Jump to content


8va, 15va & 16va


  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 Guest: shelton_*

Guest: shelton_*
  • Guests
  • Member: 0
    Joined: --

Posted 11 September 2005 - 13:17

Hi,

I have come across a piece of music that has a couple of performance directions that I don't quite understand. This particular piece of music ('Short Haired Blues' by Kid Stormy Weather in the publication called Barrelhouse & Boogie Piano by Eric Kriss) uses the direction 8va which I understand to mean play an octave higher than written. Okay, fair enough, but in the same piece of music, there is the direction 15va, which I understand to mean play 2 octaves higher than written. Now, here's the crunch, there is also a direction in the same piece of music 16va which I don't understand.

I looked up some music theory and it said that 16va is often wrongly used to mean play 2 octaves higher when in fact the correct term is 15va. But I do not understand why the 2 terms (15va & 16va) are used in the same piece of music. Seems a bit strange.

Can anyone clear this up for me?

Shelton smile.gif
  • 0

#2 Guest: Watermelon sugar_*

Guest: Watermelon sugar_*
  • Guests
  • Member: 0
    Joined: --

Posted 11 September 2005 - 13:29

Probably a misprint. In a piece like this the direction to play 16 notes up seems unlikely. Try it at 15v and it should work. Some older albums are full of misprints where theory helps because you get to know what ought to be rather than what is!!! Does that make any sense!?

smile.gif
  • 0

#3 Guest: shelton_*

Guest: shelton_*
  • Guests
  • Member: 0
    Joined: --

Posted 11 September 2005 - 14:59

Yeah, thanks for confirming that. I suspected that the score was wrong. It just seems that it is such a silly mistake to have 15va and 16va almost next to each other in the same score. Don't these things get checked?!!

Thanks again,

Shelton smile.gif
  • 0

#4 Guest: snuglivixen_*

Guest: snuglivixen_*
  • Guests
  • Member: 0
    Joined: --

Posted 11 September 2005 - 21:35

Silly mistakes happen. I got Flutetime book 1 which is a tutor book. It came with a sheet of paper of amendments, and 2 of these were for fingering instructions!
  • 0

#5 Guest: sheste_*

Guest: sheste_*
  • Guests
  • Member: 0
    Joined: --

Posted 28 October 2005 - 05:06

QUOTE(shelton @ Sep 11 2005, 09:17 AM)
Hi,

I have come across a piece of music that has a couple of performance directions that I don't quite understand. This particular piece of music ('Short Haired Blues' by Kid Stormy Weather in the publication called Barrelhouse & Boogie Piano by Eric Kriss) uses the direction 8va which I understand to mean play an octave higher than written. Okay, fair enough, but in the same piece of music, there is the direction 15va, which I understand to mean play 2 octaves higher than written. Now, here's the crunch, there is also a direction in the same piece of music 16va which I don't understand.

I looked up some music theory and it said that 16va is often wrongly used to mean play 2 octaves higher when in fact the correct term is 15va. But I do not understand why the 2 terms (15va & 16va) are used in the same piece of music. Seems a bit strange.

Can anyone clear this up for me?

Shelton smile.gif

View Post



  • 0

#6 Guest: sheste_*

Guest: sheste_*
  • Guests
  • Member: 0
    Joined: --

Posted 28 October 2005 - 05:27

Hello,
This is one of my favorite topics. The term 8va is an abbreviation for the Italian word 'ottava' which means octave or 8th. The term 15ma (NOT 15va) is the abbreviation for the Italian word 'quindicessima' or 15th. 8va and 15ma may be used above notes in the treble clef to mean one octave (8va) or two octaves (15ma) higher than printed or below the bass clef to mean one octave or two octaves lower than printed, respectively.

The term 16va was used at one time in some printed music but is incorrect and should not be used. Neither of these terms should ever be used in any other situation, i.e. below notes written in treble clef, above notes written in bass clef, or in connection with any other clef, ex. alto, or tenor, etc.

The term 8vb is not strictly accurate but has come into use recently to mean ottava bassa, one octave lower. It is really redundant and meaningless because 8va already means one octave lower when used in its proper setting below bass clef.

I hope this clarifies things.

Steven Sherrill, Orchestra Librarian
  • 0

#7 Guest: JohnS_*

Guest: JohnS_*
  • Guests
  • Member: 0
    Joined: --

Posted 28 October 2005 - 07:47

QUOTE(sheste @ Oct 28 2005, 06:27 AM)
Neither of these terms should ever be used in any other situation, i.e. below notes written in treble clef, above notes written in bass clef, or in connection with any other clef, ex. alto, or tenor, etc. 


I never knew that. Thank you.
  • 0

#8 Guest: diapason_*

Guest: diapason_*
  • Guests
  • Member: 0
    Joined: --

Posted 28 October 2005 - 08:17

That explanation of 8va etc., was most interesting. May I print that out and add to my "essential information" file

  • 0

#9 Guest: Storini_*

Guest: Storini_*
  • Guests
  • Member: 0
    Joined: --

Posted 28 October 2005 - 09:12

You will also sometimes see the term loco which means return to normal pitch after one of the above-mentioned signs. This is probably a fairly obsolete notational practice nowadays, with a dotted line showing the extent of the pitch change being the preferred approch.
  • 0