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Topic: Question for cellists

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  1. #1

    Question Question for cellists

    I am arranging "O Holy Night" for acoustic guitar, cello and 2 violins (plus a small 8-member vocal ensemble) for a live performance in church, and am doing the mockup and score-writing using GPO.

    My question: How will most cellists want to receive the sheet music: bass clef, tenor clef or treble clef?

    Jim

  2. #2

    Smile Re: Question for cellists

    Quote Originally Posted by mistahamma
    I am arranging "O Holy Night" for acoustic guitar, cello and 2 violins (plus a small 8-member vocal ensemble) for a live performance in church, and am doing the mockup and score-writing using GPO.

    My question: How will most cellists want to receive the sheet music: bass clef, tenor clef or treble clef?

    Jim
    Bass clef, unless the part is very high. What is the range for the part?

    Grant
    ==============================
    Grant Green ||| www.contrabass.com
    Sarrusophones and other seismic devices

  3. #3

    Re: Question for cellists

    Thank you, Grant and Ern. The part should be low enough to be readable in the bass clef. I just didn't want to hand the cellist something in a clef they weren't used to reading.

    Jim

  4. #4

    Re: Question for cellists

    I've been an accompanist for a cellist for six years and he regularly gets stuff that includes bass, treble and tenor clefs. Bass clef is easiest to read, then tenor, then treble, least preferable, at least from his stance, all assuming you don't have to go into lots of ledger lines.

  5. #5

    Re: Question for cellists

    Quote Originally Posted by mistahamma
    Thank you, Grant and Ern. The part should be low enough to be readable in the bass clef. I just didn't want to hand the cellist something in a clef they weren't used to reading.

    Jim
    90+ percent of the time the cello will be in Bass Cleft. Depending on the skill level of the Celloist (sp?) they may or may not be able to read tenor clef.
    //
    // Ars longa, vita brevis
    // http://edosbear.blogspot.com/
    //

  6. #6

    Thumbs up Re: Question for cellists

    I confirm bass clef, and tenor for very high texture.

  7. #7

    Re: Question for cellists

    The thumbrule I was taught for orchestral parts was to switch clefs if it goes more than three lines over (or under) the staff.

    With cellists, professionals will be completely comfortable with tenor clef; but less experienced players will likely prefer treble, as they're familiar with it in other contexts.

    Very occasionally, you'll also see parts written with octavo's (octave up or down); but players too often miss it, so this is discouraged.

    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .

  8. #8

    Re: Question for cellists

    Quote Originally Posted by etLux
    The thumbrule I was taught for orchestral parts was to switch clefs if it goes more than three lines over (or under) the staff.
    .
    The ledger line rule is very passage dependent. I would add "If it stays over/under the staff." It is frustrating switching clefs for just an handful of notes and then to switch back again. Also depends on the instument. Flute, violin, tuba are all accustomed to ledgers. I would concur with the above clef choices. Bass clef is most commonly seen for cello.

  9. #9

    Re: Question for cellists

    Quote Originally Posted by dvincent
    The ledger line rule is very passage dependent. I would add "If it stays over/under the staff." It is frustrating switching clefs for just an handful of notes and then to switch back again. Also depends on the instument. Flute, violin, tuba are all accustomed to ledgers. I would concur with the above clef choices. Bass clef is most commonly seen for cello.
    Absolutely -- you don't go changing clefs for a note or two... that just gets even more confusing than having to read a few extra ledger lines.

    The overriding rule, of course, is -- always -- clarity.

    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .

  10. #10

    Re: Question for cellists

    Well, I think I'm the first real cellist to reply...
    I concur with all said.

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