5.1.1 Contexts explained

Contexts are arranged hierarchically:


Score - the master of all contexts

This is the top level notation context. No other context can contain a Score context. By default the Score context handles the administration of time signatures and makes sure that items such as clefs, time signatures, and key-signatures are aligned across staves.

A Score context is instantiated implicitly when a \score {…} or \layout {…} block is processed.


Top-level contexts - staff containers

StaffGroup

Groups staves while adding a bracket on the left side, grouping the staves together. The bar lines of the contained staves are connected vertically. StaffGroup only consists of a collection of staves, with a bracket in front and spanning bar lines.

ChoirStaff

Identical to StaffGroup except that the bar lines of the contained staves are not connected vertically.

GrandStaff

A group of staves, with a brace on the left side, grouping the staves together. The bar lines of the contained staves are connected vertically.

PianoStaff

Just like GrandStaff, but with support for instrument names to the left of each system.


Intermediate-level contexts - staves

Staff

Handles clefs, bar lines, keys, accidentals. It can contain Voice contexts.

RhythmicStaff

Like Staff but for printing rhythms. Pitches are ignored; the notes are printed on one line.

TabStaff

Context for generating tablature. By default lays the music expression out as a guitar tablature, printed on six lines.

DrumStaff

Handles typesetting for percussion. Can contain DrumVoice

VaticanaStaff

Same as Staff, except that it is designed for typesetting a piece in gregorian style.

MensuralStaff

Same as Staff, except that it is designed for typesetting a piece in mensural style.


Bottom-level contexts - voices

Voice-level contexts initialise certain properties and start appropriate engravers. Being bottom-level contexts, they cannot contain other contexts.

Voice

Corresponds to a voice on a staff. This context handles the conversion of dynamic signs, stems, beams, super- and sub-scripts, slurs, ties, and rests. You have to instantiate this explicitly if you require multiple voices on the same staff.

VaticanaVoice

Same as Voice, except that it is designed for typesetting a piece in gregorian style.

MensuralVoice

Same as Voice, with modifications for typesetting a piece in mensural style.

Lyrics

Corresponds to a voice with lyrics. Handles the printing of a single line of lyrics.

DrumVoice

The voice context used in a percussion staff.

FiguredBass

The context in which BassFigure objects are created from input entered in \figuremode mode.

TabVoice

The voice context used within a TabStaff context. Usually left to be created implicitly.

CueVoice

A voice context used to render notes of a reduced size, intended primarily for adding cue notes to a staff, see Formatting cue notes. Usually left to be created implicitly.

ChordNames

Typesets chord names.


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