Any MusiCAD song will need some kind of reference point, signaled with a clef.
By far, most music is written using the treble clef which is default. When creating a new song you will be asked to choose from a list of possible song templates. This will include the clef(s) as well.
The bass clef is used when music goes below C4 as is the case for left-hand piano. Double bass and cello as well as other low instruments feature a bass clef
Most of the C-clefs (soprano, mezzo-soprano, alto, tenor, baritone) aren't much in use nowadays. The alto clef (just in between treble clef and bass clef) is still in use for the alto-violin.
Instead of using some C-clef, an octave selection is used using 8va or 8va basso. MusiCAD will handle these the same way as an ordinary clef.
A special kind of clef is the neutral or percussion clef, not denoting any special pitch but just indicating that one or more percussion instruments are to be played.
If you need to alter or insert a clef-change you'll use the clef menu.
The clef at the front of each staff provides a reference point for all notes in the staff. Although the treble clef is by far the most commonly used clef, other clefs (notably the bass clef) are also common. The C clef can appear on any line.
The clef determines what the reference note is. MusiCAD considers octave changing like 8va, 15va, loco and similar things as key changes as well.
- The 'eye' of the treble clef determines where to find the G4,
- The 'eye' of the bass clef determines where to find the F3,
- the middle of C-clefs like alto clef and tenor clef where the C4 can be found.
15ma-bass'keys' indicate to play two octaves up/down.
The drum key or percussion clef is the odd one out: percussion is not supposed to have a pitch.
Using a new clef only affects the notation of the sheet music; not on the pitch. With the clef menu <F9> you can also use octaves (8va, 15ma basso, loco) etc. MusiCAD considers a ottava to be a special kind of key.
Clefs (and thus also octave) should (when notating with MusiCAD) always be written at the beginning of a measure. After selecting the desired key, you can choose whether the new key should replace the previous one, or whether a key change should be inserted.
In those cases where a key change has to take place halfway through a bar, you need a ruse. Insert a hard barline where the key change should be. Also, the next barline must now become a 'hard' one because of forcing a new bar start. After the first measurement bar entered, you can now note the desired key change. You make the barline itself invisible with <x>
MusiCAD writes a key change with a key in a smaller size at the beginning of the next bar.