There are three different cases I can think of, with a Da Coda embedded within repeat signs. My question for these three cases is the same:

Do you jump to the Coda right when you reach the Da Coda or do you do the repeat first and then jump to the Coda?

With the examples below, this means: when do you skip bar 3, and when do you repeat bars 2 and 3?

  1. In this first case, we just have a Da Coda between two repeat signs. My assumption is that you do bars 1-2-3-2-4.

example with repeat, "da coda", and coda

  1. In this second case, let's add a Da Capo on the 2nd repeat sign (and I assume it would work the same with a Da Segno if the Segno as situated before the 1st repeat sign). My assumption is that you do bars 1-2-3-2-3-1-2-3-2-4.

example with repeat, "da capo", "da coda", and coda

  1. Finally, we could precise Al Coda on our Da Capo (and again, I assume this to be similar to a Da Segno). My assumption is that you'd do 1-2-3-2-3-1-2-4.

example with repeat, "da capo al coda", "da coda", and coda

  • 2
    Are these real examples, or contrived? If you're interested in how you would write this, you should do something that cannot be ambiguous.
    – user28
    Jun 4, 2015 at 22:53
  • @MatthewRead All these are made up to illustrate my question. They also come from a software I used to use years ago: GuitarPro. The assumptions of bar sequences are from what the software would play, and the notations are what the software would write. I am both interested in what these notations mean, and how to get these bar sequences with the proper markers.
    – Sheraff
    Jun 4, 2015 at 22:58

2 Answers 2


Not quite, Da Coda is literally "the Coda" and tells you that you are at the coda, not to go to it. If it was instead just a coda sign then in conjunction with a D.C. al Coda or D.S. al Coda as seen in your last example it would then instruct you to go to the Coda.

If you are not instructed to go to the Coda by D.C. or D.S. you don't take it. In the first two examples, you would never get to the Coda even if the sign was there instead as nothing is instructing you to take it.

As for the repeats, typically repeats are not taken after a D.C. or D.S. so you would just go to the Coda once you get to it and not worry about repeats if it was inside one.

This site has pretty good examples for the two ways I said codas could be used and a little later I'll post how you could use codas in your first two examples.

  • 1
    Linguistically speaking, what you say makes sense. But Da Capo and Da Segno do instruct you to go respectively to "the beginning" and to "the sign", do then Da Coda would be the only one not to follow this rule?
    – Sheraff
    Jun 4, 2015 at 22:05
  • Da coda = "From the tail", surely? The usual marker for the jump to the coda is the symbol mentioned in Dom's article (�).
    – user16935
    Jun 4, 2015 at 22:13
  • @Sheraff Think of it this way. In a coda you go forward. In the other two you go backward hence why it is though of differently and still you need to be instructed to take the coda.
    – Dom
    Jun 4, 2015 at 22:18
  • @Patrx2 while it could be, it does quite make sense since you are going to not coming from the tail.
    – Dom
    Jun 4, 2015 at 22:22
  • 1
    @Dom, exactly. I have never seen Da coda used. The usual markers are Dal segno al coda and Da capo al coda ("from the sign to the tail" and "from the head to the tail" respectively). From the symbol or start, the music is played until it reaches the cross-in-circle symbol or "al coda" or "to coda", whence it jumps to the coda.
    – user16935
    Jun 4, 2015 at 22:32

'To coda' is the usual form. There's no general rule (or there hasn't been since 18th century dance suites). Write 'DS al coda (with repeat)' or 'DS al coda (no repeat)'. Maybe even a reminder at the 'to coda' point: 'make repeat on DS' or 'no repeat on DS'.

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.