The below image is from the Clarinet II part of Samuel Barber's Violin concerto. I don't have the faintest clue as to what these three lines could mean in this context. The notation is preceded by a volti subito, but I'm not sure what impact that has on this. Does anyone know what this could mean?

Barber Violin Concerto, mm. 9–20, with three diagonal lines through the center of the staff line below

  • That helps, but what I really meant is that it appears to be hand written, at least in part. What is the source of the image itself?
    – Aaron
    Jan 23, 2022 at 6:47
  • Here is a copy of the score: dropbox.com/s/qoggq4wip9lkp8t/Barber_2nd-Clarinet.pdf?dl=0
    – Ryan
    Jan 23, 2022 at 6:53
  • 3
    @Aaron Boosey and Hawkes (and other publishers, no doubt) published quite a bit of mid-20th-century music in photo-reproduced manuscript. This was after photoreproduction became technologically feasible and before computer engraving existed or before it could produce satisfactory results -- between the 1940s and the 1980s, I would guess.
    – phoog
    Jan 23, 2022 at 7:53

1 Answer 1


The three lines are the equivalent of scribbling out the bottom staff line. It's just attempting to make clear that there is no more music to be played on that page.

In the interest of overkill, here's an expanded image of the portion of the score involved.

Score showing bottom of the page, to clarify the extra staff line

  • 3
    …and the VS at the end of the previous stave means "turn the page quickly"- copyist is trying to be really clear. Jan 23, 2022 at 11:50
  • VS stands for Volto Subito which indeed means turn immediately.
    – Neil Meyer
    Jan 23, 2022 at 17:05
  • 9
    I'm going to add boxed text with an arrow marking "bottom of the page" to the next piece I write... Jan 23, 2022 at 18:52
  • @BrianTHOMAS And I would like to thank the copyist for making the page turn occur during an extended rest! :-) Jan 24, 2022 at 15:59
  • @BrianTHOMAS You can contact my agent about the copyright fee.
    – Aaron
    Jan 24, 2022 at 16:07

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.