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Music & Letters, Vol. 88 No. 3, The Author (2007). Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

doi:10.1093/ml/gcm003, available online at



*University of Manchester. Email:


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W HER E IN HIS MUSIC DID BEETHOVEN put double bars, and what design did he use for
them? These might seem naive questions, for which the answer could surely be found in
any good modern edition of his music. The questions might equally be viewed as
abstruse and esoteric ones of no conceivable practical interest. Both these assumptions
prove to be erroneous, however, and an investigation of Beethovens double bars unveils
far more issues than might initially have been expected.
Any modern edition of Beethovens music, indeed of most music, shows final double
barsthose at the end of a movement or workas a thin line followed by a thick line,
and intermediate double bars as two thin lines. Before a repeated section there are dots
preceded by a thick^thin pair of lines (often omitted if it is the start of a work), matched
by dots and a concluding thick^thin pair of lines at the end of it. These conventions are
so familiar that they are hardly worth recording, and they have been almost universally adopted by publishers for well over a century. Many musicians, faced with such
consistency, will no doubt assume that the same conventions were observed in
Beethovens day. This is not the case, however. They date back much less than two
centuries, and what happened before then has not been properly documented. Some
composers, copyists, and engravers used more ornate double bars than those common
today, and certainly Beethovens specimens cannot be expected to look the same in his
autograph scores as they do in modern editions. A glance at any of these autograph
scores quickly confirms that the shape of his double bars differs from modern
If the design of his double bars is less than straightforward, the actual location of
themother than those at the ends of movements or worksis an even bigger problem, despite the best efforts of recent scholarly editors. Many recent editions of
Beethovens music, especially those that describe themselves as urtext, make a point
of indicating how carefully they preserve the composers original text. They suggest
that this text is altered only in a few specified situations, where editorial material is
clearly indicated by such means as square brackets or small notes. A notable example is
the new complete edition currently being produced under the auspices of the
Beethovenhaus, Bonn, in which the more recent volumes (after 1991) include Ernst
Herttrichs statement of the latest editorial policy, containing the following passage:
The edition reproduces the music text largely in line with the notational style in the
authentic sources. Characteristic scribal idiosyncrasies of Beethoven are retained even
if they initially appear unfamiliar to the reader. Modernizations are undertaken only if

Die Ausgabe gibt den Notentext weitgehend entsprechend der Notierungsweise in den authentischen Quellen
wieder. Charakteristische, ausdrucksbedingte Schreibeigentumlichkeiten Beethovens, auch wenn sie dem Leser
zunachst ungewohnt erscheinen, werden beibehalten. Modernisierungen werden nur dann vorgenommen, wenn sie
zur besseren Lesbarkeit und Verstandlichket des Textes notwendig sind. Sie durfen aber dessen Sinn nicht verandern.
See e.g. Ludwig van Beethoven, Musik zu Egmont und andere Schauspielen, ed. Helmut Hell, Beethoven Werke, ix,
7 (Munich, 1998), p. ix.
See e.g. Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony 9 in D minor (study score), ed. Jonathan Del Mar (Kassel, 1999), p. vi.
The wording varies slightly in the other eight scores.
Ludwig van Beethoven, Sonaten fur Klavier, ed. Peter Hauschild, 3 vols. (Vienna, 1997^2001), i, p. viii.


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they are necessary for the better readability and understanding of the text. But they are
not allowed to alter its sense.1
Herttrich explains the various ways in which Beethovens text might be altered, but
says nothing about double bars, leaving readers to assume that they have not been
changed, since any addition might conceivably change the sense of the music. Despite
this professed editorial policy, however, double bars are routinely inserted at all changes
of key signature or time signature, and occasionally elsewhere. This has been done
apparently so as to conform to the house style of G. Henle, the publishers, without
any evident recognition that it contradicts Beethovens text.
A similar situation occurs in Jonathan Del Mars justly acclaimed and meticulously
prepared edition of Beethovens symphonies, published by Barenreiter. Here the editor
states in each study score: Wherever possible, Beethovens own notation, nomenclature,
clefs, spelling of dynamic and tempo markings, and note-groupings have been
retained.2 Since it would be perfectly possible to retain Beethovens original barring,
which forms an integral part of his own notation, the reader might well assume that
this had been done here. Yet it has not. In the score of the Ninth Symphony, the Preface
states: It was not Beethovens practice to write double bars at tempo or key changes, but
this modern convention has been allowed.3 Thus in the finale of this symphony, for
example, the edition includes twenty-four internal double bars, none of which is in the
autograph. The question of whether this might make a difference to the readers
perception of the music is not considered, and the distinction between places where
Beethoven did and did not use an internal double bar becomes obscured.
The intention to retain Beethovens original notation is less explicitly articulated in
Peter Hauschilds recent edition of the piano sonatas, published by Schott and Universal
in their Wiener Urtext Edition, but the edition still gives every impression that this
notation is being faithfully reproduced. Even the staccato signs are printed in an
unusual shape that attempts to mimic the composers handwriting, and the preface
states: Occasional editorial additions to the musical text are indicated by square
brackets.4 Once again, however, double bars are added liberallywithout square
bracketsat most changes of tempo or key signature, even if the music is continuous.
Thus three important and recent scholarly critical editions of Beethovens music
prepared by different editors and issued by different publishers have all disregarded
this aspect of his notation. These editions are typical of most others in this respect. At
times it seems as if editors and publishers have not even noticed what was being done to
Beethovens notation, since they rarely mention double bars. Meanwhile any user of
these editions would be likely to assume, wrongly, that the modern conventions for
double bars were just as stable in Beethovens day, and that no changes had been made.
If the double bars in modern editions differed from those in Beethovens autographs
merely through insertions of them at routine changes of key signature or time signature
within a movement, as implied by Del Mar, such insertions would often cause no

James Webster, The Form of the Finale of Beethovens Ninth Symphony, Beethoven Forum, 1 (1992),
25^62 at 46. Websters music example (p. 47) actually shows the single bar-line, though he does not use this as part of
his argument.


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problem, and might even help by drawing attention to a change that could otherwise
be overlooked. Sometimes, however, they can affect the interpretation of the music.
A good example occurs at bar 91 of the finale of the Ninth Symphony. Here Beethoven
wrote a strong perfect cadence, followed by a single bar-line and then immediately the
first note of the famous Freude theme. Yet at this point many conductors make a pause,
often of several seconds, and it seems highly probable that the presence of a spurious
double bar here in modern editions has influenced this decision. Interestingly, James
Webster has already argued on purely analytical grounds that there is no true caesura
here, and that this cadence leads (or should lead) without break or loss of momentum
into the Ode to Joy.5
Another problem is that many of Beethovens works were composed in sections or
movements that are not quite independent but join on to what follows in some way that
varies from work to work, thus offering a variety of boundaries with different levels of
structural significance. In the Waldstein Sonata, Op. 53, for instance, the final Rondo
is preceded by an Introduzione that ends with a pause on the dominant in preparation
for the Rondo theme. The theoretical question of whether Introduzione and Rondo
form two separate movementsa slow movement and a finaleor a single movement
like the slow introduction and Allegro in a first movement, is complemented by the
practical question of whether there should be a momentary silence between the two or
whether the first note of the Rondo should be struck as the last note of the Introduzione
is released. The same sort of issue is raised in many of Beethovens other works, such as
the Appassionata Sonata, the Violin Concerto, and the Emperor Concerto, where,
although the music is not completely continuous, the finale follows the end of the
previous movement without a perfect cadence, usually with the word attacca to confirm
that little or no break is envisaged. In the Fifth and Sixth Symphonies, meanwhile, the
first chord of the finale actually concludes a phrase at the end of the previous movement, so that no break is really possible, whether or not Beethoven wrote a double bar.
A slightly different situation occurs at the end of the first movement of the Moonlight
Sonata, where there is a firm perfect cadence in the tonic but Beethoven has added the
words attacca subito il seguente. A particularly celebrated case where the movements
are mostly run together, but to differing degrees, is the String Quartet in C sharp
Minor, Op. 131, with its seven movements or sections. In works such as these, should
there be an additional beat or two between movements, where possible, or should the
rhythm continue uninterrupted? Sets of variations also raise the same issue. Should the
underlying pulse continue smoothly from one variation to the next, as would be necessary if they were accompanying a dance; or should there be a brief pause or silence at
the end of each one, perhaps preceded by a slight rallentando and emphasis on the
cadence, as in consecutive verses of a strophic song or hymn?
The kind of double bar that Beethoven wrote at all these structural boundaries, and
whether he used a double bar rather than a single bar-line (or nothing at all), might
throw light on these questions. It follows, therefore, that the theoretical question of
what types of double bar he habitually used in his manuscripts, either at the end of or
in the middle of movements, could in some cases have significant implications for
performance. This raises further questions that have not previously been addressed in


Double bars, despite their familiarity or perhaps because of it, have hardly ever been
the subject of scholarly investigation. In New Grove II, the article on double bar says
merely this: Two vertical lines drawn through the staff to mark off a section of a piece.7
Thus the entire history and usage of a sign that has been widely employed for many
centuries is reduced to less than a sentence. A detailed search through the literature,
using a number of standard search mechanisms, failed to reveal a single article or book
in which the term double bar (or Doppelstrich) appeared in the title.
A few scholars, however, have used double bars as an integral part of an investigation, and five recent cases are worthy of note. Michaela Zackova Rossi has discussed
the use of signs such as the corona and the double bar as separation signs in the ballata
and early madrigal; an article by Ellen TeSelle Boal describes Purcells use of fermata
signs and double bars to mark sections of a work; Paul Cienniwa has noted how
Couperins markings in binary-form movements have been replaced in modern editions
by standard double bars with dots, which may be misleading; Christine Martin
explains that the two sections of the final chorus in Handels anthem O praise the Lord
with one consent are not separated by a double bar in the autograph and should be
regarded as continuous; and Simon Perry has observed that Musorgsky uses double
bars in his Gnomus to indicate new sections where the notation of accidentals is
changed.8 Even these rare studies, however, do not specifically focus on double bars
but merely bring them into the general argument. In the context of double-bar study,
they are noteworthy in three main ways. They reveal first that the investigation of
double bars can yield important insights that cannot be achieved by other means.
Second, works in which double bars have some real significance are not limited to a
single composer or period but can come from a wide variety of periods and genres,
notes moi a chaque chanson . . . sil y a des repetitions :k: qui Sont quelquefois tre's mal note par ces deux k lignes.
Letter of 29 Feb. 1812. See Ludwig van Beethoven: Briefwechsel Gesamtausgabe, ed. Sieghard Brandenburg, 7 vols. (Munich,
1996^8), ii, item no. 556.
See New Grove II, vii. 519. A cross-reference to the article on baroffers nothing fresh, apart from giving the phrase
up to the double bar as one example of how the word bar can be used.
Michaela Zackova Rossi, Ballata Form in the Early Madrigal, in Anne-Emanuelle Ceulemans and
Bonnie J. Blackburn (eds.), The orie et analyse musicales: 1450^1650 (Louvain-la-Neuve, 2001), 149^93; Ellen TeSelle Boal,
Tempo Indications in Purcells Fantasias and Sonatas: A Performers Guide to New and Conflicting Signatures,
Journal of the Viola da Gamba Society of America, 31 (1994), 9^24; Paul Cienniwa, Repeat Signs and Binary Form in
Franc ois Couperins Pie'ces de clavecin, Early Music, 30 (2002), 94^103; Christine Martin, Zur Form des
Schlusschores von Handels Chandos-Anthem O praise the Lord with one consent (HWV 254), Go ttinger
Handel-Beitrage, 7 (1998), 179^81; Simon Perry, Mussorgskys Gnomus: Composers Score as Analytical Text, Context,
15^16 (1998), 5^20.


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the literature: how many different kinds of double-bar sign did he use, and was their
selection on each occasion made thoughtfully or randomly?
Beethoven himself was aware of the problems that double bars could generate. When
George Thomson sent him some folksong melodies to harmonize, Beethoven noticed
that many had a double bar in the middle, which might imply a repeat of each half.
After hinting at the problem in a couple of letters, he eventually asked explicitly for
clarification: Note down for me in each song . . . whether there are any repetitions :k:
which are sometimes very badly notated by these two k lines.6 Thus he was clearly
aware that the precise design of the double bar could have significant implications, and
it is therefore to be expected that he was careful about how he drew his own and where
he placed them. To understand what options he had for the sign, however, it is
necessary to explore briefly its history and use before his time.

See Richard Rastall, The Notation of Western Music (London, 1983), 55 and 62.
Even in Christoph Wolff s diplomatic transcription of the manuscript, this last detail is not preserved and a
thin-thin double bar is substituted: see Christoph Wolff, Mozarts Requiem: Historical and Analytical StudiesDocuments
Score, trans. Mary Whittall (Oxford, 1994), 217.


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ranging from the medieval ballata to Musorgsky. And third, these studies indicate that
any problems arising from double bars have been overlooked in the vast proportion of
the musical repertory. Thus these writers demonstrate that the issue of double bars
offers much opportunity for exploration.
The double bar does have a long and fairly complex history. It originated around the
end of the thirteenth century, as an extension of the Franconian idea of a single bar-line
or finis punctorum, which had been introduced by Franco of Cologne (fl. 1280) to indicate
the end of a piece or section. In the Ars Nova period, a double or even triple bar-line
was sometimes used to show the conclusion of an individual voice-part.9 The implication, perhaps, was that the space between the two lines of the double bar represented a
period of silence that must occur at the end of every piece before the start of another
one. Since that time, the sign has taken on a variety of forms and uses. Sometimes it
indicated a repetition of a section, as Beethoven mentioned in his letter to Thomson,
and in such cases it was often, though not always, accompanied by two or more dots
before and/or after the sign. This usage can be seen, for example, in the virginal
collection Parthenia (1612^13), where repeats are indicated by two short vertical lines
surrounded by dots on both sides, which are in turn surrounded by two more vertical
lines. In this collection, the ends of pieces that do not finish with a repeat sign are
marked by a line of near-vertical zigzags on each stave, gradually diminishing in height
from left to right, and finishing with a final flourish. Such a sign is not untypical of
many scores of that period. Other sources use two plain vertical lines, thin or thick,
sometimes followed by further lines of smaller height. In Book I of Bachs Das
wohltemperirte Clavier (1722), each prelude and fugue ends with two plain vertical lines
on each stave, though Bachs pen stroke sometimes joins them together and occasionally
extends them with an additional shorter vertical line or flourish, thus tending towards
the zigzag design in Parthenia. In addition, he places a zigzag line (of gradually diminishing height) further to the right, between the two staves, at the end of each fugue
where there is room, but only at the end of about half the preludes. At the end of the
last fugue this zigzag is much larger and bolder, and is followed by the word Fine. Thus
he is not wholly consistent, and further investigation in his other manuscripts is needed.
In Mozarts Requiem a rather different picture emerges. The opening Introit ends with
a half-close followed by a plain double bar (two long vertical lines), but the Kyrie fugue
ends with a single bar-line (divided in the middle), decorated by four pause-marks at
various heights and followed by two w-shaped squiggles at different heights that
emphasize a stronger conclusion. The Dies irae, like the Introit, also ends with a plain
long double bar before the Tuba mirum; but later the Confutatis movement ends with
just a single long bar-line and segue before the Lacrymosa.10 Sussmayrs contribution is
notated differently: he concludes movements with short and often rather ornate double
bars, usually one on each stave though sometimes covering 2^4 staves, and each with a
final diagonal line up to the right.
Thus sources exhibit considerable variation on the basic design, which is two vertical
lines that may be joined together and may be followed by shorter ones, often with some
kind of final flourish, and perhaps with some other kind of decoration. A full survey of
the range of designs and uses of double bars obviously cannot be attempted here,

but the above examples show that Beethoven was faced with a number of options
when he started writing music down and having to make a conscious decision
about how to indicate the end of a work, movement, or section. His solution in individual cases varied considerably, but a survey of a large selection of his autographs
provides a clear picture of his usual procedures. Once this picture has been established,
it can be used as a yardstick against which to measure anomalous examples. It can also
be used as a means of illuminating the meaning of individual double bars (or the
absence of them) in particular works, with results that are sometimes surprising and

Musikhandschriften der Staatsbibliothek zu BerlinPreuischer Kulturbesitz, Teil 3: Die Beethoven-Sammlung [microfiches
and accompanying booklets] (Munich, 2002^5). The Bonn sources are accessible at5www.beethoven-haus-bonn.de4.
Douglas Johnson, Beethovens Early Sketches in the Fischhof Miscellany: Berlin, Autograph 28, 2 vols. (Ann Arbor, 1980),
esp. i. 39^41, 60^3.
For the location of this and other autographs discussed, see the Appendix.


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The present survey of Beethovens double bars has been greatly assisted by two
resources that have recently become available: one is the microfiche publication of all
the Beethoven manuscripts in the Berlin Staatsbibliothek (including those currently in
Krakow); the other is the online digital archive of the sources in the Beethoven-Archiv,
Bonn,11 which enables anyone with Internet access to view numerous examples of
Beethovens different designs of double bars. Between them these two collections contain a large majority of his extant autograph scores, but some additional autographs
have also been examined to amplify the picture. The only previous extended study of
the subject appears to be by Douglas Johnson,12 who is one of the few scholars to have
discussed Beethovens double bars at all. Johnson constructed an impressive list of the
final double bars in all Beethovens autographs up to 1798, in an attempt to use them
(along with other notational features) as an aid to dating the early works. The principle
was perfectly sound and worked well with certain handwriting features, although with
double bars it proved in the end more a matter of using the works, dated by other
means, as a way of dating Beethovens use of particular designs. Precisely how these
designs were used when they appeared in the middle of works was not part of Johnsons
investigation, and the categories he used for classifying the different types of double bar
have needed to be adjusted for the present study, for he does not always distinguish
between different versions of a general design.
Altogether Beethoven used four main designs of double bar during the course of his
life (see Pl. 1). The first consisted of a pair of vertical lines on each stave of the system,
with each pair superimposed by a reverse s-shape. This type (Johnsons type C) will be
referred to hereafter as the s-type. Since Beethoven almost invariably drew each of his
single bar-lines across all the staves in a system with a single stroke of the pen, the use of
an individual sign like this on each stave is quite striking visually. This sign is usually
found in roughly the same places as the modern thin^thick double bar, and was his
most common conclusion sign for whole movements and complete works up to 1801. It
first appeared as early as 1786 in his Trio for piano, flute, and bassoon (WoO 37),13 but
at this stage it invariably took on some irregularity: in the first movement, a single long
pair of vertical lines was combined with a reverse-s on each stave; the second movement concludes with a different type of double bar (see below); and in the third, a set

PL. 1. Beethovens notation of double bars

Johnson asserts that the s-type is not normally used with dots as a repeat sign (Beethovens Early Sketches, i. 40), but
there are actually quite a few cases in addition to WoO 37, viz. Op. 103, 3rd mvt., WoO 1, 6th mvt., WoO 33, no. 5,
WoO 52, and Hess 48.
See Leon Plantinga, Beethovens Concertos: History, Style, Performance (New York and London, 1999), 113^35, where
there is a detailed discussion of the dating problems of Op. 37.


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of variations, the s-type is used only in combination with dots signifying repeats
(Theme, Var. 1where the dots follow the s-typeand Vars. 3, 4, and 6).14 The work
ends with an irregular type, a set of four long vertical lines superimposed by a series of
loops that form a coil. The s-type was used regularly during the 1790s, however, and
Johnson lists seventeen works up to 1799, in addition to WoO 37, where it can be found.
It continued in common use in autographs around 1800, as in the finales of the concertos Opp. 15 and 19, the first, third, and fourth movements of the Piano Sonata, Op.
26, the G major Violin Romance, Op. 40, and the finales of the Piano Sonata Op. 28
and String Quintet Op. 29. At this stage, however, it was less common at the ends of
non-final movements, such as those of Opp. 15, 19, 28, and 29, where other types are
used instead. The last regular use of the s-type may be in the six Gellert Lieder, Op. 48,
which were probably composed not long before a copy of them that is dated 8 March
1802. The surviving portion of the autograph contains only the last two songs, with no.
6 appearing in two versions, but the s-type appears consistently in all three settings. By
the time Beethoven came to write out the autographs of his Three Violin Sonatas,
Op. 30, however, around spring 1802, he was no longer using the s-type at the ends of
movements, and from this date onwards any use of this type must be regarded as
irregular and deserving special attention.
One particularly interesting anomaly is the Third Piano Concerto, Op. 37. The date
of this work has long been a matter of dispute, for there is evidence that it was largely
composed in 1800, in preparation for a benefit concert that spring, but it was not finally
performed until April 1803. Virtually all the sketches are missing, and the date on the
autograph appears to be 1803, though it was for a long time misread as 1800. Leon
Plantinga has argued that the most likely date for the missing sketches is summer 1802,
and that none of the score was written out until early 1803;15 but there is insufficient gap
in the sketching record to allow for the composition of a large-scale orchestral work in
summer 1802, for Beethoven was composing three piano sonatas (Op. 31) at that time,
having interrupted two sets of variations (Opp. 34 and 35) to complete these quickly.
Indeed any proposed date in 1802 or 1803 is problematical in this respect, for the
sketching record shows no major gaps. The double bars offer some dating evidence not
previously considered: both the second and third movements of Op. 37 end with the
s-type. It is extremely unlikely that Beethoven would revert to this type for this one
work in early 1803, having abandoned it so thoroughly and consistently almost a year
earlier. Thus the concerto must have been written out in score by early 1802 at the


Johnson, Beethovens Early Sketches, i. 37, 358. The work was originally composed five years earlier.
It does appear frequently in the solo part of Op. 19 written out in April of that year; but this manuscript was a
fair copy intended for a printer, and Beethoven habitually tended to use an older, more formal style of writing in
fair copies than in composing scores; see e.g. Johnson, Beethovens Early Sketches, i. 34^5.
Ibid. 40. He classifies this sign as type E.
A further example occurs in a sketch in the Kafka Miscellany, fo. 141v: see Ludwig van Beethoven: Autograph
Miscellany from circa 1786 to 1799, ed. Joseph Kerman, 2 vols. (London, 1970). Johnson dates this leaf as 1794 on other
grounds (Beethovens Early Sketches, i. 102), and the m-type of double bar supports his conclusion.
Johnson, Beethovens Early Sketches, i. 484 n. 10.
Briefwechsel, ed. Brandenburg, i, item no. 15.


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latestmore likely 1800 or 1801with the final bar reached at this stage, whatever
additions and amendments were made later (and there were many). This conclusion is,
incidentally, strengthened by the form of system brace used in the score. In 1800
Beethoven was already moving to his most mature form of system brace, in which
there is no separate arc at the top, and a mixture of this and earlier forms can be
found in the Piano Concerto in C, the present score of which dates from 1800.16 By 1801
the form with the arc was rarely used, as can be seen in such autographs as Opp. 27 No.
2, 28, 29, 40, and WoO 46 from that year,17 and by 1802 it hardly ever appears; yet it can
be found almost throughout the score of the C minor Piano Concerto. It seems
impossible to believe that Beethoven would suddenly and briefly return to his older
form of system braceand his older form of double barfor a single work, and the
consistency with which the system brace with separate arc is used suggests early 1801 as
the latest possible date for the main outline of the score, with 1800 more probable. The
date 1803 on the score must therefore have been added by Beethoven only when
making late revisions around the time of its premiere that year. His double bars,
together with his system braces, therefore provide crucial evidence for dating one of
his major works.
The second type of double bar found in Beethovens autographs corresponds
approximately, like the s-type, to the modern thin^thick double bar, and is described
by Johnson as a single stroke, beginning with a vertical line which spans one staff
and continuing to the right as a squiggle of gradually diminishing height.18 The
design most often has three, but sometimes two or four, vertical strokes alternating
with oblique ones, and can often resemble a roughly drawn letter m; it will therefore
be referred to here as Beethovens m-type of double bar. Like the s-type, it was drawn
separately for each stave of a system. It was used for a short time in 1794, appearing in a
piece for musical clock (WoO 33 No. 4), the revised score of Der freie Mann (WoO 117),
and the first two movements of Beethovens copy of Haydns String Quartet Op. 20 No.
1, all of which appear to date from that year.19 There is also a puzzling use of the mtype in a work dating from c.1791the Variations WoO 67; an explanation can be found
for this anomaly, however, for the sign appears only in a correction added on the title
page.20 This correction was surely made in 1794, for Beethoven wrote to Nikolaus
Simrock in Bonn on 18 June that year, offering to send the score of this work and
adding that various improvements had been made in this score.21 Simrock published
the work later that year.
The m-type was quickly abandoned that same year, but it began to reappear around
the end of 1801. Its reappearance was not entirely sudden, for there are a few transitional specimens from that date. One of the earliest is the first movement of the Piano
Sonata in D, Op. 28, where the sign on each stave has two downstrokes linked by an
oblique, and thus resembles a short plain double bar. A similar form appears at the end
of the second movement of the String Quintet Op. 29, of roughly the same date.


See Alan Tyson,The 1803 Version of Beethovens Christus am Oelberge, Musical Quarterly, 56 (1970), 551^84, esp. 568
and 578. The original 1803 autograph is missing.


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Both these works show the s-type at the end of the finale, but the one in Op. 29 could
also be considered transitional, since the two vertical strokes are somewhat linked
together, thus creating something of a hybrid between the m-type and s-type. Before
long, however, the fully-fledged m-type was appearing regularly, and can be found at
the end of each of the ten movements in the Violin Sonatas of Op. 30, apart from the
Scherzo of No. 2, which ends with repeat signs. It also appears at the end of each of the
seven bagatelles, Op. 33, and the two sets of variations, Opp. 34 and 35, which all date
from later that year. Thus the transition from regular s-type to regular m-type seems to
have lasted around six months, with Opp. 28 and 29 showing both types, Op. 48
showing only the s-type and Op. 30 No. 1, written about April 1802, showing only the
m-type. Thereafter one finds the m-type at the end of practically every work, and of
nearly all movements that end with a firm tonic cadence. This feature remained consistent throughout the rest of Beethovens output, and the very few exceptions appear to
have special circumstances (as with the Third Piano Concerto, discussed earlier). The
m-type does not normally appear, however, at the end of inconclusive movements or
sections such as those mentioned earlier, where a different sign is used. The inescapable
conclusion, therefore, is that from about April 1802 Beethoven normally treated the
m-type as signifying and confirming a strong closure. It can even appear occasionally
at a major structural point within a movement, where there is a firm tonic cadence
and change of metre. An example occurs in the long final movement of Christus
am Oelberge, Op. 85, in a revision apparently made in 1804.22 Here the initial recitative
ends at bar 25 with a firm perfect cadence before the ensuing Terzetto, and Beethoven
unexpectedly uses an m-type. This suggests a very strong termination, and that a
substantial pause was envisaged before the start of the Terzettoproviding a good
example of how the use of a particular double-bar sign can affect the way a work is
perceived and performed. In a modern edition, a thin-thick double bar would be
equivalent, and should surely be used here.
In a few late works, Beethoven saved time by writing the m-type double bar only on
the first-violin stave. This procedure can be seen, for example, in the Kyrie of the Missa
solemnis, Op. 123, and the first movement of the Ninth Symphony. It never became his
normal habit, however, and there does not appear to be any musical significance in this
variant of the sign.
Beethovens third type of commonly used double bar is his repeat sign, consisting of a
pair of short vertical lines on each stave, preceded and/or followed by dots, depending
on which passage was to be repeated (as in modern notation). This sign could appear at
the end of a movement instead of one of the other types, or in the middle in place of a
bar-line, or even between two bar-lines in the middle of a bar. It was sometimes
decorated by two pairs of slanting slashes, one above and one below the stave. Since it
provides no clues on its own about the division of a work into sections or movements, it
has no real structural significance and can therefore be excluded from the following
discussion. If a repeat occurred at the end of a movement, the dots of the repeat sign
were occasionally combined with the s-type of double bar, as mentioned above, or with
the m-type, but the latter combination was very rare (see below for its use in Opp. 34
and 35).
The fourth type of double bar frequently found in Beethovens autographs is the
plainest: two long vertical lines, each drawn through all the staves of a system


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(Johnsons type A). Beethoven used this extensively in his sketches throughout his life, to
mark the end of a section or movement, and it proved a good way of distinguishing
such sketches from the majority that needed some continuation. Sometimes it was also
used to mark the beginning or end of some fragment, and it is the most common type of
double bar in his sketches, although other types are occasionally found. In finished
scores, however, it is much less common, and is used almost invariably to denote an
internal division or structural boundary, signifying that there was more to come. Thus
it is somewhat like the modern thin^thin double bar, but was used less often. Johnson
lists only three early works where the sign appears at the end, and all are special cases.
One is the very early set of three piano quartets, WoO 36 (1785), written before
Beethoven had established his normal patterns; here he used a short pair of vertical
lines on each stave at the end of each movement, adding dots for repeats where
necessary. Another is in the Duo, WoO 32 (c.1797), where again there are pairs of
short vertical lines on each stave, but only at the end of the Minuet; since this is
followed by a Trio, it is not really a proper ending (the Trio itself ends with a repeat
sign). The third is the end of the Variations, WoO 74, where there was very little space
for any bar-line, let alone a decorated double bar, and Beethoven drew two squashed
and superimposed long bar-lines, with an additional squiggle to suggest a true
In contrast to these three special cases, Beethovens normal use of the double bar as a
sign of incompleteness emerged as early as c.1786, where it can be found in the fragmentary orchestral Romance, Hess 13, and the Trio, WoO 37. In the Romance, he uncharacteristically drew all his bar-lines on single staves rather than using long ones across all
the staves, and the same applies to his double bars, which he added to mark the start of
a solo section and again before a maggiore section. In WoO 37, the slow movement ends
on an imperfect cadence, and Beethoven added just a long plain double bar, followed
by two linking chords and rests, then only a single bar-line before the start of the finale.
Thus in both these works he already demonstrates a perception of a plain double bar as
a non-ending, unlike in the earlier WoO 36 trios. This perception continued in later life,
and typical examples of the use of this sign at incomplete endings include the
Introduzione in the Waldstein Sonata; the Allegretto section in the finale of the same
sonata, immediately before the final Prestissimo; individual variations in WoO 74; the
Coda that precedes the Finale in the Prometheus Variations, Op. 35; the third movement
in the oratorio Christus am Oelberge; the slow movement of the Violin Concerto, Op. 61,
before Attacca subito il Rondo; and the third movement of the Fifth Symphony, which
has the sign at the end of both the minore section and the whole movement. The sign
also appears in many other works in similar contexts. In the String Quintet Op. 29,
when the music changes to 3/4 towards the end of the finale, Beethoven unusually put a
short double bar on each of the five staves, but no further double bars are used at the
subsequent time changes. The same sign was used about the same time in the
Contredanse, WoO 14 No. 10, at the end of both the main section and the Trio section.
Here Beethoven probably considered that neither section was a proper conclusion, since
there was a da capo to follow, and the two sections would be played in alternation for as
long as was required by the dance that the music was intended to accompany; a plain
double bar was therefore appropriate. (The other contredanses written at this time,
nos. 9, 7, and 2, all use repeat signs.)
Beethovens use of this fourth type of double bar is the most variable and interesting,
and his habit of reserving it mainly for sketches and for incomplete endings has important implications for places where it appears unexpectedly. There are several of these,

Facsimiles of some examples can be seen in Alfred Mann, Beethovens Contrapuntal Studies with Haydn,
Musical Quarterly, 56 (1970), 711^26, pl. I^III.
The time allowed for a change of crook in bars 1^20 is almost exactly the same as in the finale of the Third Piano
Concerto, bars 229^48.
In the first movement they appear after bars 111, 130, 171, 179, 226, 257, 322, and 347, but not e.g. 402.


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and they need special consideration. Its use in sketches seems to have extended beyond
true sketches to some complete compositions that he evidently did not regard as proper
works. Thus they appear at the end of both formal counterpoint studies23 and other
compositional exercises. These include the Fugue in C of c.1795 (Hess 64), a short
Adagio for three horns (Hess 297) written in 1815, and even the substantial recitative
and aria No, non turbarti (WoO 92a). This last work was written around the beginning
of 1802 during Beethovens study of Italian word-setting with Salieri, and the fact that
he did not regard it as a proper composition is evident not only from Salieris corrections but from Beethovens own heading: Esercizi. The final plain double bar reinforces
this view.
One place where a plain long double bar appears unexpectedly is the end of the
second movement of the C major Piano Concerto. Although the word attacca does not
appear, the use of this double bar rather than a proper termination sign may have
signified that the finale should continue with very little break. The sign would thus have
served as a visual reminder when Beethoven was performing and conducting from this
score. There would be no problem in omitting a break at this point, since the third
movement begins with piano solo and the horns have time to change crooks before they
enter.24 One could of course suspect that Beethoven was merely being inattentive or
casual about what kind of double bar he put here, but for the fact that he used exactly
the same sign in the corresponding place in his next concerto, the Third Piano
Concerto. Here he initially wrote a plain long double bar, but then drafted the last
two bars again, using conventional s-type signs, as noted above; the supplementary
bars, together with the s-type signs, were later cancelled, leaving the plain long double
bar at the end of the movement. This was clearly not casual or through inattention but
was a conscious decision that must have had some meaning. Either he was experimenting with using a different type of double bar for non-final movements, or more probably
he intended the sign as a reminder to proceed without delay to the solo passage that
begins the finale. Again this would cause no problems for the horns, for they do not
change crooks at this point (and the trumpets and timpani have been silent during the
slow movement). The musical effect of continuing promptly here is to emphasize
the connection between the G sharp at the end of the slow movement and the A flat
at the opening of the finalean enharmonic relationship that has intrigued several
commentators. The first movement of this concerto also ends with a plain double bar,
and so again it must be supposed that a prompt continuation may have been envisaged.
Many more double bars also appear during the course of this work, but these were
simply to mark off the solo sections from the tutti ones, and seem to have been added
to aid the copyist, though they do not appear with complete consistency.25 Their use
in similar places can also be found in the fragmentary Violin Concerto in C, WoO 5,
of c.1791, and in the first movement of the Piano Concerto in B Flat, but these are
exceptional cases.
A plain double bar can also be found at the end of a middle movement in the Piano
Sonata Op. 28, second and third movements. At the end of the third movement this is
justified since there is a da capo, but there seems no obvious musical reason why the


See Barry Cooper, Beethoven (Oxford, 2000), 75^6.

Nicholas Marston, Beethovens Piano Sonata in E, Op. 109 (Oxford, 1995), 10.
See ibid. 9^11, where some of the analytical implications of the plain double bars are developed.


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second should proceed to the third any more rapidly than usual. This may be what
Beethoven wanted, however; alternatively he may simply have been experimenting
with a sign to differentiate a middle movement from a final one: a reminder to continue, but not necessarily with an attacca. This unusual case occurred during the period
of his transition from s-type to m-type, when some experimentation might be expected.
A particularly notable use of a plain double bar is in the Violin Romance in F,
Op. 50. The score of this was written out in 1798, but there are several reasons for
suspecting that the work may be a revision of the missing slow movement of the violin
concerto WoO 5, of which only a fragment of the first movement survives: the Romance
has the right title, key, speed, scoring, and theme for this purpose,26 and independent
instrumental Romances were scarcely known at that time, although many slow
movements had that title. Moreover there are no sketches for Op. 50 in Beethovens
sketchbook of 1798, as there should have been if the work were newly composed.
The heading in the autograph provides a further clue, for it looks like that of a middle
movement, with no proper work title and no composers name. What really seems
to clinch the matter, however, is the use of a plain long double bar at the end, just as
in the slow movements of several other concertos (Opp. 15, 37, 61), for among all the
autograph scores examined, no other examples of this sign have been found at the end
of a self-contained work that was not an exercise. The one apparent exception is the
Sixth Symphony, but here the last bar, including the double-bar sign, is actually in
the hand of a copyist, the original page having disappeared. Thus the double bar in
Op. 50 evidently signifies that there must have been a movement to follow. The Op. 40
Romance in G, by contrast, has a standard s-type of conclusion sign, as already noted.
It must be deduced, therefore, that Beethoven revised his early C major violin concerto,
or part of it, in 1798, then extracted the Romance for a separate performance; and that
this won so much admiration that some patron commissioned another Romance, which
Beethoven duly provided by composing Op. 40 as an independent work.
One other case of a plain double bar at the end of a movement is worth noting. This
occurs with the first movement of the Piano Sonata Op. 109. Here Beethoven originally
wrote his customary m-type, but immediately smudged it out and replaced it with a
plain double bar on each stave, plus an attacca. As Nicholas Marston has pointed out,
What Beethoven did at the end of the first movement of Op. 109 was to replace this
double barline [the m-type] with the more provisional form consisting of two ordinary
barlines placed close together. . .. That he substituted this form for the more conventional one clearly indicates that he imputed different meanings to the two signs.27 The
heightened continuity was then confirmed by a pedal mark on the last chord of the first
movement, and matching pedal-off sign on the first chord of the next movement,
ensuring there was no silence between the two (hence Beethoven felt free to delete the
attacca that he had added). Beethoven also used a plain long double bar at the end of the
second movement. This implies that the whole sonata is more unified and continuous
than usual.28 In the two companion sonatas, however, Beethoven used firm m-type
double bars at the end of all three movements in Op. 110 and both movements in
Op. 111. Thus those pianists (and there are a few) who make no break between movements in either of these sonatas are not playing what Beethoven wrote. Although the
end of the second movement of Op. 110, for example, with its prolonged F major chord

and widespread sonority, neatly prepares for the next movement, the m-type double
bar is reinforced by the absence of any attacca, confirming that Beethoven did not
intend immediate continuity (the m-type seems never to have been used in conjunction
with an attacca). In any case, the close tonal relationship cannot be used as an argument, for it resembles that between the end of Op. 10 No. 1 and the beginning of Op. 10
No. 2, which one would not expect to be played without a break.

Johnson (Beethovens Early Sketches, i. 40) places this in the same category as double bars with loops or waves,
claiming that the backwards S could become a long wavy line when more than two or three staves were involved.
These categories are better treated separately, however, for they are not very similar, and the wave type can also be
found with only two staves (e.g. WoO 64), while the long S-type sometimes appears across more than three staves.


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Apart from his four main types of double-bar sign, Beethoven used a few others, though
only irregularly and mainly in his early works. The use of a set of short plain double
bars each covering just a single stave has already been mentioned, as has a coil of loops
superimposed on four long vertical lines. In what is probably the earliest autograph of
all, the Fugue WoO 31 of c.1783, there is a unique ending with pairs of vertical lines
adorned by horizontal rather than vertical zigzags (Johnsons type F), but the coiled
loops at the end of WoO 37 could be seen as an elaboration of the horizontal zigzags.
Further examples of a coil of loops, combined with two long vertical lines, appear in
some scores of c.1790^2: the first movement of the Duo for Flutes, WoO 26; certain
variations in the set for piano, WoO 64; and the song with orchestra Mit Madeln sich
vertragen, WoO 90. The loops, however, could easily degenerate when Beethoven was
writing more hurriedly, leaving just a descending wavy line (usually about four waves)
over the two straight vertical lines. This type is found at the end of the first movement
of the Ritterballett of 1791 (WoO 1), although the other movements all have the ordinary
s-type (as do most of those in the autograph piano reduction). It also appears in some
variations in WoO 64, and in two works for voice and orchestra from about the same
date: Prufung des Kussens and Primo amore (WoO 89 and 92). Occasionally Beethoven
combined waves and loops within a single design: this occurs in the second and fourth
movements of the Wind Octet, Op. 103, of 1793, where in both cases the two long
vertical lines are superimposed by a wavy line in which the waves become looped in
its lower half. This suggests that he regarded waves and loops as interchangeable at this
period. Both types virtually disappear after 1793, though a rare later example,
with only two to three waves, can be found in the first movement of the Piano
Concerto in C (1800).
A different design found during the 1790s is a pair of long vertical lines decorated by
a single elongated reverse-s; hence it can be referred to as a long S-type.29 This type,
usually drawn quite neatly, is uncommon, and its function is rather variable. Often it
denotes a specifically non-final ending, as in the following: the sketchy accompaniment
for the Lamentations of Jeremiah (c.1791), where the sign appears at the end of the first
verse but not most of the later verses; the trio section of No. 6 in the piano score of the
Ritterballett, where it is followed by a da capo; one variation in the set on La' ci darem,
WoO 28 (c.1795); two variations in the first movement of the sonata Op. 26; and the first
movement of the Moonlight Sonata, where the sign is accompanied by the word
attacca. The sign also appears in the score of the Piano Concerto in B flat at the end
of the first two movements, whereas the finale uses the short s-type. In these works,
therefore, the symbol distinguishes some intermediate endings from the final one.


In general, then, Beethoven usually used an s-type or m-type double bar, but occasionally some other type, for the end of a work or a movement with a clear perfect cadence,
and he used a plain double bar for inconclusive endings, where something else was to
follow promptly if not immediately. Exceptions to this pattern deserve greater scrutiny,
since there may well be some underlying intention that caused the irregularity. By far
the most common exception is the complete absence of a double bar between closely
adjoining sections of a work. A double bar was omitted not only at temporary changes
of key or metre, as in the finale of the Ninth Symphony (see above), but sometimes at
more substantial boundaries. The absence of any double bar in such places subliminally
conveys to the performer a much greater sense of continuity, and offers much less
temptation to slow down or make a slight break for a boundary in the music. This
situation occurs, for instance, before several finales. Although Beethoven used a plain
double bar before the finale in works such as the Waldstein Sonata, the Violin
Concerto in D, the Fifth Symphony, and the third Razumovsky Quartet, he avoided
one altogether in certain other works, using just a single bar-line immediately before
the start of the finale, as in the Appassionata Sonata, the Sixth Symphony, and the
Fifth Piano Concerto.
Is there any reason for differentiating these three finales from the others just mentioned? Musical features suggest that there is, and that Beethoven was being more
systematic than might be expected. In the Appassionata, the opening diminishedseventh chords of the finale are prefigured in the last two bars of the preceding
Andante, so that in a sense the finale has already begun before the change of key
signature and time signature. Moreover the pedal at the end of the Andante is probably

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Occasionally, however, the reverse is more the case. In the piano score of the
Ritterballett, where most movements end with the short s-type, the finale ends with the
long S-type, decorated with a pause and the word fine. A nearly complete fantasia-like
piano piece in D (c.1793) also ends with the long S-type, after intermediate sections had
ended with plain double bars; and the symbol is used for all three movements in the
solo part of the Piano Concerto in B flat, Op. 19, which was written out in April 1801 to
go with the orchestral score completed earlier. Nevertheless, the sign appears to be used
at the end of a complete work only in piano reductions (e.g. of Op. 19) and sketchy
works (e.g. the piece in D) where some continuation might have been planned. Hence
its general meaning seems to be that the score is in some way less than complete at that
point. The latest use of the sign yet discovered occurs in an incomplete attempt at
concluding the slow movement of the Second Razumovsky Quartet (1806). When
Beethoven rewrote the final bars he substituted his normal m-type of double bar. Thus
the long S-type here may have been a reminder to himself that the first attempt was
only a provisional draft to be replaced. If so, the sign again signalled that the work was
less than complete, but in a different sense than usual.
Since Beethoven sometimes stretched his single-stave s-type across several staves to
form a long S-type, it is not surprising that he also extended his m-type across more
than one stave. This is infrequent, however, and appears mainly in the sketchbooks (e.g.
Landsberg 5, p. 50; Wittgenstein, fo. 41v), normally on just two staves. It can also be
found at the end of the set of bagatelles Op. 126, whereas the rest of the bagatelles in this
set, and those in the previous set (Op. 119 Nos. 1^6), end with the usual m-type on each
stave. In this case, therefore, Beethoven was treating the two-stave m-type as more final
than the one-stave m-type.


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intended to be held right through (as in the first two movements of Op. 109); although
there is a fresh pedal mark at the start of the finale, it is probably to be interpreted as
sempre pedale, since the previous pedal mark two bars earlier has no cancellation. In the
Fifth Piano Concerto the situation is somewhat similar. The main finale theme is
prefigured in the last two bars of the Adagio, the modulation to the original tonic
having already taken place, and so once again the finale has effectively already begun
before the change of metre. Thus a double bar would be less appropriate. Indeed this
principle was already foreshadowed in the very earlyTrio WoO 37, as noted earlier. The
Sixth Symphony is somewhat different. It is always regarded today as having five
movements, but the fourth, the Sturm, is shorter and less well developed than the
others, and lies outside the traditional four-movement structure. Its structural precedents are introductions to finales such as those in Beethovens Septet and his First and
Third Symphonies, and especially La Malinconia in the Quartet Op. 18 No. 6, and he
seems to have been building on this tradition. Although the Sturm is longer than these
introductions, with a clear musical narrative, it is only slightly longer than the slow
introduction at the start of the Seventh Symphony (about seventeen seconds longer, if
one observes Beethovens metronome marks); this introduction also has a clear musical
narrative but has never been considered a separate movement. The single bar-line at
the end of the Sturm (in contrast to the plain double bar at the end of the preceding
movement, Lustiges Zusammensein der Landleute) is therefore appropriate, and it
strengthens the view of the Sturm as in some ways a prolonged introduction to the
finale rather than simply a full-scale movement in its own right, thus providing an
interesting alternative perspective to the works overall structure. It is certainly an
oversimplification to suggest that the Sixth Symphony has five proper movements but
the Seventh only four, as is commonly asserted.
There are many other places where only a single bar-line is used at a transition
between sections of a work. Early examples include the joins between the march and
the trio (and back to the march) in the Marcia funebre movement of the Piano Sonata
Op. 26, and that between the orchestral introduction and opening recitative in Christus
am Oelberge. Several other cases occur in the bagatelles Op. 33. If such a transition to a
new section took place during a bar, Beethoven wrote no bar-line at all but just a fresh
set of key or time signatures. Similarly, at the end of the Scherzo of Op. 26, where the
Trio ends on the second beat of the bar, there is no bar-line after the last note, but just a
da capo instruction. In the multi-sectional Fantasia Op. 77, there is not one double bar
throughout the piece until the customary m-type at the end. This results in some very
odd bar lengths and unexpected absences of bar-lines, especially near the end, where
there is no bar-line immediately before the tempo 1mo mark, where the main theme
returns in C major.
In the multi-sectional works of Beethovens later years, there are further places in
which modern editions customarily add a double bar where there is none in the autograph. In the Piano Sonata Op. 101 there is no bar-line after the Adagio movement
before the Tempo del primo pezzo, and just a single bar-line between this and the final
Allegro. In the Cello Sonata Op. 102 No. 1, a single bar-line is drawn between the
Adagio and Tempo d Andante, and again between this and the ensuing Allegro
vivace. The end of the first movement is more complicated: Beethoven put a plain
long double bar and attacca indication, but he cancelled the latter in the copyists
score; an attacca would anyway have been somewhat weakened by the final bar of the
first movement, which is a whole-bar rest with pause. Had he rewritten the autograph,
he might well have replaced his plain double bar with an m-type at this point.


In this movement, for once, Hauschilds edition (see n. 4 above) mostly follows the autograph score, adding very
few redundant double bars.


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The companion sonata, No. 2 in D, has no bar-line at the end of the second movement,
but just Atacca [sic] and a fresh set of signatures (clef, key, and time). Thus the last
chord of the Adagio and first note of the Allegro are part of the same bar in the
autograph score. Similarly, in the multi-sectional finale of the Piano Sonata Op. 110
there are no internal double bars, and changes of key or time within a bar take place
without any added bar-line; hence the first note of the Fuga falls within the same bar as
the last chord of the preceding Adagio.30
One of the most extraordinary scores from this point of view is the String Quartet in
C Sharp Minor, Op. 131. As mentioned earlier, this has seven movements which adjoin
in different ways. At the end of the first movement there is no attacca sign, but
Beethoven links the two movements even more closely together: there is not even a
single bar-line between them, and the first chord of the second movement comes in the
same bar as the last chord of the first movement. Although the page shows a large space
before the second movement, a fresh set of clefs that might imply some sort of break has
been deleted. A similar level of continuity occurs at the end of the next two movements,
although they both happen to terminate at the end of a bar, and so a single bar-line
separates them from what follows. At the end of the fourth movement, however,
Beethoven wrote a firm m-type conclusion sign, the type used at the end of whole
works, thus indicating a very strong caesura before the rest of the quartet. (There are
two autograph scores for this part of the work, and in the later one he wrote the m-type
only on the first-violin stave, as in the first movement of the Ninth Symphony, but this
has no evident difference in meaning.) The fifth and sixth movements once again end
with only a single bar-line in the autograph, although Beethoven drew a long plain
double bar two bars before the end of the fifth movement, signifying that this movement really ends here and that the following two bars form a link to what follows. This
was not a new procedure, for it had appeared as early as WoO 37 (c.1786), as already
The links between movements therefore differ from what one would deduce from
modern scores, which add a spurious double bar after each of the first three movements, creating a stronger division, but imply some continuity at the end of the fourth
movement instead of a full-scale break. The biggest surprise in the autograph, however,
is the end of the finale: there is no bar-line or other conclusion sign at all! Did
Beethoven really just forget to put one in, and never notice the glaring omission
when going through his score? This seems unlikely. Was he uncertain about whether
to add an additional eighth movement that appears in his sketches, and planned to
insert whatever bar-line or double bar was appropriate once he had reached a decision?
One would still expect him to put in some kind of sign, and then change it later if
necessary, as in other cases. Whatever the explanation, the absence of any double bar
beautifully matches the unstable and ambiguous ending in the music itself, where the
C sharp major chord can be heard either as a strong tonic or as a weak dominant of F
sharp minor that had been heard a few bars earlier, and Beethoven may have been
responding almost instinctively to this inconclusiveness.
Apart from the m-type sign at the end of the fourth movement, and the long
double bar just before the end of the fifth, the only double-bar signs in this
quartet appear during the fourth movement, at the end of the theme and each of
the first four variations, though not after the fifth or sixth. There is no break in the

flow of the music at these points, and Beethoven may have decided to insert these
double bars (which are not in his earlier autograph) merely to help orientate the
players, and perhaps to encourage them to strengthen the sense of cadence at each of
these five points. It is quite noteworthy, however, that the variations are more separated
from each other visually by double bars than any of the first four movements or the
last three.


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In the variation movement in Op. 131, musical continuity between variations is

generated by the use of short note values on weak beats and half-beats at the end of
the theme and each variation, and Beethoven used either plain double bars or single
bar-lines. But what did he use in his earlier sets of variations, where each section
(theme or variation) often ends with a strong cadence and long note or rest? In some
cases the section ends with a repeat sign, giving little clue about continuity since, as has
been seen, this sign can appear equally at the end of a movement or in the middle of
a bar with no difference in design; but where there is no repeat at the end, the type
of double bar used might provide clues about how much continuity he appears to have
envisaged between variations. One of the earliest sets of variations surviving in
autograph score is WoO 64. Here, the theme and each variation end with a firm
cadence and no link to what follows; as already noted, at each point Beethoven drew
a long double bar decorated by either loops or waves. All but two of these double
barsthose for the theme and Var. 2are also decorated by a pause. Although such
pauses do not appear in later sets of variations, they imply that he considered a slight
break between variations to be normal, as with consecutive verses of a song. It is
possible, therefore, that he wanted less break or even no break after the theme and
Var. 2, where there is no pause. Although there is no obvious reason why this should
happen, it would be quite effective. The theme ends with a long three-beat note, and
one might want to press on to Var. 1 with little or no delay after this. Var. 3 is the
minor-key variation, and so again one might want to avoid delay at the end of Var. 2,
so as to enhance the sudden change of character. Conversely, at the end of the rather
serious minor variation a slightly longer pause than usual would suit its contemplative
character well. Thus it could be significant that Beethoven uses a different type of
double bar here than before. This and the final double bar are the only two that use
waves rather than loops, which might mean that he imagined a stronger termination
here than elsewhere, although the change of design could of course be just a random
Some similarly irregular double bars, which could be interpreted as either deliberate
or random deviations, occur in several later sets of variations. In the woodwind
variations on La' ci darem (WoO 28) of c.1795, the theme and all but one of the
variations have the short s-type of double bar (if one regards the coda as belonging
with the final variation), and they are normally followed by a space on the page. The
exception is Var. 3, where Beethoven used the long S-type, and left no space after it
before Var. 4. Perhaps, therefore, he was using a different type of double bar to imply
greater continuity than after the other variations, as implied by the absence of a space.
It may also be significant that no new time signature is written at the start of Var. 4
(though this is also true of Vars. 2, 6, and 7), which might suggest closer continuity. The
music does cadence properly at the end of Var. 3, but Var. 4 is the first to begin with an
upbeat before the main downbeat, and this could have prompted him to use a different


Carl Czerny, On the Proper Performance of all Beethovens Works for the Piano, ed. Paul Badura-Skoda (Vienna, 1970), 37.


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type of double bar and no following space, to emphasize the greater continuity
Some sets of variations from the late 1790s show no significant pattern of double-bar
design; for example the variations WoO 74 all use long plain double bars, while the
variation movement in the Septet Op. 20 uses an appropriate mixture of the s-type
(which implies a break between variations) and repeat signs. In the Piano Sonata
Op. 26, however, we find a pattern that recalls those in WoO 64 and WoO 28. At the
end of the Theme, as at the end of Vars. 1, 3, and 5 (if one counts the short coda as part
of Var. 5), Beethoven used his normal s-type, implying a firm ending plus short silence.
Yet at the ends of Vars. 2 and 4 he used the long S-type, which was normally reserved
for non-final or provisional endings, as established above. At precisely the same two
boundaries he also omitted the time signature that he normally included in each
variation in a setVars. 3 and 5 are the only two that lack one. Thus the double bars
and the time signatures concur in implying that he may have wanted a shorter break
here than at the end of the Theme or the other variations. There is no obvious musical
continuity at the ends of Vars. 2 and 4, but it may be significant that his pupil Carl
Czerny later singled these two variations out as the two that should be performed
slightly faster than the rest.31 If this reflects Beethovens own view, as is very possible,
then it would make sense for them also to lead on more quickly to what follows, in line
with the implications of the double bars and time signatures. It is also noteworthy that,
as in WoO 64, the implication is for a shorter break before the minore variation and
a longer one after it.
By the time Beethoven composed his next set of variations within a sonata, in the
finale of the Violin Sonata in A (Op. 30 No. 1) of 1802, his normal conclusion sign was
the m-type of double bar. This sign appears not only at the end of each movement, but
also at the end of each variation, except Vars. 1 and 5. Thus one must assume a
significant break after most of the variations. Since Var. 5 ends with a pause on the
dominant, it is not surprising to find just a plain double bar, before the change to 6/8 for
Var. 6 and coda, and the implication is that Var. 6 should follow almost immediately.
The end of Var. 1 is more intriguing, for Beethoven used the short s-type on all three
staves, and it is followed by the only variation for which he did not write a fresh time
signature. More significantly, Var. 1 is the only variation, apart fromVar. 5, that ends on
the weak fourth beat, thereby inviting a more immediate continuation. Thus, as in
Op. 26, a different kind of double bar is combined with an absence of following time
signature and greater musical continuity with what follows. In Op. 30 No. 1, however,
the m-type had supplanted the s-type as the standard conclusion sign, releasing the
latter so that it could imply a less conclusive ending than formerly, while the long
S-type could be abandoned altogether. Thus the consistency with which Beethoven
varies his double-bar signs in several different sets of variations, including WoO 64,
WoO 28, Op. 26, and Op. 30 No. 1, strongly suggests that the distribution of irregular
signs is not merely random but relates to the music itself, with implications for how such
variations might be performed.
Later in 1802 Beethoven composed two major new sets of variations for piano,
Opp. 34 and 35. Op. 34 is highly innovative in that each variation is followed by a
change of key and time signature. The theme and Var. 1 both end with an m-type of
double bar, but the next three variations all end with repeats. Beethoven here created


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an unusual combination of repeat sign and the m-type, as if to signify that he wanted a
proper pause at the end of each variation, after the repeat. He originally put the same
sign at the end of Var. 5, where there is a firm cadence in C minor, but he then deleted
the sign and substituted an ordinary repeat sign, followed by a few supplementary bars
that lead to a pause on a dominant seventh of F major in preparation for Var. 6 (which
is preceded, as expected, by a long double bar). This change confirms that his use of
repeats combined with an m-type signified something different from and more
conclusive than an ordinary repeat sign, since he felt it necessary to delete the sign
when adding a linking passage straight after it.
The unusual combination of m-type with repeat sign reappears in Op. 35, the
so-called Eroica Variations or, more properly, the Prometheus Variations. Here the
initial Basso del Tema ends with a normal m-type, while the next three sections,
a due,a tre, and a quattro, end with conventional repeat signs. The following Tema,
however, ends with repeat plus m-type, suggesting that Beethoven wanted a break
before the main numbered set of variations is begun. Variations 1^3, 5, and 7 conclude
with ordinary repeat signs that might or might not suggest a slight break, while Var. 4
has a separate second-time bar followed by an m-type double bar; a break here would
be quite effective before the next variation, which begins pianissimo. Variation 14 runs
into Var. 15, and consequently concludes with a long plain double bar, but the other
variations all end with an m-type (supplemented by repeats in one case). Thus a slight
break between these variations seems to be the intention. But there is an anomaly:
Var. 6 leads into Var. 7 with a run of semiquavers and must obviously join on without
a break, yet there is a firm m-type double bar. If Beethovens double bars have any
significance, this must be regarded as an oversight, for the m-type elsewhere almost
invariably coincides with a strong ending and implies at least a slight break.
Thus the answer to whether Beethovens variations should be played with or without
a break after each one depends on the precise context. A break seems to have been
expected more often than not, and the types of double bar used provide additional clues
in some cases. This interpretation applies in most of the later sets of variations too.
In the slow movement of the Appassionata Sonata, Op. 57, the Theme ends with
ambiguous repeat signs but the first variation ends with the m-type of double bar, and
both of the first two variations are given a fresh set of clefs and signatures. Thus a slight
break before each of them is strongly implied by the autograph. The remaining
variations, however, proceed without a break, and without any further double bars.
In the third movement of the Archduke Trio, Op. 97, every variation follows on
without any break in the music, and there is only a single bar-line each time, with no
fresh signatures. Even the end of the movement concludes with only a single bar-line
since, as with certain works already mentioned, the first chord of the finale is already
heard before the change of time signature. The autograph score of the Diabelli
Variations, Op. 120, is in private hands and inaccessible, but a single replacement page
survives in Bonn; this shows the end of Var. 31, with no double bar or bar-line at the
end before the start of the fugal Var. 32. The continuity here is also emphasized by an
attacca sign.
Probably the most complex relationship between variations occurs in the finale of the
Piano Sonata, Op. 109. The Theme ends with repeat signs, but none of the variations
does; nor do any of them have a firm m-type sign (except, of course, after the reprise of
the theme at the very end). Variations 1 and 4 end with a plain long double bar and a
short space afterwards; Vars. 2, 3, and 5 end with a single bar-line and no space,
implying that Vars. 3, 4, and 6 must begin immediately. This implication is supported


Once Beethovens music began being copied and printed, his complex range and choice
of double bars was unlikely to be reproduced exactly, and there are numerous places
where it has been distorted. He seems either not to have noticed or not to have
mindedpartly, no doubt, because he had more important matters to deal with, such
as wrong notes and missing accidentals. He knew, too, that copyists and engravers
tended to have their own idiosyncratic designs for double bars and would not usually
draw them precisely the same way as he did anyway. In general, however, Beethovens
copyists reproduced his notation rather closely. Their job was to copy what they saw,
however much they suspected an error, and so if he put a single bar-line where one
might expect a double bar, they tended to do the same. A good example occurs in the
copyists score of the Cello Sonata, Op. 102 No. 1, where the scribe, like Beethoven, put
only a single bar-line after the Adagio, and again after the Tempo dAndanteunlike
modern editions, where a double bar is inserted. Copyists were liable to change very
bizarre notation, however. In the next sonata (No. 2), where Beethoven had left an
empty space at the end of the second movement, signalling that the music runs on into
the finale, the copyist could not resist adding a double bar, which Beethoven left
unchanged when he corrected the manuscript. The final exposed bar at the end
of Op. 131 was also closed off in the copyists score by a conventional conclusion
signthe same as the one he used at the end of the fourth movement (and different
from the more provisional signs at the ends of the other movements, which mostly
match the autograph).
In contrast to copyists, many publishers in Beethovens day felt it their duty not
merely to print the music supplied but to edit it in various ways. This seems to have
been true more for German publishers such as Simrock of Bonn and Breitkopf & Hartel
of Leipzig than for some of the Viennese publishers, but individual publishers also had
their own idiosyncrasies and no generalizations about this are absolutely firm. Changes
such as added slurs, revised titles, and altered layout were not uncommon in the early

Marston, Beethovens Piano Sonata in E, 10^11 and 239.


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by the music, for Vars. 2, 3, and 5 all end on the final quarter-beat of the bar, whereas
the Theme and Vars. 1 and 4 have an implied caesura, either through a stable cadence
or (Var. 4) a short rest. Musically the link is strongest between Vars. 3 and 4, where
there is a note tied across the bar-line, and this is the only place where Beethoven did
not add fresh clefs and key signature for the start of the new variation. He did actually
begin writing them, but promptly smudged them out, and so the decision was clearly
deliberate. Thus the double bars at the end of Vars. 1 and 4, and perhaps the repeat
signs at the end of the Theme, may imply a bigger break than occurs at the ends of the
other variations. Marston has reached the same conclusion (although his reasoning is
based just on the double bars and not the space after certain variations or the rhythm
of their final bars); and he has gone on to argue that this interpretation is also structurally plausible, with Var. 1 somewhat isolated while Vars. 2^4 form a connected
group.32 One must guard against too much sense of isolation here, however. The
largest separation between variations is represented only by a plain long double bar,
which is much less strong than the m-type used in some other sets, and presumably less
strong than the various modified forms of quasi-final double bar found in sets such as
Op. 26 and Op. 30 No. 1.


Facsimiles of both autograph and first edition are in Ludwig van Beethoven, Sechs Bagatellen fur Klavier Op. 126,
ed. Sieghard Brandenburg, 2 vols. (Bonn, 1984).


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nineteenth century, and double bars were among the signs likely to be edited. Most
conventional music at that time did not change key signature or time signature except
at major structural points, where a double bar was likely to occur anyway. Thus double
bars probably became associated in many editors minds with such changes, so that
before long these editors were liable to feel it necessary to add a double bar whenever
such a change occurred, so as to create an additional visual aid for the performers
perception of the music. Hence the insertion of double bars by publishers at all changes
of key signature or time signature became an increasingly common convention, which
survives to the present day. Beethovens music was unusual for its period in being more
likely than most to change key or time at a point that was not structurally significant,
and this could give rise to spurious double bars being inserted by publishers without
proper justification.
These problems become particularly acute in Beethovens later music. In Op. 109,
Adolph Schlesingers engraver added two double bars not in Beethovens autograph in
the first movement. The connection between the first two movements was also
completely lost, since the engraver used a thin^thick double bar to conclude the first
movement, and omitted the pedal-off sign at the start of the second movement, thereby
implying that the two movements were completely separate. Meanwhile the subtle
structure of the finale suggested by the use of single and double bars was obscured,
with every variation ending with either a thin^thick or thick^thin double bar
(the latter type appears at the ends of Vars. 3^5). Adolphs son Moritz was no better
when he came to publish the sonata Op. 111. At bar 44 there is a change of key
signature, and in the first printing the engraver followed Beethovens manuscript in
having just a single bar-line; yet when the sonata was re-engraved by the same firm
only a few months later this was replaced by a double bar, although Beethovens
correction list made no such request. This change well illustrates how double bars
were infiltrating new editions at that time.
Schotts Sohnen, of Mainz, were equally ready to add spurious double bars. In the
bagatelle Op. 126 No. 1, there is a short passage of only nine bars in 2/4 time, with the
rest in 3/4, but the publishers felt obliged to surround this passage with double bars on
either side, although there are none in the autograph and the music is completely
continuous.33 They made similar insertions in their original edition of the Ninth
Symphony, so that, of the twenty-four double bars added to the finale in Del Mars
edition noted above, twenty-two are already in the Schotts edition. When engraving the
instrumental parts for Op. 131 (plate no. 2628), Schotts also inserted unauthorized
thin^thin double bars between most of the movements; but they did at least retain
Beethovens (and his copyists) clear division between movements 4 and 5, printing a
thick^thick double bar and indenting the start of movement 5. Yet when they came to
engrave the score a little later (plate no. 2692), this boundary was wrongly treated the
same as the other movements, with a thin^thin double bar and immediate continuation. This change has probably contributed to the confusion in later editions, and
greater continuity in many performances than Beethoven envisaged. Of course, some
musicians may prefer to have no break here, just as some may prefer a long break after
bar 91 of the finale of the Ninth Symphony, or no breaks between movements in Op. 110
(see above); but personal preferences of this sort are a separate issue.


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The way Beethovens notation could become distorted is well illustrated in the finale
of the sonata Op. 110. Here the end of the first Arioso (bar 26) happens to occur at the
foot of a page in his first autograph, but the bar, or rather half-bar, is left open at the
end, and the Fuga begins at the top of the next page with a change of key signature and
time signature. When Beethoven copied this into his second autograph (the one now in
Bonn), the boundary happened to occur in the middle of a page, and so within a single
bar one finds the end of the Arioso, changes of signatures, a new title and the first note
of the fugue. The copyist, however, used the first autograph when preparing a score for
the printer, and on seeing an open-ended bar at the end of the Arioso he added a plain
long double bar (this was the same copyist, Wenzel Rampl, who added double bars to
open-ended bars in Op. 102 No. 2 and Op. 131). In addition, he indented the start of the
fugue on the next system, thus giving the impression that this was a completely new
movement. In the original edition, Moritz Schlesingers engraver adopted the same
layout, strengthening the boundary still further by using a thin^thick double bar at
the end of the Arioso. The boundary was still not quite as strong as at the end of the
three main movements, where a thick^thick double bar was printed, but it nevertheless
looks fairly conclusive and seems to invite a substantial break before the fugue, creating
a four-movement structure instead of a three-movement one. As usual, Beethoven made
no attempt to modify this layout when he corrected the proofs. Surprisingly, however,
most modern editions print this particular boundary correctly without any bar-lines,
as in the autograph scores.
Not all publishers treated Beethovens bar-lines in such cavalier fashion. When the
first edition of the Appassionata Sonata was printed in Vienna, the engraver correctly
put only a single bar-line at the end of the slow movement. Meanwhile, in the
Hammerklavier Sonata, the original Viennese edition included not one double bar
throughout (apart from those at the ends of the four movements and at one repeat
sign), despite numerous changes of key and several changes of time. This doubtless
reflected Beethovens own notation in the lost autograph. Most modern editions have
not been so faithful here, with many double bars inserted. The original London edition,
prepared from a now lost manuscript sent by Beethoven, also adds a few double bars
always thick^thick (a common design at that period), and normally at changes of
timebut not as many as most modern editions.
In his autograph scores Beethoven often used abbreviated notation that he expected
publishers to print in full (as he occasionally indicated in his letters). But he evidently
did not expect them to add double bars in a similar way, since extra ones are not found
in editions such as the Viennese one of Op. 106. The omission of a double bar in an
autograph was therefore not made to save time but reflected something about the
nature of the music. On the other hand, the fact that he was prepared to tolerate
alterations to double bars by his copyists and publisherseven to the extent of allowing
a movement to be split in two by Schlesingerwithout ever commenting on them in
his letters or correction lists, or correcting or changing them in copyists scores or
publishers proofs (as far as is known) reveals that he did not attach great significance
to them. Thus one should be wary of becoming too obsessed by them, or insisting that
each type should be reflected precisely in any performance. Double bars cannot
actually be played, or conveyed reliably to listeners, and the amount of difference they
can make to any performance is strictly limited.
Nevertheless, Beethovens double bars formed an integral part of his compositional
conception, and should therefore always be taken into account in the preparation of
editions and performances of his music, if we are to come as close as possible to


If Beethovens use of double bars had been entirely regular, investigation of them
would have been straightforward. Equally, if it had been completely random and
disorganized, investigation could have proceeded little further than simply establishing
that this was the case. Instead, his use of double bars, like his music itself, is extremely
complex and sometimes impossible to predict even after study of related scores, with a
bewildering variety of patterns that has necessitated extensive investigation. It is,
however, very largely consistent and systematic, once its complexities have been
understood. A firm conclusion sign, usually represented by an s-type up to 1801, and
thereafter by an m-type, is nearly always used at strong conclusions (except where a
repeat is required) and apparently never elsewhere. It appears to indicate a clear break
before anything that might followthough how long the break should be obviously
depends on individual circumstances. An irregular form of conclusion sign, such as the
long S-type, is used at times (mainly in the early period) for an intermediate conclusion with perfect cadence, and may imply a shorter break than usual. A plain double
bar is also occasionally used in this context, and may have the same meaning, but it is
more regularly used for an incomplete conclusion, such as an imperfect cadence at the
end of a movement (often accompanied by the word attacca), where immediate or
almost immediate continuity is implied; it is also used at the ends of works that can
be regarded as compositional exercises, as well as quite frequently at the end of a
sketch. A single bar-line can be found between sections of a movement where there is
even greater continuity of thought, and also between separate movements, such as the
last two movements of the Fifth Piano Concerto, provided there is sufficient continuity
of thought. Where there is such continuity but the new section begins in the middle of a
bar, no bar-line at all appears, as in the first two movements of Op. 131. Sometimes
implications about continuity are reinforced by the presence or absence of a blank
space after the double bar (if any), or by a fresh set of signatures for the next section,
but neither of these features is very consistent, and the use of a blank space depended
very much on how far down the page Beethoven happened to have reached at that
particular point.

Roger Sessions, The Musical Experience of Composer, Performer, Listener (Princeton, 1950; repr. New York, 1965), 92.
This argument has already been developed at some length for certain notational featuresbut not double
barsin Paul Mies, Textkritische Untersuchungen bei Beethoven (Munich and Duisburg, 1957); see esp. pp. 25^52.


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understanding his musical thoughts. As Roger Sessions has said, Understanding of

music, as relevant for the listener, means the ability to receive its full message.34
If, as Sessions and others would aver, music involves communication between composer
and listener, then any clues to what the composer was trying to communicate are worth
uncovering; and the precise form of notation in an autograph, including the types of
double bars (as well as such matters as beaming and stem direction), can be very
revealing, for it throws light on how Beethoven envisaged the music at the time when
he was most deeply involved in creating its final shape.35 Adding an unauthorized
internal double bar might easily affect the implications of the music concerning its
phrase structure and continuity, leading to subtly altered perceptions by performers
and resultant modifications of how they play the passage. The presence or absence
of internal double bars, as well as their actual design, clearly does impinge on the
sense of the music.

The design and location of double bars in Beethovens autograph scores is very different
from what one might deduce from recent scholarly editions of his music, which normally disregard this feature of his notation. The study of double bars has in fact been
generally neglected in musicology as a whole, yet the signs present several problems.
These are particularly acute in Beethovens music, especially in works that consist of
movements or sections not wholly independent of each other. A survey of a large
number of his autograph scores reveals that his use of double bars is very complex but
largely systematic, and has significant implications for how he envisaged the boundaries between sections of his works. These implications offer fresh clues to the most

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In some places where Beethoven departs from his normal practice, the use of a
certain sign was undoubtedly a conscious decision, and here the differences between
the various signs were finely nuanced, with subtle implications. This clearly applies
where he made an actual alteration, as in the second movement of the C Minor Piano
Concerto, the sixth variation of Op. 34, the first movement of Op. 109, and the
variation movement in Op. 131, where the changes must have been made to match his
compositional intentions. At the other extreme, a few irregularities may have been
simply through lack of attention, as in Var. 6 of Op. 35. Often, however, the use of a
particular design seems to have fallen between the two extremes of conscious choice
and randomness. Here it was a kind of instinctive response to the flow of the music,
where Beethoven might use one sign rather than another almost without thinking,
since it was in line with his feelings about the music, and was more a means of helping
him formulate his thoughts on paper than a specific instruction to performers. This
may help explain why he did not think to alter double bars added by copyists or
printers. But if this is so, his signs still provide an insight into his musical ideas, and
therefore a clue to what he was trying to communicate. It is almost always possible to
find musical justification for his choice of design, even where that choice is unexpected.
It seems, therefore, that one should normally regard any unpredictability and
inconsistency of his selection of designs not as a failing but as a reflection of the
complexity and novelty of the musical thought itself.
The present study is by no means the last word on the subject of Beethovens double
bars, but it does at least open up debate by posing questions not previously asked,
documenting many examples and showing the kinds of problems and irregularities
that exist. Any anomalous double bars in works not discussed here can now be quickly
recognized by comparing them with the norms established above. Meanwhile
Beethovens use of double bars in his sketches, touched on only briefly here, is equally
complex and will need to form the basis of a separate study. A more detailed
examination of his copyists manuscripts and his publishers editions will also be
needed, to see how extensive their modifications were in each case. Finally, studies of
the double bars of other composers, copyists, and engravers could lead to many more
fruitful results, and provide much scope for interesting comparisons between Beethoven
and his contemporaries, as well as a clearer indication of the models for his own
notational habits. A complete history of the double bar, even just up to the time of
Beethoven, is still a very long way off.

appropriate interpretation in performance at relevant points. Beethovens double bars

also provide startling evidence that the Third Piano Concerto was composed mainly in
1800 rather than 1803, and that the Violin Romance Op. 50 was originally the slow
movement of a concertomost likely WoO 5.
List of Sources

Dates are those of the autograph.

Op. 15
Op. 19
Op. 20
Op. 26
Op. 27, no. 2
Op. 28
Op. 29
Op. 30, no. 1
Op. 30, no. 2
Op. 30, no. 3
Op. 33
Op. 34
Op. 35
Op. 37
Op. 40
Op. 48
Op. 50
Op. 53
Op. 57
Op. 59, no. 2
Op. 59, no. 3
Op. 61
Op. 67
Op. 68
Op. 73
Op. 77
Op. 85
Op. 97
Op. 101

Piano Concerto in C (1800): B, aut. 12

Piano Concerto in B flat (1798): B, aut. 13
Piano Concerto in B flat, solo part (Apr. 1801): Bonn, HCB Mh 4
Septet (1799): B, Mendelssohn 4
Piano Sonata in A flat (1801): Kj, Grasnick 12
Piano Sonata in C Sharp Minor (1801): Bonn, BH 60
Piano Sonata in D (1801): Bonn, BH 61
String Quintet (late 1801): Kj, Mendelssohn 5
Violin Sonata in A (c. Apr. 1802): B, aut. 19d
Violin Sonata in C Minor (c. May 1802): Bonn, Mh 26
Violin Sonata in G (c. June 1802): London, British Library, Add. MS 37767
Seven Bagatelles (1802): Bonn, HCB Mh 5
Variations in F (c. summer 1802): Bonn, HCB BMh 3/43
Prometheus Variations (c. summer^autumn 1802): Bonn, HCB Mh 6
Piano Concerto in C Minor (c.1800): B, aut. 14
Violin Romance in G (c.1801): Bonn, HCB BMh 9/49
Gellert Lieder nos. 5^6 (by Mar. 1802): Bonn, Mh 31, Mh 30
Violin Romance in F (1798): Washington, Library of Congress
Waldstein Sonata (1804): Bonn, HCB Mh 7
Appassionata Sonata (1805^6): Pc, MS 20
String Quartet in E minor (1806): B, aut. 21
String Quartet in C (1806^7): Bonn, BH 62
Violin Concerto in D (1806): Vienna, Osterreichische Nationalbibliothek, Autograph H.S. 17538
Fifth Symphony (1807): B, Mendelssohn 8
Sixth Symphony (1808): Bonn, BH 64
Piano Concerto in E flat (1809): B, aut. 15
Piano Fantasia (1809): Bonn, HCB Mh 8
Christus am Oelberge (1804 revision): B, Artaria 179
Piano Trio in B flat (1811): Kj, Mendelssohn 3
Piano Sonata in A (1816): Bonn, NE 218


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B Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin Preuischer Kulturbesitz, Musikabteilung

Bonn Beethoven-Archiv
Kafka London, British Library, Add. MS 29801, fos. 39^162 (Kafka Miscellany)
Kj Krakow, Biblioteka Jagiellonska
Pc Paris, Bibliothe'que nationale de France, fonds du Conservatoire

Op. 102


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Cello Sonatas in C and D (1815): B, aut. 18 and Artaria 192

Cello Sonatas, copyists scores: Bonn, HCB Mh 56 and 57
Op. 103
Wind Octet (1793): B, Artaria 132
Op. 109
Piano Sonata in E (1820): Washington, Library of Congress
Op. 110
Piano Sonata in A flat (1821): B, Artaria 196; Bonn, HCB BMh 2/42
Piano Sonata, copyists score: Vienna, Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde,
Beethoven A 23
Op. 111
Piano Sonata in C Minor (1822): B, Artaria 198; Bonn, BH 71
Op. 119
Eleven Bagatelles, nos. 1^6 (1822): B, Artaria 199
Op. 120
Diabelli Variations (1823), fragment: Bonn, NE 162
Op. 125
Ninth Symphony (1823^4): B, Art. 204 and aut. 2
Op. 126
Six Bagatelles (1824): Bonn, HCB Mh 23
Op. 131
String Quartet in C Sharp Minor (1826): Kj, Artaria 211; B, Mendelssohn 19
WoO 1
Ritterballett (1791): B, Artaria 129
Ritterballett, piano reduction (1791): Bonn (only photocopy survives)
WoO 5
Violin Concerto in C (c.1791): Vienna, Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde,
Beethoven A 5
WoO 14
Twelve Contredanses, nos. 10, 9, 7, 2 (c. Dec. 1801): B, Artaria 140
WoO 26
Duo for flutes (23 Aug. 1792): B, Artaria 135
WoO 28
Variations on La' ci darem (c.1795): B, Artaria 149
WoO 31
Fugue in D (c.1783): B, Artaria 124
WoO 32
Duo for viola and cello (c.1797): Kafka
WoO 33
Pieces for musical clock, nos. 4^5 (c.1794): B, Artaria 186
WoO 36
Three piano quartets (1785): B, Artaria 126
WoO 37
Trio for piano, flute, and bassoon (c.1786): B, Grasnick 31
WoO 46
Variations on Bei Mannern (1801): Bonn, BH 77
WoO 52
Bagatelle in C minor (c.1795, rev. in 6/8, c.1798): Bonn, HCB BMh 11/51
WoO 64
Variations on a Swiss air (c.1791): Bonn, HCB Mh 3
WoO 67
Variations on a theme of Waldstein (c.1791): Pc, MS 27
WoO 74
Variations on Ich denke dein (1799): B, Grasnick 23
WoO 89
Prufung des Kussens (c.1791): B, Grasnick 30
WoO 90
Mit Madeln sich vertragen (c.1792): B, Artaria 172
WoO 92
Primo amore (c.1791): B, Artaria 167
WoO 92a
No, non turbarti (c. Jan. 1802): B, Artaria 165
WoO 117
Der freie Mann (1792, rev. 1794): Kafka
Hess 13
Romance in E Minor (c.1786): Kafka
Hess 48
Piano Trio fragment (c.1791): Kafka
Hess 64
Fugue in C (c.1795): Kafka
Hess 297
Adagio for three horns (1815): B, Artaria 153
Fantasia-like piano piece in D (1793): Kafka
Lamentations of Jeremiah (c.1791): Kafka
Landsberg 5 Sketchbook (1809): B, Landsberg 5
Wittgenstein Sketchbook (1819^20): Bonn, BSk 1/49
Copy of Haydn, Op. 20, no. 1 (copied c.1794): Bonn, HCB Mh 42