Octave lines

Updated 5 months ago


    Octave (Ottava) lines are used to indicate that a section of music is to be played one or more octaves above or below written pitch. 8va alta/bassa lines are particularly common in piano scores, though they are sometimes used in other instrumental music. 15ma alta (2 octaves above) and 15ma bassa (2 octaves below) are also occasionally used. MuseScore creates playback for ottava. The line may be styled as solid or dotted:

    8--------┐or 8va--------┐: Play one octave above written pitch.
    8--------┘or 8va--------┘: Play one octave below written pitch.

    Adding an octave line to your score

    Ottava lines can be found in the Pitch and Lines Palette. To add one to note(s) or measure, and adjust its time range, see Using the palette and Other lines : Apply line chapters. To fine tune layout position, see Adjusting elements directly.

    Octave line properties

    Properties specific to the selected ottava(s) can be adjusted in the Ottava section of the Properties panel, namely:

    Style tab

    Type: Specifies whether the Ottava line is 8va, 8vb etc.
    Show number only: Hides any text (such as “va”).
    Show line: Makes the line visible / invisible. Text is unaffected.
    Allow diagonal: Allow line to slope if required.

    For other properties in this tab, see Line properties.

    Text tab

    This has a similar user interface to general lines (see Line properties), but uses special code to specify the ottava text.

    Octave line style

    See the main chapter Templates and styles

    • Values of the "Musical symbols font" can be edited in Format→Style→Score. The va and ve characters are glyphs that can be added from the special character window . They use "Musical symbols font" only, see Musescore 3 handbook Fonts chapter.
    • Values of the "Style for Ottavas" can be edited in Format→Style→Ottavas.
    • Values of the "Style for text inside Ottavas" can be edited in Format→Style→Text Style→Ottavas.

      Ottava style