What are your favorite piano pieces

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June 25, 2020

My octave experience: The Spotify of piano sheet music

Music blog

As we all know, streaming services are arguably the greatest boon of the twentieth century in online entertainment. Netflix saves us the wait for a good movie on TV (not to mention the annoying commercials), with Spotify we no longer pay for every single song we want to hear and Audible finally gives us time to read again.

Streaming services are on the rise in more and more cultural genres. Enter: octave.

Oktav is a huge online database for piano sheet music that is taking advantage of the streaming trend. The prerequisite is of course that you can read notes. As a subscriber, you can access an unlimited number of piano sheet music for a monthly or annual fee - ideal for anyone who likes to try out new pieces often. A total of sheet music for over 10,000 piano pieces is available. For this purpose, a series of YouTube videos is displayed in which others play the corresponding arrangement.

I was really happy about the chance to try out the platform and would like to share my Oktav experience with you here.

Promising offer: All the piano notes I always wanted to play

What can you find on octave?

My first impression is very good. The offer is really huge. Gone are the days when you could only find piano pieces online that are 70 years or older. Oktav is very broad. An all-rounder, so to speak. There are not only classic arrangements, but also a particularly large number of pop pieces from all possible decades, but just as countless from the popular film music, New Age, jazz and even electronic. Of course, pieces from the New Classic are also represented, with the exception of a few arrangements that are presumably protected. There are both piano covers and accompaniments without a melody. All of this can be called up in the web browser, unfortunately we still have to wait for an app.

Is your own level taken into account?

My octave experience has shown me one thing above all: it always makes sense to consider your own abilities when choosing a song. When registering, you can use examples to determine your own level. I usually get frustrated on a regular basis when I choose piano pieces that I just can't handle. With Oktav I didn't have this problem at all, because very often there is both an easier and a more demanding version of a piece. In addition, you as a subscriber will be shown how difficult it is to play for each arrangement on a scale of 1-100. If the number exceeds the specially determined level, it is probably a challenge for you. You will also see a personalized comment that shows you whether you are ready for this challenge. It says, for example: "You can play the arrangement" or "This arrangement is difficult but can be done".

My favorite song: That Joke Isn´t Funny Anymore by The Smiths

Can you keep piano pieces?

The public repeatedly compares Oktav to Spotify, especially because of the playlists, which often have similar names such as "Calm Vibes" or "Best of ...". It should be the Spotify of piano sheet music, so to speak. Octave is actually better, because you can print out two piano pieces per month. This way you will keep something of your Oktav experience for a lifetime, even if you give up your subscription at some point. Seen in this way, the octave piano sheet music flat rate is much more like Audible. If you want to print more than two pieces within 30 days, you always have the option of buying additional pieces individually.

How is the site structured?

Like most popular streaming services, Oktav has a very modern design with an intuitive user interface. There are exactly three tabs, each of which has its own function: Dashboard, Explore and Library.

The Dashboard shows new recommendations from your pre-selected favorite genres, playlists from classic to heartbreak to road trips that correspond to your specified skills and editor’s picks, i.e. current recommendations of the platform. Your last opened piece and all new pieces on octave are also presented to you there. This is exactly where the real blessing of modern algorithm streaming lies. Based on your preferences and your ability, you will receive new song suggestions every day, which will save you the tedious search for suitable piano pieces.

A clear dashboard with many genres

The option Explore is a gold mine for you if you like to broaden your horizons and also try out arrangements and genres on the piano that you are less familiar with. There you will find all kinds of suggestions, popular playlists and the octave charts. So if you are very curious, your Oktav experience will surely be shaped by the hunt for new adventures.

Here I can try out different genres and discover new songs.

While the dashboard is your comfort zone and Explore, in contrast, the wild wide world out there, the Library last as your home port. All pieces that you have memorized in your previous octave experience because they are particularly important to you are saved there. The division into: I want to practice, I am currently practicing, I have already practiced. This way you can keep track and see in particular how often you really use Oktav. You can also create your own playlists in the library. If you're someone who, like in the good old days, likes to give impromptu mini-concerts for family and friends, this is of course particularly practical. With one click you can select the appropriate notes from the playlist and display them in full screen mode.

Here I can save all the songs that I want to learn to play

How does the registration actually work?

Registering on octave is easy. Here you can sign up. The platform can be tested free of charge for 7 days. So that you also have a good Oktav experience, make sure that you provide your bank details when you register. Today, every streaming platform avoids someone maliciously cheating from one free trial period to the next. It is therefore important to cancel after 7 days if you do not want a subscription after the trial period. Otherwise there are of course costs.

The monthly flat rate for the piano sheet music flat rate of Oktav is € 9.90. An annual subscription is already available for € 99. With annual billing, a full two months are free.

After registering, it is important to assess your own level. This is the only way Oktav can give you suggestions that match your abilities. You will be shown sample grades for verification, and you will be asked to indicate whether these are appropriate to your experience. Then comes the fun part of letting you specify your favorite genres. And voilà, you already have access to all 10,000 piano pieces.

Conclusion of my octave experience

Overall, my Oktav experience is a consistently positive one. The selection is huge and for someone who plays the piano a lot and likes to discover new pieces, the platform is a paradise. In particular, the simple, modern layout and the beautiful cover pictures for every playlist make operating the platform a real pleasure.

Try OKTAV now for 7 days free of charge!

Now, with OKTAV, you can easily access the piano sheet music of your favorite pieces.
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Victor Otte

Hi, I'm Victor and I write articles for musicians and those who want to become one! With my experience in the music industry, I help bands master their everyday life as a band. I am particularly interested in musical instruments.

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