Fake bar repeats

I’m not sure the best way to describe this, but I’m looking for a way to make “fake” multi-bar repeats.

The idea being, I establish a rhythm pattern, then just want to have it repeat with different chords. I can’t use actual repeat bars because the chord won’t change.

Sort of like this picture, just imagine if, in the blue region, the underlying slash notation was not visible.


Just use text?

I’m not a huge fan of repeats in one hand, but not the other though. I’d probably just write it out if the LH is different.

I need it to play back.

So your repeat bars are not really repeat bars?

You may be able to use the 2-bar repeat and see if you can manually change notes in the Key Editor but I’m not sure. You could also use a different instrument for playback.

But it would be weird to read, for me at least, because you’re not actually repeating the first two bars.

I agree, it’s yucky to read as you need to perform the LH rhythm, plus remember the RH pattern, while also change chords.

I feel it’s yucky enough that there would likely be a rule against it written somewhere.

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The right hand pattern repeats throughout the entire piece. To have it written out over and over again becomes unnecessary visual noise. I could use slashes, but that often implies “play something appropriate”, but I actually want that specific rhythm.

The left hand has to be exactly as written to align with the bass in the orchestrations.

I’ve played plenty of old hand written charts that were notated this way.

Me too (and still do) and I hated it (and still do). I think the rhythmic slashes in your first example are perfect! I’ll leave it there.

I don’t think there’s going to be an easy way to achieve what you want and have it play back.

I’m pretty sure that’s just a hand copyist’s shortcut, and not really up to spec for published music.

It’s not too hard to fake it though, provided you don’t need both regular slash notation and small slashes in your project. You just need to stack slash notation (to hide the notes) along with 2-bar repeats, then use the “blank notation” trick with the slashes. To have “blank notation” in Dorico just redefine your small slash noteheads to be empty (or a space).

  1. Input whatever chords you want.
  2. Input 2-bar repeats (Make sure there are only slashes in the 2 previous bars or those notes will play back too.)
  3. Input Slashes
  4. Click “Small slashes” which you have already defined to be blank.

Gif below:

Wouldn’t the 2-bar repeat still sound the original two bars over the top?

Edit: ohhhh Surpress?!

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Yeah, I was thinking it wouldn’t matter if the first 2 bars were just a slash voice, but you’re right, suppress will take care of it regardless.