Tenor Clef

The Tenor Clef is centred on the fourth line up of the stave, which corresponds to middle C. As a result, the Tenor Clef is also referred to as a C Clef.
Tenor Clef Middle C Sheet Music

Tenor Clef Notes

It is easy to work out the Tenor Clef notes as long as you remember that the fourth line up on the Tenor Clef is middle C.
Tenor Clef Notes
Be careful not to confuse the Tenor Clef with the Alto Clef which looks very similar, but whose indent sits on the middle line of the stave.

Tenor Clef Instruments

The Tenor Clef is often used when writing music for the upper ranges of the following instruments in order to avoid too many ledger lines:

  • Bassoon
  • Cello
  • Double Bass
  • Euphonium
  • Trombone

However, you will find most music written for these instruments uses the Bass Clef.
Composers only tend to use the Tenor Clef when writing notes for the upper ranges of these instruments to avoid using too many ledger lines.

For example, have a look at this extract from a Lullaby for Bassoon by Brahms:
Tenor Clef Bassoon Sheet Music Example
You can see how the music for the bassoon has been written using Bass Clef, but changes to the Tenor Clef when the pitch of the melody rises up to the higher range of the instrument.

If a Tenor Clef was not used for the last section of the melody the melody would start to use a lot of ledger lines:
Tenor Clef to Bass Clef more ledger lines

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