I am trying to learn Harehop by Sigrid Arneberg, and it has a strange sequence of repeat signs.

The music has a right facing repeat sign as if there will be a left facing one to mark where to go back, but then there is another right facing sign before finally reaching the left facing symbol.
As ASCII art, the repeat structure looks like this:

|    :||   ||:   ||:   :||    ||

Is this an error in the transcription, or is there a way that you are supposed to interpret that, that I do not know of?

I was using MuseScore to hear it for myself and it doesn't do anything special. The score for reference can be found at: https://imslp.org/wiki/Harehop_(Arneberg,_Sigrid)

  • I would hazard a guess that the second :| is used twice, the first time from the first |: and the second time from the second.
    – user28
    Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 16:56

1 Answer 1


Interesting. I don't have any "proof" for my answer, but here is how I would approach it:

I think the repeat at the start of the A-major section is incorrect. The piece is a large ternary (ABA) form, with the A-minor section being the outer As and the A-major section being the inner B. In such a form, it's pretty rare (in my experience) to repeat the inner B section.

Minuet and trio movements are often large ternary forms; have you ever heard of them repeating the entire trio? (No, but they do repeat the minuet at the end!) I think that's similar to what's happening here. The A section will naturally be repeated with the written-out repeat at the end, but the B section shouldn't be repeated.

  • That's what I felt might of been the case. Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 17:01
  • 1
    This isn't necessarily true. The piece seems like some sort of dance. It is be quite common for the music for a "round dance" to be played as A B A B A B A B A ... as many times as required for all the dancers to return to their original places. In this case the "A" section (at the start of the piece) is 8 bars repeated, i.e. 16 bars, and the "B" section (in A major) is also 16 bars.
    – user19146
    Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 19:50
  • "Have you ever heard of them repeating the entire trio?" - Beethoven was quite fond of the A B A B A form. See the scherzo of the 7th symphony - and also the 5th, in the light of 20th century research based on finding the orchestra parts that had been used at the first performance and been marked up by the players! (Before that information was discovered, the published scores of the 5th was naturally interpreted as the "conventional" A B A ternary form, since it didn't contain any explicit instructions.)
    – user19146
    Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 19:55
  • 1
    I talked to the person who referred me to the song in the first place, and he said that the way he plays it is that the second right facing repeat is actually a double sided one, so you play the a-Major section twice before moving on. But that seems to be something that he made up on his own. He also seems to think that it was a mistake on the score. Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 20:52
  • 2
    ...even though ABBA is great...
    – Richard
    Commented Sep 23, 2016 at 15:12

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