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#1203784 - 05/22/09 01:44 AM Notation spanning the lowest & highest octaves?
marimorimo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/02/09
Posts: 429
Loc: Kingdom of Nodame
This may be a dumb request, but I'm curious as to how notation for the lowest and highest octaves in a piano are written. I'm still a beginner, and right now, my knowledge only spans about 3 octaves. If you have any links/pictures with examples, please share! laugh
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Frances Clark Contemporary Piano Literature, Bk 1
The Festival Collection Bk 3
30th Week Playing Piano
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#1203856 - 05/22/09 06:29 AM Re: Notation spanning the lowest & highest octaves? [Re: marimorimo]
Jeff Hao Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 178
Loc: Hong Kong
They are written within the "tolerable range", i.e. the Grand Staff with not too many ledger lines to count (above the treble clef and below the bass clef), and then marked ------ + 8ve, or ------------- - 8vb.

Theoretically, you can do + 2x8ve, or even 3x8ve, if necessary. But I must admit that I have never seen one piece with them. Perhaps the "tolerable range" +/- 8ve is enough to cover the whole keyboard? I never sat down and counted.

Anybody did?
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Working on
Chopin Etude Op.10 No.3, and
http://haostaff.com - for people with no music reading background

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#1203870 - 05/22/09 07:58 AM Re: Notation spanning the lowest & highest octaves? [Re: Jeff Hao]
Studio Joe Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/28/07
Posts: 1803
Loc: Decatur, Texas
Notation for the highest and lowest notes of a standard piano

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#1203882 - 05/22/09 08:31 AM Re: Notation spanning the lowest & highest octaves? [Re: Jeff Hao]
DragonPianoPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/06
Posts: 2452
Loc: Denver, CO
Jeff, I've never noticed it written 8ve, and certainly not with the + or - signs.

The notation I've see is as follows:

8va (abbreviation for ottava) above the staff means up an octave. On one of my Schirmer editions I am working through, they just use an 8.

15ma (abbreviation for quindicesima) above the staff means up two octaves. Sometimes I have seen this one abbreviated 15va.

8vb (abbreviation for ottava bassa) below the staff means down an octave. On older musich this is also written as 8va and you need to understand from context that it is down an octave.

15mb (abbreviation for quindicesima bassa) below the staff means down two octaves. Again, I have seen this one abbreviated 15vb, 15va. Context usually lets you know what the composer means.

The word loco is sometimes used to indicate that you back to playing in as notated.

You will also see the words both hands added to indicate that you play both hands up or down.

Another option is to write the clef with an 8 or 15 above or below it. In current sheet music, this would be far less common.

Here is an example of the primo part of a duet I played that shows some of this notation.



The lowest A on the piano would be notated as three ledger lines below the bass clef when notated 8vb.

The highest C on the piano would be notated as two ledger lines above the treble clef when notated 15ma.

edit to add: Joe gives a good example of the range and also how you might need to understand that 8va can mean down in a specific context.

Rich


Edited by DragonPianoPlayer (05/22/09 08:33 AM)
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#1203887 - 05/22/09 08:56 AM Re: Notation spanning the lowest & highest octaves? [Re: DragonPianoPlayer]
marimorimo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/02/09
Posts: 429
Loc: Kingdom of Nodame
Wow, thank you so much! This is all new to me. Very good examples too.

It'll probably take years until I am able to tackle such pieces, but I hope by then I won't be as overwhelmed as I am now! XD
_________________________
Alfred's AOI Course Bk 2
Frances Clark Contemporary Piano Literature, Bk 1
The Festival Collection Bk 3
30th Week Playing Piano
--------------------------------------------
+ CASIO PX-720 and PX-730 +
--------------------------------------------

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#1203948 - 05/22/09 11:08 AM Re: Notation spanning the lowest & highest octaves? [Re: marimorimo]
Jeff Hao Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 178
Loc: Hong Kong
Thanks to Rich and Joe for clearing up my guess work. I looked at some of my classical books. Rich is right, there is only 8 --- or 8va ----, etc.

It's intriguing where I got my 8ve from. I distinctly remember seeing "8va or 8ve" somewhere, and I was thinking ... that perhaps some English-speaking people created another abbreviation based on the word octave. I looked up the possible books that might have given me this information, but cannot find it. I may have dreamt it up? Please assume that for now.

I am glad that in all my Hao Staff sheets, I am using 8va. But I do have the + sign in front of it. I guess there is no harm.
_________________________
Working on
Chopin Etude Op.10 No.3, and
http://haostaff.com - for people with no music reading background

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#1203955 - 05/22/09 11:20 AM Re: Notation spanning the lowest & highest octaves? [Re: Jeff Hao]
Jeff Hao Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 178
Loc: Hong Kong
I thought more than once that ... wouldn't it be better if we simply translate all the Italian, French, German words on the sheets (very much depends on where the composer was from) into, say, English, if they are published in the English speaking countries, or Chinese, if they are published in China.

The funny thing is that, even today's work (or some of it) is still marked with ancient/foreign words.

I can, of course, imagine the two schools of thoughts on this.
_________________________
Working on
Chopin Etude Op.10 No.3, and
http://haostaff.com - for people with no music reading background

Top
#1205721 - 05/25/09 07:38 PM Re: Notation spanning the lowest & highest octaves? [Re: Jeff Hao]
Little_Blue_Engine Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/30/09
Posts: 1257
Loc: Ohio, US
Originally Posted By: Jeff Hao
I thought more than once that ... wouldn't it be better if we simply translate all the Italian, French, German words on the sheets (very much depends on where the composer was from) into, say, English, if they are published in the English speaking countries, or Chinese, if they are published in China.

The funny thing is that, even today's work (or some of it) is still marked with ancient/foreign words.

I can, of course, imagine the two schools of thoughts on this.


It's probably done like that for the same reasons science and medicine still use latin.
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I'll figure it out eventually.
Until then you may want to keep a safe distance.


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