In a lot of music sheets, I've seen that they mark the end of the song with 'Fine'

(example: http://www.jazzpla.net/H/Hassansdream.jpg)

What does 'Fine' mean? And why is it used to mark the end of a song?

  • 7
    I always like to think of it as a little congratulatory note waiting there at the end of the tune for me. Like the sheet music is telling me "Cheer up, fella, you did just fine!" Jan 17, 2014 at 2:03
  • Your example is strange. The 'fine' is unnecessary, but harmless. But the lack of a Final bar line suggests that a further section, leading to a D.C. al Fine, may be missing.
    – Laurence
    Mar 24, 2017 at 20:01

6 Answers 6


Because it means "the end" in italian. Remember that a lot of terms in classical music are in italian: rallentando, staccato, legato, etc.

  • I didn't know this one was italian, I thought it was the english word Jan 16, 2014 at 20:45
  • 8
    @Shevliaskovic: Don't forget to pronounce it the Italian way - fee-nay - and not the English way. Jan 16, 2014 at 23:18

Fine pretty much means the end of a piece. In piece you used for your example the end is pretty obvious, but some pieces of music will end in the middle after a D.S. al Fine.

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In this example you can see the end of the piece is not where it would usually be. D.S. al Fine itself means go the Segno and play to the Fine. The Fine is used to say where the ending actually is.

  • Correct. Writing 'fine' at the end of the piece is really superfluous.
    – rhavin
    Feb 25, 2014 at 21:44

Italian for "finished". standard notation text is usually in Italian per the standard ages ago.

So No more places to hop to. End of song.

  • As other answers have said, it is Italian for "end". "Finished" would be the past participle 'finito'. Mar 24, 2017 at 11:05

There is no point or reason for putting 'fine' at the very end of a piece. It's obvious because of the double barline - and nothing following. However, the place it will be needed is where there is a DC or DS al Fine, which may well occur not at the last bar written, but at a bar somewhere else in the piece. Yes, there will be a double barline there, but in order to establish an absolute end, the word 'Fine' appears at that point.

  • There is definitely "some point of reason" if something like an orchestra part contains a collection of songs. It's often not very obvious from a single instrumental part where the end of the song actually is, and "fine" might save the player trying to scramble a page turn which isn't necessary. There are enough typos in music engraved or hand copied "before computers" that a double bar line (or the lack of one) isn't necessarily conclusive evidence either way!
    – user19146
    Mar 24, 2017 at 12:24

"Fine" right at the end of the piece means two things: a) there is no ultimate reprise into the beginning/chorus: when the piece ends, it ends here. b) it is explicitly not "attacca": the next movement is not commenced in one flourish.


My understanding leads me to believe 'fine'(in the musical sense) means 'all stop' which is not at all superfluous, yes?

  • No, it means 'the end'.
    – Laurence
    Mar 24, 2017 at 19:58

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