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- For other uses, see Repetition.
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In music a repeat is the sign which indicates a section should be repeated. If the piece has one repeat sign alone, then that means to repeat from the beginning, and then continue on (or stop, if the sign appears at the end of the piece). A corresponding sign facing the other way indicates where the repeat is to begin. These are analogous to the instructions da capo and dal segno.
Where the composer wants a different ending for the second time a repeat is played, s/he will place number brackets above the bars which are to be played the first time (1), and those which are to be played the second time (2). These are referred to as "first-time bar" and "second-time bar," or "first and second endings." Numbers higher than two can be given as well, which implies that the passage is repeated as many times as the highest ending number given.
In Gregorian chant, a repeat is indicated by a Roman numeral following a section. This is common particularly in a Kyrie, where the lines followed by "iij" are to be repeated three times (corresponding to the correct liturgical form).
In shape-note singing, repeat signs usually have four dots, between each line of the staff. The corresponding sign to show where the repeat is from is either the same sign reversed (if it is at the beginning of a measure), or the dots themselves (if it is in the middle of a measure). First and second endings are given with just the numbers above the corresponding bars. Repeats notated at the beginning of a verse, or given with multiple lines of text per verse, are generally required; the repeats given for most songs of the final few lines are optional, and almost always used only for the final verse sung.
In broadcasting, a repeat is another word for rerun.
In the US Military, requests to retransmit a radio message are specifically phrased as "Say again" since repeat can be misconstrued as the command to fire artillery.
Categories: Music theory stubs | Musical notation