Trouble with Tenor Clef

• Oct 11, 2023 - 12:53

I scanned a piece of music, converted to MuseScore and find that the Tenor Cleff notes are too low. I've attached the pdf and the MuseScore files. I don't see a way to move the Tenor clef down like shown in the score. MuseScore puts the Bb one note higher. I can tell by listening that the Tenor notes don't match the music. Do I need to compensate by selecting all the tenor notes and moving them up one note, or how else to fix this? Thanks,

Attachment Size
King All Glorious MS4.mscz 50.24 KB
King All Glorious P1-3.pdf 1.65 MB


Looks like whoever typeset that put a tenor clef with C on the space rather than the line. Maybe they meant it, maybe it was a mistake, maybe they wanted a French alto clef but didn't have one. You cold use "Treble clef 8va bassa" (G clef with an 8 under it) one the French Alto one or if you really want to keep it as per original, you could place a tenor clef, move it, and place a second clef to get the pitch.

In reply to by underquark

They obviously intended to put it on the space to indicate that that space is middle C - it’s the first time I’ve ever seen it (or any other clef) on a space like this, though. “Treble clef 8va bassa" on the second line up would be correct for modern usage. What is a French Alto clef?

In reply to by carlsonbm50@gm…

I'm sure there is a better way but as my PC is too old to run MS4 I can't try it out for myself. However I don't recommend such non-standard usage (clefs should always be placed on lines) as you will only confuse people. Instead I'd copy just that line into a separate score, and transpose it and play with the clefs till it sounds correct in the Treble 8va bassa, then copy it all back into the main score.

(I asked about the "French" alto clef as I don't think there is anything specifically French about it - it's standard for viola parts for instance.)

"Do I need to compensate by selecting all the tenor notes and moving them up one note, or how else to fix this? "

This is a clef usage I have never seen before, and I agree with the earlier post that it is better not to reproduce this non-standard clef usage shown in the printed edition - it's very confusing!

The solution seems to be:
a) use a Treble clef 8va bassa which is the standard clef for a tenor voice in choral writing;
b) keep the tenor line's notes in exactly the same position as shown on the original printed stave.

I used optical music recognition (OMR) to test this. The software I used (Neuratron Photoscore) allows me to change the clef after the OMR process. There is an option "Rewrite notes" which I left as disabled, so the noteheads stayed in exactly their position as on the printed page:

I think the score produced by OMR sounds correct, given that the PDF jumps from p.3 to p.8. But I have to admit that the OMR made a pretty poor job of getting the lyrics in the correct place!

Attachment Size
King All Glorious P1-3.mscz 30.71 KB

In reply to by DanielR

Thank you Daniel. Leaving the notes right where they are seems to work. It sounds good. I use Capella-Scan 9.0 to open and fix the pdf. There I simply changed the clef to Treble clef 8va bassa as you suggested. I then exported it to Musicxml type and then open it in MuseScore 3 for cleanup. Opening these types of documents in MuseScore 4 seems to have much more to fix. Thanks again

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