enter image description here


I rectangled these two notations on score. What does these two notations mean?

3 Answers 3


The first two are repeat brackets. The bracketed section is played twice (at least). The third is a hand-written quarter-rest (not an easy symbol to draw; some hand-written scores even draw a mirror-image eighth rest for a quarter rest; usually causes a double-take during sightreading.)

  • 2
    The mirror image eighth rest was, I believe, the original glyph, so it is found even in printed scores from the 16th and 17th centuries. It is also found in certain styles of engraved scores from the 19th and early 20th centuries. (I am not sure about the 18th, but I would not be surprised if some examples exist.)
    – phoog
    Oct 12, 2020 at 13:34

The first two are winged repeat barlines. The 'wings' are common in commercial and jazz copying styles, making it easier to see the repeats when sight-reading. I've been known to emphasise them further with a red pen!

You haven't questioned previous appearances of the rather scruffy hand-written quarter rests, so I guess it's the opening parenthesis before it that's confusing you? Note there's a closing one too. The whole measure is in parentheses to indicate that the notes are to be played when making the repeat, but not when ending at the (somewhat mis-placed) 'Fine'.


The top ones are repeat brackets. Usually, they don't protrude beyond the five lines. Whenever I have a new sheet to read, the first thing I do is make them look like the ones from the Real Book, with a highlighter. Any further ones get adapted likewise, but with a different colour. Just makes reading so much easier.

The last sign is a crotchet (quarter) note rest. Easy to work out, when there are three more crotchet (notes) in that bar! Not so easy to write! Although often any old squiggle works - just do the sums.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.