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Correct use of a repeat

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 7:51 am
by Hector Pascal
Hi all,
Is it acceptable practice to use repeat bar lines in some Parts (but not others) principally for Part pagination reasons? In one Part, I wish to use repeat bar lines for an 8-bar passage because I don't have much space to write it out fully, however in another Part, I intend to write the repeat out fully because I have the space. Is that acceptable practice, as long as it is all readable?

With thanks for any thoughts,

Re: Correct use of a repeat

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:54 am
by michelp
Acceptable, yes, but in this case, an occasional part extraction could be a solution, so that you can, in that part :
1) modify the region included in the repeat.
2) redefine the measure numbers regions, so that they match the numbers in the other parts and in the score.

Re: Correct use of a repeat

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 3:52 pm
by Djard
Your target sight-reader will love you for facilitating the reading of your work. But a publisher, especially on paper, will want economy of space.

So often plagued by perfectionism and its close cousin indecision, here is a rule I gladly impose on myself: Unless a matter involves a strong convention, the composer is free to score his work in any way he wishes. I imagine Bach experienced some angst when pioneering in some of his work, such as dedicating the right hand on harpsichord for the lead melody in chamber music.

Seems like success plays a major role in something becoming "correct."

Re: Correct use of a repeat

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 4:33 pm
by N Grossingink
How big is the actual printed staff size on the parts? 7mm is "normal" - you can go down to 6.5mm safely, possibly close to 6mm in a pinch. The reason I mention this is a smaller page percentage will allow you to get more measures on some lines and perhaps an extra line on the page. Maybe this will bump everything up so that you'll have a normal page turn. I'd try anywhere from 1% to 5% smaller page percentage than present.


Re: Correct use of a repeat

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 6:09 pm
by motet
I would say unacceptable due possible confusion in rehearsal. "Let's start at [the repeat, letter G, measure 123, etc.] second time through" will not be clear to those with or without repeats, depending. How will you number measures consistently? Either give everyone the repeat, or write it out for everyone.

Since I'm guessing your piece is not going to be printed thousands of times, the cost of paper is not a consideration.

All things being equal, writing it out is usually better.

Re: Correct use of a repeat

Posted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:29 am
by Hector Pascal
Hi everyone,

As always, your input is much appreciated and I find myself in agreement with all of your points.

Having spent a while longer deliberating, I have decided to prioritise the interests of the performers first and the publisher, second. (I happen to be "publisher", actually, as well as composer, well trying to be...)

So, I am going to write out the repeat bars (except for one). motet will be pleased to know that all my score and parts will match up ;) It will force the music onto a fold-out page. But the end result will be less cramped with no page turns at all except between movements. The real fun will begin when I (as publisher) try to impose my PDF into booklet form with a fold out page 3a/3b and a fold out page 7a/7b, in readiness for taking to the printer! OMG

One additional thing: as mentioned I do have one instance of a 16 bar repeat and I have opted to give bar numbers for the repeated bars in parentheses next to the "first time" bar numbers, at left of systems, for example:

9 (25)
||: ====
13 (29)
17 (33)
21 (37)
==== : ||


Re: Correct use of a repeat

Posted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:42 pm
by Nick Mazuk
I have to agree with Motet that you should not have repeats in some parts and not in others. I've been in many rehearsals where that's the case, and it has never gone well. Especially if the conductor doesn't know that only some parts have repeats.

Re: Correct use of a repeat

Posted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:46 am
by Anders Hedelin
Traditionally you number the measures in a repeat just once, so the double numbering in parentheses could potentially be confusing.
In rehearsal "from the repeat first/second time" would be clear. Or, if it's a very long repeat "from measure 137 in the repeat first/second time".

Re: Correct use of a repeat

Posted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 6:04 am
by motet
Hector Pascal wrote:...It will force the music onto a fold-out page.
Instead of writing it out everywhere, you could use repeats everywhere. As long as it's consistent in the parts, repeats are respectable.

Re: Correct use of a repeat

Posted: Sat Jul 27, 2019 1:31 am
by Nick Mazuk
Yeah, I've never seen double measure numbers for a repeat.

It would be like having a repeat from measures 20-29, and the next measure is somehow 40! Just doesn't make sense to a player.

Your best option is to either repeat in all the parts or not at all. They are perfectly acceptable to use to save space as long as you're consistent.

E.g., conductors will say to go from the top of the repeat all the time. Imagine if you were the one person who didn't have the repeat. Where would you start?

Re: Correct use of a repeat

Posted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 6:35 am
by peerlessnerd
I recall playing a high-profile full-sized jazz band concert with a famous jazz trombone soloist years ago. His plane landed late, we got the music literally as we walked on stage with no rehearsal, not even a talk through, with no conductor.

Things went fine until the last piece, when the soloist turned to the band and said "no repeats."
Unfortunately the trumpets had 4 repeated measures with the indication "play 8 times," the trombones had 16 measures repeated, the saxophones 32 measures unrepeated. It actually got worse from there.

In a matter of seconds we were on opposite sides of the arrangement.

The soloist yelled "take the coda," but half the band had a coda, the other half didn't.

As mentioned above, repeats are acceptable and common, but be certain everyone has identical repeats, or don't use them.