I've recently posted a question:
When should tenor clef be used?

Apparently it's somewhat controversial. Within just 1 day two weeks it's attracted:

  • 8 up-votes 9 up-votes
  • 3 down-votes 5 down-votes
  • 5 answers
  • 2 close votes

The close votes (as opinion-based), suggest that some people think the answers will be based on opinions rather the facts and citations. However, most of the answers do cite reputable sources (even if they seem to reject one of the premises in the question).

The currently highest voted answer, clearly rejects the premise of the question and isn't really helpful to me at all.

My current favourite answer, clearly accepts the premise of the question and provides a terrific answer, but is only able to address 1 of the 6 instruments mentioned in the question.

Before posing the question I spent a quite a while formulating it, and I still think it is a good question, but considering the (minority yet significant) negative feedback, perhaps I could improve it somehow.

Any thoughts on how I could potentially edit my question to make it better (less controversial)?

1 Answer 1


As currently written, it reads as near entirely speculative. As a result, it comes across as seeking opinions on what the rules should be as opposed to what the accepted rules or practices actually are, and why.

Were the question my own, I would present it as:

Some bass-clef instruments commonly change to tenor clef for a higher passages. In particular, I am interested in:

Euphonium, Tuba
Cello, & Contrabass

I don't find a clear pattern or rationale as to when and why the change to tenor clef is made. So my question goes to when it is appropriate to use the tenor clef.

For each instrument, what are the functionally useful register boundaries (to change clef), and how are these determined in terms of mechanical and/or musical considerations?

Now that said, I suspect you'll get much better, more specific answers, by asking about score-specific situations you've encountered. I think at core, this question isn't much different from ones about when to use ledger lines, ottava marks, clef changes, or cross-staff notation. There are some vague, general principles that have been articulated on this site, but the best (IMO) answers relate to specific musical situations.

  • Okay thank you, I think I see what is wrong with the way I've presented the question now, I will try a rewrite at some point. Commented Nov 9, 2021 at 11:28

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