11

I play piano. Sometimes, measures in pieces are separated by a double vertical line instead of a single one. What does this signify?

16

In addition to indicating the end of a distinct section of the piece, a change in key signature, time signature or major tempo change, the double bar is also used to mark the location of a Da Capo or Dal Segno (a notation system that marks the repeating of a certain section of music without requiring additional measures to be written/printed.)

It is also used when a "fine" (end) of the piece appears in the middle of the piece. These examples are described and illustrated on the following website:

http://piano.about.com/od/musicaltermsa1/g/GL_double-barline.htm

  • 1
    I think Stephen and Kristina and I are all correctly explaining the various uses of the double-bar line, so pay attention to all three of our answers! – user1044 Nov 4 '12 at 19:09
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    I should also add that the beginning and end repeat signs (the thin and thick barline with the two dots on the inside) are in fact a special kind of double-bar lines in themselves. – user1044 Nov 4 '12 at 19:11
4

Adding to what Stephen Hazel said, a double-line can also indicate an abrupt change in key, key signature, tempo, or time signature or metrical phrasing or a different rhythm. It is basically a cue to alert the musician that one section of the piece is ending and a new section that is substantially different is beginning.

3

end of a section of music usually (such as chorus, verse, bridge, etc).

sometimes of a lengthy "phrase" of music.

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