The Octave

Strength, Wholeness, Balance—1:2

In the Harmonic Series, the first harmonic to appear above the fundamental is that of the Octave, and it signifies the arrival of “the other,” of duality. This duality, however, is completely contained within the singularity of the Octave experience: the higher and lower are in perfect consonance, in perfect obeisance to one another, in perfect support of each other—they are one. All  three forces are present in the Octave dyad: the Initiating in the fundamental and the Receiving in its first harmonic, or vice versa; and the Conciliating in the dyad’s mysterious, magical singularity. It is two to one, two in one, and two and one. In a casting, the Octave manifests as strength: that which is intended is that which is, and vice versa; there is integrity, balance, and innate wholeness. 

The dyad of the Octave is so consonant that it sometimes disappears. Notes an octave apart can easily sound like a Unison, like the same note: men and women singing the same melody, for example, tend to sing in octaves without trying or even knowing. The strength of the Octave can be so native to us that we don’t know it’s there, and if we are blind in this way, we can inadvertently step on some toes. Successfully navigating the Octave involves including others in our vision and care.

In the active suit of Brass, the hermeneutic for the Octave is assertion; in the emotional suit of Strings, commitment; in the intellectual suit of Woodwinds, certainty; in the physical suit of Percussion, stability; and in the spiritual, holistic suit of Voices, integrity.