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28 votes

Why use 5 or more ledger lines below the bass clef instead of ottava bassa lines for piano sheet music?

Let's look at your first example, the Saint-Saëns. Yes, if there was ONLY the lowest C, it would be difficult to read and an 8vab line would help. But the higher C, on just two ledger lines, is easy ...
Laurence's user avatar
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15 votes

Why use 5 or more ledger lines below the bass clef instead of ottava bassa lines for piano sheet music?

First, musicians should learn to read lots of ledger lines. If you are frustrated by them, that’s an important thing to focus on for your studies until you can read them easily. Second, it is harder ...
Todd Wilcox's user avatar
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14 votes

Why use 5 or more ledger lines below the bass clef instead of ottava bassa lines for piano sheet music?

Read the top pitch of the bass part and then read the ledger lines below as intervals. Ex. If I know that two ledger lines under the bass is C and then the interval under that C is a sixth, then I ...
Michael Curtis's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

Why aren't octave clefs used in piano notation?

it's easy to read and doesn't have any extra visual clutter. That's exactly why it's hard to read. With ledger lines and ottava brackets you have something there reminding you continually that you'...
phoog's user avatar
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11 votes
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8va or clef change?

As AndyB commented, this depends heavily on the instrument in question. Us cellists get quite used to jumping amongst bass, tenor, and treble, with stacks of ledger line anyway . By comparison, you ...
Carl Witthoft's user avatar
10 votes
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What's this odd '+8vb' marking with a dashed line?

+8vb means those notes are played one octave lower than written. Otherwise they would be on leger lines and more tricky to read. Also found as 15vb meaning two octaves lower. And the opposite is 8va ...
Tim's user avatar
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10 votes
Accepted

8 below note played as octave or singular note?

This notation is incorrect, but it does save space here (better would be "col 8" or "col 8vb" but "+8vb" or "col 8vb" are often used): the E should be played in ...
PiedPiper's user avatar
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9 votes

Why aren't octave clefs used in piano notation?

The problem with octaved clefs is that these are quite uncommon and easy to overlook. Usually we do want the visual clutter of ottava brackets, because it should be clear from one short look from a ...
Lazy's user avatar
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9 votes

Treble clef change during a piece

I would never recommend octave notation in violin music. Unlike piano, a violinist has no easy mapping from one octave to another—you can't just shift your hand and read the same notes, so as long as ...
the-baby-is-you's user avatar
8 votes

Different Piano Octaves

Well, purely theoretically, a three-octave transposition would be 22ma. A four-octave transposition would be 29ma. You just keep adding 7 to each previous number. However, don't use these. No one ...
Athanasius's user avatar
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8 votes

Ledger Lines vs. 8va notation

Players of any instrument should be comfortable with up to 3 ledger lines. Measure 2 should be perfectly readable. For many instruments, writing the part in the correct octave without an 8va mark is ...
MattPutnam's user avatar
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8 votes
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When to use 8va in musical notation?

Flute or violin players can read as many ledger lines as you want, but extended passages in the very high register (A6 and above) are often easier to read if you use the 8va symbol. Once you get to ...
PiedPiper's user avatar
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8 votes

8va or clef change?

If it's piano music, you can use 8va for notes high above treble clef in the upper staff, and 8vb for notes far below bass clef in the lower staff. But, use a clef change instead for notes in the ...
Elements In Space's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

In a classical guitar score, when a section plays very low notes, is it better to use 8va bassa, G clef transposed 1 octave down or the F clef?

In my opinion, none of those is good. They all have one thing in common: they will confuse anyone who will be reading your score, and for several reasons: If you're going to change what the dots on ...
Ramillies's user avatar
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7 votes
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Very high notes on the treble clef

Depends. The longer your passage goes on in the highest register, the more sense it makes to switch octaves. But depending on the method of notation, adding this element to the score can be a lot more ...
Kilian Foth's user avatar
  • 7,573
7 votes

Different Piano Octaves

There's nothing after 15ma. You'll just have to bite the bullet and draw a ledger line or two. A note on the second ledger line, marked 15ma, is the top C on a grand piano so you shouldn't need to ...
Old Brixtonian's user avatar
7 votes
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Bass Clef Changed to Treble Clef in the Middle of the Music Sheet (Are The Clefs Notes in Same Octave?)

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,...
Aaron's user avatar
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7 votes

Treble clef change during a piece

I would not use an 8va clef in violin music. Instead, would use an "8va" marking where necessary. In 35 years of playing violin, I've never encountered anything but treble clef, outside of ...
Andy Bonner's user avatar
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7 votes
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What's a readable way to indicate both multi-measure rallentando and 8va?

I recommend avoiding the spanning line for the rallentando. Instead, just mark rall. at the beginning of the passage and then a tempo, or a new tempo indication, after the fourth measure. That will be ...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 89.2k
7 votes

Ottava markings - Should this 8va be 8vb?

8va is an abbreviation for "ottava" ("octave" in Italian) and is commonly used both for higher and lower octave shifts. The key difference is the placement of the dashed line: ...
Aaron's user avatar
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7 votes
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What is the meaning of 8va combined with the bracket?

There are two separate symbols. The 8va plus dotted line mean to play that passage one octave lower than written. The solid bracket under the final note is a (damper) pedal indication. You press down ...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 89.2k
6 votes

What is the meaning of an 8 followed by a dotted line?

It's an ottava-line. Or shorter: an 8va line. It means you should play those notes one octave higher than notated. There's also an 8vb-line (ottava bassa) to play the notes an octave lower, which is ...
Creynders's user avatar
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6 votes
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How does 8va work on a staff with multiple voices?

Gould's guide to music notation Behind bars says the following (p. 325): An octave sign applies to all parts on a stave. A note written with an octave transposition should not share a stave with a ...
Remy's user avatar
  • 747
6 votes

Why don't all transposing instruments have transposing clefs?

Much of it is a historical accident. Different instruments were invented at different times in different places. Usually, a transposing instrument was tuned in a key that physically fit the instrument ...
ttw's user avatar
  • 25.5k
6 votes

Ottava markings - Should this 8va be 8vb?

Shouldn't the "8va" below the bass clef be "8vb"? No. The reason for this is explained in the other answer: the "va" in "8va" is part of the Italian word ...
phoog's user avatar
  • 22.9k
5 votes

When to use 8va in musical notation?

Pianists have to cope with octave marks a lot, thanks to their instrument having such a huge written range. How many leger lines are OK without using an ottava bracket? For me, up to 4 is no problem. ...
Rosie F's user avatar
  • 5,192
5 votes

Ledger Lines vs. 8va notation

When tempted to use an 8va line the answer is more often than not 'no'. Ok for piano sometimes. Occasionally for violin. Never for flute - they prefer the 'telegraph poles'. So do jazz and ...
Laurence's user avatar
  • 93.3k
5 votes
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Do accidentals carry through 8va?

I'm sure I have come across this before, but I have never really stopped to think about it. I think the answer is pretty clear for anyone with some experience, but I find the question itself quite ...
WillRoss1's user avatar
  • 1,902
5 votes

Notation for 8va on the repeat

If your score strictly separates the hand's activities between the staves, as piano music tends to, then a simple 2da volta 8va above the top staff should suffice, to my mind. 2da being short for ...
AakashM's user avatar
  • 416
4 votes
Accepted

LilyPond: stack order of Multimark engraver

Try \tweak outside-staff-priority #100 \doubleBracket At least on my end this works. Note that the priority needs to be lower than the Priority of the OttavaBracket, which defaults to 400.
Lazy's user avatar
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