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Instruments Which Play Music Using The Treble Clef

Updated on November 24, 2014

Seven Instruments Which Play Music Using The Treble Clef

The treble clef is a sign in music placed at the beginning of the treble stave and is used for right hand playing in piano / keyboard playing and for higher pitched instruments such as the violin, flute and piccolo, clarinet, oboe, trumpet, saxophone family and xylophone..

This article will give you more information on the above seven instruments which play music using the treble clef

Treble Clef Jewelry

Feel the part on your musical journey with treble clef necklace and earrings.

Violin Sounds

Instrument 1 The Violin:

The earliest violins date from the 16th century and some people believe they originated from Poland, though they are not certain. However it is known that the best violins were being made in Italy, chiefly at Cremona in North Italy. The greatest Italian violin makers were Nicolo Amati (1596 -1684), Antonio Stradivari ( 1644 -1737 ) and Guiseppe Guarni ( 1698 - 1744 )

The violin is the smallest, highest sounding instrument of the string group and is a standard member of every orchestra being divided into first and second parts.

It is a bowed four string instrument tuned to g d a e , spanning three and a half octaves.

The violinist has to:

1. both pitch or find the notes by moving the fingers of the left hand to certain positions along the fingerboard or neck of instrument.

2. produce the sound of notes by drawing the bow across the strings. The sound is the nearest to the human voice than any other instrument.

Instrument 2 The Flute:

The flute is one of the most ancient of all musical instruments but nobody knows when the first flute was made. There were many changes of the form and in the 18th century inventors experimented with various features including added keys and materials they were made from - including glass! So flutes did not look the same. However in 1832 Theobald Boehm, a flautist and metal-worker from Munich invented a uniform system of rods and keys which made playing the flute much easier and this is what we play today.

Flutes are in the form of a cylindrical tube of wood or metal ( sliver, gold or nickle). Holes pierce the tube which are covered by keys. There are three parts to the flute which join together. On the headpiece is a small oval-shaped mouth hole which the player blows across to create the sound. The headpiece tapers off towards the end and is closed or stopped. You play the flute sideways as opposed to downwards like the other members of the woodwind family. The flute has a note range of three octaves and is a member of the woodwind family.

There flute comes in a range of different sizes ranging from the piccolo which sounds one octave higher than the ordinary concert flute to the alto and bass flutes which are bigger and lower than the concert flute.

The flute is played in a variety of situations including the orchestra, chamber group, jazz groups and as a solo instrument.

Instrument 3 The Clarinet:

The clarinet was invented in1690 by Johann Christoph Denner of Nuremberg, Germany and is one of the members of the woodwind group.

It consists of a cylindrical tube, the upper end of which is shaped to form the mouthpiece while the lower end spreads out in the shape of a bell. One side of the mouthpiece is flattened and a thin piece of cane called a single reed is fixed to this.

The sound is produced when the clarinet player blows into the tube in such a way that the reed vibrates the mouthpiece. There are hinged rings and keys which operate movable pads which cover the holes in the tubing. Different notes are played when the player presses these rings or keys with their fingers. And the clarinet can produce sounds ranging three octaves.

There are several varieties of clarinet including the B flat, A, bass clainet in B flat and high clarinet in E flat. The B flat is the most common especially to start learning on.

Clarinets can be played in a variety of situations including orchestras,military bands, chamber groups and jazz groups.

Clarinet Sounds

Sheet Music

If you play an instrument you may need sheet music to read from.

Take a look HERE for violin, flute, clarinet, trumpet, saxophone and xylophone music

Instrument 4 The Oboe:

The oboe is a woodwind instrument that developed from a raucous medieval instrument called the Shawn. It was first used in France at the end of the 17th century.

The oboe is usually made of African blackwood or rosewood and is in the shape of a long cone with the bottom opening out like a bell and a fixed double reed made of cane fixed to the top of the instrument. Sound is produced by blowing through the double reed and the tone produced is stronger or more oiercing than the flute or clarinet

There are fingerholes and operating keys which players cover or press in order to play the different notes. The range of notes the oboe can play ranges two octaves from middle C.

The oboe is a standard orchestral instrument as well as being common in chamber groups and military bands.

Oboe Sounds

Instrument 5 The Trumpet:

The trumpet is among the oldest of the brass instruments and is the highest sounding.

The earliest trumpet known is found in the tomb of the Egyptian King Tutankhamun.

The trumpet is made of metal and has a cylindrical bore, which in the last quarter of its length widens into a moderate size bell. It has a cup-shaped mouthpiece, as in other brass instrument, and the sound is produced by the player pressing the mouthpiece to his mouth and making the lips vibrate within it. The buzzing sound he makes in this way sets the column of air inside the instrument vibrating. Different sounds are produced by altering tension of the lips. Low sounds are produced when the lips are slack and high sounds are produced as players tighten their lips.

The tone of the trumpet can be altered in several ways with use of a mute placed in the bell of the instrument. A mute is a cone made of cardboard, fibre, felt or metal.

Trumpets are used in orchestras, jazz bands, military bands, brass bands.

Loius Armstrong was one of the greatest jazz trumpet players of all time.

Instrument 6 The Saxophone Family

These are a family of wind instruments invented by a Belgian called Adolphe Sax. By 1846 he had developed fourteen different sized saxophones. He wanted to make an instrument for the military bands that would sound well with both woodwind and brass instruments. Hence he came up with an instrument that is played using a single reed like a clarinet,

and has a conical bore like an oboe but with the tube made of brass curving up at the end like a horn.

All the saxophones use the treble clef . The tone is fuller than woodwind instruments and softer than the brass and blend in with these instrment types very well. It could be said that they have a flutelikesoftness, stringlike richness and metallic stridency.

They are a common feature in jazz big bands where a section of saxophones takes the place of the symphony orchestras string section. They are most suitable to play the main melody of the piece. The alto, tenor , baritone and saprano saxophones are the most common.

Saxophone Sounds

Instrument 7 The Xylophone:

The xylophone is a percussion instrument consisting of tuned, wooden bars arranged as in the piano keyboard, and played by being struck with small hard or soft hammers held in the hand. It belongs to the tuned percussion group meaning that it can be used to play melodies ( as opposed to untuned percussion eg triangle or side drum ). You can notes ranging from middle upwards for three octaves.

Composers usually use the xylophone in orchestras to produce special effects as the wooden sound is easily heard above the other instruments.

Xylophone Sounds


Music using the treble clef is used for higher pitched instruments. The seven examples of instruments given each have their unique qualities as mentioned with similarities of instruments within a group eg woodwind instruments all have keys and holes in the tube and notes are played by pressing these down.

One thing they all have in common is that they are all instruments which play music using the treble clef.

The one question remains:

Would You Be Interested In Learning Any One Of These Treble Clef Instruments?

Thoughts Please

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    • profile image

      texmex 18 months ago

      Im so proud of you, to find another violist is a real rarity

    • profile image

      sophia 2 years ago

      you know what? i'm pissed off that only 4 instruments play on the alto clef. one of them is one i already play. THE VIOLA.

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 8 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      Hi - Great lens ~ 5 stars! I'm lensrolling it to my orchestra lens. Thanks ~ Pamela

    • Laddoo LM profile image

      Lloyd Pinto 8 years ago from Mumbai

      This is a very well structured lens with very useful content. Really deserves a 5*


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