15ma in sheet music.
Image © Brandy Kraemer

Definition: The musical command 15ma, or “quindicesima” (fifteenth), indicates a note or series of notes will be played two octaves higher than written. 15ma makes it easier to notate and to read notes that may otherwise require several ledger lines (see image).

15ma can affect a single note, or it may span several measures. Its effect ends at the word loco.

    See 8va & 15mb.


    Also Known As:

    • alla quindicesima, “at the fifteenth [double octave]” (It)


    Pronunciation: queen'-dee-TCHAY-see-mah

    More Musical Abbreviations:

    Musical Symbols:
    Staff & Barlines
    The Grand Staff
    Key Signatures
    Time Signatures

    Note Lengths
    Dotted Notes
    Music Rests
    Tempo Commands

    Dynamics & Volume
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    Piano Chords


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    Musical Articulation:
     ◦ staccato
     ◦ tie
     ◦ (rfz) rinforzando
     ◦ arpeggiato
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    Volume Commands & Symbols:
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    Common French Musical Terms:
     ◦ à l’aise
     ◦ doucement
     ◦ en ralentissant
     ◦ mi-doux
     ◦ très vite

    German Musical Commands:
     ◦ anschwellend
     ◦ lebhaft
     ◦ geschwind
     ◦ fröhlich
     ◦ schnell