Octave (Ottava) lines are used to indicate that a section of music is to be played one or more octaves above or below written pitch; the line may be dotted or solid:
8--------┐or 8va--------┐: Play one octave above written pitch.
8--------┘or 8va--------┘: Play one octave below written pitch.
8va alta/bassa lines are particularly common in piano scores, though they are sometimes used in other instrumental music. 15ma alta (2 octaves above) and 15ma bassa (2 octaves below) are also occasionally used.
MuseScore automatically adjusts playback of the score under the ottava to the correct pitch.
Ottava lines may be found in the Lines palette.
Adding an octave line to your score
To adjust the range and vertical position of the line, see Adjusting elements directly.
Octave line properties
Properties specific to the selected ottava(s) can be adjusted in the Ottava section of the Properties panel, namely:
Type: Specifies whether the Ottava line is 8va, 8vb etc.
Show number only: Hides any text (such as “va”).
Show line: Makes the line visible / invisible. Text is unaffected.
Allow diagonal: Allow line to slope if required.
For other properties in this tab, see Line properties.
This has a similar user interface to general lines (see Line properties), but uses special code to specify the ottava text.
Octave line style
Default properties for ottavas can be adjusted in Format→Style→Ottava.