Cannot get voltas to function as desired!

• Jun 13, 2016 - 21:16

I've prepared a demonstration score (attached) for the purpose of revealing the problem. It consists of six measures which contain 3 voltas. The desired order of playback is measure 1, 2, 1, 3, 5, 6, 1, 4. However the actual order of playback is measure 1, 2, 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 1, 3.

I have no way of knowing whether the problem is caused by a bug, a software limitation, or a user error but the music I am arranging uses the demonstrated technique.

I'm using Version 2.0.3 Revision 3c7a69d of Musescore on an up to date Windows 7 computer.

Attachment Size
prob_demo.mscz 5.42 KB


There's no clear way a human performer is to know to play measures 5 and 6 after measure 3 using that notation. Including those measures of that structure under the 2nd volta is how it is supposed to be done.

See attached

Attachment Size
prob_demo.mscz 4.49 KB

In reply to by jeetee

I'm no expert but I also did not devise the demonstrated scenario on my own. It is rather taken from sheet music that is commercially published. Likewise, my piano teacher (who is both human and an expert) didn't have any problem figuring out how to play it.

Does not the existence of the 3 successive volta's signal (mean) that those measures are not played in succession? In that, measure 4 should never be played directly after measure 3, as it is, but rather always after measure 1.

This is not notated correctly. You need a repeat sign after the second and third voltas as well as the first, otherwise there is nothing to tell the performer (human or computer) what to do next. You also need to set the repeat list for each fo the voltas to 1, since since each is played only the first time encountered (eg, you don't have any voltas that are played multiple times).

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

To be sure, this novice, failed to understand the meaning of the repeat list after reviewing the documentation many times. The provided guidance is appreciated. However, after changing the "Repeat List" property to 1 on all of the voltas there was some change in behavior but it still does not produce the intended result. The problem seems to be that measure 4 (marked with the third volta) always plays directly after measure 3. This is the behavior I'd expect by omitting the 3rd volta altogether. In that, the 3rd volta has no affect. The double barline at the end of measure 3 is supposed to indicate the end of a section. Is it possible that something needs to be done to measure 5 to indicate that it is the start of the next section? The score used as a basis for this demo does begin a new section that is repeated. That added bit of complexity was omitted for the purpose of my demo.

The reason for not using a repeat sign after the 2nd and 3rd voltas is that there is no desire to repeat anything at that point in the score. If this notation is incorrect, what is the correct notation for playing the measures in the desired order? Notice that measure 3 (marked as 3rd volta) is the final measure of the score.

In reply to by aajax

I think maybe I misunderstood your original message, as it is not consistent with your score. Since you used voltas, I assumed you wanted multiple repeats, but I see now this is not the case. You shouldn't have a third volta at all; that should be a coda instead. So the section that begins with measure 5 should actually follow the second volta (measure 3) directly. Instead of DS al Fine, you should have DS al Coda, then a "To Coda" at measure 1, with a Coda that follows the measure with the DS.

In reply to by aajax

My delight in getting the demo to playback as intended is mitigated a bit when I go to apply the lesson learned to an actual score that ultimately needs to be printed and performed.

In a real score, as opposed to the demo, measure 1 becomes many measures possibly including multiple pages. Likewise, for the part with measure 5 & 6. By placing the coda at the end of the score it becomes a bit inconvenient to find it when the time comes to perform it. This is especially true in a case like the score I'm working on where the coda is a single measure.

What opportunity is there to place the coda closer to the opening section?

In reply to by aajax

Not sure what you mean. The standard place for a coda to go is *after* the DS. If you put it anywhere else, musicians likely won't be able to find it. You might think it inconvenient to look to the end of the score for a coda, but that's where musicians have been trained to look, so actually, it's having it anywhere *else* that would be inconvenient and confusing.

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