I'm very new at playing the piano and would love to play an easy version of Clair de lune. Please see the sheet below.

I get stuck right at the very beginning.

I think I have figured out that 'double hash' notation - apparently this means 'D major scale'. But the fact that this grand staff has two treble clefs confuses me. Where do I place my hands to play this? And does this phenomenon have a name so I could google for more information?

Picture to the Link

  • 2
    I went and added a picture of the music from the link you provide. I think it will improve the question but if you feel so inclined you can roll back the changes I made..
    – Neil Meyer
    Jan 24, 2016 at 14:21
  • Sounds like a fun way to play this as an absolute beginner. But I take issue with some of those fingerings. Measure 4, left hand, I would go to 1: thumb. Jul 4, 2022 at 16:57
  • Wow, this texture makes really clear that the opening of this piece is ultimately just one big string of parallel sixths.
    – Richard
    Jul 5, 2022 at 9:35

4 Answers 4


Generally, the right hand plays the notes on the upper staff and the left hand the notes on the lower. Clefs are usually chosen to reduce the number of ledger lines. This should work well in your example.

  • I see! All my beginner sheets so far had a treble and a bass clef, but in this instance it simply means I'm playing on treble with both hands (so both hands to the right of middle C). Thank you!
    – flute
    Jan 24, 2016 at 15:33
  • @ttw You answered good but the punch line you didn't give, the OP had to deduct by himself. Just another few words?
    – Nachmen
    Jan 25, 2016 at 0:08

One's hands are always placed over the notes one is going to play. Otherwise one's fingers won't reach!! So, in this case, both hands are further to the right than usual, as the tune is written higher than normal, shown by two treble clefs. The theory is that it's easier to read than looking at lots of ledger lines. Don't think there's a specific term for it.


The lower staff is usually written in bass clef, but not always. The upper staff is usually written in treble clef, but not always. The reason that the lower staff starts in the treble clef is exactly what Tim says. Whatever works best is whatever clef is used. Also, the lower staff of the two usually is played by the left hand, but not always. Vice versa with the upper staff.

In this particular case, start with the fingerings that are written in the music. Play the lower staff with the left hand, and the upper with the right. Keep in mind that the fingerings are suggestions. If they work for you, then save yourself some time and use them. If they don't, then experiment with different fingerings until you come up with something that does.


So you play treble clef notes for both of the staffs, but the top staff is played by the right hand and bottom by left hand as usual. Usually the bottom staff would be played by bass clef notes, but since the bottom staff has treble clef, you play the treble notes for both staffs, but with same hand coordination. (edited using feedback in comments)

  • 1
    This could be written in a less confusing way, I think.
    – Tim
    Jul 4, 2022 at 11:53
  • "right hand notes" No such thing. If you mean "G clef" you should say so. Jul 4, 2022 at 16:55
  • Yes, thanks for the feedback, I edited my answer.
    – user87626
    Jul 5, 2022 at 5:43

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