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There are 12 notes in an Octave,so why call it an octave?

Posted by ohdearme 
There are 12 notes in an Octave,so why call it an octave?
April 22, 2019 09:37PM
Hello all, Hope you enjoyed Easter.

As there are twelve notes in an octave, not eight, why do we call it an Octave? What also makes me scratch my head is that if we do consider the
white notes only, there are really only seven as completing the usual way we play a scale is to play the tonic twice.

Sort me out somebody please.

Alan
Re: There are 12 notes in an Octave,so why call it an octave?
April 29, 2019 03:46AM
ANYBODY?
Regards
Re: There are 12 notes in an Octave,so why call it an octave?
May 01, 2019 03:32AM
not really a reply - just to say your question has long stumped me as well

the eight notes of the octave appear to be the eight notes of the major scale starting and ending with C

as to how the 'octave' was then transformed to cover the 12 half-tones is a mystery to me
Viz
Re: There are 12 notes in an Octave,so why call it an octave?
May 01, 2019 07:10PM
Well, it’s simply because it’s the word that was invented to describe the 7+1 notes of the major scale, where the top note has double the frequency of the bottom note. You could use the word tredective to describe the 12+1 notes of the chromatic scale but there’s no need because octave’s definition has morphed from specific to general to mean doubling the frequency, regardless of how many notes there are.

You can say diapason if it annoys you.
Re: There are 12 notes in an Octave,so why call it an octave?
May 03, 2019 01:42AM
Hello and good morning

Lots of things annoy me Viz but I am doing that on thousands of other forums. Joke.

Thanks for your comments have a good bank holiday everyone.

Best

Alan
Viz
Re: There are 12 notes in an Octave,so why call it an octave?
May 03, 2019 12:54PM
:))

And you
Re: There are 12 notes in an Octave,so why call it an octave?
May 04, 2019 10:00AM
Was thinking, why can't we come up with a new term to describe the twelve natural sounds contained in the current 'octave'.

How about 'douzelle' ?

Maybe someone can find a better term, with no apparent conflict or contradiction.
Viz
Re: There are 12 notes in an Octave,so why call it an octave?
May 06, 2019 12:41AM
Tredective for the interval and 12-tone or chromatic for the scale?
ttw
Re: There are 12 notes in an Octave,so why call it an octave?
May 11, 2019 05:40AM
It's historical. Mostly from descriptions of Greek music theory. The early theorists call a note with double the frequency of a given note an "octave," no matter how many notes were considered in between.
Re: There are 12 notes in an Octave,so why call it an octave?
June 25, 2019 03:59AM
Dear Viz. et al!

I'm a total noob and have posted a question as such in another part of the forum, but I can tell you why it's called an octave.

Progression of a scale. Tone. Tone. Semitone. Tone. Tone. Tone. Semitone. Tone. Count 'em up, you get 8. So OCTave as OCT means 8 (hence OCTopus - 8 arms!!)

I flat don't see where people are getting the other 4 notes from! I mean that seriously. If you're including ALL the black notes between - say - C and C, that's 13 notes inclusive. WHY we have 8 note scales is because not all the notes count in that particular grouping called a scale, only 8 of them do. So the bunch of 8 notes in that scale tell you what notes, between the start note and the end note 8 notes higher, to include and which to avoid.

IF you mean you're including all the other black notes (OK, E# is F is a white note!) then it's a CHROMATIC scale. You don't need new names like 'douxelle', it's already got one. Chromatic Scale.

So how you're getting 12 notes in a scale is beyond me, scales don't work like that. A scale is a set of 8 notes between two points, telling you which accidentals to use to remain faithful to the set. A Chromatic Scale is ALL the notes, black and white, between two points.

How do you find 12 notes in an ordinary octave/scale!?! (It's 8 or 13, surely!)

Yours puzzledly

Chris.
Re: There are 12 notes in an Octave,so why call it an octave?
July 11, 2019 04:09AM
Here is how I see it.

A scale, for instance C major, covers 13 apparent notes. In reality, it covers 14 notes or semitones. But this is a minor and obscure point.

Scales use 8 notes for melody and song out of this range. They can be divided into half-scales of 4 notes covering 7 semitones each. Each half-scale can be combined with the half-scale above or below it to be part of 2 scales.

An octave is a natural step in the 88-note chromatic scale. There are 7 complete octaves in the chromatic scale. An octave covers 12 notes or semitones. A dozen notes. A 'dozel', 'doxel', etc. It enumerates all the natural sounds between two similar notes one range apart. It is not used for melody.

An octave is base 12. A scale is base 14. Musical sounds are base 12. Melody and music are base 14.

Musical theory is base 7, the major scale. My research indicates theory can also be described, and far more efficiently, using base 12.
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