Courtesy clefs don't appear on lines ending in repeat barlines

• Jun 28, 2017 - 10:28
P1 - High
S3 - Major
PR created

Courtesy clefs don't appear on lines ending in repeat barlines.

The attached is an example I am transcribing from the ABRSM Grade 3 2017/18 syllabus set exam pieces.

Attachment Size
Courtesy Clef on repeat bar bug.jpg 75.8 KB
Romanze v01.mscz 33.7 KB


By default, the courtesy clef should probably appear after the repeat barline, like the key and time signatures. Although a courtesy clef *before* the repeat bar should also be possible to add manually, if it is intended to signal a clef change on the repeat.

I attach the official ABRSM score. It has the courtesy before the double bar line.

I expect that this is because the repeat (from bar 1) changes from Bass clef to Treble clef as well.

Attachment Size
Romanze.pdf 1.36 MB

This behavior may lead to ambiguity. See the example below, which clef is correct when I repeat the section between repeat barlines? Should I repeat it with alto clef or treble clef? This is the only unclear thing to me. If it is clear to musicians and this is a correct notation, let me know and I'll merge the PR.

I like how the alto courtesy clef is after the end repeat bar line, but I might also want a courtesy treble clef before the end repeat bar line. I am not sure how this could be done.

Frequency Few

I've just hit this. Tenor clef - end repeat - bass clef. The bass clef is obliterated by the end repeat but the note positions remain as for bass clef. That's more serious that not having a courtesy clef. There is a work-around, which requires the manual intervention of making a mid-bar clef change on the 1st note of the bar following the end repeat. The only problem with this is if the pagination changes such that the end repeat ends up at the end of a line, then the following line ends up with a redundant courtesy clef.

Example attached.

FWIW I think the courtesy clef before the end repeat is dubious as that could imply the repeat should be taken with the clef changed. Again, my opinion, that is best consigned to a second-time bar to remove ambiguity.

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repeat-clef.mscz 12.05 KB

See also #285605: Tenor Clef does not appear after repeat. The problem is worse if there is no line break after the repeat - now the clef change doesn't appear at all.

I am still thinking the solution is to add the clef before a normal barline but after an end repeat barline. Then the right thing happens both at the end of a system and in the middle. But it will be tricky because it will mean the clef needs to be moved when the barline changes. Or maybe deleted and added back on every layout.

See also #77396: Allow clef change after barline (for repeats) for another take on this. And also #285833: Request alternate position key signature when using beginnng repeat sign for a parallel discussion regarding key signatures.