I don't fully understand this symbol. I know it means to repeat the bar, but how many times? Normally I'm used to the one slash and two dots in a bar, which I know means to repeat.

Can anyone help please?

  • After posting my answer I noticed that you wrote :/: whereas I overhastily read •//•. I suppose that :/: could mean "repeat the previous measure twice" although there are more conventional ways of denoting this. It might be clearer in context. Can you add an image of the sign and a few surrounding measures to the question?
    – phoog
    Aug 14, 2023 at 16:12
  • 3
    Please post an image that includes one or two measures on either side of the one being asked about.
    – Aaron
    Aug 14, 2023 at 16:14
  • 1
    That is not really a repeat symbol. Post an image if you want an accurate answer. Aug 14, 2023 at 18:14
  • HI Everyone, thanks so much Laurence and Phoog- your comments have been really helpful. @JohnBelzaguy I didn't manage to notate that accurately- I was having some issues with uploading a pic. It's exactly like the 2 bar repeat shown on Steinberg. Many thanks for all your help. Sep 2, 2023 at 12:43

2 Answers 2


It's a 2-bar repeat. You'll see the 4-bar variety as well, occasionally 8-bar.

There's a variation of the same idea sometimes used in drum parts. Write one bar of the groove, then 'play x' or 'play x bars', perhaps with a squiggly line underneath (but preferably not a multirest bar, which could be confused with a multirest). The drummer may repeat literally what is written, or may be allowed some latitude, depending on where the musical style lies on the scale between Military Band and Jazz Ensemble!

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It means to repeat two measures.

The best source I've found for this is https://steinberg.help/dorico/v2/en/dorico/topics/notation_reference/notation_reference_bar_repeats_c.html

For example, a one-bar repeat indicates that the material in one bar is repeated, meaning every bar in the region repeats the same material. A four-bar repeat indicates that the material in the previous four bars is repeated.

The associated images show a slash between two dots for a single-bar repeat, two slashes between two dots with the numeral 2 written above for a two-bar repeat, and four slashes between two dots with the numeral 4 written above for a four-bar repeat.

Another source found subsequently:


Two-bar Repeat Signs: The most common sign to designate the repeat of a two-measure phrase is a double slash with two dots on the bar line between the two measures immediately after the two measures to be repeated. The number two is typically centered over the sign, but is technically not required. A composer can use any number of two-bar repeat signs in a row. An alternate way to designate the repeat of a two-measure phrase is the use of word bis (meaning twice) centered in brackets over the phrase (shown below).

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