How to fix "invalid repeat structure detected"?

For some strange reason, Dorico is now ignoring the embedded repeat signs, which always used to work. Now I get the invalid repeat structure detected message, even though I have deleted the original repeat barlines, and created new ones, even going so far as to create first and second endings. It does not like these either, and refuses to recognize them in playback. Never had this problem before. Any suggestions on how to troubleshoot this from anyone? Thanks in advance.

The simplest way to sort this out would be if you could attach the project itself, if you’re willing to share it.

Chances are you have an end repeat barline that is intended to repeat back to an earlier point in the flow, but there is no matching start repeat barline at the point where you’re meant to repeat back to – perhaps because there is an earlier repeat structure in the flow, and in your mind it’s obvious that you repeat back to (say) the previous end repeat; but this kind of thing isn’t obvious to Dorico (or indeed to all human performers!), so adding a start repeat barline at that point will fix it.

If that’s not the problem, please attach your project so we can take a look.

Here is the Dorico file, a piece that I composed for two marimbists at one marimba called Mallet Men. These are the anomalies among the three movements. Be aware that the “invalid repeat structure detected” messages appears for all three movements.

  1. The first movement (Tempo giusto) contains no repeats. It plays fine.
  2. The second movement (Moderato) plays the repeats accurately until the marker reaches the second ending/dal Segno. When it returns to the first section, the rhythms are all screwed up, including the embedded swing instruction, all the way through the coda.
  3. The third movement (Presto) used to play the first four measures the way it is notated with the repeat sign, and then continue on. Now, the repeat sign is ignored completely. I have tried adding a repeat sign at the beginning, and also put it first and second endings—to no avail. Something in the file has been corrupted, but I don’t know how or why, and I do not know how to reset it such that I no longer get the “invalid repeat structure detected” error message. The operating manual instructions are of no use here, because this error cannot be found within.
    Mallet Men.dorico (1.3 MB)

For the 3rd movement, try this:

  1. Put a start repeat at the beginning of bar 1.

  2. Replace the end repeat at the end of bar 4 with a back-to-back repeat (Shift-B : | : Enter.

But if I place a back-to-back repeat at the end of bar 4, that would indicate that I want the next section repeated, wouldn’t it? I do not want anything following the first four measures repeated in the movement.

But at end of bar 45 you wrote an end repeat…

There is a repeat at the end of bar 45 in the 3rd movement.
Is that intentional and, if so, where does it go back to?

Oops. I just saw it. That’s a mistake and I just took it out. It must have been added when I was trying to fix the other problem. I just deleted it and the first four measures play OK and and repeat now. Thanks to Christian and Steve for noticing this. The other issue with the second movement is still unresolved, however. Any thoughts on this?

You are welcome, prman!
For the second movement I tried many things out, but unfortunately was not able to find why the rhythm from the “Dal Segno” is messed up… Sorry. Removing the Swing signpost at the beginning makes the rhythm play ok (but of course straight), so I think the swing in connection with the “Dal Segno” causes somehow the problem… :thinking:

It’s like: You can have the repeat OK or the swing rhythm OK, but you can’t have both!

Hi prman, after some more experimenting I saw that your last dal Segno is not attached to the barline at the end of bar 74. I tried to recreate your situation with a partial copy of the bars and the dal segno repeats (with the swing) and cancelling the CODA, so I was able to drag the dal Segno till the barline at the end of bar 74 (when I attempt to drag the dal Segno to attach to the barline when the CODA is present it tends to attach it to the first bar of the CODA, strange…). And so the repat and the swing works. I think it has to do to where the das Segno is attached, but in your score I dont see a possibility to attach it to the barline at the end of bar 74. Maybe someone of the support can help on this…

Hi prman, I found the solution for it:

-cancel the last dal segno (D.S. al CODA)
-select the barline at end of bar 74
-apply the DS al Coda again

The repetition and the swing and rhythm are now correct :slight_smile:
For me works like that :slight_smile: Try.
(I take the liberty to upload the corrected file for you)
Mallet Men KORREKTED REPETITIONS.dorico (1.3 MB)

(the only thing I don’t understand is why Dorico shows the attachment lines like if the DS were attached to the beginning of the CODA instead of the bar line at end of bar 74…but it works :wink:


Dear Christian—You’re right! It works! Thanks ever so much for taking the time to investigate and solve this problem. In looking at your solution, I think that maybe I caused the problem by selecting one or more of the notes in the measure to create the d.s. al Coda, instead of the barline.
Another issue, but less important, that I notice is that in two of the second repeats, I indicate (in text) for the repeat to be played an octave higher (8va). The playback ignores this. Can this be done, without having to laboriously write the whole second sections again an octave higher, just to get the right sound? I wonder. What’s your thinking about this? Again, thanks for your effort on my behalf. I guarantee that you have now earned a front seat in Heaven!

Dorico does not (yet) allow repeats to play differently second time around.