This question came up from Proper chord tremolo notation and execution:

What is a proper way to notate a chord tremolo with bars (as opposed to writing it out explicitly), when the tremolo lasts more than one measure?

Three possibilities were suggested, shown in the picture below.

  1. Tie the entire chord across the bar lines and include the tremolo notation in between.
  2. Notate one part of the chord in one bar and the other part in the next bar, with tremolo notation in between.
  3. Notate the tremolo separately within each bar.

Three options for multi-measure tremolo notation
(Image by @June)

  • 1
    #1 is going to be misinterpreted as tremoloing the entire chord, with no alternation, at a 32nd-note rate.
    – Dekkadeci
    Jul 14, 2021 at 12:06

1 Answer 1


The third option is best: re-notate the tremolo in each bar. Depending on how long the tremolo continues, a "repeat previous measure" sign could be used.

The tremolo should be notated using the proper "full measure" note-type for the time signature. For example, using whole notes in a 2/4 bar would be incorrect. This is also demonstrated in the third OP option: for a full 2/4 measure of chord tremolo, notate each part of the tremolo with half notes with tremolo bars between the stems.

  • 1
    Agreed; I wouldn't know what to do with option 1, and would take a while to guess what 2 intended. Another option would be to write one measure and then use the "repeat the previous bar" notation (dictionary.onmusic.org/terms/4804-repeat), but that would assume that both measures were identical (including in the other hand), and really only makes things easier when there are quite a few repeated measures. Jul 13, 2021 at 21:05
  • I thought that "the tremolo as a single half-note chord (in the 2/4 case) with tremolo bars through the stem" would be interpreted as a solid chord with no alternation at all.
    – Dekkadeci
    Jul 14, 2021 at 12:08
  • @AndyBonner Your suggestion to use the "repeat the previous bar" notation is a good one. This can be used in one stave regardless of any other stave's music.
    – Rosie F
    Jul 14, 2021 at 15:13

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