When I have a tie into a 1st-time-bar, and want to similarly tie into a 2nd-time-bar, I usually show the "end" of the tie onto the note at the beginning of the 2nd-time-bar. Is this necessary? The example below should show what I mean:

Excerpt showing "half tie" onto second ending

As I say, I usually add this in. This is easy when writing a score by hand; when using Sibelius I use the amusingly named plop or scoop markings to imitate ties:

Sibelius pallet showing "plop" and "scoop"

Is there a better way to imitate these ties? (Manually placed lines/symbols are a bit of a pain to put in, for instance.)

  • 2
    I think it is best to do it for maximum clarity, although I think I'd be able to guess pretty easily from context. I won't provide an official answer since I don't have Sibelius, but your solution is pretty good to my eyes. In Finale, I use a slur which I then modify until it looks exactly like a tie, but I'm not sure if Sibelius handles slurs in a similar fashion. Commented Oct 18, 2014 at 18:32

2 Answers 2


My sense is that I can never think of an example of a piece published in the main era of classical music hand engraving (1800-1960) that has a tie which continues into the first ending where the engraver did not also put the ending of the tie in the second ending (similarly for other elements that extend into the first ending such as crescendi; I would also think that beams across the barline would behave similarly, but can't recall ever seeing one).

You are right that none of the most popular commercial software make it easy to notate this, though your approach with using an unconnected slur is pretty popular. For crescendi one would, I suppose, use two slopped lines that continue the slope of the crescendo that goes into the first ending. None of these elements would register properly in the semantics of the notation software, and playback can be very hard (I had to put in a separate, hidden, playback staff for this once with a rest at the beginning of the second ending as an approximation when I needed to do this once), but visually it's pretty good.

Much of musical notation remains ambiguously defined. For instance, there are cases where first and second endings extend over only part of a measure (ugh...): do accidentals carry into the second ending? Should a change of clef at the end of (or within) the first ending (or a key signature change; time signature change, etc.) be cancelled at the beginning of the second ending (my sense is that semantically the answer is no, but because the clef change at the end of the measure could catch the performer's eye, I would put in a courtesy restorative clef/key sig. etc.).

  • 1
    Thanks for the detail, Michael. It's good to have reassurance from both you and PatMuchmore (in his comment) about this; I have always put these kind of markings in, but couldn't for the life of me remember having ever been told to do so! Commented Oct 20, 2014 at 10:34

What you've written is fine.

You might sometimes be able to side-step the problem by making the 1st and 2nd time bars each two bars long.

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.