Halo, it may be duplicate of other questions with the same titles. But I don't find answers I'm looking for in those...

I'm quite new to music sheet, but I can basically read notes already after some time...

There is one part that is confusing me: when the lower (bass) clef is changed to trebel clef in the middle of music sheet.

Aren't the upper and lower clefs supposed to be the same octave when both clefs applied as treble clef? Like illustrated below. Is it so? E4 and F5 notated in lower staff with treble clef

Because from this music sheet https://musescore.com/user/30710562/scores/6138973
When I see the piano keyboard demonstration, I find that the f (and other) notes from each clef are not in the same octave. synthesia screen capture notated score corresponding to synthesia screen capture
So the lowest visible line on upper treble clef is e5, and the lowest visible line on lower treble clef is e4?
Is it always so by default? Or not? Or there is something I miss from reading that sheet?


1 Answer 1


You are correctly understanding how to read the clefs. What you've missed is the "8-------" above the treble staff, which means to play those notes one octave higher than written.

Ordinarily, the top line of the treble staff would be F5, but because of the ottava symbol, it becomes F6.

In the linked piece, you'll notice that measure 53 has the same symbol written below the bass staff. In that case it means to play the notes one octave lower than written.

Ottava below bass staff
(Image source)

When "8----" or "8va-----" is written above the notes, it means to play one octave higher than written. "8----" or "8va------" or "8vb-----" written below the notes means to play one octave lower than written.

See also: What is the meaning of an 8 followed by dotted lines?

  • Wow, I didn't know abour that ottava. Awesome! Now it makes sense! Thank you very much! Commented Nov 24, 2022 at 2:35

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