In the abbreviation expressed by strokes, as above, the passage to be abbreviated can of course contain no note of greater length than a quaver, but it is possible also to divide a long note into crotchets, by means of dots placed over it, as in Ex. 3. This is however seldom done, as the saving of space is inconsiderable. When a long note has to be repeated in the form of triplets or groups of six, the figure 3 or 6 is usually placed over it in addition to the stroke across the stem, and the note is sometimes, though not necessarily, written dotted (Ex. 4).
The repetition of a group of two notes is abbreviated by two white notes (minims or semibreves) connected by the number of strokes ordinarily used to express quavers, semiquavers, etc., according to the rate of movement intended (Ex. 5). The duration of the whole passage should be at least a minim, since if a crotchet were treated in this manner it would present the appearance of two quavers or semiquavers, and would be unintelligible. Nevertheless, a group of demisemiquavers amounting altogether to the value of a crotchet is sometimes found abbreviated as in Ex. 6, the figure 8 being placed above the notes to show that the value of the whole group is that of a crotchet, and not a quaver. Such abbreviations, though perhaps useful in certain cases, are generally to be avoided as ambiguous. It will be observed that a passage lasting for the value of one minim requires two minims to express it, on account of the group consisting of two notes.
A group of three, four, or more notes is abbreviated by the repetition of the cross strokes without the notes as many times as the group has to be repeated (Ex. 7); or the notes forming the group are written as a chord, with the necessary number of strokes across the stem (Ex. 8). In this case the word simili or segue is added, to show that the order of notes in the first group (which must be written out in full) is to be repeated, and to prevent the possibility of mistaking the effect intended for that indicated in Ex. 1 and 2.
Another sign of abbreviation of a group consists of an oblique line with two dots, one on each side (Ex. 9); this serves to indicate the repetition of a group of any number of notes of any length, and even of a passage composed of several groups, provided such passage is not more than two bars in length (Ex. 10).
A more usual method of abbreviating the repetition of a passage of the length of the above is to write over it the word bís (twice), or in some cases ter (three times), or to enclose it between the dots of an ordinary repeat .Passages intended to be played in octaves are often written as single notes with the words con ottavi or con 8vi placed above or below them,