The size of octava in octava clefs...

Hello every one

For my eyes, and the eyes of a lot of players, the “8” in octava’s key is to small, and can be missed… It is for me a long time ago problem from finale,
and I have use to use text to put a 8 on a standar key to make it confortably readable.

It would be great if we could rezise the 8 or 15 size in a clef editors, or in engraving option, or somethink like this.

It may look like a minor issue, but we often loose time in reharshall because of it !

What do you thik about it ?

The entire ottava clef is one character in the SMuFL font. There are other fonts that work with Dorico, such as November2 and MTF-Cadence. You may find their numerals sufficiently large.

The octave clef is even smaller in November 2, and I have a lots of glyphes problems using this font in Dorico…

Just for my own information, are there any instruments that regularly use both normal clefs and octave clefs, and need to be able to see the difference? I though the “8” was more a decoration than something functional.

Certainly in my experience tenor singers and guitarists don’t really care whether there is a 8 or not - it doesn’t make any difference to how they pitch the notes.

I’m curious about why this wastes rehearsal time.

Once the music symbols editor that we’re working on at the moment is complete, you will be able to design your own octave clef that uses the regular G clef and then attach an ‘8’ or ‘15’ or whatever and adjust its size by positioning the two symbols near to each other. This will be possible in the next update, all being well.

Dear Rob,
I understand the problem does not come from the G key with a 8 underneath, but from the 8va markings… Leamy will probably make this clearer. If it’s the key, I admit I 'm just as curious as you are!

Dear Rob and Marc,

It is effectively the 8 (or the 15 !) on the G key or under the bass key. It is very useful in some uncommun situation (wicht i am often i guess…)

For the moment, I use it forpiano, when the register is extrem, it is more readable, and less heavy that the octava line, when the passage is long.

I use it also, in the same piece, for Onde Martenot, who can transpose up and down with a buttons, and play at the same location in the keyboard.

And I alsow use it for a percussionnist playing inside the piano, on the string. The pitch are approximative, bass key with 8 under mean in the extrem bass register, the bass key the medium bass, the G key the medium high, the G key with 8 the extreme hight ( the stress bars are the reference…)

Music symbols editor sound very promissing Daniel ! I am very curious and happy about that.

Thanks Leamy for the explanation ! It looks indeed that you play some “rare” repertoire ! Nice to know it can be done in Dorico :slight_smile:

I try to… Still somes situations resist but the quality of the notation in dorico keep me trying…

Thanks for the explanation. Yes, I’ve seen that notation for piano (very rarely) and as a keyboard player I HATE IT :imp: :imp: :imp: :imp:

If it was wasting my time in rehearsal, I would probably tell somebody to write the part in conventional notation if they want it played right first time!

Well, those thinks are an open debate ! As a composer, I use both, octave key and octave line, depend of the context.

Just for you, here is a short funny pedagogic piano peace when this octava key are as well a decorative as essential for the music, and title the piece !

Best to get used to it !

Ottava clefs remind me of hippogriffs and other fanciful animals that are joined awkwardly. The larger the number, the worse the symbol looks; the smaller the number, the more chance of confusion if, God forbid, it is used in conjunction with a normal clef to replace octave signs. This symbol is a solution in search of a problem.

You should try Sorabji’s version. Spot the two 8va signs in the attachment :laughing:

Yes, Rob, the Sorabji is even worse. We used to see a lot of this home-grown reinvent-the-wheel stuff from young composers when I was a copyist for Arnold Arnstein in NYC in the 70s. He would patiently explain why it was so counter-product for the reason you mentioned and many others. We corrected it when we prepared the parts and the rehearsals went without a hitch.

Dear Leamy,
Are you G. P., the composer of that piece? If so, nice to have you here (and waou)! (if not, nice to have you too)
I created the FB page “Dorico pour les francophones”, I’d be really glad to have you in that group !

Sorry, but if I was going to play that, I would first spend five minutes adding some 8va/8vb lines. That would save me far more than five minutes in the long run!

Dear Marc,

No, I am not G. P., sorry ! I am one of his student, and one of his copiste, and already in the french facebook page

And I am pretty sure that I can’t convince him to spot using octava clefs…

All the well-known composers of the time, from L. Bernstein, Copland, Ginestera, Menotti, to Penderecki etc. took A. Arnstein’s practical advice to heart and reaped the rewards of happy musicians, great rehearsals and performances. Occasionally someone would insist on absurd things, however, like the composer who refused to use octave signs to preserve the visual sense of the very high and low in the score. While his reasoning was unassailable, the practicality of such a system is, shall we say, slightly dubious. I believe that even he finally relented in the parts. What a disaster that could have been!