Why Octaves all Sound the SameIf you play any note, regardless of which octave you play it in, it will always sound the same.

The only different is that is is brighter in the higher range, and warmer in the lower range.

What is the reason for this? Let’s find out! =)

Why Octaves Sound the Same in Music

The short answer to this question is: Octaves in music on any specific note, is simply a multiple of the same frequency.

Meaning that if you play for example the middle C on your piano, and then go up an octave, that note is exactly double the frequency of middle C. And if you go down an octave from middle C, that note is exactly half in frequency.

This means that all 12 notes of music repeats themselves over and over, going from the lowest frequencies in the lower octaves, to the highest frequencies in the higher octaves.

So again, octaves are simply multiples of the same fundamental frequency. Or in other words, they share the same fundamental vibration of sound. That is why they sound the same, only warmer or brighter depending if you play it low or high.

What is an Octave in Music?

The word octave comes from the Latin word “octavus” which means 8. Because if you only count the white notes on your keyboard, within one octave, there are only 7, and the 8th note is called the octave. The black keys are simple the “in between” pitches, which extends the musical language to 12 unique notes.

So you can think of all notes of music, as a repetition of the same 12 notes over and over in octaves….but every note getting brighter in color the higher you go in range.

Mikael Baggström - Composer and Sound DesignerMy name is Mikael “Mike” Baggström, and I am a composer, sound designer, artist and educator.

PS. Do you want to LEVEL UP your music? – Learn How here.