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I'm having a difficult time grasping "D.S., D.S. Al Coda, To Coda" based on the online explanations I've come across.

Below is the specific example that I'm attempting to play. Does the Dal Segno symbol mean "repeat the previous passage"? Up to where? When do I play the coda? Where it says "To Coda", is the circle with the cross through it hovering above the exact place that you jump to the coda?

I'm probably overcomplicating a fairly straightforward concept here, but I'm confused. If anyone could simplify this for me or explain what to do in this specific example I might be able to wrap my head around it. Thank you.

excerpt of score showing "To Coda", "D.S. al Coda", and "Coda"

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    I don't see the symbol that is usually referenced in D.S. is it elsewhere in the music?
    – user50691
    Commented Feb 9, 2019 at 10:54
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    Your understanding seems correct but the music you have places the sign at the same measure as the direction, which I do not understand.
    – user50691
    Commented Feb 9, 2019 at 10:56
  • DS al coda. DS means return to a previous $ sign. Having that $ above DS makes them both redundant. Good question!
    – Tim
    Commented Feb 9, 2019 at 11:04
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    Who's the publisher? I believe I've seen that faultily-placed segno sign only once before, in the Boosey and Hawkes score of Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance March No. 2 in A Minor...and even then, there was another segno sign much earlier in the score. (Its use of combining a first repeat ending with a "D.S. al Coda" indication was confusing as heck, though, and at that point, I had to rely on interpretations of the piece in order to transcribe it properly.) ...Well, have you found another segno sign elsewhere?
    – Dekkadeci
    Commented Feb 9, 2019 at 14:54
  • I didn't think about a faultily-placed segno. I was rather suspicious if OP wasn't fooling, sorry, as it seemed to me that he quite clearly knows the meaning of the signs. And he might have listened to the music, this would have been less elaborating than post this question. but I'm confused. If anyone could simplify this for me or explain what to do in this specific example I might be able to wrap my head around it. Thank you. But if this is an error in the sheet music I have to apologize! (and I know: of course it is free to everybody if he wants to post an answer or not .... Commented Feb 9, 2019 at 15:34

3 Answers 3

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The coda here is the final bar. Coda means "the tail" In this case of LET IT BE it is only one bar.

Does the Dal Segno symbol mean "repeat the previous passage"?

Yes!

D.S. (Dal Segno) means "from the sign" and this is the sign right above the double barlines (something like an $:

Up to where?

this segno refers to an earlier same segno, probably at the beginning of the 3rd verse of LET IT BE or at the beginning of the refrain.

That means you have to go back to the other sign (segno) and repeat this section until you come to "to coda" (sometimes it's written "last time to Coda").

When do I play the coda?

When you play the refrain for the last time you have to ignore the 3 last bars (before the tail) and skip from "to Coda" directly to the coda and play the final bar.

When do I play the coda? Where it says "To Coda", is the circle with the cross through it hovering above the exact place that you jump to the coda?

Yes!

I'm probably overcomplicating a fairly straightforward concept here ...

(Yes!)

look up:

https://www.thoughtco.com/d-s-al-coda-definition-2701445

D.S. al coda, or dal segno al coda, literally means “from the sign to the coda mark.” D.S. al coda is an indication to start back at the segno, play until you encounter a coda, then skip to the next coda to continue.

I've found this sheet music by scribd (the added notes/remarks are not mine!) But you can see here the segno at the double bar line in the beginning of the verse:

https://www.scribd.com/doc/312619090/Let-it-be-Beatles-pdf

enter image description here

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There will be a previous $ symbol which marks where the D$ jumps back to. Yes, the To Coda jump occurs right where the Ǿ symbol is.

In some older music the complete 'D$ al Coda' instruction is dispensed with, they just put a simple '$' at both the jump and destination points. Similarly just 'Ǿ' at both the 'To Coda' point and the actual coda. It's slightly confusing here to mix both conventions, writing both '$' above the stave and 'D$ al Coda' below. But we know what they mean!

enter image description here

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  • It looks like there is no $ near the beginning of OP's piece. It sounds like, for the second time through OP's piece, you should start at the beginning ("Whisper words..."). Is OP's piece correct, or should it have $ right before "Whisper"? Thanks!
    – jrennie
    Commented Aug 5, 2022 at 22:04
  • It should have several pages of music before 'Whisper words...'! Including the location of the $ we are intended to jump back to.
    – Laurence
    Commented Jan 17 at 13:59
  • @Laurence Only one page (and one line on the second), but yes, I'd think it quite obvious that the scan included in the question is an excerpt, not the whole song. The sign to jump to is on the first bar, just after pickup. (Wasn't my question, but I think I recognise the engraving.)
    – Divizna
    Commented Jan 17 at 15:07
  • @jrennie It's correct. The sign to jump to is at the very start of the song, just after the pickup measure.
    – Divizna
    Commented Jan 17 at 15:13
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The easy bit to answer is the coda part. After the words 'to Coda', there is one bar to finish off the previous phrase. Last time, you play the Coda bar instead. It's the same harmony, but finishes the song off. In other words, last time through, play the first 3 bars, then go straight to the 'target' at the end, and there's the final bar of the four.

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