I know, the "percent" sign, to repeat the previous bar, is also called due volte. See here: due volte

taken from here.

However, I'm looking for the (classical name of a) single slash, like here in the first line:

slash notation

found here.

"Slash" I know from drum notation, where I feel it's a bit of a slang word.

Background: I'm using Latex' MusiXTeX on occasion. It's fairly complete, but the slash repeat may either be missing OR be available under a peculiar name. E.g. the duevolte is both documented and in the Tex code, while "slash" isn't. Also section on %% repeats wasn't revealing so far.

Hence: What is its name (and synonyms) in music theory, besides "slash"?

P.S.: According to the first two comments I'd like to add from Unicode (here wrt HTML), category "figure repetition":

figure repetitions

See also in slash noteheads in SMuFL (Standard Music Font Library) smufl

  • 1
    It might be worthwhile to note that the Unicode Consortium calls them MUSICAL SYMBOL REPEATED FIGURE-1, MUSICAL SYMBOL REPEATED FIGURE-2, and MUSICAL SYMBOL REPEATED FIGURE-3.
    – phoog
    Commented Oct 27, 2022 at 9:27
  • 1
    In researching this I found that Unicode has left out //, meaning "repeat the previous two beats." Mozart used it in his variations on "Ah, vous dirai-je Maman": (at IMSLP) (direct link to manuscript download page)
    – phoog
    Commented Oct 27, 2022 at 9:55

2 Answers 2


Dolmetsch' chart of musical symbols provides the term simile marks for any slash and percent symbol.

Elaine Gould "Behind Bars" does not give names for the symbols, but describes their functions similar to your source as beat repeat, bar repeat and double bar repeat.

  • The Unicode Consortium calls them MUSICAL SYMBOL REPEATED FIGURE-1, MUSICAL SYMBOL REPEATED FIGURE-2, and MUSICAL SYMBOL REPEATED FIGURE-3, which I would argue may be seen as a direct translation of simile from Italian to compu-bureaucratical English. I wouldn't be surprised if they had started off calling them SIMILE-1 and so on but found that the word was too unfamiliar to most English speakers and perhaps too similar to the word "smile."
    – phoog
    Commented Oct 27, 2022 at 9:30

As your linked answer already states this would signify something we’d call simile, which means something like (continue) alike. That being said: These markings are a bit uncommon in classical music, so there not really a lot of commonly used "music speak" terminology for this.

  • 4
    They're relatively common in classical composers' manuscripts, but they are not commonly used in published performing materials.
    – phoog
    Commented Oct 27, 2022 at 9:13
  • Should that be "performance materials"?
    – phoog
    Commented Oct 27, 2022 at 9:31
  • @phoog That’s fair, yes, although that should mostly be the case for working manuscripts, not the final one. Point is that these things are not prevalent enough to really give rise to common terms these are called by. Usually people would just say their languages equivalent of slash.
    – Lazy
    Commented Oct 27, 2022 at 9:40
  • 2
    In addition to working manuscripts, they're also typically found in fair copies prepared for a copyist or engraver who will be preparing parts or a published score. They're certainly prevalent enough to have a name; I rather suspect that the name isn't well known because they were typically used in a "private" context. I mean that the only people who would encounter them were professionals, so teaching materials for beginners didn't need to explain them; the professionals would learn about them orally.
    – phoog
    Commented Oct 27, 2022 at 9:49
  • 1
    @phoog Cool to know (although engraving manuscripts are a whole different thing compared to fair copies, as these would contain corrections and instructions for the editor (there is this anecdote by Littlewood who allegedly had a typesetter who misstook a correction "Now make epsilon as small as possible" as an instruction and printed the smallest epsilon letter he had ...))
    – Lazy
    Commented Oct 27, 2022 at 10:03

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.