Instrument Ranges

Instrument ranges shown on a staff

Q: I would like to try my hand at writing some parts for instruments but don’t know the ranges. Help!

A: We are delighted that you want to add to your hymns by writing your own instrumental parts and descants. Here are some ranges of different instruments:

  • Violin: G below middle C to G, two octaves and a fifth above middle C
  • Viola: C below middle C to C, two octaves above middle C
  • Cello: C, two octaves below middle C, to G, one octave and a fifth above middle C
  • Bass: C, two octaves below middle C, to C, one octave above middle C
  • Flute: middle C to G, two octaves and a fifth above middle C
  • Oboe: B-flat below middle C to D, two octaves and a major second above middle C
  • Clarinet: G below middle C to C, two octaves above middle C (Remember that the clarinet sounds a major second below what is written!)
  • Trumpet: middle C to G, two octaves and a fifth above middle C (Remember that a Bb-trumpet sounds a major second below what is written!)
  • Trombone: G, one octave and a fourth below middle C, to F above middle C
  • Horn: G below middle C to G, one octave and a fifth above middle C (Remember that the horn sounds a fifth lower than written!)
  • Tuba: C, two octaves below middle C, to middle C
Share this post.Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrEmail this to someone