Feature Request - 8va/8vab

I was playing around with the Octave Lines feature, but was unable to find a setting that would display “8va” or “8vab” instead of simply “8” with the bracket. I’m hoping you can add this feature, as it’s very similar to what you already have, with the addition of “va” or “vab” in the proper font. This is quite common in the keyboard music that I regularly typeset.


The labels for octave lines can be set in Engraving Options. 8vb, generally used in popular music, is not yet possible alternative, however.

Technically 8vb isn’t correct anyway – the abbreviation “8va” is for “alla ottava” which means “at the octave” and if placed above the music means an octave higher and if placed below the music means an octave lower. But unfortunately years ago non-Italian speaking people thought the “a” in “8va” meant " alla ottava alto" for “an octave higher” and so started using “8vb” to mean the opposite thinking it was an abbreviation for “alla ottava basso” for “an octave lower.”

But semantics aside, correct or not, “8va” and “8vb” have become part of common usage and so should be available and hopefully will be a possible alternative with an update soon.

Thanks for the above, dhbailey52. Obviously I should have checked Elaine Gould’s “Behind Bars” instead of relying on my memory! lol. I should clarify what I stated above: What I would like to see is the option to add “va” to the “8” - that’s all.

As Knut already pointed out, those options do exist: they’re in the Octave Lines page of Engraving Options.

Thanks, Daniel and Knut. Sorry for being so dense!