Reply To: Voltas, Repeats and Time Signatures in Bar-Over-Bar

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Hi there! Thank you for your patience while my committee and I hashed out these questions!

The consensus is that the time signature change should come before the measure. Before any repeats or Volta indicators. One indication of this is that we place the "heads up" meter changes on the line above when there is room - signaling that it is preceding the measure, not a part of it. (The only time we would place the meter change in the middle of a measure is if the meter actually changes mid-measure - which is indeed very rare.)

So the order would be: Hand signs - Meter/Key change - forward repeat sign - Volta - measure.

When I have a long word expression that coincides with the start of a first or second ending, I usually remove it to a line above the parallel in order to avoid using the hyphen after the voltas.

In the "Come Together" example, the forward repeat should come before the volta and I would not use the measure number repeat. It took me a few seconds longer than I would have like to figure out what was going on. The measure 1 repeat looks like another first ending. And when the order of signs is adjusted, the dropped 1 will look even more confusing after the dropped 3. I suppose if the reader has already encountered several repeats of measure 1 they might be prepared for it and it wouldn't look confusing, but I'm not sold on the idea.

If you end up choosing to use the measure number repeat here anyway, the full measure repeat after it would be better as another measure 1 repeat. I find it frustrating to send a reader back to a spot that is itself a different repeat device (even if it is just next door). If you braille out that first measure though, the full measure repeat would be fine.

And in the last example - I would not use the measure number repeat to show a repeat of measure 2. A couple of reasons - as I stated above, it looks like a second ending. And measure 2 is not at the margin, so it would most likely take longer for the reader to figure out that it is a measure number repeat and then find measure 2 again than it would for them to just read the braille for that measure. (It's not a complicated measure, anyway)

Always remember that just because you can use a repeat device or a shortcut doesn't mean you should. Clarity and ease of reading far surpasses saving two lines on a braille page.

I hope I answered all of your questions clearly! Please let me know what you think.