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Repeat signs: There are 7 different kinds

A repeat sign is sometimes combined with the first ending, which means "Repeat from the beginning, skip the first ending on the repetition, and proceed to the second ending."


Another way repeat signs are found is with the use of 1st and 2nd endings.

This area usually has bracketed lines drawn over the top of the measures with a number “1” and a number “2” inside.





1) Start at the beginning and play or sing through the first ending until you hit the repeat sign.

2) Once you are at the repeat sign, go back to the beginning and replay or sing all of the material again until you run into the first ending.

3) Now, instead of taking the first ending, you are going to skip to the 2nd ending.

4) Go ahead and play or sing through the 2nd ending.















Hopefully this will give you a good understanding about repeat signs and the different ways they are used.

It is very common for longer repeated sections of music to be repeated exactly until the last few measures. When this happens, the repeat dots will be put in an ending. The bracket over the music shows you which measures to play each time you arrive at that point in the music. For example, the second time you reach a set of endings, you will skip the music in all the other endings; play only the measures in the second ending, and then do whatever the second ending directs you to do (repeat, go on, skip to somewhere else, etc.).

1st-and-2nd-endings with arrows.jpg
3 endings.png

Basic Repeat sign

Repeat sign with endings

All the Repeat signs

Repeat sign abbreviation for multiple measures

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