con 8va

Is there a way to enter a note “con 8va basso”; ie, the indicated note and the note an octave below should both be played
(and have the playback reflect both notes) ?

Yes you can! Select the note and press the 8ba button in the clefs section of the left panel orinvoke shift-c popover and write 8ba (that’s my workflow)

I think the OP wants a unison octave, written and played, not just one note an octave lower.

shr23, I suppose you have to do this in chord mode (shortcut key “Q” while entering notes); write notes in the octaves you desire and then use plain text to describe how players should play it.

Sorry, I read it too fast!

Is 8ba another way of writing, “one octave lower”!? All along I thought it was 8vb! :open_mouth:

Well, actually the “correct” spelling would be 8ba for octava bassa, but there’s been a new spelling that has been spread out in the last century (especially with engraving software IIRC) that is 8vb (as if 8va were not for octaVA but for octaVa Alta, thus 8vb would be octaVa Bassa).
While not the most correct notation, it’s commonly accepted now, but I still like to hang to the original solution.
Please feel free to correct me if this is a too simplistic explanation.

Marc: that’s correct.

8vb is actually an accepted abbreviation for the Shift+C popover, but it’ll give you an octave line with whichever abbreviation is specificied in Engraving Options, NOT 8vb.

If you really must have 8vb displayed as such, you can always replace the 8ba glyph in the Music Symbols Editor. Helpfully Bravura includes an 8vb glyph!

Interesting piece of History. :astonished:


I didn’t realise you were around that long, Marc! :wink:

Actually, I think Marc meant that 8vb has basically only been a thing for the last 19 years. I’m not sure how common it was before the year 2000, genuinely…

I’ve been writing 8va and 8vb since the 80’s…

I stand corrected :stuck_out_tongue:

I think I picked this up from a friend and influence, the composer David Gow, but need to look out the scores to be sure.

not sure this is what I want.
I want to write ONLY C2 with “+8vb”, indicating that both C1 and C2 should be played.

If I use chord-mode, then both notes would be effected by the octavo function. no ?
perhaps a second voice with 8vb (but then I’d have to force the stems in the same direction). Any better ways ?


You could indeed use a second voice, set the stems in the same direction (or even hide all the stems) and set the Voice Column Indexes so that the two sets of notehead a are on top of each other.

Then you can actually apply the 8va bassa line to only one voice, by entering the 8va bassa from the caret (invoke the caret, ensure that the correct voice is selected using V, type Shift-C then 8ba, Space to extend the line, Alt+Enter to close the popover).

If you really need playback it might be easier to add another Player, put the notes in there and then remove that Player from the layout. It’ll still play back.

I tried Leo’s suggestion. I input the F, then in a second upstem voice, I input an F one octave lower and set the voice column index to 0.

Then I applied the 8ba to that lower note using Alt-Enter, which placed the notes directly on top of each other.

Finally, I used the music symbol editor to modify the 8vb. Probably not the best course of action, but I hadn’t tried it out yet. Worked great.


Thanks Dan and Leo for trying it.
I suppose that works. Looks like alot of work if this is going to go on for several measures
Would be nice if it was an option to the 8vb function; not sure how popular this technique is.

  1. It’s definitely not common. I’ve never seen it before. Not that I’m the authority, but I have looked at quite a few scores.

  2. It’s really not that much work to achieve. Takes longer to describe the process than it does to actually do it.

Select the “shared” note and press R to duplicate it. Then move it around and change its duration easily, keeping all the formatting.

I’ve brought that up exactly one year ago; Daniel let it shine through that he isn’t a fan of 8vb. :smiley:

But, Stephan, there’s now the Music Symbols Editor so you can have 8vb if you want it.