Repeats inside repeats

I was wondering what the best way of doing this is in Dorico; I have an open solos section in my score where a section is repeated until cue, then a further 16 bars played. In the event of multiple soloists, it will repeat back to the start of that first repeat.

Example below:

However, Dorico doesn’t handle this well on playback and instead repeats to the very beginning of the piece.

I don’t really want to use a sign here, as there will also be a seperate sign and coda in the piece as it stands.

For something like this I think you really do need multiple segnos. Fortunately Dorico handles this easily, both visually and for playback. Just change the Marker Index to 2 in Properties for the second D.S. and segno. There’s a video tutorial at Repeat Markers in the User Guide.


Hmm, so the convention in something like a big band chart would be just a repeat sign at the end of the section and some text like “open solos, repeat for more solos” and the next section being marked On Cue.

The problem with multiple segnos is that doesn’t get the potential multiple repeat aspect across I guess.

If you don’t need accurate playback (or the form can be variable), then text directions like you said may be fine. Some talk will be required in rehearsal anyway.

That makes sense. At the moment, I’ve just deleted the final repeat and replaced with a hidden segno; and can pop the repeat back in right at the end.

This thread encouraged me to test what happens with nested repeats, and this simple example works exactly as it does:

Nested rep.dorico (562.3 KB)

Certainly Cubase Arranger Chain gives a greater flexibility that can solve any complex situation:

OK so the issue is that I need the start repeat for both sections in the same place?

I wouldn’t say so…

Yes that behaviour is problematic for me - I would want the second end repeat to go to the same place as the first starting repeat marker, rather than back to the beginning of the piece.

But, as you know, a repeat return, if no start return is found, repeats from the beginning…

But there is a start repeat. If I was reading a chart as shown in my example above, I would never return to the beginning of the chart even if there was no additional text to indicatre returning to the F mark.

I might write the set with ears for the outer and no ears for the inner repeat, but again there is no option to do this in Dorico.

With repeats in play here, I would use DC to return to the start as an indication to skip those start repeats.

There are MANY big band charts that use this interpretation.

There is a way to obtain the notational appearance and playback sequence you seem to want. The trick is to have consecutive measures with start repeat barlines, but the measure between these barlines has a time signature of 1/1024 and the following measure returns to the prevaling time signature as shown in the first staff below. Hide the added time signatures, remove the bar rest between the start repeat barlines, and use note spacing mode to move the second start repeat barline to the left until it overlaps the first start repeat barline as shown in the second staff: