How to Read Simple Musical Repeats
Finding a musical repeats within sheets of music will be a very common occurrence.
Specific symbols will direct you to repeat certain sections within the musical composition.
They will be on or part of the staff in order for musicians to understand correctly. It is very important to
notice and understand the use of repeats, as they will ultimately affect your overall sound.
Take your time to understand functions and reasons behind using repeats. Once you understand its components,
they are very easy to use in piano playing, composition and your day to day practices when you are learning
how to play piano.
A final ending to a piece of music is demonstrated by 2 vertical lines. The first line is thinner than the
second. This symbol marks the end of any pieces of music, where all the instruments stop playing and applauses
There are a few changes which can be made to the final ending. The first is called the end repeat and the second
is called the start repeat. End repeats are most often used when you must restart the composition from the very
beginning. Rather than ending the composition with only two lines, it will end with two dots straddling the middle
line in front of two ending lines.
This small change creates a large impact to your piece of music, it is therefore very important to
treat it carefully. Once you have reached this symbol, return to the beginning and replay the composition.
There are musical compositions which require you to replay sections of a song prior
to reaching the ending. The end repeat can be placed in multiple areas throughout a sheet of music. This will
allow you to repeat specific sections from pieces of music without returning to the very beginning every
This feature is very important and will allow you to experience different sounds and techniques. The symbol is
exactly the same as previous: two dots hovering above and below the middle line in front of two vertical lines.
Once you encounter this symbol, return to the beginning and repeat the series of notes. Once you encounter the
end repeat a second time, ignore it, continuing past the symbol. It is important to recognize the difference of
each end repeat to ensure that you properly understand their effect.
Another variation of the end repeat is the start repeat. This symbol is indicated by reversing the end repeat
and will direct you where to restart.
The uses of musical repeats are not always straightforward as previously described. There are changes and
techniques that will directly affect the use of end repeats and start repeats. Once you have understood the basics,
you can venture forth and explore repeat theories.
For now, you should practice the use of repeats. Flip through your piano sheet music until you find a song with
plenty of repeats. Try to recreate the song correctly while using these new symbols.
You will quickly notice that good sight reading is required. Going back to polish your sight reading skills may
be necessary. If you do not understand repeat procedures, asking another musician will surely help you out.