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FREE PDF: The Rule of the Octave in all keys for Piano

Updated: Apr 18, 2020

Fedele Fenaroli (1730 - 1818)

Become better at Partimento with this handy PDF for piano that contains the Rule of the Octave in all 3 positions and all Major and Minor keys. (Fenaroli's standard version)

Dowload your FREE PDF of the Rule of the Octave for all keys at the Songbird Music Academy Free Resources page.

(with special thanks to Professor Giorgio Sanguinetti - author of the "Art of Partimento")

What is the Rule of the Octave?

The Rule of the Octave (regola dell'ottava) was an ingenious method of accompanying a major scale, that provided a "powerful means of tonal coherence". Whereas today we might just think of adding triads or 7th chords to every degree of a major scale, the Neapolitans had an incredibly sophisticated method of harmonizing their scale that eliminated parallel 5ths and 8ths.

Here is Tobias Cramm explaining the Rule of the Octave in greater detail:

How was the Rule of the Octave taught in the Neapolitan conservatories?

According to Neapolitan tradition, the Rule of the Octave was taught right after cadences. After the students were able to play the simple, compound and double cadences in all keys and positions, they would be expected to learn the Rule of the Octave in all keys and positions as well. As Fenaroli puts it:

"Those who want to learn quickly to play fluently with the figures, must study fervently the scales in all keys, and in all three positions."

To learn more about Partimento, please refer to "The Art of Partimento" by Giorgio Sanguinetti or the "The Art of Partimento" Facebook Group. Additionally there is a new book "Child Composers" by Robert O. Gjerdingen and his previous book, "Music in the Galant Style". Also there is Nikhil's interview with Professor Sanguinetti himself on the Nikhil Hogan Show:

Great performers on Partimento include Ewald Demeyere, Tobias Cramm and Nicoleta Paraschivescu just to name a few.

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