Repeat under Volta

• Jun 27, 2020 - 18:11

I would like to have a repeated section under a Volta. Is this possible? I attach a test score. If I remove the repeats under Volta 1, It plays correctly.

Thank you for helpful hints,

Attachment Size
repeat_under_Volta.mscz 4.47 KB


Standard musical notation practice doesn't support nested repeats. Although MuseScore allows you to write them, if you put that in front of a player, they will probably tell you there is a misprint as they will have started a repeat and then will come across another start of a repeat in bar 4. MuseScore will likewise be confused if you ask it to play it.

In reply to by SteveBlower

OK, but the intention is clear, I think. I want to play bar 2 three times, with three different continuations. i.e. 1-2-3-4-4-5-5-6-2-7-2-8-9. So how would I notate that in a way musescore understands it? I do not find it straightforward to use dal segnos instead...

For the records: I have solved the problem as in the attachment by using two invisible D.S. al Coda in order to have Musescore execute the jumps on playback, keeping the repeats and voltas for the musicians. Even though nested repeats may be ambiguous at times, I think that in this case (since they are under the first volta) the average intelligent musician will understand what is intended. And if not, I will be there to explain since I am a member of the group. ;)

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repeat_under_Volta_using_segnos.mscz 5.15 KB

In reply to by mzenker

Well, congratulations! you have tricked MuseScore into playing unintelligible music and if you are on hand to direct things you can of course yell bar numbers to get the players to play in any order you like.

You say "the average intelligent musician will understand..." I would suggest that the average intelligent composer would not use nested repeats. Nested repeats are not ambiguous, they are just not a thing in standard music notation, look in any elementary music theory text book, or even in an advanced one, and you will not find them. When I say "standard notation" I mean notation that does not need a separate explanation of how it should be played.

Looking at the playing order you are trying to achieve 1,2,3,4,4,5,5,6,6,2,7,2,8,9, There are only 14 bars in the piece but within that 14 there are presumably 9 different sets of notes. There is nowhere really except for bars 4, 5 and 6 where a repeat would be easy to read and even in those cases it is much easier to keep on reading left to right rather then right, left, right, right, left, right, right, left. The player gets to the end of bar 6 (for the second time) then has to go and look for bar 2 and then has to go and find bar 7 and whoops! its back to bar 2 again and then off to find bar 8 - it's a nightmare. Repeats should encompass distinct musical sections. They are not just a means of avoiding writing the same thing twice. Indeed in the classical period the use of a repeat was often seen as an invitation for a soloist to improvise in the second repeat on the musical idea set out in the first time through. The repeat frames the musical idea. Take a look at a few published scores and see how infrequently repeats are used compared with your score and note the complete lack of nested repeats.

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