Ability to use 16va and 16vb instead of the default (and weird) 15.

• Aug 5, 2019 - 01:12

In Musescore, octaves and double octaves are signified using just a "15", with an up or down bracket.
Philosophical differences notwithstanding, using 16va and 16vb more accurately reflects what is in certain scores. A score written in the 1920s was not written by a programmer. 8va, 8vb, 16va, 16vb, these are things I learned in school and which adorn countless music textbooks. The programmers and technologists may not like that, but there it is. If Musescore professes to be the premiere engraving software, it should provide this functionality. Otherwise, simply have a disclaimer splash screen that says "Our way or the highway."


I've never seen the inaccurate 16va used for 2 octaves. 2 octaves is 15 notes, not 16. From A to A is 8 notes inclusive, since the top A is already counted, the next octave is 7 more notes to another A. If you point me to 2 scores from noted publishers then I'll fight to get 16va (and 16vb) added.

8va (ottava), 15ma (quindicessima), 8vb (ottava bassa), 15mb (quindicessima bassa)? A score written in the 1920's should have followed the style and abbreviations already in use. Programming has nothing to do with it (in fact I think programmers might have been more likely to use 8, 16, 2⁴ or whatever).

But, as said, you can change this to whatever you want. Fine if you wish to faithfully recreate an old score for whatever resaon but I wouldn't suggest using 16's on a new composition unless you want polite questions from the players.

I can believe that some small percentage of misinformed publishers might have used those symbols in the past (maybe at a time when these things hadn't become standardized), but do you really think there are "countless" textbooks continuing to reproduce that same error today? Do you remember which textbook you learn that from? I'd be extremely surprised if anyone who goes to the trouble of writing a textbook today in the past, say, half-century would make that mistake. But I'd be curious to see examples to the contrary.

In any case, while I always strongly recommend against confusing modern musicians by deliberately coping flaws in older editions - better to correct them instead - MuseScore does provide the ability to customize the text however you like. So it's definitely not "our way or the highway".

At the risk of being redundant, two octaves are not a sixteenth because there is a note in common. Both the ottava and the quinquedecima refer to musical intervals 8th and 15th, not to an additive process. Intervals are named counting both the initial and final notes, so from C4 to C5 we have 8 notes, but from C4 to C6 there are only 15 and not 16 since C5, the note in common of both octaves C4-C5 and C5-C6 is counted only once.
Regarding the work by Cage, he was a revolutionary, introducing humorous things such as 4'33" as well as the prepared piano, so it wouldn't be strange that he really meant the 16th, i.e, notating C with a 16th meaning a D two octaves above, or that he just wanted to make a joke!

In reply to by [DELETED] 29378932

I understand your point, but it is entirely misplaced. We provide the option of using that uncommon clef, just like we provide the option of customizing the ottava line to whatever uncommon text you want. But we certainly don't make either of these non-standard notations the default. If you want to use them, you just need to take a few extra seconds to make it happen.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I would also add, no one is trying to say the default bass clef is "weird", nor are they claiming that the use of the special old-style (British?) bass clef in place of the standard one is among the things they "learned in school and which adorn countless music textbooks". So basically, there hasn't been anyone saying anything about clefs that anyone would feel the need to rebut. Whereas calling the correct notation used by the vast majority of published scores and every single textbook I have seen or used in my professional career "weird", and saying the incorrect notation adorns "countless music textbooks" without providing a single example - both of these statements were deservedly challenged.

Again, no one is suggesting you shouldn't have the right to reproduce uncommon, non-standard, or incorrect notation if you so choose. MuseScore supports many uncommon, non-standard, and downright incorrect notations. They just require a couple of extra steps in some cases, rightly so.

But, just as with the uncommon old-style bass clef, I personally would recommend against their use in most cases. If you intend your music to be read by musicians today, it is usually best to write it correctly and in the forms familiar to musicians today.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

There is one case in which bass parts are marked 8 and/or 16 --- feet (12 inches, not appendages) in organ music. Even 300 years ago, the double-octave was the quindecima, or fifteenth. I have never ever seen a book --- oh wait, the Russian Theorist Sergei Tane(y)ev (1856-1915) tried to introduced a 0- based interval-designation system to facilitate arithmetic, but it never caught on and makes even his translated works hard to read. But I have otherwise never, ever seen a published book or score not calling a double octave either that or a fifteenthn.

I hate to bring this up, but if you use Taneev's, or any, zero-based interval measurement system, a unison is zero and an octave is 7, and two octaves are 14, not 16. Calling the octave "8", and not "7", implies that you are (as have musicians for 500 years) counting the endpoints. If you are counting the endpoints, the double octave, as musicians have measured for 500 years, is 15, not 14, not 16. If you are not, it's 14, No votes for 16.

BSG, the conventional wisdom these days is that the Indians of yore were the first to recognize zero as a number, not the arabs...

Did you know that there is a tribe in South America that worships the number zero?

(Don't think too hard. Explanation following if there is the slightest interest... :)

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