I have a phrase that need to be played twice but there's a bar at the middle is different for second time. Can I write the score like this? Is this correct?

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Thank you very much.

  • Depending on what you’re going for, the setting, style, and ability of the drummer you can also save yourself some time and just put one bar of music and write “simple rock beat throughout...” – b3ko Jan 11 at 16:14
  • I've seen things like that in the real world, even though it's probably not "correct". ;) IIRC, even one music teacher wrote stuff like in the example picture here. Long passages of bars "first time", "second time", "third time" etc, but not in the proper place near a repeat barline. It required explanation and was quite hard to follow anyway. But the nice thing about music notation is, it's made by humans for humans! So if your piece requires inventing new notation, you can do it, but you'll have to explain it too. – piiperi Reinstate Monica Jan 11 at 16:28

No. Basically you don't need to look for volta brackets until you hit the first repeat bar. This notation violates that principle. You can write the second alternatives in parentheses and put a "2nd time" note above/below them. That's ugly but basically the only way I can think of right now of avoiding to write out a lot twice.

  • I've seen [write the second alternatives in parentheses and put a "2nd time" note above/below them.] but I'm not sure if it's legal method to write like this. Thank you very much for the suggestion. – Chaska Jan 12 at 7:05

How similar or different are the music for the 1st and 2nd times through those 8 bars for the other instruments/singers? All parts must be notated with the same repeat-volta arrangement, so that if someone says "let's start again from bar 9" (or whatever) everyone has the same notion of where in the music that is.

So it might be necessary to write all the first 16 bars out with no repeated-section (i.e. ||: :|| ) notation at all, just for the sake of someone else whose part can't be notated with repeated-section notation.

But that drum part has quite a bit of repetition, so you could still save yourself some ink, by using the percent notation.

  • Thanks. I know the percent notation but I'd like to present that "Repeat but only one bar is different" more clearly. – Chaska Jan 12 at 8:16
  • Why? It's clearer for the drummer if you use the percent sign. The different bar then stands out more clearly. – Old Brixtonian Jan 14 at 12:09

It's not 'correct' use of 1x and 2x brackets. It's occasionally done in song copies where 'writing it out' would mean a LOT of extra bars, paper and therefore expense.

In this particular case you could do this. (But it isn't always that easy!)

enter image description here

  • Yes that's one solution. [But you've got the snare on the 2nd quaver rather than the 2nd crotchet.] – Old Brixtonian Jan 14 at 12:06

As another answer said, this isn't really standard notation. A few alternatives:

  • Have a second staff above or below, usually in a smaller size font, with the a notation for "2nd time." That's probably overkill, though, unless you have a lot of significant variations to put into a score.
  • Since the two repeats differ by only a single note, you could put the added note in parentheses and/or in a smaller font. In any case, you'll need to put a notation there somehow to explain something like "notes in parentheses [or smaller size or whatever] second time only."

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