Lv 5

Beethoven´s first string quartet?

Suddenly in the score he puts the G clef in the cello in a very high note g6, but in the recordings sounds g5, why is this?

3 Answers

  • Favorite Answer

    I had a look at that, and the notes are unrealistically high. In some music for lower instruments, the treble clef will have a small numeral 8 at the bottom, indicating it will sound an octave lower. That isn't done in this score, but I assume it's the same and that cello players would understand what's required.

    That doesn't explain why Ludwig put the notes so high on the stave. Maybe it was a convention to assist musicians with the idea that the notes are high in the range.

    EDIT: Here's a discussion about it.

  • 5 years ago

    It was common (but not universal) practice up until the middle of the nineteenth century to notate high cello parts in the treble clef an octave higher than it sounded (instead of the much more sensible tenor clef). You will see this in music as late as Dvořák 100 years after Beethoven's first quartets.

  • 5 years ago

    You'd probably have to study the various editions to find an answer. If you asked on a cello forum they'd probably be able to discuss details about what the Urtext says and why the discrepancy is there.

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