Volta brackets, or first and second ending brackets, are used to mark different endings for a repeat.

Sample first and second endings

To place a volta bracket on the score, drag-and-drop the item from the Lines palette, or select the measure(s) you want the volta to span and double-click the palette icon.

To change the number of measures that a volta covers, double-click to enter edit mode and press Shift+ to move the end handle one or more measures to the right. You can also move the end handle back one measure by pressing Shift+.

These commands move the "logical" start or end of the volta bracket, which determines correct playback in MuseScore and layout over multiple systems. Moving the handles using the mouse or using the left or right arrows keys without Shift allows fine position adjustments, but does not change how the repeat is played (and may cause playback or layout issues).

If you move the handles, a dashed line appears on the score from the logical position of the handle to the adjusted position:

Second-ending volta in edit mode


You can change the text and many other properties of a volta bracket using the line properties dialog. Right-click on a volta bracket and choose Line Properties.... The figure below shows the volta text as "1.-5."

Line Properties dialog

Sample first-through-fifth ending followed by sixth ending

You can also right-click on the volta and bring up the volta properties dialog. From here, you can change both the displayed Volta text (the same from the line properties above) and the repeat list. If you want one volta to be played only on certain repeats and another volta on other repeats, enter the repeat times in a comma separated list. In the example below, this volta will be played during repeat 1, 2, 4, 5 and 7. Another volta will have the other ending, like 3, 6 and possibly other higher numbers like 8, 9, etc.

Volta Properties dialog


Sometimes a repeat plays more than two times. In the figure above, the volta text indicates that it should play five times before it continues. If you want to change the number of times MuseScore plays a repeat, go to the measure containing the end repeat barline and change its Play count (Repeat Count prior to version 2.1). See Measure operations: Other properties for details.

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