Bar repeat symbol for individual beats or musical figures

In a piece for voice and cello, I have a section with many repeats (in the cello) of a 32nd note arpeggio. To keep the voice part from being super spread out, I’d love to use a symbol like the bar repeat symbol for each beat. Is there a way to do that? I tried the copy and paste from the SMFL, using Shift-X and figuring I’d place it in the staff during engraving, but it didn’t show up at all.

The following might be useful. It uses slash regions instead of the bar repeat symbol - I have seen slashes (without the enclosing dots) used in some published editions for the purpose.

  1. notate the arpeggio figure in full for all the bars where it occurs

  2. select the groups which you want to replace with repeat symbols

  3. in the Repeats section of the right-hand panel, click on Create Slash Region

The notes will now be covered with the slashes.

Even though the notes are hidden, they will stay play back.

To put some space between the last note of the initial group of 32nds and the first slash, do the following:

  1. Go into Engrave mode, Note Spacing sub-mode

  1. Select the square edit handle at the start of the slash region

  1. Use alt-right arrow to move the edit handle to the right - it will turn red after you start moving it.

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Thank you, I think that will be the solution. I would love to have the enclosing dots for this – it’s what I’m used to as a classical performer – but this will have to do for now.

It might be possible to edit the slash symbol. I have almost no experience with editing the music symbols in Dorico, so this is only my theory as to how it could be done. Someone else with solid knowledge on this matter will be much better equipped to offer proper advice.

It appears that the slash used in slash regions is the same as the Oversized Slash Notehead. If the Notehead Set is edited to replace the Oversized Slash Notehead with the 1-bar repeat symbol (the dotted slash), that might “do the trick”. It would mean, however, that you won’t be able to use the Oversized Slash Notehead as a notehead. If you do need to use slash noteheads, the default size should be OK.

Long-time classical performer myself and I’ve always seen the slash-with-dots used to repeat the previous measure and just the slash (without dots, as shown above) to repeat the previous beat. I think Steven’s example looks perfect for what you are wanting. You might find it helpful to add an indication that says something like, “keep repeating the previous figure” for folks that may have only played older literature.

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I concur with @bkshepard , but if you really do prefer to have the repeat slash with dots, here are the steps:

  1. In Engrave mode, choose Notehead Sets… in the Engrave menu in Dorico 3.5, in the Library menu in Dorico 4 - a window entitled Edit Notehead Sets will open;
  2. In the drop-down list immediately under “Category:”, choose Slashes and then Oversized Slash Noteheads in the list underneath that;
  3. Double-click on the slash notehead icon or click on the pencil icon at the bottom of the window (if you hover over the pencil for a second or two, it should show “Edit Notehead…”) - a window entitled Edit Notehead will open;
  4. On the right-hand side of the window is a display of available glyphs (it usually defaults to Standard Accidentals). Immediately above that, click on the drop-down menu where it says “Range:” and choose Bar Repeats;
  5. Double-click on the 1-bar repeat symbol (dotted slash) - it should then be inserted into the editing area of the window;
  6. Click on the what was there already, the non-dotted repeat slash in this case, and click on the trash can icon underneath the bottom right corner of the editing area - this should leave only the dotted slash in the editing area;
  7. Click on OK - this will return you to the Edit Notehead Sets window - click on OK there.

The slashes in the slash region should now be dotted slashes.

On closer investigation, I have noticed a difference between the slashed notehead glyph and the bar repeat glyphs (with and without dots - both are available in “Edit Notehead”).
The slashed notehead glyph has ends which are vertical, presumably to facilitate easy alignment with a stem, while the bar repeat glyphs have horizontal ends. Unless you look closely, you wouldn’t notice. The overall shape is what is seen, and acted on, by a player. Details such as this are not as important and would probably not be noticed, especially given the smallness of the difference.

This is easy to change if you want. I find the vertical end version of the slash sort of sloppy looking as it just barely extends past the 2nd staff line in each direction.

I’ve switched mine in Notehead Sets to the glyph with the flat horizontal end.

As you said, it’s a very small detail, but I geek out over this sort of thing, LOL! I think it looks better in context too.


My quick impression is that the “neater” slashes with horizontal ends look more engraved and are quite appropriate for repeat-figure notation, while the pointy-ended slashes look more like slash-beat notation, the way a hand copyist would do it. A subtle distinction, and I’m so glad SMuFL lets us choose.


Sorry, memory lapse. How do I create double slashes like these (from ‘Repeated beats’, Gould)?

See this post.

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Perfect! Thanks.