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What does the 15 mean in the image above?

  • This question may well revolve around the instrument that the music is played on. What would that be. Asking questions such as this, please bear in mind that more information is better than less.
    – Tim
    Commented Jun 15, 2017 at 18:12
  • @Tim Yes, sorry, its a piano piece. Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 7:21

1 Answer 1


It is the double octavia sign, it means that slide is to begin two octaves higher, see this question for further details

  • 1
    is "octavia" or "octava" correct here? Commented Jun 15, 2017 at 11:34
  • 2
    And it ought to have 'va' after it as well.
    – Tim
    Commented Jun 15, 2017 at 11:38
  • @Tim I assume you mean the original notation should be 15va , right? Commented Jun 15, 2017 at 13:08
  • @CarlWitthoft - yes, by itself, it's pretty meaningless. Va is higher, vb lower. Although it's fairly easy to guess it's two octaves higher, had it said 15va, probably the question would not have been posed.
    – Tim
    Commented Jun 15, 2017 at 16:43
  • @CarlWitthoft - neither! Ottava - Italian. And, sometimes, 'ma' for higher, 'mb' for lower. Why do things simply, when we can complicate them?
    – Tim
    Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 7:42

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