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Why do D.S. al Coda and Dal Segno with separate al Coda, work differently in Guitar Pro when al Coda is at the end of repeat? D.S. al Coda skips the last repeat.

Dal Segno with separate Da Coda Here the performance is as thought. Repeats at bars 1-2, 3-4 and 5-8, then Dal Segno and repeats at bars 1-2, 3-4 and then to Coda at bar 9.

D.S. al Coda Here the performance differs. Repeats at bars 1-2, 3-4 and 5-8, then Dal Segno and repeats at bars 1-2 but not at bars 3-4. It jumps right after bar 4 to Coda at bar 9.

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    1) I'm surprised it repeated at bar 2 after having done the D.S. I'm used to all repeats being overlooked when taking a D.S. (or is that only for D.C.?) 2) Your "segno" is at the beginning of the work, so it isn't needed. You can use D.C. 3) Are you creating this just as a way to get the playback to do certain things? If so, do whatever works. If the notated music matters, though, besides the unnecessary Segno, you'll want to use a Bb instead of A# in the first line (or actually change key signatures as you go from F to G to A). Nov 1, 2021 at 13:13
  • To Andy, this is just practice to check how repeats, segnos, codas, da capos, fines work on Guitar Pro 7.5. Since Guitar Pro doesn't "teach" music, it has to be learned by practice. As I've learned about repeats they must be done first, before anything else. So, the difference between these 2 examples is something I'd like to know. For me, it's obvious that you always do a repeat before a da Coda, if it's written there. If the music theory is that you don't do a repeat when you are at Da Coda, then there is a bug with Guitar Pro. So, which is it? Nov 1, 2021 at 14:48
  • I'm used both to absolutely no repeats done after D.C./D.S. and to "To Coda" instead of "Da Coda".
    – Dekkadeci
    Nov 1, 2021 at 14:58
  • I have also never seen a standalone "Dal Segno" before. That looks pretty unorthodox to me.
    – Dekkadeci
    Nov 1, 2021 at 15:00
  • To Dekkadeci, OK - if that is the music theory, then there's a bug with Guitar Pro software. It's confusing to use D.C., D.S. if the repeats should ignore when they exist there, though. And, in Guitar Pro, there's no a To Coda. It's only Da Coda - which should mean the same. And - the markings come from the software. And - while writing this comment - I tried both: D.C. al Coda and Da Capo with separate Da Coda. The performance is exactly same as it is with the examples above. Nov 1, 2021 at 15:10

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There are still several questions here (though related enough that it counts as one).

  1. Is there a logical inconsistency in Guitar Pro's treatment of these repeats? Yes. If, after using the "Dal Segno" to go back to the beginning, it observed the repeat in m. 2, then it should also have observed the one in m. 4. If it didn't observe m. 4 it shouldn't have observed m. 2. This doesn't surprise me much; I haven't used Guitar Pro, but it seems to me to be rather under-featured as a notational tool. If you need to do a lot of writing I might turn to another piece of notation software.
  2. Should you observe repeats after a Da Capo or Dal Segno? This is a little bit trickier. The overwhelming convention is, no, you should not. If a D.S. or D.C. sent you back to an earlier section of music, you should ignore repeats (which you would have observed the first time you encountered them). This source helps explain (note, wherever it talks about "first endings," the same is true for simple repeats), and the topic has been covered here as well (don't let the OP's initial confusion confuse you). So the "bug" in GuitarPro would appear to be that it observed the m. 2 repeat after the Dal Segno.
    The plot thickens because occasionally composers or conductors ask for exceptions to this rule. Context also matters; in the Minuet-Trio movement of a Mozart symphony, the "skip the repeats" rule is even more ironclad—unless some director has a pet theory or bit of evidence suggesting that in this one case it isn't. If the composer intends repeats to be observed, they had better communicate it in writing.
  3. Not asked, but a reasonable follow-up is: When writing music, how can I best make the repeats and sections clear to the performers? First of all, write out anything that's reasonably short without using any kind of directions. I understand that the example above is mocked up for demonstration purposes, but if the repeated material is only a few bars, it's better to simply write it twice than to make the reader jump backwards and forwards on the page. Even a simple D.C., D.S., Coda combination is deadly to sight-reading (and many worse mutations roam the wild). Performers are left hurriedly turning pages and scanning. In rehearsal, they make the impossible possible only by "decorating" the music with sticky notes, highlighters, and giant arrows (or perhaps colorful language).
    If absolutely forced to use such directions (to navigate large sections), learn and follow standard conventions.
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    Thanks for your comment Andy. This clears a lot. Well, why I use the Guitar Pro? 1. It's a tons cheaper than for example Sibelius. 2. It has RSE (Realistic Sound Engine) for guitar band music and it makes an .mp3 file from the whole band's sheets. So, it's such easy to listen a song before look into the sheet. And 3. It's also a guitar tablature sheet, which is easier for those who do not understand notations. I've seen a lot of the sheets other people have done with GP and they are written almost without repeats and other directions, which means tens of pages to flip during rehearsals. Nov 1, 2021 at 15:57
  • @KariHelander Good point, there is such a thing as too little use of space-saving directions too. By the way, It's not uncommon, no matter what the tool, to get the score ready for humans to read and then make other changes, not destined for print, to tweak the behavior of the audio that's generated. (For that, it might even be easiest to export the midi and work in a DAW.) Like, if it lets you, you might just replace the "Da Coda" with a bit of free text saying "to Coda," but reinstate the "Da" when bouncing the audio. Nov 1, 2021 at 16:01

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