Ottava alta means to play the notes one octave higher than written. The 8va sign is commonly used. The notes on the following example are to be played one octave higher. If 8va was not used, we would need a lot of ledger lines:

example

Ottava bassa means to play the notes one octave lower than written. The 8vb sign is commonly used. The notes on the following example are to be played one octave lower:

example




    
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
José Rodríguez Alvira.