O'Reilly logo

Music Theory for Computer Musicians by Michael Hewitt

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Octave Doubling

When you are choosing a chord for a progression, the issue of doubling will probably arise. Coming to grips with octave doubling is a precursor to writing professional-sounding harmonies. The best way to consider octave doubling is to think of the case of a whole orchestra playing a triad of A minor. Flutes and piccolos would play notes high up in the register, while strings would have a spread from the bass up to the middle register. The double bass, contra-bassoon, or tuba would play notes very low down.

Writing a minor chord effectively for these forces would necessitate the use of far more than three notes. To solve this problem, certain notes are doubled at the octave. The best notes to double tend to be the root and fifth ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required