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Under the Helmholtz Octave Designation System, a name applied to the octave which extends from C0 three octaves below the bass clef staff to B0 two octaves below the bass clef staff. In the Helmholtz system, the notes are indicated by uppercase letters with the subscript "2" (C₂, D₂, E₂, F₂, G₂, A₂, and B₂).
This octave can also be designated with three uppercase letters (i.e. CCC) or in the fundamental octave with Scientific Pitch Notation (SPN) using uppercase letters with octave "0" (C0, D0, E0, F0, G0, A0, and B0). This is also known as American Standard Pitch Notation (ASPN) and was defined by the Acoustical Society of America. 
The MIDI Octave Designation System has two versions, one where note 1 (8.176 Hz) is octave "0" making the sub-contra octave the first octave (i.e. C1), and the other with note 1 (8.176 Hz) at octave "-2" making the sub-contra octave the negative 1 octave (i.e. C-1). 
The indications 8vb and 15mb (shown below) can be used to represent the same pitches without as many ledger lines. The indication 15mb is rarely used today.
See the table of octave designations in the Appendix.


Play Sub-contra Octave Example


Last Updated: 2016-06-19 18:09:52