General placement conventions for clefs

Clefs are placed at the start of every system, with a small gap between the start of the staff and the left edge of the clef. Their vertical placement must be precise, as this signifies which pitches are intended by the subsequent notes on the staff.

Clef changes that occur during a piece are usually smaller than the clefs shown at the start of each system. If clef changes occur at the start of a new system or page, a cautionary clef is shown at the end of the previous system to ensure the performer notices the change of clef.

Wherever possible, clef changes should not be positioned in the middle of tie chains. Changing the clef changes the position of the tied note on the staff, which could easily cause a performer to misread the tie as a slur and play two different notes. You can input clef changes in the middle of tie chains in Dorico Pro, but we recommend that you position clef changes either before or after tie chains.