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Jordan Mayberry (DUNCE)

How are repetitions played more than twice written on music?

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I am familiar with the repeat sign, which indicates repetition only twice, but I noticed in a lot of Steve Reich compositions that there were melody repetitions that could last up to 20 full minutes. Which got me asking: Is there a special notation for repeating sections more than twice? Or do these repetitive compositions simply utilize pages upon pages of the same 2-4 bars?

 

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The way I've usually seen it in scores and parts is a repeat sign with 3X above it for 3 repetitions, 4X for 4 repetitions, etc.  I'm not familiar with Reich's scores so I can't tell you how he does it, but it wouldn't surprise me at all if it were all written out.  

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You still use repeat signs, but either add text above the affected passage that says, "4X," or "repeat until directed," or something like that, or you can use a first ending bracket at the repeat sign, but instead of being marked, "1." to indicate 1st ending, it will be marked, "1., 2., 3., 4.," to indicate 4 repeats before moving on to the next section.  You can also indicate different treatments for each of the repeats in text above the affected passage.  For example:  1. p, 2. ff, 3. mf.... 

Hope that makes sense without pictures.  

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