Until this month, *The Horn Call*, the journal of the International Horn Society, used this notation to designate different pitch octaves:

This system uses an awkward mix of lowercase letters, uppercase letters, subscripts and superscript prime symbols to distinguish between 7 different octaves. The notation is hard to remember, hard to write by hand, hard to format for publication, and even hard to just say out loud. You might hear someone talk about “third-space C”, but never “lowercase C with two primes”.

I wrote about the notation in *The Horn Call* in two blog posts last year:

- Proposed: A (much) better octave designation notation for
*The Horn Call* - More thoughts about the octave notation system in
*The Horn Call*

As I wrote in those posts, and as I summarized in a February 2024 letter to the editor in *The Horn Call*, a much better notation already exists, and it is a standard. In *scientific pitch notation* (also known, oddly, as *American standard pitch notation* and as *international pitch notation*), each octave is numbered sequentially, from low to high. You just need to remember one octave number, such as 4 for middle C. All the other pitch octaves can just be counted up and down from there.

It’s great that *The Horn Call* was willing to change its long-standing convention. I’m grateful to Editor James Boldin for considering and then implementing the change.