As shown in the second bar of the third complete system (fourth system on the page), I guess it tells me to play like this on first/second time or something.

What is the name of notation? I searched Del Segno but it doesn’t seems right.

Score excerpt

  • 3
    To help future people searching for this same question, please include the title of the piece.
    – Aaron
    Commented May 12, 2021 at 13:57
  • 1
    Notice there's double the beats in that measure, a strong hint :-) that you play either the first group or the group inside the parentheses. Commented May 12, 2021 at 14:52
  • D.S. means "dal segno" (note the spelling), but knowing that won't be particularly helpful here. This notation is idiosyncratic, nonstandard, unusual, etc.
    – phoog
    Commented May 14, 2021 at 13:53

1 Answer 1


It means that the very first time that measure is played, it's played with the non-parenthesized notation. On any subsequent visits to that measure, it's played according to the parenthesized notation.

There's no special name for this instruction, but it serves a similar purpose to writing separate "endings":

X: 1
T: First and second "endings"
M: 4/4
K: Db clef=bass middle=D
L: 1/8
G,G- G3/2A,/2- A, A2 F |1 F,F- F3/2B,/2- B,3E ||2,3,4  F,F- F3/2B,/2- B,4 ||
  • 3
    Personally, I would prefer the typesetter to have written two Bass Clef lines for those measures (one above the other), with the "D.S.x" marking in front of the extra staff. Commented May 12, 2021 at 14:54
  • 1
    What do the D S and x stand for?
    – AakashM
    Commented May 13, 2021 at 8:49
  • 1
    @AakashM "D.S." stands for "Dal Segno" (a type of repeat indicator); the "x" stands for the number of times the "D.S" indication (elsewhere in the music) has been encountered. So the "D.S.x" means "play these notes each time you are following a D.S. repeat indication."
    – Aaron
    Commented May 13, 2021 at 10:31
  • I would have read it the other way around, the "X" means don't play (as in "cross out") on the D.S.
    – Duston
    Commented May 13, 2021 at 13:45
  • @Duston So you'd play the parenthetical part first time, and the non-parenthetical part on the D.S.?
    – Aaron
    Commented May 13, 2021 at 14:02

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