A contrived example of D.C. al Fine. Play Use of Da Capo prevents the need to write out extra measures, often many more than in this example. The notes are played as: G A B B C, G A B C, low-C

Da capo (/dɑː ˈkɑːp/ dah KAH-poh, US also /də -/ də -⁠, Italian: [da (k)ˈkaːpo]; often abbreviated as D.C.) is an Italian musical term that means "from the beginning"[1] (literally, "from the head"). The term is a directive to repeat the previous part of music, often used to save space, and thus is an easier way of saying to repeat the music from the beginning.

In small pieces, this might be the same thing as a repeat. But in larger works, D.C. might occur after one or more repeats of small sections, indicating a return to the very beginning. The resulting structure of the piece is generally in ternary form. Sometimes, the composer describes the part to be repeated, for example: Menuet da capo.[further explanation needed] In opera, where an aria of this structure is called a da capo aria, the repeated section is often adorned with grace notes.

The word Fine (Ital. 'end') is generally placed above the stave at the point where the movement ceases after a 'Da capo' repetition. Its place is occasionally taken by a pause (see fermata)."[2]


A similar example showing D.C. al Coda. Play The notes are played as: G A B B C, G A, low-C

See also


  1. ^ Randel, Don Michael; ed. (2003). The Harvard Dictionary of Music, p. 234. Harvard. ISBN 9780674011632.
  2. ^ Grove, George; Fuller-Maitland, John Alexander; Pratt, Waldo Selden; and Boyd, Charles Newell; eds. (1906). Grove's dictionary of music and musicians, p. 42. Macmillan. [ISBN unspecified].
  3. ^ Stainer, John and Barrett, William Alexander (1898). Stainer and Barrett's Dictionary of Musical Terms, p. 133. Novello. [ISBN unspecified].