble Clefs!
Have your students use their Ultimate Music Theory Whiteboard to practice drawing their clef signs.
A properly drawn clef allows for proper pitch placement on the staff…and is just as important as pronouncing their own names correctly!
Order your Teacher and Student Whiteboards today!
Keep on Learning…With a Smile and a Song!
Shelagh (pronounced like Sheila! *grin*)