Navigate repeats in playback

• Jan 16, 2021 - 17:00

With "Play repeats" enabled when starting playback, I'd love to be able to tell MuseScore at which repeat number to start playback. By repeat number I mean the same kind of number one would put into the "Repeat list" of a volta.

If such functionality already exists in MuseScore, I'd be happy to learn about it! I have searched through the handbook, open and closed PRs, and the forum, but did not find anything about it.

As an example, when selecting the rest in the first measure of the attached rather minimal example and then starting playback, MuseScore will (of course, only when "Play repeats" is enabled) always play measure 1 twice (i.e. it plays the repeat) before it plays measure 2. That's correct and fine! However, I'd now like to be able to select the rest in the first measure and then tell MuseScore to start there as if it had already passed the repeat sign.

Of course, that makes not much sense in such a minimal score, but when dealing with certain repeats and voltas and things like "D.C. al Fine" it would be great. I had that idea after I had MuseScore play a longer score with several nested repeats multiple times, just to tweak how "inner" repeats (e.g. repeat signs, voltas) are played after passing "outer" repeats (e.g. "D.C. al Fine").

I know of the useful "Unroll Repeats" tool, but that creates a new score, whereas I'd prefer to stay in the current score with its actual measure numbers, etc.

As regarding to how to present that in the UI, I have at least two ideas:

  1. In addition to the "Start or stop playback" button there could be something like a "Start playback at repeat…" button that shows a pop-up with the available repeat numbers for the currently selected note. Picking one of the repeat numbers would then start playback from the selected note in the selected repeat. Alternatively that functionality could be integrated with the existing "Start or stop playback" button, for example when doing a long click. As for keyboard shortcuts, for example Control+Space could show the pop-up and typing the repeat number could start playback. (Of course, the latter works only for single-digit repeat numbers.)

  2. The timeline (as in "View" > "Timeline") could get some kind of virtual "unroll repeats" feature, e.g. with a checkbox or toggle button. When enabled, repeated measures would appear, well, repeated in the sequence they are played. Then selecting a repeated measure and starting playback would play right from the repeated measure. i.e. as if all preceding repeat instructions had already been passed. In some way the repeat number should probably then be shown in the timeline or some other kind of indication of repeat level could be displayed.

OS: Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS, Arch.: x86_64, MuseScore version (64-bit):, revision: 1977cb3


This is currently not possible in MuseScore, up to the point where even if you currently scroll the playback slider it always will resume from the first playback of that measure as well.

Some preparation coding work has been done recently that and more is underway to fix section break pause playback; but I don't think this will happen before MuseScore 4.

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