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In the below arrangement of "Ah Istanbul" by Sezen Aksu, how should one play all those codas and segno?

"Ah Istanbul" score

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The score provided bears some similarity to the recording below, so I've based this roadmap on that.

  • Play from measures 1 - 19 (first "coda 1" sign)
  • Jump to measure 21 (matching "code 1" sign) and play only that measure
  • Return to measure 20 (i.e., first "coda 1" sign) and play that measure
  • Repeat as notated, back to measure 14.
  • Play from 14 - 19, then jump again to measure 21
  • After playing 21 (first "coda 2" sign), jump to measure 35 (matching "coda 2" sign)
  • Play measure 35, then jump back to measure 22 (i.e., first "coda 2" sign)
  • Play measure 22 - 34 (segno)
  • Return to measure 13 (matching segno)
  • Play 13 - 19
  • Jump to measure 21 and play that measure
  • Return to measure 20 and play that measure
  • Repeat as notated, back to measure 14
  • Play from 14 - 19, then jump again to measure 21
  • After playing 21, jump to measure 35
  • Play measure 35

This seems to be the intended end of this arrangement of the piece. In the recording, there is an instrumental section and then the vocals resume at measure 26, proceeding to measure 34 and ending there.


Reference recording

Note: on YouTube, this is credited as "Tamini Alieak" by Mohamed Fouad

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  • 2
    So play the ink as is? Seriously, nice work, Aaron. Now that I actually can hear it there are a few oddities (in case all the jumping around isn’t enough) 1. Bar 13 should be a 2/4 bar and beat 3 should be the new downbeat. That entire section has downbeats on the “3”. 2. The repeat section is only 7 bars but is an 8 bar section, your solution of playing 21 then 20 fixes that. 3. Bar 35 should be a 2/4 bar to get back to the correct 1 at bar 22. Whew! – John Belzaguy Jan 5 at 7:21
  • Which strongly suggests the piece should be re-typeset with a couple more pages written out sans segnos (to mix languages) for ease of reading! – Carl Witthoft Jan 5 at 17:57
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    If the lead sheet is intended to correspond to the recording, then it's completely wrong. There's no way that anybody reading it would arrive at that interpretation (who would think to jump back from coda2 to coda1, or back from "fin" to a coda sign?). – PiedPiper Jan 5 at 19:56
  • @PiedPiper Completely agree. In fact, I agree that the score is completely wrong regardless whether it matches the recording. That is some bizarre scoring. – Aaron Jan 5 at 19:58
  • We can't necessarily assume the lead sheet is wrong. Maybe that's the way it was originally composed and the recording is a rather free arrangement (that other recordings have copied). Look at how a lot of Jazz standards were originally written, and how they're played. – PiedPiper Jan 5 at 20:08
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The intention is unclear, but it seems possible that that coda1 just indicates a second ending. So, on the repeat you jump from coda1 to the second coda1. Play till you reach the dal segno, then jump back to the first segno. Play (optionally with repeat and the coda1 jump) until you reach the first coda2 sign and jump to the second one.

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  • I thought the same and answered along those lines but deleted my answer after hearing the reference recording @Aaron provided. It is literally all over the place. – John Belzaguy Jan 5 at 16:15
  • @JohnBelzaguy The recording might be wrong, or the sheet music, or my interpretation, or Aaron's. Or all of us might be wrong. – PiedPiper Jan 5 at 16:50
  • @PiedPiper There are a number of recordings, all of which agree on the basic form. – Aaron Jan 5 at 18:01

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