What do these three thick diagonal lines that cross through three measures of both staves mean, and what are they called?
score with sets of three thick diagonal lines across three measures of both staves

I think they indicate that you repeat the previous three measures, but I'm not entirely sure.

  • 1
    Does repeating make sense in the context of the rest of the score?
    – WBT
    Commented Jul 16, 2019 at 15:05
  • 3
    (To the extent that sheet music is published in any particular language), what language is this? I notice two decidedly non-English and non-Italian abbreviations klek. and muš. I just ask because it could be a "local" notation, and the country of origin could be relevant.
    – chepner
    Commented Jul 16, 2019 at 17:12
  • 2
    @chepner The language it is published in is Lithuanian.
    – LunaZiggy
    Commented Jul 17, 2019 at 16:03

3 Answers 3


In my opinion you're correct. I haven't seen them like in your example yet, but for me this seems like a repeat sign.

Usually they have a dot on each side and are often found in drum parts for example:

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They are called 'Simile marks' and can also have more than one slash. One slash would usually mean to repeat the previous measure, two slashes would usually mean to repeat the previous two measures and so on....

enter image description here

So In this case it seems like to just repeat the last three measures. First because of the three slashes... and also because it's spread over three measures.


This notation isn't in Gardner Read's "Music Notation," 2nd edition. But your guess is reasonable because

  • each diagonal-line group is three bars long

  • what precedes the diagonal lines is also three bars long

  • no other meaning could be given to something that affects four different percussion instruments

  • it is the multi-staff analogue to simile marks.


I think it's clear from context that it means repeat the previous three bars. It's not quite standard notation. More the sort of thing a composer might use as an indication to his copyist, or a film composer to his orchestrator.

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