treble

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treble,

highest part in choral music, thus corresponding in pitch to soprano, but associated with the voice of a boy or a girl. The term appeared in 15th-century English polyphony, probably as an anglicization of the Latin triplum, the name given in medieval polyphony to the part that was often the highest (see motetmotet
, name for the outstanding type of musical composition of the 13th cent. and for a different type that originated in the Renaissance. The 13th-century motet, a creation (c.
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). The treble clef, however, is the G clef, one of the two clefs commonly used today for vocal music and for most instrumental music. The soprano clef is a C clef placing middle C on the bottom line of the staff; it was used in vocal music as late as Bach's time but is now nearly obsolete for voice. See musical notationmusical notation,
symbols used to make a written record of musical sounds.

Two different systems of letters were used to write down the instrumental and the vocal music of ancient Greece. In his five textbooks on music theory Boethius (c.A.D. 470–A.D.
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.

Treble

 

(1) A high child’s voice.

(2) Since the 15th century, a term for the highest voice in choral compositions. The treble voice was sung by tenor falsettos and castrati (replacing children’s voices) until the 18th century. In the 19th and 20th centuries the term has come to mean soprano.

(3) A form of medieval polyphony that emerged in the 12th century in France. A higher voice was joined to a Gregorian chant and moved in an opposite direction from the line of the chant. This was the treble voice; subsequently, this form of polyphonic music was called treble.

(4) In the songs of the Don cossacks and in eastern Ukrainian and Byelorussian songs, a voice that embellishes the main voice part with decorative improvisations.

treble

[′treb·əl]
(acoustics)
High audio frequencies, such as those handled by a tweeter in a sound system.

treble

1. of, relating to, or denoting a soprano voice or part or a high-pitched instrument
2. a soprano voice or part or a high-pitched instrument
3. the highest register of a musical instrument
4. 
a. the high-frequency response of an audio amplifier, esp in a record player or tape recorder
b. a control knob on such an instrument by means of which the high-frequency gain can be increased or decreased
5. Bell-ringing the lightest and highest bell in a ring
6. 
a. the narrow inner ring on a dartboard
b. a hit on this ring