What Are Repeat Signs?

Another way of "shortforming" musical notation is using repeat signs, which look like the following symbol:

They tell you to return to an earlier spot in the sheet music; either an earlier checkpoint of dots, or the very beginning (if no "checkpoints" are specified), to repeat the passage.

First & Second Endings

Sometimes, more repeat signs have 2 endings.

On the 1st ending, you play through the music, and repeat as you would expect.

On the 2nd ending, after you've repeated the passage, you'll skip over the 1st ending and continue through the 2nd ending.

Repeating Bars

Another type of repeat sign is the Repeating Bars symbol.

It looks like the Percent symbol, and tells the musician to copy exactly what was played in the bar immediately beforehand.

There's also a version of this for repeating the previous 2 bars.

Composing Different Endings

For a piece of music you're dreaming about, you might have a specific way of ending the piece that you only want played at the very end.

For now, it's less important to dig into the nitty-gritty details (there's plenty of information about this online), but here are the different types:

1. D.C. al Fine - Go back to the beginning and end where it says Fine

D.C. al Fine Definition And The 3 Step Process

2. D.C. al Coda - Go back to the beginning and play to the Coda sign. Then skip to the Coda to end the piece.

3. D.S. al Fine - Go back to the sign and end at Fine.

4. D.S. al Coda - Go back to the sign and play to the Coda sign, then skip to the Coda to end the piece.

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