Seconda Volta 2

• Dec 9, 2016 - 01:09

What is the significance of Seconda Volta 2 (No ending bracket)? It doesn't change the execution of the piece, so, does it have a notational function?


It should make a difference to score playback by the computer, and perhaps it will at some point in a future version of the program, but right now it does not. Both open and closed second voltas play back in the same manner. In simple music without multiple repeats or jumps, this is not a problem. If you need to use multiple repeats and endings, however, you will find that you need to extend the actual volta line to cover the entire section to be played back. See for more details.

Notationally, a 'closed' second (or subsequent) volta is an odd duck. Human musicians trying to interpret such a mark literally would probably get confused, as the standard way to handle multiple endings is to skip the first ending on the second time through, jump to the beginning of the second ending, and from there play through until the next repeat barline is encountered (or to the end of the piece if there is none). An open-ended second volta bracket indicates this clearly, and is the preferred notation.

However, to my mind, what a 'closed' volta bracket is saying is that the 'ending' to be played comprises ONLY the material under that bracket. So when you get to the end of the bracket, what do you do then? There may be some special cases where such notation would be needed, but they would indeed be special cases.

One common usage is to use the "closed" volta on all repeats except the last. So the closed second volta would only be used in situations where there are three (or more) voltas. The last one is normally left open.

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