1st and 2nd beginnings

• May 24, 2017 - 06:32

We all know about 1st and 2nd endings, but 1st and 2nd beginnings are also common, at least in my music. Here's an example to show what I mean. I'd like to get some opinions.


Line 1 shows the usual 1st and 2nd endings. Line 2 shows a repeated section in which the beginning is changed instead of the ending. Notice the similarity in structure and syntax. Notice also that line 2 shows the structure clearly. I have never seen this notation used anywhere, and I can't get Musescore to play it back as intended.

Line 3 is a nonideal emulation of line 2. It uses standard notation and Musescore plays it back correctly, but it obscures the repeat structure. It seems like a crude workaround.

Line 4 shows the intended result.

What do you think? Should line 2 (with 1st and 2nd beginnings) be the norm? Should Musescore play it back as intended? This has been discussed previously here: https://musescore.org/en/node/91566 , but the concept was not completely developed.


In reply to by Jm6stringer

Thanks, but I'm well aware of what is customarily done. That's what I'm doing now, and I'm getting tired of it because it requires unnecessary complexity that makes a hash out of the music.

Don't you think the simpler version is preferable, albeit unconventional?

In reply to by RexC

No matter how logical something might seem, it is never preferable if it is something that the vast majority of musicians will have never seen before and thus will confuse them when they see it. Guaranteed to lead to reading errors, wasted time during rehearsals, train wrecks during performance, etc.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Yeah, thanks. That's what I thought people might say.

This isn't for sight reading or for use during performance, and my transcriptions aren't for traditional musicians. This music is always memorized, and the transcriptions are just for a reminder or for study. The musicians can spare the minute it might take to learn this, in return for being able to see the structure at a glance. The purpose is to show that the second time through is just the same except for the first measure. In notation, I'll take clarity over tradition. You've just seen a new tradition.

As long as you're here, can you explain to me the purpose of the two different lines for the second ending? One has a vertical stroke at the end but the other one doesn't.

In reply to by RexC

If it's for your own personal use only, then of course do whatever you want, and MuseScore supports that - just don't expect it to make sense of it when it comes to the automatic playback.

As for the difference between volta styles, traditionally you use the one with the ending stroke if there is a repeat barline there - eg, for 2nd ending if there is also going to be a third ending. Only the last volta gets the open-ended volta.

Do you still have an unanswered question? Please log in first to post your question.