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Confusion over octave-shift

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Confusion over octave-shift

Postby zimrahdev » Mon Jul 20, 2015 1:40 am

After having done some research, it would appear that the MusicXml documentation for this element is the inverse of its normal use.
What do I mean by this ?
I have read that 8va means play this "at the octave" and 8vb means play this "at the octave below" [source: Essential Dictionary of Music Notation by Tom Gerou and Linda Lusk, Alfred Publishing 1996]

However, in the example given for octave-shift, 8va is given a type of "down".
Does this mean in this case that the notes are printed one octave down from their real pitch ?
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Re: Confusion over octave-shift

Postby Michael Good » Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:42 am

Yes. This is because the pitch in the MusicXML file is sounding pitch, so the octave-shift is indicating the direction from sounding pitch to printed appearance. In a score the meaning goes the other way since the printed appearance is primary. In MusicXML, the musical semantics come first, but there's careful attention paid to the differences between how music sounds and how it appears in notation.
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