How does one call these repeat signs?

Hello, these repeat signs / substitution signs must have a name, but I don’t know, how Dorico calls them…

also there are sometimes stemlets used to indicate a repetition, is there a way to reproduce them within Dorico?


Thank you for help, as always :slight_smile:

Dorico does them (shift-r, %) but not as you have. One sign fills either one, two (2%) or four (4%) entire bars, not half a bar, although I perfectly understand what it means. You could select those two beats and press r, but I suppose you already know that.

just a quick caution. the handwritten notes indicating “phrase” repeats and "rhythmic " repetition are both shorthand for what is actually being asked for. as a player, unless this is a pattern that repeats endlessly, writing the notes out is preferable. Ravel’s Bolero comes to mind😀


Just as common, if not more so, are diagonal slashes, each slash representing a repitition. I add sim. above the first slash to clarify.

tom, thank you, I have written it out. It looks like this:

As a player I do prefer the substitution markers though, as they keep the structure much clearer and also do help technically (it’s just a moving chord).

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Thanks Marc. It would be nice, if Dorico could produce them for shorter units too, not being related to the duration of a bar or two bars.
Btw., the composer of this piece used time signatures only, to help the players to count. He would rather had it notated in one stream (open time signature)… which I could provide with the help of Dorico’s power.

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For general information, Dorico calls the % signs “bar repeats”, which indicate a whole, single bar is repeated. You can use regions to denote where these signs should appear, and there are variations for repeating 2-bar and 4-bar patterns.

Dorico doesn’t have an in-built feature for noteheadless noteheads, but you could create your own custom notehead set for this purpose. See previous discussions on this topic, e.g. (noting the recommendation to keep something as part of the notehead, such as text that comprises a few Space presses, so that you can still select the noteheads once they’re invisible).

Thanks Lillie, I guess the % sign for single elements won’t be possible in Dorico, as the software needs to know, how much should be repeated - if there is no rhythmical structure (bars with time signature). In open time it would be a guess, what to repeat, even if it was obvious to a player. A software lacks this kind of intuition.
Regarding the stemless noteheads, for the time being I use small slash noteheads and wait for a reaction of the composer…

Dare I suggest …
… is perfectly understandable by a string player, and can only be played by alternate strumming, so the arrows are redundant?


Yeah, but will the conductor understand?

Yes, this is standard notation a conductor will know.

Janus, das ist genial, einfach und klar!
Thank you Janus, these simple solution are what players need.
Now I will just have to convince the 85 year old composer* to agree (I guess he learnt the pizzicato up and down arrows when he was a young student).
*) and still stupendous player…

:thinking: its called Slash Region. Sorry for my incompetence… and very easy to accomplish with Dorico:


I have never seen slashes used for that purpose. But it certainly makes sense if there will be much of this repetition in the music. If there is an explanation box at the beginning of the part that says “Slashes indicate repetition of the previous beat”, I don’t see why anybody would object. It is certainly easier to read than having all the notes repeated.

Or maybe even just “sim.” above the first slash

One could also replace the « small slash » symbol to the bar repeat symbol in the symbol editor, and then set those particular slash regions to small slashes in the properties panel (therefore preserving normal size slashes for other purposes)

Similarly, one could create a stemless slash notehead with the bar repeat sign in the notehead editor. These could then be used to cover different durations 8th notes, quarters etc …) if need be.

After further thought, editing small slashes in the the note editor and replacing them with the bar repeat sign does have the advantage of having the capacity to hide music underneath, therefore preserving playback. Although doing it with a slash looks clear to me, here’s a capture of a passage as it appears without the small slash region and how it appears on the next measures with the slash region applied, after editing the symbol, as shown in the other windows, and also applying “small slashes” in the Properties Panel - the music will play underneath those slashes. Useful if the client wants that particular look instead of a slash. I find that the bar repeat symbol has to be moved down a bit on the Y axis to look right