Contents Full piece Pickup notes Repeat marks Second ending
On to the B part Repeating the B part Back to the A part  

             

First and second endings

Throughout the book, much use is made of first and second endings, especially for the fiddle tunes. It usually isn't possible to use them nearly as much for the songs, as most of them must be written out in full to present the lyrics. First and second endings are used when the bulk of a repeated part is the same; when the only difference between the way it is played the first and second times through is the way the two end.

Most commonly, the "first ending" is the last measure of the first time through, although first and second endings can consist of more than one measure. The first ending instructs the player to go back to a point at or near the beginning and start over. At the end of the second time through, the player skips the first ending and plays only the second ending.

The purpose of first and second endings is to optimize space. They make music more convenient to read, allowing pieces to fit on one page that might not otherwise.

Let's see and hear an example.

The full piece

Below is the full piece as it appears in the book. Accompaniment was written and is included in the MIDI clips but is not pictured for the sake of clutter reduction.

In listening to the sound clip, it may seem like there is a lot more music than it appears is represented in the score. Note the last two measures of the A and B parts, the ones with the brackets over them and with the numbers 1 and 2. These are the first and second endings. In the case of this piece, they are each one measure in length.

Go to: Pickup notes Repeat marks Second ending
On to B Repeat B Back to A

Pickup notes

The A part of this piece has pickup notes, the two 16th notes in the incomplete measure at the beginning. Note that the first ending of the A part includes the pickup notes.

Go to: Full piece Repeat marks Second ending Top
On to B Repeat B Back to A  

Repeat marks

At the end of the first ending, the player is instructed to return to a point near the beginning. The symbols that do this instructing are the repeat marks, the double lines with two dots. The repeat mark in the first ending says to go back and start over after (to the right of) the repeat mark near the beginning of the piece, not at the absolute beginning. That's because the pickup notes are included in the first ending, as seen above.

The image and sound clip below both illustrate this. In the sound clip, there is a pause after the last note of the first ending, at the exact point where the player returns to the first repeat mark. This is indicated by the red letter P.

Go to: Full piece Pickup notes Second ending Top
On to B Repeat B Back to A  

Second ending

As mentioned above, the player then plays the part through again, then skips the first ending and plays only the second. The clip begins at the beginning of the second time through. The pause is at the exact point where the player "jumps" the first ending.

Go to: Full piece Pickup notes Repeat marks Top
On to B Repeat B Back to A  

On to the B part

The A part has been played through twice, and now it's on to the B part. The melody of the B part begins on the beat (the first guitar bass note of the measure,) so it has no pickup notes. If the B part did have pickup notes, the second ending of the A part would be an incomplete measure; the pickup notes would be written at the beginning of the B part, to which they belong, not at the end of the A part.

The marks indicating the skipping of the first ending are faded to reduce visual clutter. Since it was covered in the previous image, it is assumed.

The pause in the sound clip is between the last note of the A part and the first note of the B part.

For the sake of time-efficiency, in case you want to listen to it more than once, the clip begins around the middle of the line, at the point indicated by the red arrow. This is true for the remainder of the clips.

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Second ending Repeat B Back to A  

Repeating the B part

The same pattern is followed for the B part as for the A. The first ending is played through, then the B part is played over from the beginning (the absolute beginning, since there are no pickup notes.) Again, the arrow indicates the start point. The P shows the pause between the first and second playing of the B part.

In advance, it is pointed out that the second ending of the B part is an incomplete measure. This is shown here only because it would be a bit crowded to show it in the next image.

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Second ending On to B Back to A  

Back to the A part

We have played through to the end of the piece and are ready to start over at the beginning of the A part. As mentioned above, the second ending is an incomplete measure. This is simply because the A part has pickup notes. They belong to the A part, so that is where they are written, not at the end of the B part. So when the piece is started over, it is from the absolute beginning, including the pickup notes. From there, the patterns above are repeated.

Go to: Full piece Pickup notes Repeat marks Top
Second ending On to B Repeat B