Repeats with Different Endings

• Jul 25, 2020 - 17:08

Hi Everyone,

I hope you are all well and healthy and surviving this time of crisis.

Another question about repeats. This may simply be a playback issue that is not of primary importance in composition software. I don't have a score attached because I'm trying to work out the logistics of the piece beforehand.

  1. I want a certain passage in a score to repeat from a certain measure to another measure. So I am at measure 20 and I now want the score to repeat from measure 10 to measure 20. But there are repeats within this range of measures. Putting a volta at measure 20 will only have it play from the previous volta which is not at measure 10. I have placed a D.S. on measure 20 and the segno at measure 10 and the piece repeats again from measure 10 to measure 20. So far so good.

  2. But now there is a problem. I have two endings at the end of this range of measures. Measure 20 is the first ending, measure 21 is the second ending. The first time the passage is performed, measure 20 is played, but when the performers repeat the range of measures I want them to skip measure 20 (the first ending) and play measure 21 (the second ending). How do I mark this and would this work in playback? I have used numbered brackets but they don't play correctly.

  3. To make things more difficult, at measure 21, the second ending, I want the entire piece to begin again, not from the beginning, but from five measures in from the beginning and play to, let's say, the end of measure 6, so I can't use a D.C. marking at measure 21. If I mark the incipit at measure 5 with a segno and put a D.S. on measure 21 (the second ending), it will play only from the segno previously marked at measure 10.

I could just write the whole thing out, and maybe that's what I need to do. But I'm striving to get the best economy in the design of a score and yet have it be clear to the performers. I hope, as usual, I'm overlooking some obvious solution. I do find it interesting how the architecture of the score influences the development of the composition.

I've attached an image of the sequence of measures to illustrate the problem. I'm not sure how clear it is. It's the best I could do at the moment, so I hope it's of some help.

Thanks once again for anyone who can give advice on this. A professional composer would probably be wondering why I'm tying myself into knots like this, but I wanted to see if I could work it out.

All best wishes.


Attachment Size
Repeats Example.JPG 55.51 KB


For me, delete the repeat between 12 and 16, re-write these 5 measures a second time, and all is easier.
Use , then, a repeat between 10 to actual end of measure 20, with volta 1 for 20 and volta 2 for a copy of 20 with the D.S al fine for measure 5 with a segno and Fine measure 6

In reply to by Raymond Wicquart

Thank you, Raymond. I was thinking of going that route but wanted to know if there was a more economical roadmap. It's always a trade-off of not wanting to burden performers with extra score pages and getting clarity in the score itself.

I'm looking through the handbook, discussion posts, and online examples to see what I can find.

If anyone else has any ideas, they would be very much appreciated.


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