DS and Volta: problem with playback

• Sep 20, 2016 - 23:34

I have a problem when playing back the attached piece (it's part of a longer piece but that's not really relevant)

It doesn't play back as I expected it to do.

What I expect to hear is bars 1-4, then bars 5-8 (the first volta), then bars 1-4 again, then bars 9-12 (the second Volta.)
What I actually get is:
bars 1-4, bars 5-8 (first volta) bars 1-4 again then bars 10-12, I don't get bar 9.
and I just don't understand why.

If I remove the 2nd Volta line completely, I get what I want, but I'd like to know what's wrong with my notation, it looks ok to me but obviously is incorrect somewhere.

Can any proper musician tell me what I've done wrong?

Attachment Size
DS_&_Volta_example.mscz 17.37 KB


Don't know WHY it's happening but I would use a repeat barline instead of DS. The Voltas work OK if you do that.

In order of of what I'd use for repeats:
Repeat barlines - easy to read, pretty unambiguous (generally)
DC - when jumping back to the beginning where a repeat barline would either not work or would be confusing
DS - when jumping back to somewhere other than the beginning

In reply to by underquark

Thanks for that.
I used that notation because that's what's in the original setting that I'm copying and I'm trying o stick as close to the original as possible.

I've found out that it also works correctly when I change the "Repeat List" in "Volta 2 Properties" from the default 2 to 1. But I still don't understand why? which is bugging me.
I don't just want it to work correctly (or as expected) but to know why it works.
I believe there has to be logic in the process somewhere.

In reply to by Ewart North

Aside from this notation being confusing (as others have said already) a small bit about the why.

The repeat list property of a volta contains a comma separated list of when the contents of the volta should be played back. It contains the x-th playback the score will pass over that section.
With a repeat list of 2 for the second volta, you are asking to MuseScore only playback the contents of that volta the 2nd time playback would hit that measure. As you had the playback jump (not repeat!) back to the beginning, playback had never reached measure 9 before.

That is why its repeat list should be '1'

Also note that while it might work for this particular example, it is a convention that after taking a DS/DC no repeats are taken. This is also the case in MuseScore playback.

This is not correct / standard notation. Voltas are intended to be used n conjunction with repeats. If you wish to use a DS instead of a repeat, you should use a coda instead of Voltas to indicate alternate endings. Attempts to mix and match the two notations in this way will confuse MuseScore just as they will real musicians. MuseScore is looking for a repeat that doesn't exist and simply doesn't know what do - nor would most musicians reading this. You should take advantage of this opportunity to correct the errors in the original.

Thanks marc, I did wonder if it was standard notation or not.
I'll correct it, the simple way is just to add bars 1-4 between the current first and second endings and then there's no reason for any repeats and/or voltas.
It's not the first example of incorrect and or poor notation in this project. That's why I bought my copy of "Behind bars" so I could check what was correct or not.

As ever, thanks for your helpful comments.

Sorry guys, bringing this up again. All this text above didn't really enlighten me.

Aren't the voltas counted when repeating the section with DS/DC? Wouldn't it be nice if they were?

Both examples in the attachment should behave identical, but they don't.

Attachment Size
Volta_and_Repeat.mscz 5.03 KB
Volta_and_DS.mscz 5.04 KB

In reply to by jaludasapi1

Was this sheet music from a recognize music publisher? Can you post a scan?

Reading your score, there is absolutely nothing whatsoever to tell me what to do after that first volta. If you handed that to ten musicians on a gig, you'd probably get at least three or four different inteprretations, plus three or four who would just give up. The voltas simply do not convey anything clear or useful at all. Votlas are repeat wending and do not function to substitute measures in the middle of a section.

Personally, as a professional musician of some considerable experience, if I saw this, my assumption would be that you left out the repeat sign after bar 3. So I'd play it 1-3, then repeat back to the top, play 1-2, skip to second ending (4), play to the end (5), take the DC, play 1-2 again, and then since you didn't explicitly say take repeats:, I'd use the standard interpretation and go to the second ending (4) and hit the Fine.

Needlessly to say, that's not even close to what you meant according to the other score. What you wrote simply in the score without repeats does not in any way hint to a musician that this is what you meant. So, no surprise MuseScore doesn't guess that either.

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