Robert Estrin - piano expert

How to Play D.C. and D.S. in Sheet Music

Learn more about D.C. and D.S. with Repeat Signs

In this video, Robert tells you how to handle repeats with Da Capos and Dal Segnos, and other related music markings.

Released on February 17, 2016

Post a Comment   |   Video problems? Contact Us!
DISCLAIMER: The views and the opinions expressed in this video are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Virtual Sheet Music and its employees.

Video Transcription

Welcome. I'm Robert Estrin here at and And the question today is how to handle repeats with Da Capos and Dal Segnos with D.C.s and D.S.s in your score. You may have seen these before. I'm going to break it down to for you so you understand exactly how to deal with repeats because it gets so complicated.

I could tell you from sometimes when I'm sight reading for an event and a person gives a score, one of the hardest things is when you have these different symbols that tell you to go back or forward in different places in the score, it could be pretty maddening. It's one of the things that you have to look at very carefully before reading into anything. So, the Dal Segno or Da Capo, you'll see D.C. in your score at a certain point and tells you to go back to the beginning. A Dal Segno tells you to go back to the sign, and there's a certain symbol that you have to go back to.

But suppose you have repeat signs to begin with, then you wonder what do you do? Well, generally unless the score tells you otherwise, you take the repeats the first time through and when you take the D.C. back to the beginning or the D.S. back to the sign, you no longer take the repeat signs on the Da Capo or the Dal Segno. That's basically all there is to it.

Now, sometimes there will be other instructions, and it could be almost like a road map particularly with sheet music. Why? Because they're trying to save paper, and a lot of the pop music is particularly repetitive, so they'll just have all these symbols to try to tell you, "Dal Segno twice and go to the coda and then go to the second coda." Sometimes it's really hard to decipher. And really, the only reason it is done is to save paper, and sometimes they really go overboard with these signs.

But the thing to remember is the repeat signs, you ignore when you're going back to a D.C. or a D.S. Thanks for the great questions. Again, Robert Estrin here at and
Automatic video-to-text transcription by
Post a comment, question or special request:
You may: Login  or  
Otherwise, fill the form below to post your comment:
Add your name below:

Add your email below: (to receive replies, will not be displayed or shared)

For verification purposes, please enter the word MUSIC in the field below

Comments, Questions, Requests:

Marge Shery * VSM MEMBER * on February 24, 2016 @3:56 pm PST
Paul West on February 17, 2016 @8:42 am PST
Very helpful and useful at brass band! cheers
Jack Aubert * VSM MEMBER * on February 17, 2016 @8:07 am PST
The word is "segno" . In Italian it is sen-yo. It means "from the sign" If you want to pronounce it in English as it is spelled, it should be seg-no not sig-no.

The biggest pitfall in Da Capos is the first time through the last strain where you see the Da Capo and head for the top, forgetting to play the repeat.

If you own the part or can write on it, mark the segno and if there is one, a coda mark prominently as soon as you spot them
Robert - host, on February 17, 2016 @11:47 am PST
That's a good suggestion. When playing sheet music of popular songs which often times have numerous markings for nested repeats, marking all the signs in red really helps particularly when accompanying someone for a competition or performance with minimal rehearsal.
Questions? Problems? Contact Us.
Norton Shopping Guarantee Seal