I was going through some jazz music and I encountered these four dots above a note leading into an improv solo:

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What do they mean? Is it a doit, or does it signify going up in the following solo? Here are the following measures:

enter image description here

  • probably trailing sound since it's the end of the piece. That's my guess.
    – Lenny
    Apr 3, 2017 at 2:46
  • Is that the end of the piece (a final barline), or just the end of a section (a double barline)? If it's just a double barline, it may be a dotted slur leading into the next system.
    – Richard
    Apr 3, 2017 at 3:20
  • it looks like multiple dotting en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dotted_note
    – Lenny
    Apr 3, 2017 at 3:23
  • 3
    I think the composer made it up & only he knows what he was thinking Apr 3, 2017 at 12:41

2 Answers 2


It's an optional slur. That's why it's dotted. There's a solo section after that note right? It's just saying you can hold that A into the solo if you want. Optional


It can ben an optional slur like Kidd671 said but it can also be anything you can imagine. Here, the composer let you deceide what you feel this dotted line is : continue, go up, whatever improvise your solo starts here. The second page you showed us is just the form and suggested notes to use for your solo, just for inspiration. You do not have to follow theses notes all the time, of course, and you do not need to use all of them! Just go on and play. In resume we could say : from the start of that "A", you are absolutely free to do whatever you feel for

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