1.6 Abbreviations and signs


Category: Elementary music theory | Tags: Abbreviations and signs

The abbreviations in music are of two kinds, namely, abbreviations of terms relating to musical expression, and the true musical abbreviations by the help of which certain passages, chords, etc., may be notated in a shortened form. You will learn about repeat signs, the fermata and octave sign.

1. Repeat signs


repeat repeat repeat from the beginning.
  D.C. (Da Capo) from the beginning.
  Fine end.
  D.C. al Fine repeat from the beginning and play to the end.
  prima volta, seconda volta play the measures under bracket 1 the 1st time only, the measures under bracket 2 the 2nd time.



How do you perform repeat signs?

note example


How do you perform prima volta, seconda volta?.

note example

2. Fermata


fermate fermata hold the note longer than its value.


A fermata is notated above a note or rest. The performing musician can decide how long the note or rest should be held.

Fermate in maat 3
Example of a fermata (bar 3) - Sonatina in G major second movement by Beethoven.

3. Octave sign


8va ottava play the notes one octave (8 notes) higher than written.



How do you perform 8va?

note example