The bass clef changed to treble clef in the middle of the music sheet. Do both hands play above the middle c?

  • possible duplicate of Piano music with two treble clefs, and notes between staves
    – Neil Meyer
    Commented Jun 20, 2015 at 12:47
  • 1
    No, that looks like it's about voice. This is about a clef change.
    – Josiah
    Commented Jun 20, 2015 at 14:08
  • 1
    The point is this: Usually, a piano grand staff has the treble clef on top and the bass clef on bottom, and the pitches are absolute. However, piano notation implies that the upper clef is the part played by the right hand, while the lower clef is the part played by the left hand. So if the range of the notes in either hand goes much higher or much lower, it can be notated with two staves with a treble clef on each, or two staves with a bass clef on each, etc.
    – user1044
    Commented Jun 20, 2015 at 18:38

2 Answers 2


Yes, you play with both hands above the middle C. This is quite common for instruments that are written in both clefs, not only in piano.

This will help you, because if the bass clef goes really high, it is really hard to read all those extra lines. So, since you are basically in the treble clef, the music usually shifts clefs.


It is pretty common to change clefs in the middle of a piece. There are 4 fairly common clefs (treble, alto, tenor, bass), and which one a piece is written in really depends on where the notes are on the clef. Each clef puts middle C in a different place on the staff.

If the left hand is centered above middle C, it makes more sense to use a treble clef than a bass clef. Read it just like you would a normal treble clef. If it's a short passage (just a few notes) you may be crossing hands; in that case, the left hand part would be written higher than the right hand part. Otherwise, you'll probably find the right hand high on the treble clef or even 8va (octave higher).

You may also find the right hand in the bass clef, though that is not as common. The left hand moving into treble range is pretty common. The other clef doesn't change at all.

  • 2
    Two treble clefs or two bass clefs is very common in quatre mains piano pieces.
    – Karlo
    Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 9:28

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