New feature request for Repeat structure (DS/DC/Coda/Segno)

I’m aware that the Repeat structure will be implemented in future revisions of Dorico. I’m just suggesting a new feature for the Repeat structure. When a pianist performs on stage, the Repeat structure usually will force the pianist to enlist help from a page turner to turn the music score. A better way is to do away with page turner by making a proper layout of the music score.

So can the Repeat structure be implemented with an ‘expansion mode’? I.e. when ‘expansion mode’ is turned on, the repeated segments will be expanded in the score so that the player can continue reading on the ensuing page instead of turning back some pages to hunt for the notes. This expansion should also allow formatting commands such as System Break and Frame Break to work (i.e. the layout is manually done with V.S. etc.).

When ‘expansion mode’ is off, the usual repeat signs are in place, the score is in the concise manner, but still allows the System Break and Frame Break to alter the layout manually.

Interesting concept, but this seems to defeat the purpose of the repeat structure to begin with. Since you’ll be the one inputting the notes / engraving, simply omit the repeat structure and copy/paste each section so it appears twice. This seems much more an editing / preference issue rather than something that would need to be baked into Dorico.

I like this idea for a situation where one player using a paper copy might like a concise form with the DS etc, and another player might be choosing to use a tablet with a relatively small screen and might prefer the expanded sequential form.

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No - if you have two copies of supposedly identical music, as soon as you edit something you run the risk of them not being identical any more!

I’m not sure about the idea of a switch to change a single layout. It might be better to create two layouts of the same flows, with the repeats expanded in one of them.

In fact Lilypond already has a “repeat unfold” option which does this. It’s not only useful at large scales like DS/DC, but also as a shortcut for entering short ostinato passages. If you want to input 24 identical bars, just say so - don’t lose count while you are pressing the R key 24 times (oops, maybe I really meant 23 times…!)

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Now that I think of it, it is a bit of an interesting concept. I suppose Dorico already has to be programmed for proper playback of repeat structures (or will be if it isn’t already) so if it has the knowledge of the over all sequence, there shouldn’t be any reason it couldn’t be told to display the same sequence it will play back. [It is obviously much more complicated to code since editing in expanded mode would require that all markings would be duplicated and engrave mode would have to be (seriously) modified, I’m betting anyways…]

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This is something that we have certainly talked about a lot over the years we’ve been working on Dorico. I think it is a very good idea in principle and has a lot to commend it (particularly when thinking about repurposing a project that was initially designed for paper to be performed from digitally instead) but it’s not simple to implement.

It would be great to have a toggle in “layout options” that will unroll repeats for certain layouts.

This (together with being able to expand bar repeats) would sometimes save me a great deal of time and trouble.

I’m usually most interested in the reverse process (having repeats in parts). It’s very easy to make mistakes when excising passages.

Some people refer to this “unrolled repeats” form as “through composed”. Others use that term to mean that different verses have different arrangements and therefore cannot show as a repeated structure. I just thought I’d add that term to the thread in case somebody is searching for such discussion.

Personally I favor using repeat structures whenever possible so as to avoid the 10-pages-of-music problem, but with electronic displays, I can see how somebody might prefer to have the repeats unrolled. I would hope any such feature would make a distinction between regular repeats (between forward and backward repeat signs – with or without multiple endings) versus the “long jumps” that can happen with D.S, D.C. al coda. I would never want to unroll a normal repeat, but might want to unroll a DS al coda.

I have mixed emotions about that. I have one set of combo charts where all the horns use D.S. or D.C, but inexplicably the piano part is through composed for no good reason. It is extremely confusing in rehearsal when we say “Let’s start 4 bars ahead of the coda jump.”


Same goes with barnumbers, which would need to increase in the „expanded“ layout.

“Unfold mode” applicable on a per layout-and flow-basis would be great! I am working on a musical with multiple flows in one file, and for the conductor and some of the instrumentalists (with music only played at the 2nd. repeat or similar) it would be better to read the music without repeats, while some players would prefer repeat structures because their score repeats with no changes and they would love to have the whole flow all in one page rather than several pages with repeating notes.