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by Jason Steele

The Octave

The last spacial element we will take a look at is called an octave. The distance of an octave is going to the next note of the same name. For example C to C is the distance of an octave.

piano diagram c to c octave

And just to perfectly clear you can move an octave from any note. Some examples of other octaves would be G to G, Ab to Ab, F to F, etc etc.

One other way to look the spacial aspect of an octave is to count how many notes you move to get to the next repeated note. An octave (C to C) is eight notes apart. 

An octagon has eight sides right? So therefor an octave is eight notes apart. 

In the example below start on a C and move one white key up each time until you reach the next C. Count the starting C as one. Next go to D and count that as two, E three, F four, G five, A six, B seven, and C again eight. So when you move from one C to the next C you have moved one octave. 

piano diagram note counting an octave from C to C

Remember this goes for all the notes, not just C to C. You can have F# to F#, B to B, A to A, etc etc….any of them will work. When counting some of these octaves starting on different notes try thinking about it in terms of just saying your alphabet. Each letter is worth one move no matter if it’s a half step or a whole step. Just be sure you do not use any letter more than once before getting to the octave.

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