American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Music The interval of eight diatonic degrees between two tones of the same name, the higher of which has twice as many vibrations per second as the lower.
- n. Music A tone that is eight diatonic degrees above or below another given tone.
- n. Music Two tones eight diatonic degrees apart that are sounded together.
- n. Music The consonance that results when two tones eight diatonic degrees apart are sounded.
- n. Music A series of tones included within this interval or the keys of an instrument that produce such a series.
- n. Music An organ stop that produces tones an octave above those usually produced by the keys played.
- n. Music The interval between any two frequencies having a ratio of 2 to 1.
- n. Ecclesiastical The eighth day after a feast day, counting the feast day as one.
- n. Ecclesiastical The entire period between a feast day and the eighth day following it.
- n. A group or series of eight.
- n. A group of eight lines of poetry, especially the first eight lines of a Petrarchan sonnet. Also called octet.
- n. A poem or stanza containing eight lines.
- n. Sports A rotating parry in fencing.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The eighth day from a festival, the feast-day itself being counted as the first: as, Low Sunday is the octave of Easter. The octave necessarily falls on the same day of the week as the feast from which it is counted.
- n. The prolongation of a festival till the eighth day inclusive; a period consisting of a feastday and the seven days following: as, St. John the Evangelist's day (December 27th) is within the octave of Christmas. See outas.
- n. In music: A tone on the eighth diatonic degree above or below a given tone; the next higher or lower replicate of a given tone.
- n. The interval between any tone and a tone on the eighth degree above or below it.
- n. The harmonic combination of two tones at the interval thus described.
- n. In a scale, the eighth tone from the bottom, or, more exactly, the tone with which the repetition of the scale begins; the upper key-note or tonic; the eighth: solmizated do, like the lower key-note. The typical interval of an octave is that between any tone and its next replicate, which is acoustically represented by the ratio 1:2 — that is, in number of vibrations — and is equal to six diatonic whole steps or to twelve semitones. Such an octave is called
perfector major; an octave one halfstep shorter is called diminishedor minor; an octave one half-step longer is called augmented. The perfect octave is the most complete consonance after the unison. Indeed, its completeness is often regarded as belonging to a different category from that of the other perfect consonances, except the unison, since it amounts rather to a repetition or reinforcement of the original tone at a higher or lower pitch than to a combination of a new or different tone with it: hence the term replicate. In harmony the parallel motion of two voice-parts in perfect octaves is forbidden, except where the mere reinforcement of one voice by another is desired: such octaves are called consecutive octaves. See consecutive intervals, under consecutive.
- n. In a standard system of tones selected for artistic use, a division or section or group of tones an octave long, the limits of which are fixed by reference to a given or assumed standard tone whose exact pitch may be defined. The tone usually assumed as a starting-point is middle C (written on the first leger line below in the treble clef, and on the first above in the bass clef). The octave beginning on the next C below is called the tenor or small octave; that beginning on the second C below is called the bass or great octave; that beginning on the third C below is called the contrabass octave; while that beginning on middle C itself is called the alto, once-marked, or once-accented octave; that beginning on the next C above is called the treble, twice-marked, or twice-accented octave, etc. See the accompanying table:
The acceptance of the octave as the best unit for thus dividing the series of recognized tones into sections of equal length and value has not been uniform. Ancient Greek music seems to have first used the tetrachord as such a unit; while medieval music employed the hexachord in the same way. The subdivision of the octave portions themselves has also varied greatly in different systems of music. See scale.
- n. In organ-building, a stop whose pipes give tones an octave above the normal pitch of the digitals used; specifically, such a stop of the diapason variety. Also known as the principal. Also called octave-flute, octavestop.
- n. Any interval resembling the musical octave in having the vibration-ratio of 1:2.
- n. Specifically, in versification: A stanza of eight lines; especially, the ottava rima (which see).
- n. The first two quatrains or eight lines in a sonnet. See sonnet.
- n. A small cask of wine containing the eighth part of a pipe.
- Consisting of eight; specifically, consisting of eight lines.
- To play in octaves.
- In pianoforte- and harpsichordmaking, to reinforce the tone of a digital by adding a string tuned an octave above the usual tone of the digital.
- n. In fencing, the eighth guard: point low, hand moving to the right.
- In music, noting a tone, note, instrument, organ-stop, etc., whose pitch is an octave above the ordinary pitch or any pitch taken for reference: as, the piccolo is an octave flute.
- n. music An interval of twelve semitones spanning eight degrees of the diatonic scale, representing a doubling or halving in pitch.
- n. music The pitch an octave higher than a given pitch.
- n. poetry A poetic stanza consisting of eight lines; usually used as one part of a sonnet.
- n. fencing The eighth defensive position, with the sword hand held at waist height, and the tip of the sword out straight at knee level.
- n. Christianity The day that is one week after a feast day in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church.
- n. Christianity An eight day period beginning on a feast day in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church.
- adj. obsolete Consisting of eight; eight in number.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The eighth day after a church festival, the festival day being included; also, the week following a church festival.
- n. The eighth tone in the scale; the interval between one and eight of the scale, or any interval of equal length; an interval of five tones and two semitones.
- n. The whole diatonic scale itself.
- n. (Poet.) The first two stanzas of a sonnet, consisting of four verses each; a stanza of eight lines.
- n. A small cask of wine, the eighth part of a pipe.
- adj. Consisting of eight; eight.
- n. a feast day and the seven days following it
- n. a musical interval of eight tones
- n. a rhythmic group of eight lines of verse
- From Latin octavus ("eighth"). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, eighth day after a feast day, from Old French, from Medieval Latin octāva (diēs), from Latin, feminine of octāvus, eighth, from octō, eight; see oktō(u) in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The same Mass has Dies Irae sung in octave alternation.”
“Note also that an octave is the difference between a harmonic and the adjacent harmonic (the frequency of one octave up is 2x the frequency of the fundamental).”
“Dies Irae was sung in octave alternatim by 250 people to create a beauty of enormous power.”
“James I., been moulded into an heroic poem in English octave stanza, or epic blank verse; -- which, however, at that time had not been invented, and which, alas! still remains the sole property of the inventor, as if the Muses had given him an unevadible patent for it.”
“Please clarify why the terms octave mandolin and mandola seem to be used interchangeably in Europe -- is this simply because they are the same size and scale length?”
“Please clarify why the terms octave mandolin and mandola seem to be used interchangeably in Europe -- is this simply because they are the same size and scale length? toddmakesnoise”
“I call the octave, The Octave and the bowlback, The Bowlback.”
“The _one-lined octave_ may be described as the octave from _middle C_ to the B represented by the third line of the treble staff, and any tone within that octave is referred to as "one-lined.”
“The Chinese scale is now, as it always has been, one of five notes to the octave, that is to say, our modern major scale with the fourth and seventh omitted.”
“Though the round dozen is a complete number in the counting-house, it is not altogether so in the belfry: the octave is the most perfect concord in music, but diminishes by rising to an octave and a half; neither can that dozen well be crowded into the peal.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘octave’.
A list of pipe- and pedal-organ stops. These have variously and perhaps at times capriciously been named and labelled by organ builders in Latin, English, French, German, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, a...
With focus on non-classical styles, but not excluding terms of the latter.
Organ stops, that is.
words that I like
I'm trying to memorize melodic intervals by tagging common songs that start with them. For example Happy Birthday is a good way to remember a major second, and so on. Feel free to suggest weird old...
Various terms, common and uncommon, relating to musical scores.
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