Question about repeat toggle and voltas

• May 30, 2020 - 02:18

I'm trying to understand how voltas work in conjunction with the repeat toggle.
I have attached a very simple example with just one repeat sign, and 2 voltas.
When "play repeats" is enabled, everything plays as expected, which is to say, measures play in the following order :
1, 2, 1, 3

When "play repeats" is disabled, however, measures plays as :
1, 2, 3

This is somewhat confusing and doesn't match typical performance. The expected playback of measures if you skip the repeat would be :
1, 3

In other words, you are not supposed to hear the 2 endings (measures 2 and 3) being played consecutively.

I looked at some scores which have multiple endings, for example, OpenGoldberg variation 6. I toggled "play repeats" off. I also see this problem there - the multiple endings in the first half on measures 16, 17 and 18 are played consecutively, which should never happen. Same problem with the second half and the multiple endings being played consecutively at measures 34, 35 and 36.

Is there a way to notate the score in MuseScore in such a way that setting "play repeats" to off will achieve the desired behavior, ie. skip directly to the second ending ?

Attachment Size
repeat_voltas_1_2.mscz 4.18 KB


In reply to by Mr Fox

Yes, I studied those. I guess the "play repeats" toggle doesn't do what I expect.

I was trying to find a way to make the Musescore playback engine follow the actual performance practice for skipping repeats.

If it really just ignores the repeat barline, that makes it useful only for the simplest of scores, which don't have alternate endings, but not for anything more complex. Maybe there needs to be a feature request to mark some scores with optional repeats, and how to play them back if some segments are skipped ...

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Thanks. I was under the impression that feature was more than that. As it is, wish I could remove it from the UI to avoid toggling it off unintentionally.

Optional repeats can be more than just playing the last round of repeats/jumps.
For example, look at the score I entered today :

When playing all repeats, as you will hear when clicking play, the score plays as :
1) measures 1 - 8
2) measures 1 - 7
3) measures 9 - 23
4) measures 1 - 7
5) measures 24 - 36
6) measures 1 - 8

The only "optional" repeat is the first one. Some performers choose to skip it, and one then should hear :
1) measures 1 - 7
2) measures 9 - 23
3) measures 1 - 7
4) measures 24 - 36
5) measures 1 - 8

What I was hoping for was some way to formalize the optional repeat somehow, and have a toggle in the playback engine to switch between the "full" and "short" versions, without having to edit the score. Obviously, that toggle doesn't exist right now. I don't know if anyone else sees a need. I think it would be a useful feature. Many pieces of classical and baroque music have such optional repeats.


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