Octave

Pronunciation: AHK-tiv


What is Octave?

An octave is a musical interval which means the distance between one note, and the next note having the same name. For example, one note is C# and the next C# is 8 notes away, the distance between C# and the next C# is called an octave.

Key Takeaways

  1. An octave is a musical interval that consists of 8 notes.
  2. An octave creates a pleasing, rich, and powerful sound.
  3. An octave is the distance between one note and the next note bearing the same name.

Understanding Octave

An octave consists of 8 notes in a musical scale. It is considered to be the simplest interval and the notes separated by the octave is considered to “ring” together creating a pleasant sound to the music.

Octave comes from the Latin word “octava,” which means “8 part.” The sound is very powerful since it creates a sound that’s richer and fuller. An example of an octave is the bass lines of disco-era music, where octaves bounce from each other, creating a steady 8-note pattern.

Related Terms

Chromatic A chromatic scale is a 12-pitch scale, each being a semi note or half-step, which are above or below the last note. more

Pentatonic Scale Pentatonic is a musical scale that consists of 5 notes per octave, as opposed to the 7 notes commonly found on a… more

Semitone A semitone is also known as a half note or half step in Western music. more

Quarter Tone  A quarter tone is a musical interval that means half of a semitone. more

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