The Evolution of the Treble Clef | Design Decoded - Smithsonian
Waylan Choy stashed this in Symbols, Symbology, Semiotics
Stashed in: Music
Specifically, I was looking for the etymological context for the "treble" in "treble clef" that relates to "treble"/"triple". So far everything I find only traces the "history" as G-clef. My only lead is that the Soprano + Alto + Tenor voice octaves occupy (comprise?) Treble Clef.Since music notation essentially stems from choir, prior to external instruments, it could make sense. ...
The links between written word, music notation, monks, printing press are very intriguing, yes. This area forms the basis of classical and modern typography.Frutiger's "Type-Symbol-Sign" (which I've just found) traces over this history... but I would recommend the massive A Visual History of Typefaces and Graphic Styles vol 1 & 2. Here are some snaps of the visual appendice - http://imgur.com/a/bCwPz#8
treble (n.) "highest part in music, soprano," mid-14c., from Anglo-French treble, Old French treble (see treble (adj.)). In early contrapuntal music, the chief melody was in the tenor, and the treble was the "third" part above it (after the alto). http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=treble&allowed_in_frame=0