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OCTAVE SIGNS

– Ottava

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The 8va (pronounced ottava alta) sign is placed above the staff (as shown) to indicate the passage is to be played one octave higher. Moreover, an 8vb (ottava bassa) sign is placed below the staff to indicate the passage is to be played one octave lower.

– Quindicesima

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The 15ma sign is placed above the staff (as shown) to indicate the passage is to be played two octaves higher. Moreover, A 15mb sign is placed below the staff to indicate the passage is to be played two octaves lower.

8va and 15ma are sometimes abbreviated further to 8 and 15. When they appear below the staff, the word ‘bassa’ is sometimes added.
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