Single Measure Multiple Repeat

• Jan 7, 2019 - 22:21

I've created the suggestion as a comment in [#12571] and #10220: Add a two and four measure (multi-measure) repeat sign with playback but it probably deserves it's own thread as it is not exactly a multi-bar repeat but a multiple repeat of the single bar.

multiple repeat.png

The solution comes from here:

and the problem it solves is visible below. Most of my drum scores look like that. There is one bar that indicates the rhythm for the section and then that bar repeats a number of times. A fill can be indicated with text or with notation. Other changes can be marked in respective bars, affecting the number of bars that are the same.

sample score.png

For this reason, adding a setting for the number of repetition to a Simile mark seems an elegant solution.
It would add the text for the number of repetitions, like in the image on the top or the number for the multimeasure rests, directly above the Simile mark.
It would also cause the player to repeat the previous bar the indicated number of times. The setting for this already exists in MuseScore.
Basically, all the elements are existing in MuseScore at the moment - Simile, the player repetition setting, the text marks. They would need to be tied together into the feature.

This would be really helpful for percussion, specifically drums, scores. Thank you for the consideration!


In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

I'm getting confused by that issue, actually. By reading the original text, under "percent repeat counter", if I understand correctly, the number above Simile is displaying the distance from the original bar.

percent repeat counter.png

This is a significant difference as in that case the number is an information only. The single-bar repeat (Simile) is still drawn in each of the repeating bars. The number above increases with the distance, like a mileage counter.

In the "multiple repeat" feature, the number represents the number of repetitions (similar to "play 3 times" indicator on a repeat sign). There is only one bar with Simile, and the number portrays how many times it is to be repeated. The effect is a significant saving in one-page realestate. Mostly important for performance sheets for drummers. Using this, and existing repetitions (D.S.), I could write most drum scores on one page.

There is a big difference in writing Simile 16 times or writing it once with number 16 above, for example. This way a long instrumental solo part can be reduced to one or two bars on a drum score. Hope I could express myself correctly here. Graphically, the the above image, using "multiple-repeat" feature as an alternative, would be displayed like this:

multiple repeat comparison.png

In reply to by mistery

In reply to mistery, there is a big difference. As you say, unlike multiple bar rests, or the simile repeat counter being discussed here, the courtesy counter number is purely informative. Maybe courtesy counters should be in parentheses to emphasize that (I have never seen them in parentheses, but some contributors have suggested it). What you seem to be requesting is to be able to define a number of times the bar is repeated.

Is this actually conventional? I have never seen it, but that means nothing. It might cause confusion but that seems to be quite normal.

For me, it would be difficult to interpret. I can count a multibar rest because I am not playing. I can follow multiple similes with repeat numbering because each measure looks different and I can follow the progression with my eyes. But I am not at all sure that I can count and play at the same time, but there again, I am not very good at playing.

So for me, courtesy numbering is a priority, and simile repeat counters much less so.

In reply to by TinyTrouble

If you look further below, currently at the bottom, there is an example of the courtesy numbering in parentheses. That might be the distinction between the two. That is still different to "progressive courtesy numbering", as sampled in the message above, where each bar contains a number. This last one is a bit too chatty, I believe.
The downside of the courtesy numbering is that it renders a lot of bars on the sheet and may take precious space. But it does seem to be easier to follow than the repeat counter during live play. I might try that syntax instead at some of the upcoming rehearsals and see if it is easier to follow. I'm pretty sure some songs might not fit onto one page any more and that would be a deal breaker for me.
Thanks for the comments!

In reply to by mistery

Apologies if this is too brief, I'm typing on a tablet. To elaborate a bit, the parentheses could be the distinction between courtesy numbering (in parentheses) and repeat counter. This is how I'm going to distinguish in my sheets during experimenting.
The implementation of the courtesy numbering should be quite simple, actually. It could be a new type of text, which is centred above the bar and has the same font as the quiet bar counter. The centering is the only thing that cannot be done right now, when adding the text manually as a workaround.

The screenshot below shows what the end result look like compared to the last two lines, which indicate my current syntax (a bastardized use of multi-measure rest indicators for repetitions, at least on paper/pdf):


Naturally, the number of measures would also affect the measure counter for the measures that come after the multiple repeat.
The above image is a workaround but the bar numbers are now misleading and can't be used for reference with other musicians.

Perhaps the easiest and the most elegant solution would be to introduce the compressed view for one-bar repeat Simile, just like M key does for blank bars.
This will take care of the measure counter and the player. The number functions exactly the same as for blank bars and the view is not even altered, except for hiding the extra bars.

In reply to by ericfontainejazz

Right. That one was closed as rejected. That's probably the reason I only found it after I created this issue. I've provided some more details here, I hope. But, yes, technically this is a duplicate of your request. The idea came from the same screenshot, from what I see. :)
As time goes on, I'm getting less convinced about usability of this feature, though. The repeat marks require the bar in front to contain the whole pattern. This is unnecessary information for me. As I've mentioned in that linked issue, just using slashes after one bar indicates the basic rhythm (and later again when the same section repeats) seems like a better idea at the moment. It results in cleaner sheets.
I think I can live without the full player support in this "one-sheet" notation. For MIDI recording of a groove, I would probably use the output from the e-drum module or a recording studio (DAW).

slash notation.png

I'd like to add another syntax as mentioned here:

Here the repeat marks are written in each repeating bar. The last bar in the line also contains the number of bars
The second notation is similar but I'm not sure it is the same as the second bar line has a number 8, and the number of bars is only 4.

Attachment Size
Drums-Slash-and-1-bar-rpt-600x49.jpg 7.32 KB
gDD7qGs.png 12.89 KB

So, for a while I've been using the courtesy counter "(N)" notation and am fairly happy with it. For most songs it seems to work ok.
However, for double-tempo and longer tunes, it not well suited. For example, Freight_Train.pdf
has a fairly simple and repetitive structure. Yet, using the courtesy counter would make it far longer than what can fit onto one page. Here I'm still using the repeat counter (without parentheses). The solo at the end shows how long the section is when the repeat counters are not used.

In reply to by mistery

Well, actually, it's not that difficult. I've rewritten Freight Train with courtesy counter notation:
It still fits on one page and is convenient for live gigs.
So, all in all, fairly minor addition would be welcome - a pre-formatted type for the courtesy counter, similar to the empty bar counter, except that it includes parentheses, to distinguish it from the repetition counter (which may not be implemented but let's try to establish some conventions?).

I would also REALLY REALLY appreciate this feature. I'm a classically trained musician and a prog-rocker, so looping guitar/bass riffs and drum beats are often much easier to read with this feature, and it could eliminate entire pages from certain parts. I'm a drummer, and this is commonly used for drums, yes, but in prog-rock it's more useful for guitar and bass because the drum parts rarely repeat without some deviation.

Here is one workaround:
The problem with this is is that it generally only works for 1 instrument. I'm modifying this workaround by using invisible multimeasure rests and then doing the appropriate visualization. Of course this does not work for playback.

It ought to work just like the Create Multi-measure Rests feature, but just for measure-repeats instead of measure-rests, as mentioned before (keyboard shortcut M).

Personally, I would use this feature every time I use the program and it could save me about a day of work on every project I ever do.

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Example.png 34.53 KB
CreateMultimeasureRests.png 62.82 KB

Here's a better workaround (Doesn't work for playback).

  1. Create a multi-measure rest where you want to have a multi-measure repeat (Keyboard shortcut M)
  2. Click on the multi-measure rest
  3. In the Inspector, click on Color and change the opacity to 0. (Do not set it to invisible, or the formatting will change and the number will also disappear)
  4. With the multi-measure rest selected, insert a measure repeat sign (%) from the master pallet.

Tada!!!! That's it!!! This works in more situations than any other workaround I've found.

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