# The Volta Puzzle

• Apr 28, 2024 - 17:59

Actually, I encountered this problem in another score that I am currently working on. You have to use only Voltas to achieve the expected melody at the end of the puzzle. Thanks for helping me.

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volta-puzzle-1.mscz 22.64 KB

Just to save 1 bar ?

Yes that makes sense but let's assume that this is a simplified form of a longer score, in which there are about 30 bars in place of that 'one bar'. That is why it's a puzzle. We are exploring a concept. I wish you or anyone else could provide a solution. Thank you for your comment.

I am completely confusled. Voltas are only meaningful when the 1st and 2nd (and 3rd, etc) are adjacent. For example, in the notation ...

Part A, volta 1, volta 2, Part B.

... which plays as ...

Part A, volta 1, Part A, volta 2, Part B

Your note that "Suppose the 1st volta was already used earlier" makes no sense. The first volta must have been used earlier ... immediately prior to the second volta. Beginning the piece with the 2nd volta is (as far as I can tell) simply meaningless.

Your "expected melody" does not appear to need voltas, and I cannot see how it would be written with them at all.

At very least, include MORE of your longer score. (The whole thing would probably be best.)

Maybe I'm missing something. We cannot use voltas to accomplish the expected result. Okay so, how to indicate properly what must be followed through the score without having to rewrite/engrave twice any bar?

Well, the part you describe as your "Expected melody" (that is, the final 14 measures) has no repeated measures in it. The only way to notate it is in full.

And what do you mean by a "portal"? As far as I know, that's not a valid musical theory term.

@TheHutch Someone in the comments attached a link (it's right there) to a music notation tutorial that describes these 'portals'- primary and secondary.

So, I have highlighted the repeated measure in a screenshot, please take a look. For a practical purpose, one can easily re-notate a singular bar, but what if we have a long passage in place of it that we do not want to rewrite? What in theory can be done?

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repeated-bar.png 275.25 KB

Ahh, I see. "Portal" is not a musical term; it's simply an English word that the author of that site used to describe certain musical notations that are similar in use.

Yes, you could use D.S. al Coda to eliminate ONE of the two repetitions of the measure. In the example I have attached, I increased the length of your "repeated section" to make it clearer. It is possible to do this for a single measure, but it would not be a good thing to do. Will not work to eliminate the second of the two repetitions (at the very end).

20240430-Volta Puzzle Soln.mscz

In many cases, re-notating even a long stretch of music is often both required and desirable. D.C. and D.S. are similar to the GOTO statement in programming. But, just like in programming, it's sometimes preferable to actually repeat the code to make it more readable.

For example, if the repeated measures appeared first at, say measure 60 on page 4, and then appeared, 10 pages later, at measure 660, turning the pages BACK would be MUCH harder than the composer just repeating the measures. A D.C. always goes back to the beginning, so you can get away with using that over a longer distance.

If you use D.C. and D.S. to jump long distances (say, longer than a page or two), I would suggest you consult musicians of the instruments in question and ask them to evaluate its readability. I'm sure that musicians have seen such long (and longer!) D.C.s and D.S.s (I certainly have). But I'm equally sure that many of them have cursed that composer to the high heavens for it. :-D