Mysterious Musical Symbol

TiaB's picture

Does anyone know what this musical symbol is called? It is part of Sonata, and Musical Symbols. I've been up and down the web and bought a book on musical symbols but it's just ain't there!

Florian Hardwig's picture

Hi Marina,

it isn’t part of Unicode’s Musical Symbols, is it?

TiaB's picture

Hi Florian, no, unfortunately it isn't

Lex Kominek's picture

How large is this symbol in relation to the staff? Can you post a picture of the two together?

- Lex

Richard Hards's picture

Most dynamic/tempo instructions are horizontal (don't want to increase vertical spacing between staves), that leads me to think it ought to be some key/time signature symbol.

Maybe some form of tablature rather than traditional notation, or maybe even a form of dance notation. What about non-western?

Not very helpful I know, but it's not very well drawn, is it?

aluminum's picture

It could be a clef, though a rather obscure one.

I think 2 vertical lines is the symbol for a percussion clef.

This does look familiar, though.

dezcom's picture

There is Segno sign that is somewhat similar that just is a notation to go back to the mark (like a coda) but it is a bit different looking.


fontplayer's picture

In the font called Sonata, it is referred to as 'serpent', although in many years as a musician, I haven't run into it. Looks nice.

ebensorkin's picture

It looks like the symbol for "more money" to me.... ;-)

eeblet's picture

I've been reading music for 22 years, and I've never seen it. Huh! I will forward this to my dad, who's way more of a music expert than I am.


eeblet's picture

Update - my father(who has his PhD in Musicology, and was a music teacher for years) has never seen this before! I'm really really curious. Could it just be a typographer's idea of a good joke?


Jan's picture

Isn’t that the currency symbol of the lawyers’ empire?

Bleisetzer's picture

Yes, Eben.
It looks like High Cabal.

Don't wanna know more... don't ask. Too dangerous.

„Ich bin ein Preuße, kennt Ihr meine Farben...“

Jim Stafford's picture

I think the name gives it away, no? Surely it's just a fleuron type thing for tarting up music notation?

Jens Kutilek's picture

Could it just be a typographer’s idea of a good joke?

I don't think so. I've definitely seen it in sheet music, I'm don't quite remember what it means though. Perhaps it's used only in some regions (Germany in my case)?

I guess I could ask my former conductor (I used to play in an orchestra until 2.5 years ago).


Oisín's picture

«In the font called Sonata, it is referred to as ’serpent’»

Perhaps it’s a clef designed specifically for the serpent?

It does look a bit like an abstract representation of a serpent.

Jan's picture


Actually it looks a bit like this.

i cant delete my username's picture


editing a dumb observation. Pay no attention.

TiaB's picture

Guys, thanks a lot for all the threads...As there is no definitive answer to this, I will name it as: "Mysterious Musical Symbol" in my project.

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