What You Should Know About the Dal Segno Sign

Save time and money on bad lessons after learning the dal segno sign.

Your teacher gives you a new assignment at your lesson. There is a music symbol that you have no idea what it means. You decide to email your teacher to ask a question and not practice until you get a reply.

Two days go by with no response. No sweat. There’s still time to practice. Three, four, five days pass, and it’s now the night before your next lesson. Your teacher finally gets back to you. They can’t respond to everyone like they want to because they are so busy teaching.

You walk into your lesson totally unprepared and your teacher is frustrated. The mood is so negative that you just want to run out of there. But you don’t, because there’s a better way.

Instead of putting yourself in this situation, get the preparation you need before and after each lesson. At some point, the dal segno sign will appear in your music. Know what to do without having to wait on your teacher.

dal segno sign

Dal Segno Sign

The dal segno sign is a music symbol that looks like the letter “S” with a measure repeat sign through the center. The Italian musical term in written words (dal segno) means “from the sign.” It tells musicians to return to the segno (which means sign) and play again.

measure reapeat sign vs dal segno sign
measure reapeat sign vs dal segno sign

You also find the words “dal segno” printed on sheet music abbreviated as D.S. This typically appears after the segno and instructs performers to return to the measure marked with the dal segno sign. The music is to be repeated from this point on.

According to Wikipedia, dal segno is a type of repeat and navigation marker that saves on writing more measures than necessary. This means there will be fewer pages for you to shuffle through.

After repeating from this music theory symbol, you will either see a coda sign or a fine. It depends on if there’s a D.S. al coda or a D.S. al fine. These are the two most common usages of dal segno in music.

Not sure what to do when you see D.S. al coda or D.S. al fine? Read these quick guides.

Tips for Understanding Dal Segno

How to Read D.S. al Coda

How to Read D.S. al Fine

Why Need to Know the Dal Segno Sign

Feel better prepared for each lesson without having to wait on your teacher to answer your questions. You now understand what the dal segno sign means so you know what to do when it appears. This means you can eliminate time and money spent on bad lessons and enjoy the learning time with your teacher more.


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1 thought on “What You Should Know About the Dal Segno Sign”

  1. Thank you so much for this clear and thorough explanation!
    After missing many opportunities to play because I couldn’t read sheet music, I am finally learning how to do it. I’m currently preparing for my first jazz ensemble, and this explanation has helped me tremendously! Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

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