short octave

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short octave and broken octave. Devices for avoiding expenditure on the lowest and biggest (and consequently most costly) pipes of the organ, and as they were adopted also in domestic kbd. instrs. such as virginals, spinet, and clavichord, the economic motive probably operated in their case also.(1) Where the short octave device was adopted the lowest octave incl. only 9 notes instead of 13 (C, D, E, F, G, A, B♭, B, and C) and these were distributed over 6 long finger-keys and 3 short ones, the omitted notes being those which in the days before equal temperament were not likely to be needed in the bass.(2) Where the broken octave device was adopted the arrangement was generally the following or something like it. The lowest octave was complete from C to C, except that the lowest C♯ was replaced by a more useful note, the A from below. This device was still to be seen in some Eng. organs at the beginning of the 19th cent.