Definition and background:
A symbol located at the beginning of a staff to indicate the pitches of the notes placed on the lines and spaces of the staff. The treble clef is also called the " G clef " because the symbol at the beginning of the staff (a stylized letter "G") encircles the second line of the staff, indicating that that line is the g 1 (or g above middle C). Also [Fr.] Clef de sol; [Ger.] G-Schlussel; [It.] Chiave di violino.
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Wikipedia - Glossary of Musical Terminology
Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary
ORB -- Medieval Music Glossary