LilyPond — Snippets

This document shows a selected set of LilyPond snippets from the LilyPond Snippet Repository (LSR). It is in the public domain.

We would like to address many thanks to Sebastiano Vigna for maintaining LSR web site and database, and the University of Milano for hosting LSR.

Please note that this document is not an exact subset of LSR: some snippets come from ‘input/new’ LilyPond sources directory, and snippets from LSR are converted through convert-ly, as LSR is based on a stable LilyPond version, and this document is for version 2.16.2.

Snippets are grouped by tags; tags listed in the table of contents match a section of LilyPond notation manual. Snippets may have several tags, and not all LSR tags may appear in this document.

In the HTML version of this document, you can click on the file name or figure for each example to see the corresponding input file.

For more information about how this manual fits with the other documentation, or to read this manual in other formats, see Manuals.

If you are missing any manuals, the complete documentation can be found at http://www.lilypond.org/.


Pitches

Pitches


Adding ambitus per voice

Ambitus can be added per voice. In this case, the ambitus must be moved manually to prevent collisions.

\new Staff <<
  \new Voice \with {
    \consists "Ambitus_engraver"
  } \relative c'' {
    \override Ambitus #'X-offset = #2.0
    \voiceOne
    c4 a d e
    f1
  }
  \new Voice \with {
    \consists "Ambitus_engraver"
  } \relative c' {
    \voiceTwo
    es4 f g as
    b1
  }
>>

[image of music]


Altering the length of beamed stems

Stem lengths on beamed notes can be varied by overriding the beamed-lengths property of the details of the Stem. If a single value is used as an argument, the length applies to all stems. When multiple arguments are used, the first applies to eighth notes, the second to sixteenth notes and so on. The final argument also applies to all notes shorter than the note length of the final argument. Non-integer arguments may also be used.

\relative c'' {
  \override Stem #'(details beamed-lengths) = #'(2)
  a8[ a] a16[ a] a32[ a]
  \override Stem #'(details beamed-lengths) = #'(8 10 12)
  a8[ a] a16[ a] a32[ a] r8
  \override Stem #'(details beamed-lengths) = #'(8)
  a8[ a]
  \override Stem #'(details beamed-lengths) = #'(8.5)
  a8[ a]
  \revert Stem #'details
  a8[ a] a16[ a] a32[ a] r16
}

[image of music]


Ambitus with multiple voices

Adding the Ambitus_engraver to the Staff context creates a single ambitus per staff, even in the case of staves with multiple voices.

\new Staff \with {
  \consists "Ambitus_engraver"
  }
<<
  \new Voice \relative c'' {
    \voiceOne
    c4 a d e
    f1
  }
  \new Voice \relative c' {
    \voiceTwo
    es4 f g as
    b1
  }
>>

[image of music]


Ambitus

Ambitus indicate pitch ranges for voices.

Accidentals only show up if they are not part of the key signature. AmbitusNoteHead grobs also have ledger lines.

\layout {
  \context {
    \Voice
    \consists "Ambitus_engraver"
  }
}

<<
  \new Staff {
    \relative c' {
      \time 2/4
      c4 f'
    }
  }
  \new Staff {
    \relative c' {
      \time  2/4
      \key d \major
      cis4 as'
    }
  }
>>

[image of music]


Applying note head styles depending on the step of the scale

The shapeNoteStyles property can be used to define various note head styles for each step of the scale (as set by the key signature or the tonic property). This property requires a set of symbols, which can be purely arbitrary (geometrical expressions such as triangle, cross, and xcircle are allowed) or based on old American engraving tradition (some latin note names are also allowed).

That said, to imitate old American song books, there are several predefined note head styles available through shortcut commands such as \aikenHeads or \sacredHarpHeads.

This example shows different ways to obtain shape note heads, and demonstrates the ability to transpose a melody without losing the correspondence between harmonic functions and note head styles.

fragment = {
  \key c \major
  c2 d
  e2 f
  g2 a
  b2 c
}

\new Staff {
  \transpose c d
  \relative c' {
    \set shapeNoteStyles = #'#(do re mi fa
                               #f la ti)
    \fragment
  }

  \break

  \relative c' {
    \set shapeNoteStyles = #'#(cross triangle fa #f
                               mensural xcircle diamond)
    \fragment
  }
}

[image of music]


Changing the ambitus gap

It is possible to change the default gap setting for ambitus.

\layout {
  \context {
    \Voice
    \consists "Ambitus_engraver"
  }
}

\new Staff {
  \time 2/4
  % Default setting
  c'4 g''
}

\new Staff {
  \time 2/4
  \override AmbitusLine #'gap = #0
  c'4 g''
}

\new Staff {
  \time 2/4
  \override AmbitusLine #'gap = #1
  c'4 g''
}

\new Staff {
  \time 2/4
  \override AmbitusLine #'gap = #1.5
  c'4 g''
}

[image of music]


Changing the interval of lines on the stave

staffLineLayoutFunction is used to change the position of notes. This snippet shows setting its value to ly:pitch-semitones in order to produce a chromatic scale with the distance between each space and line of the stave equal to one semitone.

scale = \relative c' {
  a4 ais b c
  cis4 d dis e
  f4 fis g gis
  a1
}

\new Staff \with {
  \remove "Accidental_engraver"
  staffLineLayoutFunction = #ly:pitch-semitones
}
{
  <<
    \scale
    \context NoteNames {
      \set printOctaveNames = ##f
      \scale
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Clefs can be transposed by arbitrary amounts

Clefs can be transposed by arbitrary amounts, not just by octaves.

\relative c' {
  \clef treble
  c4 c c c
  \clef "treble_8"
  c4 c c c
  \clef "treble_5"
  c4 c c c
  \clef "treble^3"
  c4 c c c
}

[image of music]


Coloring notes depending on their pitch

It is possible to color note heads depending on their pitch and/or their names: the function used in this example even makes it possible to distinguish enharmonics.

%Association list of pitches to colors.
#(define color-mapping
   (list
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 0 NATURAL) (x11-color 'red))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 0 SHARP) (x11-color 'green))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 1 FLAT) (x11-color 'green))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 2 NATURAL) (x11-color 'red))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 2 SHARP) (x11-color 'green))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 3 FLAT) (x11-color 'red))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 3 NATURAL) (x11-color 'green))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 4 SHARP) (x11-color 'red))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 5 NATURAL) (x11-color 'green))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 5 FLAT) (x11-color 'red))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 6 SHARP) (x11-color 'red))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 1 NATURAL) (x11-color 'blue))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 3 SHARP) (x11-color 'blue))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 4 FLAT) (x11-color 'blue))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 5 SHARP) (x11-color 'blue))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 6 FLAT) (x11-color 'blue))))

%Compare pitch and alteration (not octave).
#(define (pitch-equals? p1 p2)
   (and
    (= (ly:pitch-alteration p1) (ly:pitch-alteration p2))
    (= (ly:pitch-notename p1) (ly:pitch-notename p2))))

#(define (pitch-to-color pitch)
   (let ((color (assoc pitch color-mapping pitch-equals?)))
     (if color
         (cdr color))))

#(define (color-notehead grob)
   (pitch-to-color
    (ly:event-property (event-cause grob) 'pitch)))

\score {
  \new Staff \relative c' {
    \override NoteHead #'color = #color-notehead
    c8 b d dis ees f g aes
  }
}

[image of music]


Creating a sequence of notes on various pitches

In music that contains many occurrences of the same sequence of notes at different pitches, the following music function may prove useful. It takes a note, of which only the pitch is used. This example creates the rhythm used throughout Mars, from Gustav Holst’s The Planets.

rhythm =
#(define-music-function (parser location p) (ly:pitch?)
   "Make the rhythm in Mars (the Planets) at the given pitch"
  #{ \times 2/3 { $p 8 $p $p } $p 4 $p $p 8 $p $p 4 #})

\new Staff {
  \time 5/4
  \rhythm c'
  \rhythm c''
  \rhythm g
}

[image of music]


Forcing a clef symbol to be displayed

When a clef sign has already been displayed and it has not been changed to a different clef, then repeating the \clef command will be ignored by LilyPond, since it is not a change of clef. It is possible to force the clef to be redisplayed using the command \set Staff.forceClef = ##t.

\relative c' {
  \clef treble
  c1
  \clef treble
  c1
  \set Staff.forceClef = ##t
  c1
  \clef treble
  c1
}

[image of music]


Generating random notes

This Scheme-based snippet generates 24 random notes (or as many as required), based on the current time (or any randomish number specified instead, in order to obtain the same random notes each time): i.e., to get different random note patterns, just change this number.

\score {
  {
    $(let ((random-state (seed->random-state (current-time))))
       (make-sequential-music
         (map (lambda (x)
                (let ((idx (random 12 random-state)))
                  (make-event-chord
                   (list
                    (make-music 'NoteEvent
                                'duration (ly:make-duration 2 0 1 1)
                                'pitch (ly:make-pitch
                                        (quotient idx 7)
                                        (remainder idx 7)
                                        0))))))
              (make-list 24))))
  }
}

[image of music]


Hiding accidentals on tied notes at the start of a new system

This shows how to hide accidentals on tied notes at the start of a new system.

\relative c'' {
  \override Accidental #'hide-tied-accidental-after-break = ##t
  cis1~ cis~
  \break
  cis
}

[image of music]


Keep change clefs full sized

When a clef is changed, the clef sign displayed is smaller than the initial clef. This can be overridden with full-size-change.

\relative c' {
  \clef "treble"
  c1
  \clef "bass"
  c1
  \clef "treble"
  c1
  \override Staff.Clef #'full-size-change = ##t
  \clef "bass"
  c1
  \clef "treble"
  c1
  \revert Staff.Clef #'full-size-change
  \clef "bass"
  c1
  \clef "treble"
  c1
}

[image of music]


Makam example

Makam is a type of melody from Turkey using 1/9th-tone microtonal alterations. Consult the initialization file ‘ly/makam.ly’ for details of pitch names and alterations.

% Initialize makam settings
\include "makam.ly"

\relative c' {
  \set Staff.keySignature = #`((6 . ,(- KOMA)) (3 . ,BAKIYE))
  c4 cc db fk
  gbm4 gfc gfb efk
  fk4 db cc c
}

[image of music]


Non-traditional key signatures

The commonly used \key command sets the keySignature property, in the Staff context.

To create non-standard key signatures, set this property directly. The format of this command is a list:

\set Staff.keySignature = #`(((octave . step) . alter) ((octave . step) . alter) ...) where, for each element in the list, octave specifies the octave (0 being the octave from middle C to the B above), step specifies the note within the octave (0 means C and 6 means B), and alter is ,SHARP ,FLAT ,DOUBLE-SHARP etc. (Note the leading comma.) The accidentals in the key signature will appear in the reverse order to that in which they are specified.

Alternatively, for each item in the list, using the more concise format (step . alter) specifies that the same alteration should hold in all octaves.

For microtonal scales where a “sharp” is not 100 cents, alter refers to the alteration as a proportion of a 200-cent whole tone.

Here is an example of a possible key signature for generating a whole-tone scale:

\relative c' {
  \set Staff.keySignature = #`(((0 . 6) . ,FLAT)
                               ((0 . 5) . ,FLAT)
                               ((0 . 3) . ,SHARP))
  c4 d e fis
  aes4 bes c2
}

[image of music]


Numbers as easy note heads

Easy notation note heads use the note-names property of the NoteHead object to determine what appears inside the note head. By overriding this property, it is possible to print numbers representing the scale-degree.

A simple engraver can be created to do this for every note head object it sees.

#(define Ez_numbers_engraver
   (make-engraver
    (acknowledgers
     ((note-head-interface engraver grob source-engraver)
      (let* ((context (ly:translator-context engraver))
	     (tonic-pitch (ly:context-property context 'tonic))
	     (tonic-name (ly:pitch-notename tonic-pitch))
	     (grob-pitch
	      (ly:event-property (event-cause grob) 'pitch))
	     (grob-name (ly:pitch-notename grob-pitch))
	     (delta (modulo (- grob-name tonic-name) 7))
	     (note-names
	      (make-vector 7 (number->string (1+ delta)))))
	(ly:grob-set-property! grob 'note-names note-names))))))

#(set-global-staff-size 26)

\layout {
  ragged-right = ##t
  \context {
    \Voice
    \consists \Ez_numbers_engraver
  }
}

\relative c' {
  \easyHeadsOn
  c4 d e f
  g4 a b c \break

  \key a \major
  a,4 b cis d
  e4 fis gis a \break

  \key d \dorian
  d,4 e f g
  a4 b c d
}

[image of music]


Orchestra choir and piano template

This template demonstrates the use of nested StaffGroup and GrandStaff contexts to sub-group instruments of the same type together, and a way to use \transpose so that variables hold music for transposing instruments at concert pitch.

#(set-global-staff-size 17)
\paper {
  indent = 3.0\cm  % space for instrumentName
  short-indent = 1.5\cm  % space for shortInstrumentName
}

fluteMusic = \relative c' { \key g \major g'1 b }
% Pitches as written on a manuscript for Clarinet in A
% are transposed to concert pitch.
clarinetMusic = \transpose c' a
  \relative c'' { \key bes \major bes1 d }
trumpetMusic = \relative c { \key g \major g''1 b }
% Key signature is often omitted for horns
hornMusic = \transpose c' f
  \relative c { d'1 fis }
percussionMusic = \relative c { \key g \major g1 b }
sopranoMusic = \relative c'' { \key g \major g'1 b }
sopranoLyrics = \lyricmode { Lyr -- ics }
altoIMusic = \relative c' { \key g \major g'1 b }
altoIIMusic = \relative c' { \key g \major g'1 b }
altoILyrics =  \sopranoLyrics
altoIILyrics = \lyricmode { Ah -- ah }
tenorMusic = \relative c' { \clef "treble_8" \key g \major g1 b }
tenorLyrics = \sopranoLyrics
pianoRHMusic = \relative c { \key g \major g''1 b }
pianoLHMusic = \relative c { \clef bass \key g \major g1 b }
violinIMusic = \relative c' { \key g \major g'1 b }
violinIIMusic = \relative c' { \key g \major g'1 b }
violaMusic = \relative c { \clef alto \key g \major g'1 b }
celloMusic = \relative c { \clef bass \key g \major g1 b }
bassMusic = \relative c { \clef "bass_8" \key g \major g,1 b }

\score {
  <<
    \new StaffGroup = "StaffGroup_woodwinds" <<
      \new Staff = "Staff_flute" {
        \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Flute"
        % shortInstrumentName, midiInstrument, etc.
        % may be set here as well
        \fluteMusic
      }
      \new Staff = "Staff_clarinet" {
        \set Staff.instrumentName =
        \markup { \concat { "Clarinet in B" \flat } }
        % Declare that written Middle C in the music
        %  to follow sounds a concert B flat, for
        %  output using sounded pitches such as MIDI.
        \transposition bes
        % Print music for a B-flat clarinet
        \transpose bes c' \clarinetMusic
      }
    >>
    \new StaffGroup = "StaffGroup_brass" <<
      \new Staff = "Staff_hornI" {
        \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Horn in F"
        \transposition f
        \transpose f c' \hornMusic
      }
      \new Staff = "Staff_trumpet" {
        \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Trumpet in  C"
        \trumpetMusic
      }
    >>
    \new RhythmicStaff = "RhythmicStaff_percussion" <<
      \set RhythmicStaff.instrumentName = #"Percussion"
      \percussionMusic
    >>
    \new PianoStaff <<
      \set PianoStaff.instrumentName = #"Piano"
      \new Staff { \pianoRHMusic }
      \new Staff { \pianoLHMusic }
    >>
    \new ChoirStaff = "ChoirStaff_choir" <<
      \new Staff = "Staff_soprano" {
        \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Soprano"
        \new Voice = "soprano"
        \sopranoMusic
      }
      \new Lyrics \lyricsto "soprano" { \sopranoLyrics }
      \new GrandStaff = "GrandStaff_altos"
      \with { \accepts Lyrics } <<
        \new Staff = "Staff_altoI"  {
          \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Alto I"
          \new Voice = "altoI"
          \altoIMusic
        }
        \new Lyrics \lyricsto "altoI" { \altoILyrics }
        \new Staff = "Staff_altoII" {
          \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Alto II"
          \new Voice = "altoII"
          \altoIIMusic
        }
        \new Lyrics \lyricsto "altoII" { \altoIILyrics }
      >>
      \new Staff = "Staff_tenor" {
        \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Tenor"
        \new Voice = "tenor"
        \tenorMusic
      }
      \new Lyrics \lyricsto "tenor" { \tenorLyrics }
    >>
    \new StaffGroup = "StaffGroup_strings" <<
      \new GrandStaff = "GrandStaff_violins" <<
        \new Staff = "Staff_violinI" {
          \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Violin I"
          \violinIMusic
        }
        \new Staff = "Staff_violinII" {
          \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Violin II"
          \violinIIMusic
        }
      >>
      \new Staff = "Staff_viola" {
        \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Viola"
        \violaMusic
      }
      \new Staff = "Staff_cello" {
        \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Cello"
        \celloMusic
      }
      \new Staff = "Staff_bass" {
        \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Double Bass"
        \bassMusic
      }
    >>
  >>
  \layout { }
}

[image of music]


Ottava text

Internally, \ottava sets the properties ottavation (for example, to 8va or 8vb) and middleCPosition. To override the text of the bracket, set ottavation after invoking \ottava.

{
  \ottava #1
  \set Staff.ottavation = #"8"
  c''1
  \ottava #0
  c'1
  \ottava #1
  \set Staff.ottavation = #"Text"
  c''1
}

[image of music]


Preventing extra naturals from being automatically added

In accordance with standard typesetting rules, a natural sign is printed before a sharp or flat if a previous accidental on the same note needs to be canceled. To change this behavior, set the extraNatural property to f in the Staff context.

\relative c'' {
  aeses4 aes ais a
  \set Staff.extraNatural = ##f
  aeses4 aes ais a
}

[image of music]


Preventing natural signs from being printed when the key signature changes

When the key signature changes, natural signs are automatically printed to cancel any accidentals from previous key signatures. This may be prevented by setting to f the printKeyCancellation property in the Staff context.

\relative c' {
  \key d \major
  a4 b cis d
  \key g \minor
  a4 bes c d
  \set Staff.printKeyCancellation = ##f
  \key d \major
  a4 b cis d
  \key g \minor
  a4 bes c d
}

[image of music]


Quoting another voice with transposition

Quotations take into account the transposition of both source and target. In this example, all instruments play sounding middle C; the target is an instrument in F. The target part may be transposed using \transpose. In this case, all the pitches (including the quoted ones) are transposed.

\addQuote clarinet {
  \transposition bes
  \repeat unfold 8 { d'16 d' d'8 }
}

\addQuote sax {
  \transposition es'
  \repeat unfold 16 { a8 }
}

quoteTest = {
  % french horn
  \transposition f
  g'4
  << \quoteDuring #"clarinet" { \skip 4 } s4^"clar." >>
  << \quoteDuring #"sax" { \skip 4 } s4^"sax." >>
  g'4
}

{
  \set Staff.instrumentName =
    \markup {
      \center-column { Horn \line { in F } }
    }
  \quoteTest
  \transpose c' d' << \quoteTest s4_"up a tone" >>
}

[image of music]


Separating key cancellations from key signature changes

By default, the accidentals used for key cancellations are placed adjacent to those for key signature changes. This behavior can be changed by overriding the 'break-align-orders property of the BreakAlignment grob.

The value of 'break-align-orders is a vector of length 3, with quoted lists of breakable items as elements. This example only modifies the second list, moving key-cancellation before staff-bar; by modifying the second list, break alignment behavior only changes in the middle of a system, not at the beginning or the end.

\new Staff {
  \override Score.BreakAlignment #'break-align-orders =
    #'#((left-edge ambitus breathing-sign clef staff-bar
                   key-cancellation key-signature time-signature custos)

        (left-edge ambitus breathing-sign clef key-cancellation
                   staff-bar key-signature time-signature custos)

        (left-edge ambitus breathing-sign clef key-cancellation
                   key-signature staff-bar time-signature custos))

  \key des \major
  c'1
  \bar "||"
  \key bes \major
  c'1
}

[image of music]


Transposing pitches with minimum accidentals ("Smart" transpose)

This example uses some Scheme code to enforce enharmonic modifications for notes in order to have the minimum number of accidentals. In this case, the following rules apply:

Double accidentals should be removed

B sharp -> C

E sharp -> F

C flat -> B

F flat -> E

In this manner, the most natural enharmonic notes are chosen.

#(define (naturalize-pitch p)
   (let ((o (ly:pitch-octave p))
         (a (* 4 (ly:pitch-alteration p)))
         ;; alteration, a, in quarter tone steps,
         ;; for historical reasons
         (n (ly:pitch-notename p)))
     (cond
      ((and (> a 1) (or (eq? n 6) (eq? n 2)))
       (set! a (- a 2))
       (set! n (+ n 1)))
      ((and (< a -1) (or (eq? n 0) (eq? n 3)))
       (set! a (+ a 2))
       (set! n (- n 1))))
     (cond
      ((> a 2) (set! a (- a 4)) (set! n (+ n 1)))
      ((< a -2) (set! a (+ a 4)) (set! n (- n 1))))
     (if (< n 0) (begin (set! o (- o 1)) (set! n (+ n 7))))
     (if (> n 6) (begin (set! o (+ o 1)) (set! n (- n 7))))
     (ly:make-pitch o n (/ a 4))))

#(define (naturalize music)
   (let ((es (ly:music-property music 'elements))
         (e (ly:music-property music 'element))
         (p (ly:music-property music 'pitch)))
     (if (pair? es)
         (ly:music-set-property!
          music 'elements
          (map (lambda (x) (naturalize x)) es)))
     (if (ly:music? e)
         (ly:music-set-property!
          music 'element
          (naturalize e)))
     (if (ly:pitch? p)
         (begin
           (set! p (naturalize-pitch p))
           (ly:music-set-property! music 'pitch p)))
     music))

naturalizeMusic =
#(define-music-function (parser location m)
   (ly:music?)
   (naturalize m))

music = \relative c' { c4 d e g }

\score {
  \new Staff {
    \transpose c ais { \music }
    \naturalizeMusic \transpose c ais { \music }
    \transpose c deses { \music }
    \naturalizeMusic \transpose c deses { \music }
  }
  \layout { }
}

[image of music]


Tweaking clef properties

The command \clef "treble_8" is equivalent to setting clefGlyph, clefPosition (which controls the vertical position of the clef), middleCPosition and clefOctavation. A clef is printed when any of the properties except middleCPosition are changed.

Note that changing the glyph, the position of the clef, or the octavation does not in itself change the position of subsequent notes on the staff: the position of middle C must also be specified to do this. The positional parameters are relative to the staff center line, positive numbers displacing upwards, counting one for each line and space. The clefOctavation value would normally be set to 7, -7, 15 or -15, but other values are valid.

When a clef change takes place at a line break the new clef symbol is printed at both the end of the previous line and the beginning of the new line by default. If the warning clef at the end of the previous line is not required it can be suppressed by setting the Staff property explicitClefVisibility to the value end-of-line-invisible. The default behavior can be recovered with \unset Staff.explicitClefVisibility.

The following examples show the possibilities when setting these properties manually. On the first line, the manual changes preserve the standard relative positioning of clefs and notes, whereas on the second line, they do not.

\layout { ragged-right = ##t }

{
  % The default treble clef
  c'1
  % The standard bass clef
  \set Staff.clefGlyph = #"clefs.F"
  \set Staff.clefPosition = #2
  \set Staff.middleCPosition = #6
  c'1
  % The baritone clef
  \set Staff.clefGlyph = #"clefs.C"
  \set Staff.clefPosition = #4
  \set Staff.middleCPosition = #4
  c'1
  % The standard choral tenor clef
  \set Staff.clefGlyph = #"clefs.G"
  \set Staff.clefPosition = #-2
  \set Staff.clefOctavation = #-7
  \set Staff.middleCPosition = #1
  c'1
  % A non-standard clef
  \set Staff.clefPosition = #0
  \set Staff.clefOctavation = #0
  \set Staff.middleCPosition = #-4
  c'1 \break

  % The following clef changes do not preserve
  % the normal relationship between notes and clefs:

  \set Staff.clefGlyph = #"clefs.F"
  \set Staff.clefPosition = #2
  c'1
  \set Staff.clefGlyph = #"clefs.G"
  c'1
  \set Staff.clefGlyph = #"clefs.C"
  c'1
  \set Staff.clefOctavation = #7
  c'1
  \set Staff.clefOctavation = #0
  \set Staff.clefPosition = #0
  c'1

  % Return to the normal clef:

  \set Staff.middleCPosition = #0
  c'1
}

[image of music]


Using autochange with more than one voice

Using autochange with more than one voice.

\score
{
  \new PianoStaff
  <<
    \new Staff = "up" {
      <<
        \set Timing.beamExceptions = #'()
        \set Timing.beatStructure = #'(4)
        \new Voice {
          \voiceOne
          \autochange
          \relative c' {
            g8 a b c d e f g
            g,8 a b c d e f g
          }
        }

        \new Voice {
          \voiceTwo
          \autochange
          \relative c' {
            g8 a b c d e f g
            g,,8 a b c d e f g
          }
        }
      >>
    }

    \new Staff = "down" {
      \clef bass
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Rhythms

Rhythms


Adding beams slurs ties etc. when using tuplet and non-tuplet rhythms

LilyPond syntax can involve many unusual placements for parentheses, brackets etc., which might sometimes have to be interleaved. For example, when entering a manual beam, the left square bracket has to be placed after the starting note and its duration, not before. Similarly, the right square bracket should directly follow the note which is to be at the end of the requested beaming, even if this note happens to be inside a tuplet section. This snippet demonstrates how to combine manual beaming, manual slurs, ties and phrasing slurs with tuplet sections (enclosed within curly braces).

{
  r16[ g16 \times 2/3 { r16 e'8] }
  g16( a \times 2/3 { b d e') }
  g8[( a \times 2/3 { b d') e'] ~ }
  \time 2/4
  \times 4/5 { e'32\( a b d' e' } a'4.\)
}

[image of music]


Adding drum parts

Using the powerful pre-configured tools such as the \drummode function and the DrumStaff context, inputting drum parts is quite easy: drums are placed at their own staff positions (with a special clef symbol) and have note heads according to the drum. Attaching an extra symbol to the drum or restricting the number of lines is possible.

drh = \drummode { cymc4.^"crash" hhc16^"h.h." hh hhc8 hho hhc8 hh16 hh hhc4 r4 r2 }
drl = \drummode { bd4 sn8 bd bd4 << bd ss >>  bd8 tommh tommh bd toml toml bd tomfh16 tomfh }
timb = \drummode { timh4 ssh timl8 ssh r timh r4 ssh8 timl r4 cb8 cb }

\score {
  <<
    \new DrumStaff \with {
      drumStyleTable = #timbales-style
      \override StaffSymbol #'line-count = #2
      \override BarLine #'bar-extent = #'(-1 . 1)
    } <<
      \set Staff.instrumentName = #"timbales"
      \timb
    >>
    \new DrumStaff <<
      \set Staff.instrumentName = #"drums"
      \new DrumVoice { \stemUp \drh }
      \new DrumVoice { \stemDown \drl }
    >>
  >>
  \layout { }
  \midi {
    \tempo 4 = 120
  }
}

[image of music]


Adjusting grace note spacing

The space given to grace notes can be adjusted using the spacing-increment property of Score.GraceSpacing.

graceNotes = {
  \grace { c4 c8 c16 c32 }
  c8
}

\relative c'' {
  c8
  \graceNotes
  \override Score.GraceSpacing #'spacing-increment = #2.0
  \graceNotes
  \revert Score.GraceSpacing #'spacing-increment
  \graceNotes
}

[image of music]


Aligning bar numbers

Bar numbers by default are right-aligned to their parent object. This is usually the left edge of a line or, if numbers are printed within a line, the left hand side of a bar line. The numbers may also be positioned directly over the bar line or left-aligned to the bar line.

\relative c' {
  \set Score.currentBarNumber = #111
  \override Score.BarNumber #'break-visibility = #all-visible
  % Increase the size of the bar number by 2
  \override Score.BarNumber #'font-size = #2
  % Print a bar number every second measure
  \set Score.barNumberVisibility = #(every-nth-bar-number-visible 2)
  c1 | c1
  % Center-align bar numbers
  \override Score.BarNumber #'self-alignment-X = #CENTER
  c1 | c1
  % Left-align bar numbers
  \override Score.BarNumber #'self-alignment-X = #LEFT
  c1 | c1
}

[image of music]


Alternative breve note

This code demonstrates how to use the alternative breve note with two vertical lines on each side of the notehead instead of one line.

\relative c'' {
  \time 4/2
  c\breve |
  \override Staff.NoteHead #'style = #'altdefault
  b\breve
  \revert Staff.NoteHead #'style
  a\breve
}

[image of music]


Automatic beam subdivisions

Beams can be subdivided automatically. By setting the property subdivideBeams, beams are subdivided at beat positions (as specified in baseMoment).

\new Staff {
  \relative c'' {
    <<
      {
        \voiceOne
        \set subdivideBeams = ##t
        b32[ a g f c' b a g
        b32^"subdivide beams" a g f c' b a g]
      }
      \new Voice {
        \voiceTwo
        b32_"default"[ a g f c' b a g
        b32 a g f c' b a g]
      }
    >>
    \oneVoice
    \set baseMoment = #(ly:make-moment 1 8)
    \set beatStructure = #'(2 2 2 2)
    b32^"baseMoment 1 8"[ a g f c' b a g]
    \set baseMoment = #(ly:make-moment 1 16)
    \set beatStructure = #'(4 4 4 4)
    b32^"baseMoment 1 16"[ a g f c' b a g]
  }
}

[image of music]


Automatically change durations

<code>shiftDurations</code> can be used to change the note lengths of a piece of music. It takes two arguments - the scaling factor as a power of two, and the number of dots to be added as a positive integer.

\paper { indent = 0 }

music = \relative c'' { a1 b2 c4 d8 r }

\score {
  \new Voice {
    \time 4/2
    \music
    \time 4/4
    \shiftDurations #1 #0 { \music }
    \time 2/4
    \shiftDurations #2 #0 { \music }
    \time 4/1
    \shiftDurations #-1 #0 { \music }
    \time 8/1
    \shiftDurations #-2 #0 { \music }
    \time 6/2
    \shiftDurations #0 #1 { \music }
    \time 7/2
    \shiftDurations #0 #2 { \music }
  }
}

[image of music]


Avoiding collisions with chord fingerings

Fingerings and string numbers applied to individual notes will automatically avoid beams and stems, but this is not true by default for fingerings and string numbers applied to the individual notes of chords. The following example shows how this default behavior can be overridden.

\relative c' {
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(up)
  \set stringNumberOrientations = #'(up)
  \set strokeFingerOrientations = #'(up)

  % Default behavior
  r8
  <f c'-5>8
  <f c'\5>8
  <f c'-\rightHandFinger #2 >8

  % Corrected to avoid collisions
  r8
  \override Fingering #'add-stem-support = ##t
  <f c'-5>8
  \override StringNumber #'add-stem-support = ##t
  <f c'\5>8
  \override StrokeFinger #'add-stem-support = ##t
  <f c'-\rightHandFinger #2 >8
}

[image of music]


Beam endings in Score context

Beam-ending rules specified in the Score context apply to all staves, but can be modified at both Staff and Voice levels:

\relative c'' {
  \time 5/4
  % Set default beaming for all staves
  \set Score.baseMoment = #(ly:make-moment 1 8)
  \set Score.beatStructure = #'(3 4 3)
  <<
    \new Staff {
      c8 c c c c c c c c c
    }
    \new Staff {
      % Modify beaming for just this staff
      \set Staff.beatStructure = #'(6 4)
      c8 c c c c c c c c c
    }
    \new Staff {
      % Inherit beaming from Score context
      <<
        {
          \voiceOne
          c8 c c c c c c c c c
        }
        % Modify beaming for this voice only
        \new Voice {
          \voiceTwo
          \set Voice.beatStructure = #'(6 4)
          a8 a a a a a a a a a
        }
      >>
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Beam grouping in 7/8 time

There are no default automatic beam groupings specified for 7/8 time, so if automatic beams are required the grouping must be specified using <code>beatStructure</code>. For example, to group all beams 2-3-2 in 7/8 time, specify beam endings at 2/8 and 5/8:

\relative c'' {
  \time 7/8
  % rhythm 2-3-2
  a8 a a a a a a
  \set Score.beatStructure = #'(2 3 2)
  a8 a a a a a a
}

[image of music]


Beams across line breaks

Line breaks are normally forbidden when beams cross bar lines. This behavior can be changed as shown:

\relative c'' {
  \override Beam #'breakable = ##t
  c8 c[ c] c[ c] c[ c] c[ \break
  c8] c[ c] c[ c] c[ c] c
}

[image of music]


Changing beam knee gap

Kneed beams are inserted automatically when a large gap is detected between the note heads. This behavior can be tuned through the auto-knee-gap property. A kneed beam is drawn if the gap is larger than the value of auto-knee-gap plus the width of the beam object (which depends on the duration of the notes and the slope of the beam). By default auto-knee-gap is set to 5.5 staff spaces.

{
  f8 f''8 f8 f''8
  \override Beam #'auto-knee-gap = #6
  f8 f''8 f8 f''8
}

[image of music]


Changing form of multi-measure rests

If there are ten or fewer measures of rests, a series of longa and breve rests (called in German “Kirchenpausen” - church rests) is printed within the staff; otherwise a simple line is shown. This default number of ten may be changed by overriding the expand-limit property.

\relative c'' {
  \compressFullBarRests
  R1*2 | R1*5 | R1*9
  \override MultiMeasureRest #'expand-limit = #3
  R1*2 | R1*5 | R1*9
}

[image of music]


Changing the number of augmentation dots per note

This code demonstrates how to change the number of augmentation dots on a single note.

\relative c' {
  c4.. a16 r2 |
  \override Dots #'dot-count = #4
  c4.. a16 r2 |
  \override Dots #'dot-count = #0
  c4.. a16 r2 |
  \revert Dots #'dot-count
  c4.. a16 r2 |
}

[image of music]


Changing the tempo without a metronome mark

To change the tempo in MIDI output without printing anything, make the metronome mark invisible.

\score {
  \new Staff \relative c' {
    \tempo 4 = 160
    c4 e g b
    c4 b d c
    \set Score.tempoHideNote = ##t
    \tempo 4 = 96
    d,4 fis a cis
    d4 cis e d
  }
  \layout { }
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


Changing the tuplet number

By default, only the numerator of the tuplet number is printed over the tuplet bracket, i.e., the denominator of the argument to the \times command. Alternatively, num:den of the tuplet number may be printed, or the tuplet number may be suppressed altogether.

\relative c'' {
  \times 2/3 { c8 c c }
  \times 2/3 { c8 c c }
  \override TupletNumber #'text = #tuplet-number::calc-fraction-text
  \times 2/3 { c8 c c }
  \override TupletNumber #'stencil = ##f
  \times 2/3 { c8 c c }
}

[image of music]


Changing time signatures inside a polymetric section using \scaleDurations

\layout {
  \context {
    \Score
    \remove "Timing_translator"
    \remove "Default_bar_line_engraver"
  }
  \context {
    \Staff
    \consists "Timing_translator"
    \consists "Default_bar_line_engraver"
  }
}

<<
  \new Staff {
    \scaleDurations 8/5 {
      \time 6/8
      \set Timing.measureLength = #(ly:make-moment 6 5)
      b8 b b b b b
      \time 2/4
      \set Timing.measureLength = #(ly:make-moment 4 5)
      b4 b
    }
  }
  \new Staff {
    \clef bass
    \time 2/4
    c2 d e f
  }
>>

[image of music]


Chant or psalms notation

This form of notation is used for the chant of the Psalms, where verses aren’t always the same length.

stemOn = {
  \revert Staff.Stem #'transparent
  \revert Staff.Flag #'transparent
}

stemOff = {
  \override Staff.Stem #'transparent = ##t
  \override Staff.Flag #'transparent = ##t
}

\score {
  \new Staff \with { \remove "Time_signature_engraver" }
  {
    \key g \minor
    \cadenzaOn
    \stemOff a'\breve bes'4 g'4
    \stemOn a'2 \bar "||"
    \stemOff a'\breve g'4 a'4
    \stemOn f'2 \bar "||"
    \stemOff a'\breve^\markup { \italic flexe }
    \stemOn g'2 \bar "||"
  }
}

[image of music]


Compound time signatures

Odd 20th century time signatures (such as \"5/8\") can often be played as compound time signatures (e.g. \"3/8 + 2/8\"), which combine two or more inequal metrics. LilyPond can make such music quite easy to read and play, by explicitly printing the compound time signatures and adapting the automatic beaming behavior.

#(define ((compound-time one two num) grob)
   (grob-interpret-markup grob
                          (markup #:override '(baseline-skip . 0) #:number
                                  (#:line ((#:column (one num))
                                           #:vcenter "+"
                                           (#:column (two num)))))))

\relative c' {
  \override Staff.TimeSignature #'stencil = #(compound-time "2" "3" "8")
  \time 5/8
  \set Staff.beatStructure = #'(2 3)
  c8 d e fis gis
  c8 fis, gis e d
  c8 d e4 gis8
}

[image of music]


Conducting signs measure grouping signs

Beat grouping within a measure is controlled by the context property beatStructure. Values of beatStructure are established for many time signatures in ‘scm/time-signature-settings.scm’. Values of beatStructure can be changed or set with \set. Alternatively, \time can be used to both set the time signature and establish the beat structure. For this, you specify the internal grouping of beats in a measure as a list of numbers (in Scheme syntax) before the time signature.

\time applies to the Timing context, so it will not reset values of beatStructure or baseMoment that are set in other lower-level contexts, such as Voice.

If the Measure_grouping_engraver is included in one of the display contexts, measure grouping signs will be created. Such signs ease reading rhythmically complex modern music. In the example, the 9/8 measure is grouped in two different patterns using the two different methods, while the 5/8 measure is grouped according to the default setting in ‘scm/time-signature-settings.scm’:

\score {
  \new Voice \relative c'' {
    \time 9/8
    g8 g d d g g a( bes g) |
    \set Timing.beatStructure = #'(2 2 2 3)
    g8 g d d g g a( bes g) |
    \time #'(4 5) 9/8
    g8 g d d g g a( bes g) |
    \time 5/8
    a4. g4 |
  }
  \layout {
    \context {
      \Staff
      \consists "Measure_grouping_engraver"
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Consistently left aligned bar numbers

When left aligning bar numbers, overlapping problems may occur with Staves brackets. The snippet solves this by keeping right aligned the first bar number following line breaks.

consistentlyLeftAlignedBarNumbers = {
  \override Score.BarNumber #'break-visibility = #end-of-line-invisible
  \override Score.BarNumber #'self-alignment-X =
    #(lambda (grob)
       (let ((break-dir (ly:item-break-dir grob)))
         (if (= break-dir RIGHT) RIGHT LEFT)))
}

\new ChoirStaff <<
  \new Staff {
    \relative c' {
      \set Score.barNumberVisibility = #(every-nth-bar-number-visible 3)
      \bar ""
      \consistentlyLeftAlignedBarNumbers

      \set Score.currentBarNumber = #112
      \repeat unfold 8 { R1 }
      \break
      \repeat unfold 9 { R1 }
      \break
      \repeat unfold 7 { R1 }
    }
  }
  \new Staff {
    \relative c' {
      \repeat unfold 24 { R1 }
    }
  }
>>

\layout {
  indent = #0
  ragged-right = ##t
  ragged-last = ##t
}

[image of music]


Controlling tuplet bracket visibility

The default behavior of tuplet-bracket visibility is to print a bracket unless there is a beam of the same length as the tuplet. To control the visibility of tuplet brackets, set the property 'bracket-visibility to either #t (always print a bracket), #f (never print a bracket) or #'if-no-beam (only print a bracket if there is no beam).

music = \relative c'' {
  \times 2/3 { c16[ d e } f8]
  \times 2/3 { c8 d e }
  \times 2/3 { c4 d e }
}

\new Voice {
  \relative c' {
    << \music s4^"default" >>
    \override TupletBracket #'bracket-visibility = #'if-no-beam
    << \music s4^"'if-no-beam" >>
    \override TupletBracket #'bracket-visibility = ##t
    << \music s4^"#t" >>
    \override TupletBracket #'bracket-visibility = ##f
    << \music s4^"#f" >>
  }
}

[image of music]


Creating metronome marks in markup mode

New metronome marks can be created in markup mode, but they will not change the tempo in MIDI output.

\relative c' {
  \tempo \markup {
    \concat {
      (
      \smaller \general-align #Y #DOWN \note #"16." #1
      " = "
      \smaller \general-align #Y #DOWN \note #"8" #1
      )
    }
  }
  c1
  c4 c' c,2
}

[image of music]


Engraving ties manually

Ties may be engraved manually by changing the tie-configuration property of the TieColumn object. The first number indicates the distance from the center of the staff in half staff-spaces, and the second number indicates the direction (1 = up, -1 = down).

\relative c' {
  <c e g>2~ <c e g>
  \override TieColumn #'tie-configuration =
    #'((0.0 . 1) (-2.0 . 1) (-4.0 . 1))
  <c e g>2~ <c e g>
}

[image of music]


Engraving tremolos with floating beams

If a tremolo’s total duration is less than a quarter-note, or exactly a half-note, or between a half-note and a whole-note, it is normally typeset with all beams touching the stems. Certain engraving styles typeset some of these beams as centered floating beams that do not touch the stems. The number of floating beams in this type of tremolo is controlled with the 'gap-count property of the Beam object, and the size of the gaps between beams and stems is set with the 'gap property.

\relative c'' {
  \repeat tremolo 8 { a32 f }
  \override Beam #'gap-count = #1
  \repeat tremolo 8 { a32 f }
  \override Beam #'gap-count = #2
  \repeat tremolo 8 { a32 f }
  \override Beam #'gap-count = #3
  \repeat tremolo 8 { a32 f }

  \override Beam #'gap-count = #3
  \override Beam #'gap = #1.33
  \repeat tremolo 8 { a32 f }
  \override Beam #'gap = #1
  \repeat tremolo 8 { a32 f }
  \override Beam #'gap = #0.67
  \repeat tremolo 8 { a32 f }
  \override Beam #'gap = #0.33
  \repeat tremolo 8 { a32 f }
}

[image of music]


Entering several tuplets using only one \times command

The property tupletSpannerDuration sets how long each of the tuplets contained within the brackets after \times should last. Many consecutive tuplets can then be placed within a single \times expression, thus saving typing.

In the example, two triplets are shown, while \times was entered only once.

Read the relevant sections of the Notation Reference for more information about ly:make-moment.

\relative c' {
  \time 2/4
  \set tupletSpannerDuration = #(ly:make-moment 1 4)
  \times 2/3 { c8 c c c c c }
}

[image of music]


Flat flags and beam nibs

Flat flags on lone notes and beam nibs at the ends of beamed figures are both possible with a combination of stemLeftBeamCount, stemRightBeamCount and paired [] beam indicators.

For right-pointing flat flags on lone notes, use paired [] beam indicators and set stemLeftBeamCount to zero (see Example 1).

For left-pointing flat flags, set stemRightBeamCount instead (Example 2).

For right-pointing nibs at the end of a run of beamed notes, set stemRightBeamCount to a positive value. And for left-pointing nibs at the start of a run of beamed notes, set stemLeftBeamCount instead (Example 3).

Sometimes it may make sense for a lone note surrounded by rests to carry both a left- and right-pointing flat flag. Do this with paired [] beam indicators alone (Example 4).

(Note that \set stemLeftBeamCount is always equivalent to \once \set. In other words, the beam count settings are not “sticky”, so the pair of flat flags attached to the lone c'16[] in the last example have nothing to do with the \set two notes prior.)

\score {
  <<
    % Example 1
    \new RhythmicStaff {
      \set stemLeftBeamCount = #0
      c16[]
      r8.
    }
    % Example 2
    \new RhythmicStaff {
      r8.
      \set stemRightBeamCount = #0
      c16[]
    }
    % Example 3
    \new RhythmicStaff {
      c16 c
      \set stemRightBeamCount = #2
      c16 r r
      \set stemLeftBeamCount = #2
      c16 c c
    }
    % Example 4
    \new RhythmicStaff {
      c16 c
      \set stemRightBeamCount = #2
      c16 r
      c16[]
      r16
      \set stemLeftBeamCount = #2
      c16 c
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Forcing rehearsal marks to start from a given letter or number

This snippet demonstrates how to obtain automatic ordered rehearsal marks, but from the letter or number desired.

\relative c'' {
  c1 \mark \default
  c1 \mark \default
  c1 \mark \default
  c1 \mark #14
  c1 \mark \default
  c1 \mark \default
  c1 \mark \default
  c1 \mark \default
  \break
  \set Score.markFormatter = #format-mark-numbers
  c1 \mark #1
  c1 \mark \default
  c1 \mark \default
  c1 \mark \default
  c1 \mark #14
  c1 \mark \default
  c1 \mark \default
  c1 \mark \default
  c1 \mark \default
}

[image of music]


Generating custom flags

The stencil property of the Flag grob can be set to a custom scheme function to generate the glyph for the flag.

#(define-public (weight-flag grob)
   (let* ((stem-grob (ly:grob-parent grob X))
          (log (- (ly:grob-property stem-grob 'duration-log) 2))
          (is-up? (eqv? (ly:grob-property stem-grob 'direction) UP))
          (yext (if is-up? (cons (* log -0.8) 0) (cons 0 (* log 0.8))))
          (flag-stencil (make-filled-box-stencil '(-0.4 . 0.4) yext))
          (stroke-style (ly:grob-property grob 'stroke-style))
          (stroke-stencil (if (equal? stroke-style "grace")
                              (make-line-stencil 0.2 -0.9 -0.4 0.9 -0.4)
                              empty-stencil)))
     (ly:stencil-add flag-stencil stroke-stencil)))


% Create a flag stencil by looking up the glyph from the font
#(define (inverted-flag grob)
   (let* ((stem-grob (ly:grob-parent grob X))
          (dir (if (eqv? (ly:grob-property stem-grob 'direction) UP) "d" "u"))
          (flag (retrieve-glyph-flag "" dir "" grob))
          (line-thickness (ly:staff-symbol-line-thickness grob))
          (stem-thickness (ly:grob-property stem-grob 'thickness))
          (stem-width (* line-thickness stem-thickness))
          (stroke-style (ly:grob-property grob 'stroke-style))
          (stencil (if (null? stroke-style)
                       flag
                       (add-stroke-glyph flag stem-grob dir stroke-style "")))
          (rotated-flag (ly:stencil-rotate-absolute stencil 180 0 0)))
     (ly:stencil-translate rotated-flag (cons (- (/ stem-width 2)) 0))))

snippetexamplenotes = { \autoBeamOff c'8 d'16 c'32 d'64 \acciaccatura {c'8} d'64 }

{
  \override Score.RehearsalMark #'self-alignment-X = #LEFT
  \time 1/4
  \mark "Normal flags"
  \snippetexamplenotes

  \mark "Custom flag: inverted"
  \override Flag #'stencil = #inverted-flag
  \snippetexamplenotes

  \mark "Custom flag: weight"
  \override Flag #'stencil = #weight-flag
  \snippetexamplenotes

  \mark "Revert to normal"
  \revert Flag #'stencil
  \snippetexamplenotes
}

[image of music]


Guitar strum rhythms

For guitar music, it is possible to show strum rhythms, along with melody notes, chord names and fret diagrams.

\include "predefined-guitar-fretboards.ly"
<<
  \new ChordNames {
    \chordmode {
      c1 | f | g | c
    }
  }
  \new FretBoards {
    \chordmode {
      c1 | f | g | c
    }
  }
  \new Voice \with {
    \consists "Pitch_squash_engraver"
  } {
    \relative c'' {
      \improvisationOn
      c4 c8 c c4 c8 c
      f4 f8 f f4 f8 f
      g4 g8 g g4 g8 g
      c4 c8 c c4 c8 c
    }
  }
  \new Voice = "melody" {
    \relative c'' {
      c2 e4 e4
      f2. r4
      g2. a4
      e4 c2.
    }
  }
  \new Lyrics {
    \lyricsto "melody" {
      This is my song.
      I like to sing.
    }
  }
>>

[image of music]


Heavily customized polymetric time signatures

Though the polymetric time signature shown was not the most essential item here, it has been included to show the beat of this piece (which is the template of a real Balkan song!).

#(define plus (markup #:vcenter "+"))
#(define ((custom-time-signature one two three four five six
                                 seven eight nine ten eleven num) grob)
   (grob-interpret-markup grob
                          (markup #:override '(baseline-skip . 0) #:number
                                  (#:line ((#:column (one num)) plus
                                           (#:column (two num)) plus
                                           (#:column (three num)) plus
                                           (#:column (four num)) plus
                                           (#:column (five num)) plus
                                           (#:column (six num)) plus
                                           (#:column (seven num)) plus
                                           (#:column (eight num)) plus
                                           (#:column (nine num)) plus
                                           (#:column (ten num)) plus
                                           (#:column (eleven num)))))))
melody = \relative c'' {
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Bb Sop."
  \key g \major
  \time #'(3 2 2 3 2 2 2 2 3 2 2) 25/8
  \override Staff.TimeSignature #'stencil =
    #(custom-time-signature "3" "2" "2" "3" "2" "2"
      "2" "2" "3" "2" "2" "8")
  c8 c c d4 c8 c b c b a4 g fis8 e d c b' c d e4-^ fis8 g \break
  c,4. d4 c4 d4. c4 d c2 d4. e4-^ d4
  c4. d4 c4 d4. c4 d c2 d4. e4-^ d4 \break
  c4. d4 c4 d4. c4 d c2 d4. e4-^ d4
  c4. d4 c4 d4. c4 d c2 d4. e4-^ d4 \break
}

drum = \new DrumStaff \drummode {
  \bar "|:" bd4.^\markup { Drums } sn4 bd \bar ":" sn4.
  bd4 sn \bar ":" bd sn bd4. sn4 bd \bar ":|"
}

{
  \melody
  \drum
}

[image of music]


Making an object invisible with the ’transparent property

Setting the transparent property will cause an object to be printed in “invisible ink”: the object is not printed, but all its other behavior is retained. The object still takes up space, it takes part in collisions, and slurs, ties and beams can be attached to it.

This snippet demonstrates how to connect different voices using ties. Normally, ties only connect two notes in the same voice. By introducing a tie in a different voice, and blanking the first up-stem in that voice, the tie appears to cross voices.

\relative c'' {
  \time 2/4
  <<
    {
      \once \override Stem #'transparent = ##t
      \once \override Stem #'length = #8
      b8 ~ b\noBeam
      \once \override Stem #'transparent = ##t
      \once \override Stem #'length = #8
      g8 ~ g\noBeam
    }
    \\
    {
      b8 g g e
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Making slurs with complex dash structure

Slurs can be made with complex dash patterns by defining the dash-definition property. dash-definition is a list of dash-elements. A dash-element is a list of parameters defining the dash behavior for a segment of the slur.

The slur is defined in terms of the bezier parameter t which ranges from 0 at the left end of the slur to 1 at the right end of the slur. dash-element is a list (start-t stop-t dash-fraction dash-period). The region of the slur from start-t to stop-t will have a fraction dash-fraction of each dash-period black. dash-period is defined in terms of staff spaces. dash-fraction is set to 1 for a solid slur.

\relative c' {
  \once \override
    Slur #'dash-definition = #'((0 0.3 0.1 0.75)
                                (0.3 0.6 1 1)
                                (0.65 1.0 0.4 0.75))
  c4( d e f)
  \once \override
    Slur #'dash-definition = #'((0 0.25 1 1)
                                (0.3 0.7 0.4 0.75)
                                (0.75 1.0 1 1))
  c4( d e f)
}

[image of music]


Manually controlling beam positions

Beam positions may be controlled manually, by overriding the positions setting of the Beam grob.

\relative c' {
  \time 2/4
  % from upper staff-line (position 2) to center (position 0)
  \override Beam #'positions = #'(2 . 0)
  c8 c
  % from center to one above center (position 1)
  \override Beam #'positions = #'(0 . 1)
  c8 c
}

[image of music]


Merging multi-measure rests in a polyphonic part

When using multi-measure rests in a polyphonic staff, the rests will be placed differently depending on the voice they belong to. However they can be printed on the same staff line, using the following setting.

normalPos = \revert MultiMeasureRest #'staff-position

{
  <<
    {
      c''1
      R1
      c''1
      \normalPos
      R1
    }
    \\
    {
      c'1
      R1
      c'1
      \normalPos
      R1
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Modifying tuplet bracket length

Tuplet brackets can be made to run to prefatory matter or the next note. Default tuplet brackets end at the right edge of the final note of the tuplet; full-length tuplet brackets extend farther to the right, either to cover all the non-rhythmic notation up to the following note, or to cover only the whitespace before the next item of notation, be that a clef, time signature, key signature, or another note. The example shows how to switch tuplets to full length mode and how to modify what material they cover.

\new RhythmicStaff {
  % Set tuplets to be extendable...
  \set tupletFullLength = ##t
  % ...to cover all items up to the next note
  \set tupletFullLengthNote = ##t
  \time 2/4
  \times 2/3 { c4 c c }
  % ...or to cover just whitespace
  \set tupletFullLengthNote = ##f
  \time 4/4
  \times 4/5 { c4 c1 }
  \time 3/4
  c2.
}

[image of music]


Moving dotted notes in polyphony

When a dotted note in the upper voice is moved to avoid a collision with a note in another voice, the default is to move the upper note to the right. This behaviour can be over-ridden by using the prefer-dotted-right property of NoteCollision.

\new Staff \relative c' <<
  { f2. f4
    \override Staff.NoteCollision #'prefer-dotted-right = ##f
    f2. f4
    \override Staff.NoteCollision #'prefer-dotted-right = ##t
    f2. f4
  }
  \\
  { e4 e e e e e e e e e e e}
>>

[image of music]


Multi-measure rest markup

Markups attached to a multi-measure rest will be centered above or below it. Long markups attached to multi-measure rests do not cause the measure to expand. To expand a multi-measure rest to fit the markup, use a spacer rest with an attached markup before the multi-measure rest.

Note that the spacer rest causes a bar line to be inserted. Text attached to a spacer rest in this way is left-aligned to the position where the note would be placed in the measure, but if the measure length is determined by the length of the text, the text will appear to be centered.

\relative c' {
  \compressFullBarRests
  \textLengthOn
  s1*0^\markup { [MAJOR GENERAL] }
  R1*19
  s1*0_\markup { \italic { Cue: ... it is yours } }
  s1*0^\markup { A }
  R1*30^\markup { [MABEL] }
  \textLengthOff
  c4^\markup { CHORUS } d f c
}

[image of music]


Non-default tuplet numbers

LilyPond also provides formatting functions to print tuplet numbers different than the actual fraction, as well as to append a note value to the tuplet number or tuplet fraction.

\relative c'' {
  \once \override TupletNumber #'text =
    #(tuplet-number::non-default-tuplet-denominator-text 7)
  \times 2/3  { c4. c4. c4. c4. }
  \once \override TupletNumber #'text =
    #(tuplet-number::non-default-tuplet-fraction-text 12 7)
  \times 2/3  { c4. c4. c4. c4. }
  \once \override TupletNumber #'text =
    #(tuplet-number::append-note-wrapper
      (tuplet-number::non-default-tuplet-fraction-text 12 7) "8")
  \times 2/3  { c4. c4. c4. c4. }

  \once \override TupletNumber #'text =
    #(tuplet-number::append-note-wrapper
      tuplet-number::calc-denominator-text "4")
  \times 2/3  { c8 c8 c8 c8 c8 c8 }
  \once \override TupletNumber #'text =
    #(tuplet-number::append-note-wrapper
      tuplet-number::calc-fraction-text "4")
  \times 2/3  { c8 c8 c8 c8 c8 c8 }

  \once \override TupletNumber #'text =
    #(tuplet-number::fraction-with-notes "4." "8")
  \times 2/3  { c4. c4. c4. c4. }
  \once \override TupletNumber #'text =
    #(tuplet-number::non-default-fraction-with-notes 12 "8" 4 "4")
  \times 2/3  { c4. c4. c4. c4. }
}

[image of music]


Partcombine and autoBeamOff

The function of \autoBeamOff when used with \partcombine can be difficult to understand.

It may be preferable to use

\set Staff.autoBeaming = ##f

instead, to ensure that autobeaming will be turned off for the entire staff.

\partcombine apparently works with 3 voices – stem up single, stem down single, stem up combined.

An \autoBeamOff call in the first argument to partcombine will apply to the voice that is active at the time the call is processed, either stem up single or stem up combined. An \autoBeamOff call in the second argument will apply to the voice that is stem down single.

In order to use \autoBeamOff to stop all autobeaming when used with \partcombine, it will be necessary to use three calls to \autoBeamOff.

{
  %\set Staff.autoBeaming = ##f % turns off all autobeaming
  \partcombine
  {
    \autoBeamOff % applies to split up stems
    \repeat unfold 4 a'16
    %\autoBeamOff % applies to combined up stems
    \repeat unfold 4 a'8
    \repeat unfold 4 a'16
  }
  {
    \autoBeamOff % applies to down stems
    \repeat unfold 4 f'8
    \repeat unfold 8 f'16 |
  }
}

[image of music]


Permitting line breaks within beamed tuplets

This artificial example shows how both manual and automatic line breaks may be permitted to within a beamed tuplet. Note that such off-beat tuplets have to be beamed manually.

\layout {
  \context {
    \Voice
    % Permit line breaks within tuplets
    \remove "Forbid_line_break_engraver"
    % Allow beams to be broken at line breaks
    \override Beam #'breakable = ##t
  }
}
\relative c'' {
  a8
  \repeat unfold 5 { \times 2/3 { c[ b a] } }
  % Insert a manual line break within a tuplet
  \times 2/3 { c[ b \bar "" \break a] }
  \repeat unfold 5 { \times 2/3 { c[ b a] } }
  c8
}

[image of music]


Positioning grace note beams at the height of normal note beams

When notes are placed on ledger lines, their beams are usually centred on the stave. Grace notes beams are shorter and grace notes on ledger lines may well have beams outside the stave. You can override this beaming for grace notes.

\relative c {
  f8[ e]
  \grace {
    f8[ e]
    \override Stem  #'no-stem-extend = ##f
    f8[ e]
    \revert Stem #'no-stem-extend
  }
  f8[ e]
}

[image of music]


Positioning grace notes with floating space

Setting the property 'strict-grace-spacing makes the musical columns for grace notes ’floating’, i.e., decoupled from the non-grace notes: first the normal notes are spaced, then the (musical columns of the) graces are put left of the musical columns for the main notes.

\relative c'' {
  <<
    \override Score.SpacingSpanner #'strict-grace-spacing = ##t
    \new Staff \new Voice {
      \afterGrace c4 { c16[ c8 c16] }
      c8[ \grace { b16[ d] } c8]
      c4 r
    }
    \new Staff {
      c16 c c c c c c c c4 r
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Positioning multi-measure rests

Unlike ordinary rests, there is no predefined command to change the staff position of a multi-measure rest symbol of either form by attaching it to a note. However, in polyphonic music multi-measure rests in odd-numbered and even-numbered voices are vertically separated. The positioning of multi-measure rests can be controlled as follows:

\relative c'' {
  % Multi-measure rests by default are set under the fourth line
  R1
  % They can be moved using an override
  \override MultiMeasureRest #'staff-position = #-2
  R1
  \override MultiMeasureRest #'staff-position = #0
  R1
  \override MultiMeasureRest #'staff-position = #2
  R1
  \override MultiMeasureRest #'staff-position = #3
  R1
  \override MultiMeasureRest #'staff-position = #6
  R1
  \revert MultiMeasureRest #'staff-position
  \break

  % In two Voices, odd-numbered voices are under the top line
  << { R1 } \\ { a1 } >>
  % Even-numbered voices are under the bottom line
  << { a1 } \\ { R1 } >>
  % Multi-measure rests in both voices remain separate
  << { R1 } \\ { R1 } >>

  % Separating multi-measure rests in more than two voices
  % requires an override
  << { R1 } \\ { R1 } \\
     \once \override MultiMeasureRest #'staff-position = #0
     { R1 }
  >>

  % Using compressed bars in multiple voices requires another override
  % in all voices to avoid multiple instances being printed
  \compressFullBarRests
  <<
   \revert MultiMeasureRest #'staff-position
    { R1*3 }
    \\
   \revert MultiMeasureRest #'staff-position
    { R1*3 }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Preventing final mark from removing final tuplet

The addition of a final mark can result in the loss of a final tuplet marking. This can be overcome by setting TupletBracket #'full-length-to-extent to false.

\new Staff {
   \set tupletFullLength = ##t
   \time 1/8
   \times 2/3 { c'16 c'16 c'16 }
   \times 2/3 { c'16 c'16 c'16 }
   \times 2/3 { c'16 c'16 c'16 }
   \override Score.RehearsalMark #'break-visibility = #'#(#t #t #t)
   \override Score.RehearsalMark #'direction = #DOWN
   \override Score.RehearsalMark #'self-alignment-X = #RIGHT
% due to issue 2362 the following line is commented
%   \mark "Composed Feb 2007 - Feb 2008"
% and a shorter mark is used.
   \mark "1234"
}

\new Staff {
  \set tupletFullLength = ##t

  \override TupletBracket #'full-length-to-extent = ##f

  \time 1/8
  \times 2/3 { c'16 c'16 c'16 }
  \times 2/3 { c'16 c'16 c'16 }
  \times 2/3 { c'16 c'16 c'16 }
  \override Score.RehearsalMark #'break-visibility = #'#(#t #t #t)
  \override Score.RehearsalMark #'direction = #DOWN
  \override Score.RehearsalMark #'self-alignment-X = #RIGHT
% due to issue 2362 the following line is commented
%   \mark "Composed Feb 2007 - Feb 2008"
% and a shorter mark is used.
   \mark "1234"
}

[image of music]


Printing bar numbers at regular intervals

Bar numbers can be printed at regular intervals by setting the property barNumberVisibility. Here the bar numbers are printed every two measures except at the end of the line.

\relative c' {
  \override Score.BarNumber #'break-visibility = #end-of-line-invisible
  \set Score.currentBarNumber = #11
  % Permit first bar number to be printed
  \bar ""
  % Print a bar number every second measure
  \set Score.barNumberVisibility = #(every-nth-bar-number-visible 2)
  c1 | c | c | c | c
  \break
  c1 | c | c | c | c
}

[image of music]


Printing bar numbers inside boxes or circles

Bar numbers can also be printed inside boxes or circles.

\relative c' {
  % Prevent bar numbers at the end of a line and permit them elsewhere
  \override Score.BarNumber #'break-visibility = #end-of-line-invisible
  \set Score.barNumberVisibility = #(every-nth-bar-number-visible 4)

  % Increase the size of the bar number by 2
  \override Score.BarNumber #'font-size = #2

  % Draw a box round the following bar number(s)
  \override Score.BarNumber #'stencil
    = #(make-stencil-boxer 0.1 0.25 ly:text-interface::print)
  \repeat unfold 5 { c1 }

  % Draw a circle round the following bar number(s)
  \override Score.BarNumber #'stencil
    = #(make-stencil-circler 0.1 0.25 ly:text-interface::print)
  \repeat unfold 4 { c1 } \bar "|."
}

[image of music]


Printing metronome and rehearsal marks below the staff

By default, metronome and rehearsal marks are printed above the staff. To place them below the staff simply set the direction property of MetronomeMark or RehearsalMark appropriately.

\layout { ragged-right = ##f }

{
  % Metronome marks below the staff
  \override Score.MetronomeMark #'direction = #DOWN
  \tempo 8. = 120
  c''1

  % Rehearsal marks below the staff
  \override Score.RehearsalMark #'direction = #DOWN
  \mark \default
  c''1
}

[image of music]


Printing music with different time signatures

In the following snippet, two parts have a completely different time signature, yet remain synchronized. The bar lines can no longer be printed at the Score level; to allow independent bar lines in each part, the Default_barline_engraver and Timing_translator are moved from the Score context to the Staff context.

If bar numbers are required, the Bar_number_engraver should also be moved, since it relies on properties set by the Timing_translator; a \with block can be used to add bar numbers to the relevant staff.

\paper {
  indent = #0
  ragged-right = ##t
}

global = { \time 3/4 { s2.*3 } \bar "" \break { s2.*3 } }

\layout {
  \context {
    \Score
    \remove "Timing_translator"
    \remove "Default_bar_line_engraver"
    \remove "Bar_number_engraver"
    \override SpacingSpanner #'uniform-stretching = ##t
    \override SpacingSpanner #'strict-note-spacing = ##t
    proportionalNotationDuration = #(ly:make-moment 1 64)
  }
  \context {
    \Staff
    \consists "Timing_translator"
    \consists "Default_bar_line_engraver"
  }
  \context {
    \Voice
    \remove "Forbid_line_break_engraver"
    tupletFullLength = ##t
  }
}

Bassklarinette = \new Staff \with {
  \consists "Bar_number_engraver"
  barNumberVisibility = #(every-nth-bar-number-visible 2)
  \override BarNumber #'break-visibility = #end-of-line-invisible
} <<
  \global {
    \bar "|"
    \clef treble
    \time 3/8
    d''4.

    \bar "|"
    \time 3/4
    r8 des''2( c''8)

    \bar "|"
    \time 7/8
    r4. ees''2 ~

    \bar "|"
    \time 2/4
    \tupletUp
    \times 2/3 { ees''4 r4 d''4 ~ }

    \bar "|"
    \time 3/8
    \tupletUp
    \times 3/4 { d''4 r4 }

    \bar "|"
    \time 2/4
    e''2

    \bar "|"
    \time 3/8
    es''4.

    \bar "|"
    \time 3/4
    r8 d''2 r8
    \bar "|"
  }
>>

Perkussion = \new StaffGroup <<
  \new Staff <<
    \global {
      \bar "|"
      \clef percussion
      \time 3/4
      r4 c'2 ~

      \bar "|"
      c'2.

      \bar "|"
      R2.

      \bar "|"
      r2 g'4 ~

      \bar "|"
      g'2. ~

      \bar "|"
      g'2.
    }
  >>
  \new Staff <<
    \global {
      \bar "|"
      \clef percussion
      \time 3/4
      R2.

      \bar "|"
      g'2. ~

      \bar "|"
      g'2.

      \bar "|"
      r4 g'2 ~

      \bar "|"
      g'2 r4

      \bar "|"
      g'2.
    }
  >>
>>

\score {
  <<
    \Bassklarinette
    \Perkussion
  >>
}

[image of music]


Printing the bar number for the first measure

By default, the first bar number in a score is suppressed if it is less than or equal to ‘1’. By setting barNumberVisibility to all-bar-numbers-visible, any bar number can be printed for the first measure and all subsequent measures. Note that an empty bar line must be inserted before the first note for this to work.

\relative c' {
  \set Score.barNumberVisibility = #all-bar-numbers-visible
  \bar ""
  c1 | d | e | f \break
  g1 | e | d | c
}

[image of music]


Redefining grace note global defaults

The global defaults for grace notes are stored in the identifiers startGraceMusic, stopGraceMusic, startAcciaccaturaMusic, stopAcciaccaturaMusic, startAppoggiaturaMusic and stopAppoggiaturaMusic, which are defined in the file ly/grace-init.ly. By redefining them other effects may be obtained.

startAcciaccaturaMusic = {
  <>(
  \override Flag #'stroke-style = #"grace"
  \slurDashed
}

stopAcciaccaturaMusic = {
  \revert Flag #'stroke-style
  \slurSolid
  <>)
}

\relative c'' {
  \acciaccatura d8 c1
}

[image of music]


Removing bar numbers from a score

Bar numbers can be removed entirely by removing the Bar_number_engraver from the Score context.

\layout {
  \context {
    \Score
    \remove "Bar_number_engraver"
  }
}

\relative c'' {
  c4 c c c \break
  c4 c c c
}

[image of music]


Removing connecting bar lines on StaffGroup PianoStaff or GrandStaff

By default, bar lines in StaffGroup, PianoStaff, or GrandStaff groups are connected between the staves. This behaviour can be overridden on a staff-by-staff basis.

\relative c' {
  \new StaffGroup <<
    \new Staff {
      e1 | e
      \once \override Staff.BarLine #'allow-span-bar = ##f
      e1 | e | e
    }
    \new Staff {
      c1 | c | c
      \once \override Staff.BarLine #'allow-span-bar = ##f
      c1 | c
    }
    \new Staff {
      a1 | a | a | a | a
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Rest styles

Rests may be used in various styles.

\layout {
  indent = 0
  \context {
    \Staff
    \remove "Time_signature_engraver"
  }
}

\new Staff \relative c {
  \cadenzaOn
  \override Staff.Rest #'style = #'mensural
  r\maxima^\markup \typewriter { mensural }
  r\longa r\breve r1 r2 r4 r8 r16 s32 s64 s128 s128
  \bar ""

  \override Staff.Rest #'style = #'neomensural
  r\maxima^\markup \typewriter { neomensural }
  r\longa r\breve r1 r2 r4 r8 r16 s32 s64 s128 s128
  \bar ""

  \override Staff.Rest #'style = #'classical
  r\maxima^\markup \typewriter { classical }
  r\longa r\breve r1 r2 r4 r8 r16 r32 r64 r128 s128
  \bar ""

  \override Staff.Rest  #'style = #'default
  r\maxima^\markup \typewriter { default }
  r\longa r\breve r1 r2 r4 r8 r16 r32 r64 r128 s128
}

[image of music]


Reverting default beam endings

To typeset beams grouped 3-4-3-2 in 12/8 it is necessary first to override the default beam endings in 12/8, and then to set up the new beaming endings:

\relative c'' {
  \time 12/8

  % Default beaming
  a8 a a a a a a a a a a a

  % Set new values for beam endings
  \set Score.beatStructure = #'(3 4 3 2)
  a8 a a a a a a a a a a a
}

[image of music]


Rhythmic slashes

In “simple” lead-sheets, sometimes no actual notes are written, instead only “rhythmic patterns” and chords above the measures are notated giving the structure of a song. Such a feature is for example useful while creating/transcribing the structure of a song and also when sharing lead sheets with guitarists or jazz musicians. The standard support for this using \repeat percent is unsuitable here since the first beat has to be an ordinary note or rest. This example shows two solutions to this problem, by redefining ordinary rests to be printed as slashes. (If the duration of each beat is not a quarter note, replace the r4 in the definitions with a rest of the appropriate duration).

% Macro to print single slash
rs = {
  \once \override Rest #'stencil = #ly:percent-repeat-item-interface::beat-slash
  \once \override Rest #'thickness = #0.48
  \once \override Rest #'slope = #1.7
  r4
}

% Function to print a specified number of slashes
comp = #(define-music-function (parser location count) (integer?)
  #{
    \override Rest #'stencil = #ly:percent-repeat-item-interface::beat-slash
    \override Rest #'thickness = #0.48
    \override Rest #'slope = #1.7
    \repeat unfold $count { r4 }
    \revert Rest #'stencil
  #}
)

\score {
  \relative c' {
    c4 d e f |
    \rs \rs \rs \rs |
    \comp #4 |
  }
}

[image of music]


Skips in lyric mode (2)

Although s skips cannot be used in \lyricmode (it is taken to be a literal “s”, not a space), double quotes ("") or underscores (_) are available.So for example:

<<
  \relative c'' { a4 b c d }
  \new Lyrics \lyricmode { a4 "" _ gap }
>>

[image of music]


Skips in lyric mode

The s syntax for skips is only available in note mode and chord mode. In other situations, for example, when entering lyrics, using the \skip command is recommended.

<<
  \relative c'' { a1 | a }
  \new Lyrics \lyricmode { \skip 1 bla1 }
>>

[image of music]


Stemlets

In some notational conventions beams are allowed to extend over rests. Depending on preference, these beams may drop ’stemlets’ to help the eye appreciate the rhythm better, and in some modern music the rest itself is omitted and only the stemlet remains.

This snippet shows a progression from traditional notation, to beams over the rest, to stemlets over the rest, to stemlets alone. Stemlets are generated by overriding the 'stemlet-length property of Stem, while rests are hidden by setting 'transparent = ##t.

Some \markup elements are included in the source to highlight the different notations.

\paper { ragged-right = ##f }

{
  c'16^\markup { traditional } d' r f'
  g'16[^\markup { beams over rests } f' r d']

  % N.B. use Score.Stem to set for the whole score.
  \override Staff.Stem #'stemlet-length = #0.75

  c'16[^\markup { stemlets over rests } d' r f']
  g'16[^\markup { stemlets and no rests } f'
  \once \override Rest #'transparent = ##t
  r16 d']
}

[image of music]


Strict beat beaming

Beamlets can be set to point in the direction of the beat to which they belong. The first beam avoids sticking out flags (the default); the second beam strictly follows the beat.

\relative c'' {
  \time 6/8
  a8. a16 a a
  \set strictBeatBeaming = ##t
  a8. a16 a a
}

[image of music]


Subdividing beams

The beams of consecutive 16th (or shorter) notes are, by default, not subdivided. That is, the three (or more) beams stretch unbroken over entire groups of notes. This behavior can be modified to subdivide the beams into sub-groups by setting the property subdivideBeams. When set, multiple beams will be subdivided at intervals defined by the current value of baseMoment by reducing the multiple beams to just one beam between the sub-groups. Note that baseMoment defaults to one over the denominator of the current time signature if not set explicitly. It must be set to a fraction giving the duration of the beam sub-group using the ly:make-moment function, as shown in this snippet. Also, when baseMoment is changed, beatStructure should also be changed to match the new baseMoment:

\relative c'' {
  c32[ c c c c c c c]
  \set subdivideBeams = ##t
  c32[ c c c c c c c]

  % Set beam sub-group length to an eighth note
  \set baseMoment = #(ly:make-moment 1 8)
  \set beatStructure = #'(2 2 2 2)
  c32[ c c c c c c c]

  % Set beam sub-group length to a sixteenth note
  \set baseMoment = #(ly:make-moment 1 16)
  \set beatStructure = #'(4 4 4 4)
  c32[ c c c c c c c]
}

[image of music]


Three-sided box

This example shows how to add a markup command to get a three sided box around some text (or other markup).

% New command to add a three sided box, with sides north, west and south
% Based on the box-stencil command defined in scm/stencil.scm
% Note that ";;" is used to comment a line in Scheme
#(define-public (NWS-box-stencil stencil thickness padding)
   "Add a box around STENCIL, producing a new stencil."
   (let* ((x-ext (interval-widen (ly:stencil-extent stencil X) padding))
          (y-ext (interval-widen (ly:stencil-extent stencil Y) padding))
          (y-rule (make-filled-box-stencil (cons 0 thickness) y-ext))
          (x-rule (make-filled-box-stencil
                   (interval-widen x-ext thickness) (cons 0 thickness))))
     ;; (set! stencil (ly:stencil-combine-at-edge stencil X 1 y-rule padding))
     (set! stencil (ly:stencil-combine-at-edge stencil X LEFT y-rule padding))
     (set! stencil (ly:stencil-combine-at-edge stencil Y UP x-rule 0.0))
     (set! stencil (ly:stencil-combine-at-edge stencil Y DOWN x-rule 0.0))
     stencil))

% The corresponding markup command, based on the \box command defined
% in scm/define-markup-commands.scm
#(define-markup-command (NWS-box layout props arg) (markup?)
   "Draw a box round @var{arg}.  Looks at @code{thickness},
@code{box-padding} and @code{font-size} properties to determine line
thickness and padding around the markup."
   (let* ((th (chain-assoc-get 'thickness props 0.1))
          (size (chain-assoc-get 'font-size props 0))
          (pad (* (magstep size)
                  (chain-assoc-get 'box-padding props 0.2)))
          (m (interpret-markup layout props arg)))
     (NWS-box-stencil m th pad)))

% Test it:

\relative c' {
  c1^\markup { \NWS-box ABCD }
  c1^\markup { \NWS-box \note #"4" #1.0 }
}

[image of music]


Time signature printing only the numerator as a number (instead of the fraction)

Sometimes, a time signature should not print the whole fraction (e.g. 7/4), but only the numerator (7 in this case). This can be easily done by using \override Staff.TimeSignature #'style = #'single-digit to change the style permanently. By using \revert Staff.TimeSignature #'style, this setting can be reversed. To apply the single-digit style to only one time signature, use the \override command and prefix it with a \once.

\relative c'' {
  \time 3/4
  c4 c c
  % Change the style permanently
  \override Staff.TimeSignature #'style = #'single-digit
  \time 2/4
  c4 c
  \time 3/4
  c4 c c
  % Revert to default style:
  \revert Staff.TimeSignature #'style
  \time 2/4
  c4 c
  % single-digit style only for the next time signature
  \once \override Staff.TimeSignature #'style = #'single-digit
  \time 5/4
  c4 c c c c
  \time 2/4
  c4 c
}

[image of music]


Tweaking grace layout within music

The layout of grace expressions can be changed throughout the music using the functions add-grace-property and remove-grace-property. The following example undefines the Stem direction for this grace, so that stems do not always point up, and changes the default note heads to crosses.

\relative c'' {
  \new Staff {
    $(remove-grace-property 'Voice 'Stem 'direction)
    $(add-grace-property 'Voice 'NoteHead 'style 'cross)
    \new Voice {
       \acciaccatura { f16 } g4
       \grace { d16[ e] } f4
       \appoggiatura { f,32[ g a] } e2
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Using alternative flag styles

Alternative styles of flag on eighth and shorter notes can be displayed by overriding the stencil property of Flag. Valid values are modern-straight-flag and old-straight-flag.

testnotes = {
  \autoBeamOff
  c8 d16 c32 d64 \acciaccatura { c8 } d64 r4
}

\relative c' {
  \time 2/4
  \testnotes

  \override Flag #'stencil = #modern-straight-flag
  \testnotes

  \override Flag #'stencil = #old-straight-flag
  \testnotes

  \revert Flag #'stencil
  \testnotes
}

[image of music]


Using grace note slashes with normal heads

The slash through the stem found in acciaccaturas can be applied in other situations.

\relative c'' {
  \override Flag #'stroke-style = #"grace"
  c8( d2) e8( f4)
}

[image of music]


Using ties with arpeggios

Ties are sometimes used to write out arpeggios. In this case, two tied notes need not be consecutive. This can be achieved by setting the tieWaitForNote property to #t. The same feature is also useful, for example, to tie a tremolo to a chord, but in principle, it can also be used for ordinary consecutive notes.

\relative c' {
  \set tieWaitForNote = ##t
  \grace { c16[ ~ e ~ g] ~ } <c, e g>2
  \repeat tremolo 8 { c32 ~ c' ~ } <c c,>1
  e8 ~ c ~ a ~ f ~ <e' c a f>2
  \tieUp
  c8 ~ a
  \tieDown
  \tieDotted
  g8 ~ c g2
}

[image of music]


Expressive marks

Expressive marks


Adding beams slurs ties etc. when using tuplet and non-tuplet rhythms

LilyPond syntax can involve many unusual placements for parentheses, brackets etc., which might sometimes have to be interleaved. For example, when entering a manual beam, the left square bracket has to be placed after the starting note and its duration, not before. Similarly, the right square bracket should directly follow the note which is to be at the end of the requested beaming, even if this note happens to be inside a tuplet section. This snippet demonstrates how to combine manual beaming, manual slurs, ties and phrasing slurs with tuplet sections (enclosed within curly braces).

{
  r16[ g16 \times 2/3 { r16 e'8] }
  g16( a \times 2/3 { b d e') }
  g8[( a \times 2/3 { b d') e'] ~ }
  \time 2/4
  \times 4/5 { e'32\( a b d' e' } a'4.\)
}

[image of music]


Adding parentheses around an expressive mark or chordal note

The \parenthesize function is a special tweak that encloses objects in parentheses. The associated grob is ParenthesesItem.

\relative c' {
  c2-\parenthesize ->
  \override ParenthesesItem #'padding = #0.1
  \override ParenthesesItem #'font-size = #-4
  <d \parenthesize f a>2
}

[image of music]


Adjusting the shape of falls and doits

The shortest-duration-space property may be tweaked to adjust the shape of falls and doits.

\relative c'' {
  \override Score.SpacingSpanner #'shortest-duration-space = #4.0
  c2-\bendAfter #5
  c2-\bendAfter #-4.75
  c2-\bendAfter #8.5
  c2-\bendAfter #-6
}

[image of music]


Alternative breve note

This code demonstrates how to use the alternative breve note with two vertical lines on each side of the notehead instead of one line.

\relative c'' {
  \time 4/2
  c\breve |
  \override Staff.NoteHead #'style = #'altdefault
  b\breve
  \revert Staff.NoteHead #'style
  a\breve
}

[image of music]


Asymmetric slurs

Slurs can be made asymmetric to match an asymmetric pattern of notes better.

slurNotes = { d,8( a' d f a f' d, a) }

\relative c' {
  \stemDown
  \slurUp
  \slurNotes
  \once \override Slur #'eccentricity = #3.0
  \slurNotes
}

[image of music]


Breathing signs

Breathing signs are available in different tastes: commas (default), ticks, vees and “railroad tracks” (caesura).

\new Staff \relative c'' {
  \key es \major
  \time 3/4
  % this bar contains no \breathe
  << { g4 as g } \\ { es4 bes es } >> |
  % Modern notation:
  % by default, \breathe uses the rcomma, just as if saying:
  % \override BreathingSign #'text = #(make-musicglyph-markup "scripts.rcomma")
  << { g4 as g } \\ { es4 \breathe bes es } >> |

  % rvarcomma and lvarcomma are variations of the default rcomma and lcomma
  % N.B.: must use Staff context here, since we start a Voice below
  \override Staff.BreathingSign #'text = \markup { \musicglyph #"scripts.rvarcomma" }
  << { g4 as g } \\ { es4 \breathe bes es } >> |

  % vee
  \override BreathingSign #'text = \markup { \musicglyph #"scripts.upbow" }
  es8[ d es f g] \breathe f |

  % caesura
  \override BreathingSign #'text = \markup { \musicglyph #"scripts.caesura.curved" }
  es8[ d] \breathe es[ f g f] |
  es2 r4 \bar "||"
}

[image of music]


Broken Crescendo Hairpin

In order to make parts of a crescendo hairpin invisible, the following method is used: A white rectangle is drawn on top of the respective part of the crescendo hairpin, making it invisible. The rectangle is defined as postscript code within a text markup.

To fine-tune the position and size of the markup, the number preceding setgray in the postscript definition can be set to a value less than one, making it grey. The two numbers before scale in the postscript code are responsible for the width and height of the rectangle, the two numbers before translate change the x- and y-origin of the rectangle.

Make sure to put the hairpin in a lower layer than the text markup to draw the rectangle over the hairpin.

\relative c' {
  <<
    {
      \dynamicUp
      \override DynamicLineSpanner #'staff-padding = #4
      r2 r16 c'8.\pp r4
    }
    \\
    {
      \override DynamicLineSpanner #'layer = #0
      des,2\mf\< ~
      \override TextScript #'layer = #2
      des16_\markup {
        \postscript #"
          1.9 -8 translate
          5 4 scale
          1 setgray
          0 0 moveto
          0 1 lineto
          1 1 lineto
          1 0 lineto
          0 0 lineto
          fill"
      }
      r8. des4 ~ des16->\sff
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Caesura ("railtracks") with fermata

A caesura is sometimes denoted by a double “railtracks” breath mark with a fermata sign positioned above. This snippet shows an optically pleasing combination of railtracks and fermata.

\relative c'' {
  c2.
  % construct the symbol
  \override BreathingSign #'text = \markup {
    \line {
      \musicglyph #"scripts.caesura.curved"
      \translate #'(-1.75 . 1.6)
      \musicglyph #"scripts.ufermata"
    }
  }
  \breathe c4
  % set the breathe mark back to normal
  \revert BreathingSign #'text
  c2. \breathe c4
  \bar "|."
}

[image of music]


Center text below hairpin dynamics

This example provides a function to typeset a hairpin (de)crescendo with some additional text below it, such as “molto” or “poco”. The example also illustrates how to modify the way an object is normally printed, using some Scheme code.

hairpinWithCenteredText =
#(define-music-function (parser location text) (markup?)
#{
  \override Voice.Hairpin #'stencil = #(lambda (grob)
    (ly:stencil-aligned-to
     (ly:stencil-combine-at-edge
      (ly:stencil-aligned-to (ly:hairpin::print grob) X CENTER)
      Y DOWN
      (ly:stencil-aligned-to (grob-interpret-markup grob text) X CENTER))
     X LEFT))
#})

hairpinMolto = \hairpinWithCenteredText \markup { \italic molto }
hairpinMore = \hairpinWithCenteredText \markup { \larger moltissimo }

\layout { ragged-right = ##f }

\relative c' {
  \hairpinMolto
  c2\< c\f
  \hairpinMore
  c2\< c\f
}

[image of music]


Changing \flageolet mark size

To make the \flageolet circle smaller use the following Scheme function.

smallFlageolet =
#(let ((m (make-articulation "flageolet")))
   (set! (ly:music-property m 'tweaks)
         (acons 'font-size -3
                (ly:music-property m 'tweaks)))
   m)

\layout { ragged-right = ##f }

\relative c'' {
  d4^\flageolet_\markup { default size } d_\flageolet
  c4^\smallFlageolet_\markup { smaller } c_\smallFlageolet
}

[image of music]


Changing text and spanner styles for text dynamics

The text used for crescendos and decrescendos can be changed by modifying the context properties crescendoText and decrescendoText.

The style of the spanner line can be changed by modifying the 'style property of DynamicTextSpanner. The default value is 'dashed-line, and other possible values include 'line, 'dotted-line and 'none.

\relative c'' {
  \set crescendoText = \markup { \italic { cresc. poco } }
  \set crescendoSpanner = #'text
  \override DynamicTextSpanner #'style = #'dotted-line
  a2\< a
  a2 a
  a2 a
  a2 a\mf
}

[image of music]


Changing the appearance of a slur from solid to dotted or dashed

The appearance of slurs may be changed from solid to dotted or dashed.

\relative c' {
  c4( d e c)
  \slurDotted
  c4( d e c)
  \slurSolid
  c4( d e c)
  \slurDashed
  c4( d e c)
  \slurSolid
  c4( d e c)
}

[image of music]


Changing the breath mark symbol

The glyph of the breath mark can be tuned by overriding the text property of the BreathingSign layout object with any markup text.

\relative c'' {
  c2
  \override BreathingSign #'text =
    \markup { \musicglyph #"scripts.rvarcomma" }
  \breathe
  d2
}

[image of music]


Changing the number of augmentation dots per note

This code demonstrates how to change the number of augmentation dots on a single note.

\relative c' {
  c4.. a16 r2 |
  \override Dots #'dot-count = #4
  c4.. a16 r2 |
  \override Dots #'dot-count = #0
  c4.. a16 r2 |
  \revert Dots #'dot-count
  c4.. a16 r2 |
}

[image of music]


Combining dynamics with markup texts

Some dynamics may involve text indications (such as “più forte” or “piano subito”). These can be produced using a \markup block.

piuF = \markup { \italic più \dynamic f }
\layout { ragged-right = ##f }
\relative c'' {
  c2\f c-\piuF
}

[image of music]


Contemporary glissando

A contemporary glissando without a final note can be typeset using a hidden note and cadenza timing.

\relative c'' {
  \time 3/4
  \override Glissando #'style = #'zigzag
  c4 c
  \cadenzaOn
  c4\glissando
  \hideNotes
  c,,4
  \unHideNotes
  \cadenzaOff
  \bar "|"
}

[image of music]


Controlling spanner visibility after a line break

The visibility of spanners which end on the first note following a line break is controlled by the after-line-breaking callback ly:spanner::kill-zero-spanned-time.

For objects such as glissandos and hairpins, the default behaviour is to hide the spanner after a break; disabling the callback will allow the left-broken span to be shown.

Conversely, spanners which are usually visible, such as text spans, can be hidden by enabling the callback.

\paper { ragged-right = ##t }

\relative c'' {
  \override Hairpin #'to-barline = ##f
  \override Glissando #'breakable = ##t
  % show hairpin
  \override Hairpin #'after-line-breaking = ##t
  % hide text span
  \override TextSpanner #'after-line-breaking =
    #ly:spanner::kill-zero-spanned-time
  e2\<\startTextSpan
  % show glissando
  \override Glissando #'after-line-breaking = ##t
  f2\glissando
  \break
  f,1\!\stopTextSpan
}

[image of music]


Controlling the vertical ordering of scripts

The vertical ordering of scripts is controlled with the 'script-priority property. The lower this number, the closer it will be put to the note. In this example, the TextScript (the sharp symbol) first has the lowest priority, so it is put lowest in the first example. In the second, the prall trill (the Script) has the lowest, so it is on the inside. When two objects have the same priority, the order in which they are entered determines which one comes first.

\relative c''' {
  \once \override TextScript #'script-priority = #-100
  a2^\prall^\markup { \sharp }

  \once \override Script #'script-priority = #-100
  a2^\prall^\markup { \sharp }
}

[image of music]


Creating a delayed turn

Creating a delayed turn, where the lower note of the turn uses the accidental, requires several overrides. The outside-staff-priority property must be set to #f, as otherwise this would take precedence over the avoid-slur property. The value of halign is used to position the turn horizontally.

\relative c'' {
  \once \override TextScript #'avoid-slur = #'inside
  \once \override TextScript #'outside-staff-priority = ##f
  c2(^\markup \tiny \override #'(baseline-skip . 1) {
    \halign #-4
    \center-column {
      \sharp
      \musicglyph #"scripts.turn"
    }
  }
  d4.) c8
}

[image of music]


Creating arpeggios across notes in different voices

An arpeggio can be drawn across notes in different voices on the same staff if the Span_arpeggio_engraver is added to the Staff context:

\new Staff \with {
  \consists "Span_arpeggio_engraver"
}
\relative c' {
  \set Staff.connectArpeggios = ##t
  <<
    { <e' g>4\arpeggio <d f> <d f>2 }
    \\
    { <d, f>2\arpeggio <g b>2 }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Creating cross-staff arpeggios in a piano staff

In a PianoStaff, it is possible to let an arpeggio cross between the staves by setting the property PianoStaff.connectArpeggios.

\new PianoStaff \relative c'' <<
  \set PianoStaff.connectArpeggios = ##t
  \new Staff {
    <c e g c>4\arpeggio
    <g c e g>4\arpeggio
    <e g c e>4\arpeggio
    <c e g c>4\arpeggio
  }
  \new Staff {
    \clef bass
    \repeat unfold 4 {
      <c,, e g c>4\arpeggio
    }
  }
>>

[image of music]


Creating cross-staff arpeggios in other contexts

Cross-staff arpeggios can be created in contexts other than GrandStaff, PianoStaff and StaffGroup if the Span_arpeggio_engraver is included in the Score context.

\score {
  \new ChoirStaff {
    \set Score.connectArpeggios = ##t
    <<
      \new Voice \relative c' {
        <c e>2\arpeggio
        <d f>2\arpeggio
        <c e>1\arpeggio
      }
      \new Voice \relative c {
        \clef bass
        <c g'>2\arpeggio
        <b g'>2\arpeggio
        <c g'>1\arpeggio
      }
    >>
  }
  \layout {
    \context {
      \Score
      \consists "Span_arpeggio_engraver"
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Creating double-digit fingerings

By default you cannot make double-digit fingering notation (i.e. numbers larger than 9). This is a hard coded limitation.

This snippet shows two methods of creating fingerings larger than 9.

ten =
#(make-music 'FingeringEvent
             'digit 10)

fifty =
#(make-music 'FingeringEvent
             'digit 50)

finger =
#(define-music-function (parser location digit) (integer?)
   (make-music 'FingeringEvent
               'digit digit))

#(define (calc-finger-without-warning grob)
   (let* ((event (event-cause grob))
	  (digit (ly:event-property event 'digit)))
     (number->string digit 10)))

\relative c' {
  % optional override to remove warnings for fingerings larger than 5
  \override Fingering #'text = #calc-finger-without-warning
  c1\ten
  c1\fifty
  c1-\finger #36
  c1-\finger #29
}

[image of music]


Creating "real" parenthesized dynamics

Although the easiest way to add parentheses to a dynamic mark is to use a \markup block, this method has a downside: the created objects will behave like text markups, and not like dynamics.

However, it is possible to create a similar object using the equivalent Scheme code (as described in the Notation Reference), combined with the make-dynamic-script function. This way, the markup will be regarded as a dynamic, and therefore will remain compatible with commands such as \dynamicUp or \dynamicDown.

parenF = #(make-dynamic-script (markup #:line (#:normal-text #:italic
           #:fontsize 2 "(" #:hspace -0.8 #:dynamic "f" #:normal-text
           #:italic #:fontsize 2 ")")))

\relative c'' {
  c4\parenF c c \dynamicUp c\parenF
}

[image of music]


Creating simultaneous rehearsal marks

Unlike text scripts, rehearsal marks cannot be stacked at a particular point in a score: only one RehearsalMark object is created. Using an invisible measure and bar line, an extra rehearsal mark can be added, giving the appearance of two marks in the same column. This method may also prove useful for placing rehearsal marks at both the end of one system and the start of the following system.

{
  \key a \major
  \set Score.markFormatter = #format-mark-box-letters
  \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'outside-staff-priority = #5000
  \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'self-alignment-X = #LEFT
  \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'break-align-symbols = #'(key-signature)
  \mark \markup { \bold { Senza denti } }

  % the hidden measure and bar line
  % \cadenzaOn turns off automatic calculation of bar numbers
  \cadenzaOn
  \once \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f
  \time 1/16
  s16 \bar ""
  \cadenzaOff

  \time 4/4
  \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'self-alignment-X = #LEFT
  \mark \markup { \box \bold Intro }
  d'1
  \mark \default
  d'1
}

[image of music]


Creating slurs across voices

In some situations, it may be necessary to create slurs between notes from different voices.

The solution is to add invisible notes to one of the voices, using \hideNotes.

This example is measure 235 of the Ciaconna from Bach’s 2nd Partita for solo violin, BWV 1004.

\relative c' {
  <<
    {
      d16( a') s a s a[ s a] s a[ s a]
    }
    \\
    {
      \slurUp
      bes,16[ s e](
      \hideNotes a)
      \unHideNotes f[(
      \hideNotes a)
      \unHideNotes fis](
      \hideNotes a)
      \unHideNotes g[(
      \hideNotes a)
      \unHideNotes gis](
      \hideNotes a)
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Creating text spanners

The \startTextSpan and \stopTextSpan commands allow the creation of text spanners as easily as pedal indications or octavations. Override some properties of the TextSpanner object to modify its output.

\paper { ragged-right = ##f }

\relative c'' {
  \override TextSpanner #'(bound-details left text) = #"bla"
  \override TextSpanner #'(bound-details right text) = #"blu"
  a4 \startTextSpan
  b4 c
  a4 \stopTextSpan

  \override TextSpanner #'style = #'line
  \once \override TextSpanner
    #'(bound-details left stencil-align-dir-y) = #CENTER
  a4 \startTextSpan
  b4 c
  a4 \stopTextSpan

  \override TextSpanner #'style = #'dashed-line
  \override TextSpanner #'(bound-details left text) =
    \markup { \draw-line #'(0 . 1) }
  \override TextSpanner #'(bound-details right text) =
    \markup { \draw-line #'(0 . -2) }
  \once \override TextSpanner #'(bound-details right padding) = #-2

  a4 \startTextSpan
  b4 c
  a4 \stopTextSpan

  \set Staff.middleCPosition = #-13
  \override TextSpanner #'dash-period = #10
  \override TextSpanner #'dash-fraction = #0.5
  \override TextSpanner #'thickness = #10
  a4 \startTextSpan
  b4 c
  a4 \stopTextSpan
}

[image of music]


Double glissando

To connect chords with glissando lines, attach a second glissando to a hidden voice.

\relative c {
  \clef bass
  <<
    {
      % new voice ( = \voiceOne), hidden
      \hideNotes
      % attach glissando to note heads
      e2\glissando g
    }
    \\
    {
      % original voice with chords rearranged so that
      % glissando is attached to a & c
      <e a,>2\glissando <g c,>
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Dynamics custom text spanner postfix

Postfix functions for custom crescendo text spanners. The spanners should start on the first note of the measure. One has to use -\mycresc, otherwise the spanner start will rather be assigned to the next note.

% Two functions for (de)crescendo spanners where you can explicitly give the
% spanner text.
mycresc =
#(define-music-function (parser location mymarkup) (markup?)
   (make-music 'CrescendoEvent
               'span-direction START
               'span-type 'text
               'span-text mymarkup))
mydecresc =
#(define-music-function (parser location mymarkup) (markup?)
   (make-music 'DecrescendoEvent
               'span-direction START
               'span-type 'text
               'span-text mymarkup))

\relative c' {
  c4-\mycresc "custom cresc" c4 c4 c4 |
  c4 c4 c4 c4 |
  c4-\mydecresc "custom decresc" c4 c4 c4 |
  c4 c4\! c4 c4
}

[image of music]


Dynamics text spanner postfix

Custom text spanners can be defined and used with hairpin and text crescendos. \< and \> produce hairpins by default, \cresc etc. produce text spanners by default.

% Some sample text dynamic spanners, to be used as postfix operators
crpoco =
#(make-music 'CrescendoEvent
             'span-direction START
             'span-type 'text
             'span-text "cresc. poco a poco")

\relative c' {
  c4\cresc d4 e4 f4 |
  g4 a4\! b4\crpoco c4 |
  c4 d4 e4 f4 |
  g4 a4\! b4\< c4 |
  g4\dim a4 b4\decresc c4\!
}

[image of music]


Glissandi can skip grobs

NoteColumn grobs can be skipped over by glissandi.

\relative c' {
  a2 \glissando
  \once \override NoteColumn #'glissando-skip = ##t
  f''4 d,
}

[image of music]


Hairpins with different line styles

Hairpins can take any style from line-interface - dashed-line, dotted-line, line, trill or zigzag.

\relative c' {
  c2\< c\!
  \override Hairpin #'style = #'dashed-line
  c2\< c\!
  \override Hairpin #'style = #'dotted-line
  c2\< c\!
  \override Hairpin #'style = #'line
  c2\< c\!
  \override Hairpin #'style = #'trill
  c2\< c\!
  \override Hairpin #'style = #'zigzag
  c2\< c\!
  \revert Hairpin #'style
  c2\< c\!
}

[image of music]


Hiding the extender line for text dynamics

Text style dynamic changes (such as cresc. and dim.) are printed with a dashed line showing their extent. This line can be suppressed in the following way:

\relative c'' {
  \override DynamicTextSpanner #'style = #'none
  \crescTextCresc
  c1\< | d | b | c\!
}

[image of music]


Horizontally aligning custom dynamics (e.g. "sempre pp" "piu f" "subito p")

Some dynamic expressions involve additional text, like “sempre pp”. Since dynamics are usually centered under the note, the \pp would be displayed way after the note it applies to.

To correctly align the “sempre pp” horizontally, so that it is aligned as if it were only the \pp, there are several approaches:

* Simply use \once\override DynamicText #'X-offset = #-9.2 before the note with the dynamics to manually shift it to the correct position. Drawback: This has to be done manually each time you use that dynamic markup... * Add some padding (#:hspace 7.1) into the definition of your custom dynamic mark, so that after lilypond center-aligns it, it is already correctly aligned. Drawback: The padding really takes up that space and does not allow any other markup or dynamics to be shown in that position.

* Shift the dynamic script \once\override ... #'X-offset = ... Drawback: \once\override is needed for every invocation!

* Set the dimensions of the additional text to 0 (using #:with-dimensions '(0 . 0) '(0 . 0)). Drawback: To LilyPond “sempre” has no extent, so it might put other stuff there and create collisions (which are not detected by the collision detection!). Also, there seems to be some spacing, so it’s not exactly the same alignment as without the additional text

* Add an explicit shifting directly inside the scheme function for the dynamic-script.

* Set an explicit alignment inside the dynamic-script. By default, this won’t have any effect, only if one sets X-offset! Drawback: One needs to set DynamicText #'X-offset, which will apply to all dynamic texts! Also, it is aligned at the right edge of the additional text, not at the center of pp.

\header { title = "Horizontally aligning custom dynamics" }

\paper { ragged-right = ##f }

% Solution 1: Using a simple markup with a particular halign value
% Drawback: It's a markup, not a dynamic command, so \dynamicDown
%           etc. will have no effect
semppMarkup = \markup { \halign #1.4 \italic "sempre" \dynamic "pp" }

% Solution 2: Using a dynamic script & shifting with
%             \once \override ... #'X-offset = ..
% Drawback: \once \override needed for every invocation
semppK =
#(make-dynamic-script
  (markup #:line
          (#:normal-text
           #:italic "sempre"
           #:dynamic "pp")))

% Solution 3: Padding the dynamic script so the center-alignment
%             puts it at the correct position
% Drawback: the padding really reserves the space, nothing else can be there
semppT =
#(make-dynamic-script
  (markup #:line
          (#:normal-text
           #:italic "sempre"
           #:dynamic "pp"
           #:hspace 7.1)))

% Solution 4: Dynamic, setting the dimensions of the additional text to 0
% Drawback: To lilypond "sempre" has no extent, so it might put
%           other stuff there => collisions
% Drawback: Also, there seems to be some spacing, so it's not exactly the
%           same alignment as without the additional text
semppM =
#(make-dynamic-script
  (markup #:line
          (#:with-dimensions '(0 . 0) '(0 . 0)
                             #:right-align
                             #:normal-text
                             #:italic "sempre"
                             #:dynamic "pp")))

% Solution 5: Dynamic with explicit shifting inside the scheme function
semppG =
#(make-dynamic-script
  (markup #:hspace 0
          #:translate '(-18.85 . 0)
          #:line (#:normal-text
                  #:italic "sempre"
                  #:dynamic "pp")))

% Solution 6: Dynamic with explicit alignment. This has only effect
%             if one sets X-offset!
% Drawback: One needs to set DynamicText #'X-offset!
% Drawback: Aligned at the right edge of the additional text,
%           not at the center of pp
semppMII =
#(make-dynamic-script
  (markup #:line (#:right-align
                  #:normal-text
                  #:italic "sempre"
                  #:dynamic "pp")))

\context StaffGroup <<
  \context Staff = "s" <<
    \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Normal"
    \relative c'' {
      \key es \major
      c4\pp c\p c c | c\ff c c\pp c
    }
  >>
  \context Staff = "sMarkup" <<
    \set Staff.instrumentName = \markup \column { Normal markup }
    \relative c'' {
      \key es \major
      c4-\semppMarkup c\p c c | c\ff c c-\semppMarkup c
    }
  >>
  \context Staff = "sK" <<
    \set Staff.instrumentName = \markup \column { Explicit shifting }
    \relative c'' {
      \key es \major
      \once \override DynamicText #'X-offset = #-9.2
      c4\semppK c\p c c
      c4\ff c
      \once \override DynamicText #'X-offset = #-9.2
      c4\semppK c
    }
  >>
  \context Staff = "sT" <<
    \set Staff.instrumentName = \markup \column { Right padding }
    \relative c'' {
      \key es \major
      c4\semppT c\p c c | c\ff c c\semppT c
    }
  >>
  \context Staff = "sM" <<
    \set Staff.instrumentName = \markup \column { Setting dimension "to zero" }
    \relative c'' {
      \key es \major
      c4\semppM c\p c c | c\ff c c\semppM c
    }
  >>
  \context Staff = "sG" <<
    \set Staff.instrumentName = \markup \column { Shifting inside dynamics }
    \relative c'' {
      \key es \major
      c4\semppG c\p c c | c\ff c c\semppG c
    }
  >>
  \context Staff = "sMII" <<
    \set Staff.instrumentName = \markup \column { Alignment inside dynamics }
    \relative c'' {
      \key es \major
      % Setting to ##f (false) gives the same result
      \override DynamicText #'X-offset = #0
      c4\semppMII c\p c c | c\ff c c\semppMII c
    }
  >>
>>

[image of music]


How to print two rehearsal marks above and below the same barline (method 1)

This method prints two ’rehearsal marks’, one on top of the other. It shifts the lower rehearsal mark below the staff and then adds padding above it in order to place the upper rehearsal mark above the staff.

By adjusting the extra-offset and baseline-skip values you can increase or decrease the overall space between the rehearsal mark and the staff.

Because nearly every type of glyph or string can be made to behave like a rehearsal mark it is possible to centre those above and below a bar line.

Adding the appropriate ’break visibility’ as shown in snippet 1 will allow you to position two marks at the end of a line as well.

Note: Method 1 is less complex than Method 2 but does not really allow for fine tuning of placement of one of the rehearsal marks without affecting the other. It may also give some problems with vertical spacing, since using extra-offset does not change the bounding box of the mark from its original value.

\relative c'{
    c d e f |
    \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'extra-offset = #'(0 . -8.5)
    \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'baseline-skip = #9
    \mark \markup \center-column { \circle 1 \box A }
    g f e d |
    \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'extra-offset = #'(0 . -8.5)
    \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'baseline-skip = #9
    \mark \markup \center-column { \flat { \bold \small \italic Fine. } }
    g f e d |
    \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'extra-offset = #'(0 . -8.5)
    \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'baseline-skip = #9
    \override Score.RehearsalMark #'break-visibility = #begin-of-line-invisible
    \mark \markup \center-column { \musicglyph #"scripts.ufermata" \box z }
}

[image of music]


How to print two rehearsal marks above and below the same barline (method 2)

This method prints two ’rehearsal marks’ - one above the stave and one below, by creating two voices, adding the Rehearsal Mark engraver to each voice - without this no rehearsal mark is printed - and then placing each rehearsal mark UP and DOWN in each voice respectively.

This method (as opposed to method 1) is more complex, but allows for more flexibility, should it be needed to tweak each rehearsal mark independently of the other.

\score {
  \relative c'
  <<
    \new Staff {
      <<
        \new Voice \with {
          \consists "Mark_engraver"
          \consists "Staff_collecting_engraver"
        }
        { c4 d e f
          \mark \markup { \box A }
          c4 d e f
        }
        \new Voice \with {
          \consists "Mark_engraver"
          \consists "Staff_collecting_engraver"
          \override RehearsalMark #'direction = #DOWN
        }
        { s4 s s s
          \mark \markup { \circle 1 }
          s4 s s s
        }
      >>
    }
  >>
  \layout {
    \context {
      \Score
      \remove "Mark_engraver"
      \remove "Staff_collecting_engraver"
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Inserting a caesura

Caesura marks can be created by overriding the 'text property of the BreathingSign object. A curved caesura mark is also available.

\relative c'' {
  \override BreathingSign #'text = \markup {
    \musicglyph #"scripts.caesura.straight"
  }
  c8 e4. \breathe g8. e16 c4

  \override BreathingSign #'text = \markup {
    \musicglyph #"scripts.caesura.curved"
  }
  g8 e'4. \breathe g8. e16 c4
}

[image of music]


Laissez vibrer ties

Laissez vibrer ties have a fixed size. Their formatting can be tuned using 'tie-configuration.

\relative c' {
  <c e g>4\laissezVibrer r <c f g>\laissezVibrer r
  <c d f g>4\laissezVibrer r <c d f g>4.\laissezVibrer r8

  <c d e f>4\laissezVibrer r
  \override LaissezVibrerTieColumn #'tie-configuration
     = #`((-7 . ,DOWN)
          (-5 . ,DOWN)
          (-3 . ,UP)
          (-1 . ,UP))
  <c d e f>4\laissezVibrer r
}

[image of music]


Line arrows

Arrows can be applied to text-spanners and line-spanners (such as the Glissando).

\relative c'' {
  \override TextSpanner #'bound-padding = #1.0
  \override TextSpanner #'style = #'line
  \override TextSpanner #'(bound-details right arrow) = ##t
  \override TextSpanner #'(bound-details left text) = #"fof"
  \override TextSpanner #'(bound-details right text) = #"gag"
  \override TextSpanner #'(bound-details right padding) = #0.6

  \override TextSpanner #'(bound-details right stencil-align-dir-y) = #CENTER
  \override TextSpanner #'(bound-details left stencil-align-dir-y) = #CENTER

  \override Glissando #'(bound-details right arrow) = ##t
  \override Glissando #'arrow-length = #0.5
  \override Glissando #'arrow-width = #0.25

  a8\startTextSpan gis a4 b\glissando b,
  g'4 c\stopTextSpan c2
}

[image of music]


Making slurs with complex dash structure

Slurs can be made with complex dash patterns by defining the dash-definition property. dash-definition is a list of dash-elements. A dash-element is a list of parameters defining the dash behavior for a segment of the slur.

The slur is defined in terms of the bezier parameter t which ranges from 0 at the left end of the slur to 1 at the right end of the slur. dash-element is a list (start-t stop-t dash-fraction dash-period). The region of the slur from start-t to stop-t will have a fraction dash-fraction of each dash-period black. dash-period is defined in terms of staff spaces. dash-fraction is set to 1 for a solid slur.

\relative c' {
  \once \override
    Slur #'dash-definition = #'((0 0.3 0.1 0.75)
                                (0.3 0.6 1 1)
                                (0.65 1.0 0.4 0.75))
  c4( d e f)
  \once \override
    Slur #'dash-definition = #'((0 0.25 1 1)
                                (0.3 0.7 0.4 0.75)
                                (0.75 1.0 1 1))
  c4( d e f)
}

[image of music]


Modifying default values for articulation shorthand notation

The shorthands are defined in ‘ly/script-init.ly’, where the variables dashHat, dashPlus, dashDash, dashBar, dashLarger, dashDot, and dashUnderscore are assigned default values. The default values for the shorthands can be modified. For example, to associate the -+ (dashPlus) shorthand with the trill symbol instead of the default + symbol, assign the value trill to the variable dashPlus:

\relative c'' { c1-+ }

dashPlus = "trill"

\relative c'' { c1-+ }

[image of music]


Moving slur positions vertically

The vertical position of a slur can be adjusted using the positions property of Slur. The property has 2 parameters, the first referring to the left end of the slur and the second to the right. The values of the parameters are not used by LilyPond to make an exact movement of the slur - instead it selects what placement of the slur looks best, taking into account the parameter values. Positive values move the slur up, and are appropriate for notes with stems down. Negative values move downward slurs further down.

\relative c' {
  \stemDown
  e4( a)
  \override Slur #'positions = #'(1 . 1)
  e4( a)
  \override Slur #'positions = #'(2 . 2)
  e4( a)
  \override Slur #'positions = #'(3 . 3)
  e4( a)
  \override Slur #'positions = #'(4 . 4)
  e4( a)
  \override Slur #'positions = #'(5 . 5)
  e4( a)
  \override Slur #'positions = #'(0 . 5)
  e4( a)
  \override Slur #'positions = #'(5 . 0)
  e4( a)
  \stemUp
  \override Slur #'positions = #'(-5 . -5)
  e4( a)
  \stemDown
  \revert Slur #'positions
  e4( a)
}

[image of music]


Positioning arpeggios

If you need to extend or shorten an arpeggio, you can modify the upper and lower start positions independently.

\relative c' {
  <c e g b>1\arpeggio
  \once \override Arpeggio #'positions = #'(-5 . 0)
  <c e g b>1\arpeggio
  \once \override Arpeggio #'positions = #'(0 . 5)
  <c e g b>1\arpeggio
  \once \override Arpeggio #'positions = #'(-5 . 5)
  <c e g b>1\arpeggio
}

[image of music]


Positioning text markups inside slurs

Text markups need to have the outside-staff-priority property set to false in order to be printed inside slurs.

\relative c'' {
  \override TextScript #'avoid-slur = #'inside
  \override TextScript #'outside-staff-priority = ##f
  c2(^\markup { \halign #-10 \natural } d4.) c8
}

[image of music]


Printing hairpins using al niente notation

Hairpin dynamics may be printed with a circled tip (“al niente” notation) by setting the circled-tip property of the Hairpin object to #t.

\relative c'' {
  \override Hairpin #'circled-tip = ##t
  c2\< c\!
  c4\> c\< c2\!
}

[image of music]


Printing metronome and rehearsal marks below the staff

By default, metronome and rehearsal marks are printed above the staff. To place them below the staff simply set the direction property of MetronomeMark or RehearsalMark appropriately.

\layout { ragged-right = ##f }

{
  % Metronome marks below the staff
  \override Score.MetronomeMark #'direction = #DOWN
  \tempo 8. = 120
  c''1

  % Rehearsal marks below the staff
  \override Score.RehearsalMark #'direction = #DOWN
  \mark \default
  c''1
}

[image of music]


Setting hairpin behavior at bar lines

If the note which ends a hairpin falls on a downbeat, the hairpin stops at the bar line immediately preceding. This behavior can be controlled by overriding the 'to-barline property.

\relative c'' {
  e4\< e2.
  e1\!
  \override Hairpin #'to-barline = ##f
  e4\< e2.
  e1\!
}

[image of music]


Setting the minimum length of hairpins

If hairpins are too short, they can be lengthened by modifying the minimum-length property of the Hairpin object.

\relative c'' {
  c4\< c\! d\> e\!
  \override Hairpin #'minimum-length = #5
  << f1 { s4 s\< s\> s\! } >>
}

[image of music]


Showing the same articulation above and below a note or chord

By default, LilyPond does not allow the same articulation (e.g., an accent, a fermata, a flageolet, etc.) to be displayed above and below a note. For example, c4_\fermata^\fermata will only show a fermata below. The fermata above will simply be ignored. However, one can stick scripts (just like fingerings) inside a chord, which means it is possible to have as many articulations as desired. This approach has the advantage that it ignores the stem and positions the articulation relative to the note head. This can be seen in the case of the flageolets in the snippet. To mimic the behaviour of scripts outside a chord, ’add-stem-support would be required. So, the solution is to write the note as a chord and add the articulations inside the <...>. The direction will always be above, but one can tweak this via a \tweak: <c-\tweak #'direction #DOWN-\fermata^\fermata>

% The same as \flageolet, just a little smaller
smallFlageolet =
#(let ((m (make-articulation "flageolet")))
   (set! (ly:music-property m 'tweaks)
         (acons 'font-size -2
                (ly:music-property m 'tweaks)))
   m)

\relative c' {
  s4^"Wrong:"
  c4_\fermata^\fermata % The second fermata is ignored!
  <e d'>4^\smallFlageolet_\smallFlageolet

  s4^"Works if written inside a chord:"
  <e_\smallFlageolet d'^\smallFlageolet>4
  <e_\flageolet d'^\flageolet>4
  <e_\smallFlageolet^\smallFlageolet>4
  <e_\fermata^\fermata>4
}

[image of music]


Snap-pizzicato or Bartok pizzicato

A snap-pizzicato (also known as “Bartok pizzicato”) is a “strong pizzicato where the string is plucked vertically by snapping and rebounds off the fingerboard of the instrument” (Wikipedia). It is denoted by a circle with a vertical line going from the center upwards outside the circle.

\relative c' {
  c4\snappizzicato
  <c' e g>4\snappizzicato
  <c' e g>4^\snappizzicato
  <c, e g>4_\snappizzicato
}

[image of music]


Using arpeggioBracket to make divisi more visible

The arpeggioBracket can be used to indicate the division of voices where there are no stems to provide the information. This is often seen in choral music.

\include "english.ly"

\score {
  \relative c'' {
    \key a \major
    \time 2/2
    <<
      \new Voice = "upper"
      <<
        { \voiceOne \arpeggioBracket
          a2( b2
          <b d>1\arpeggio)
          <cs e>\arpeggio ~
          <cs e>4
        }
        \addlyrics { \lyricmode { A -- men. } }
      >>
      \new Voice = "lower"
      { \voiceTwo
        a1 ~
        a
        a ~
        a4 \bar "|."
      }
    >>
  }
  \layout { ragged-right = ##t }
}

[image of music]


Using double slurs for legato chords

Some composers write two slurs when they want legato chords. This can be achieved by setting doubleSlurs.

\relative c' {
  \set doubleSlurs = ##t
  <c e>4( <d f> <c e> <d f>)
}

[image of music]


Using the whiteout property

Any graphical object can be printed over a white background to mask parts of objects that lie beneath. This can be useful to improve the appearance of collisions in complex situations when repositioning objects is impractical. It is necessary to explicitly set the layer property to control which objects are masked by the white background.

In this example the collision of the tie with the time signature is improved by masking out the part of the tie that crosses the time signature by setting the whiteout property of TimeSignature. To do this TimeSignature is moved to a layer above Tie, which is left in the default layer of 1, and StaffSymbol is moved to a layer above TimeSignature so it is not masked.

{
  \override Score.StaffSymbol #'layer = #4
  \override Staff.TimeSignature #'layer = #3
  b'2 b'~
  \once \override Staff.TimeSignature #'whiteout = ##t
  \time 3/4
  b' r4
}

[image of music]


Vertical line as a baroque articulation mark

This short vertical line placed above the note is commonly used in baroque music. Its meaning can vary, but generally indicates notes that should be played with more “weight”. The following example demonstrates how to achieve such a notation.

upline =
#(let ((m (make-articulation "stopped")))
   (set! (ly:music-property m 'tweaks)
         (acons 'font-size 3
                (acons 'stencil (lambda (grob)
                                  (grob-interpret-markup
                                   grob
                                   (make-draw-line-markup '(0 . 1))))
                       (ly:music-property m 'tweaks))))
   m)


\relative c' {
  a'4^\upline a( c d')_\upline
}

[image of music]


Vertically aligning dynamics across multiple notes

Dynamics that occur at, begin on, or end on the same note will be vertically aligned. To ensure that dynamics are aligned when they do not occur on the same note, increase the staff-padding property of the DynamicLineSpanner object.

\relative c' {
  \override DynamicLineSpanner #'staff-padding = #4
  c2\p f\mf
  g2\< b4\> c\!
}

[image of music]


Repeats

Repeats


Adding volta brackets to additional staves

The Volta_engraver by default resides in the Score context, and brackets for the repeat are thus normally only printed over the topmost staff. This can be adjusted by adding the Volta_engraver to the Staff context where the brackets should appear; see also the “Volta multi staff” snippet.

<<
  \new Staff { \repeat volta 2 { c'1 } \alternative { c' } }
  \new Staff { \repeat volta 2 { c'1 } \alternative { c' } }
  \new Staff \with { \consists "Volta_engraver" } { c'2 g' e' a' }
  \new Staff { \repeat volta 2 { c'1 } \alternative { c' } }
>>

[image of music]


Cross-staff tremolos

Since \repeat tremolo expects exactly two musical arguments for chord tremolos, the note or chord which changes staff within a cross-staff tremolo should be placed inside curly braces together with its \change Staff command.

\new PianoStaff <<
  \new Staff = "up" \relative c'' {
    \key a \major
    \time 3/8
    s4.
  }
  \new Staff = "down" \relative c'' {
    \key a \major
    \time 3/8
    \voiceOne
    \repeat tremolo 6 {
      <a e'>32
      {
        \change Staff = "up"
        \voiceTwo
        <cis a' dis>32
      }
    }
  }
>>

[image of music]


Engraving tremolos with floating beams

If a tremolo’s total duration is less than a quarter-note, or exactly a half-note, or between a half-note and a whole-note, it is normally typeset with all beams touching the stems. Certain engraving styles typeset some of these beams as centered floating beams that do not touch the stems. The number of floating beams in this type of tremolo is controlled with the 'gap-count property of the Beam object, and the size of the gaps between beams and stems is set with the 'gap property.

\relative c'' {
  \repeat tremolo 8 { a32 f }
  \override Beam #'gap-count = #1
  \repeat tremolo 8 { a32 f }
  \override Beam #'gap-count = #2
  \repeat tremolo 8 { a32 f }
  \override Beam #'gap-count = #3
  \repeat tremolo 8 { a32 f }

  \override Beam #'gap-count = #3
  \override Beam #'gap = #1.33
  \repeat tremolo 8 { a32 f }
  \override Beam #'gap = #1
  \repeat tremolo 8 { a32 f }
  \override Beam #'gap = #0.67
  \repeat tremolo 8 { a32 f }
  \override Beam #'gap = #0.33
  \repeat tremolo 8 { a32 f }
}

[image of music]


Isolated percent repeats

Isolated percents can also be printed.

makePercent =
#(define-music-function (parser location note) (ly:music?)
   "Make a percent repeat the same length as NOTE."
   (make-music 'PercentEvent
               'length (ly:music-length note)))

\relative c'' {
  \makePercent s1
}

[image of music]


Measure counter

This snippet provides a workaround for emitting measure counters using transparent percent repeats.

<<
  \context Voice = "foo" {
    \clef bass
    c4 r g r
    c4 r g r
    c4 r g r
    c4 r g r
  }
  \context Voice = "foo" {
    \set countPercentRepeats = ##t
    \override PercentRepeat #'transparent = ##t
    \override PercentRepeatCounter #'staff-padding = #1
    \repeat percent 4 { s1 }
  }
>>

[image of music]


Percent repeat count visibility

Percent repeat counters can be shown at regular intervals by setting the context property repeatCountVisibility.

\relative c'' {
  \set countPercentRepeats = ##t
  \set repeatCountVisibility = #(every-nth-repeat-count-visible 5)
  \repeat percent 10 { c1 } \break
  \set repeatCountVisibility = #(every-nth-repeat-count-visible 2)
  \repeat percent 6 { c1 d1 }
}

[image of music]


Percent repeat counter

Measure repeats of more than two repeats can get a counter when the convenient property is switched, as shown in this example:

\relative c'' {
  \set countPercentRepeats = ##t
  \repeat percent 4 { c1 }
}

[image of music]


Positioning segno and coda (with line break)

If you want to place an exiting segno sign and add text like “D.S. al Coda” next to it where usually the staff lines are you can use this snippet. The coda will resume in a new line. There is a variation documented in this snippet, where the coda will remain on the same line.

{
  \clef treble
  \key g \major
  \time 4/4
  \relative c'' {
    \repeat unfold 4 {
      c4 c c c
    }

    % Set segno sign as rehearsal mark and adjust size if needed
    % \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'font-size = #3
    \mark \markup { \musicglyph #"scripts.segno" }
    \repeat unfold 2 {
      c4 c c c
    }

    % Set coda sign as rehearsal mark and adjust size if needed
    \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'font-size = #4
    \mark \markup { \musicglyph #"scripts.coda" }
    \repeat unfold 2 {
      c4 c c c
    }

    % Should Coda be on anew line?
    % Coda NOT on new line: use \nobreak
    % Coda on new line: DON'T use \nobreak
    % \noBreak

    \bar "||"

    % Set segno sign as rehearsal mark and adjust size if needed
    \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'break-visibility = #begin-of-line-invisible
    % \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'font-size = #3
    \mark \markup { \musicglyph #"scripts.segno" }

    % Here begins the trickery!
    % \cadenzaOn will suppress the bar count and \stopStaff removes the staff lines.
    \cadenzaOn
      \stopStaff
        % Some examples of possible text-displays

        % text line-aligned
        % ==================
        % Move text to the desired position
        % \once \override TextScript #'extra-offset = #'( 2 . -3.5 )
        % | s1*0^\markup { D.S. al Coda } }

        % text center-aligned
        % ====================
        % Move text to the desired position
        % \once \override TextScript #'extra-offset = #'( 6 . -5.0 )
        % | s1*0^\markup { \center-column { D.S. "al Coda" } }

        % text and symbols center-aligned
        % ===============================
        % Move text to the desired position and tweak spacing for optimum text alignment
        \repeat unfold 1 {
          s1
          \bar ""
        }
        \once \override TextScript #'extra-offset = #'( 0 . -3.0 )
        \once \override TextScript #'word-space = #1.5
        <>^\markup { \center-column { "D.S. al Coda" \line { \musicglyph #"scripts.coda" \musicglyph #"scripts.tenuto" \musicglyph #"scripts.coda"} } }

        % Increasing the unfold counter will expand the staff-free space
        \repeat unfold 3 {
          s1
          \bar ""
        }
        % Resume bar count and show staff lines again
     \startStaff
   \cadenzaOff

   % Should Coda be on new line?
   % Coda NOT on new line: DON'T use \break
   % Coda on new line: use \break
   \break

   % Show up, you clef and key!
   \once \override Staff.KeySignature #'break-visibility = #end-of-line-invisible
   \once \override Staff.Clef #'break-visibility = #end-of-line-invisible

   % Set coda sign as rehearsal mark and adjust size and position

   % Put the coda sign ontop of the (treble-)clef dependend on coda's line-position

   % Coda NOT on new line, use this:
   % \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'extra-offset = #'( -2 . 1.75 )

   % Coda on new line, use this:
   \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'extra-offset = #'( -4.5 . 0 )

   \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'font-size = #5
   \mark \markup { \musicglyph #"scripts.coda" }

   % The coda
   \repeat unfold 5 {
      c4 c c c
    }
    \bar"|."
  }
}

[image of music]


Printing a repeat sign at the beginning of a piece

A |: bar line can be printed at the beginning of a piece, by overriding the relevant property:

\relative c'' {
  \once \override Score.BreakAlignment #'break-align-orders =
    #(make-vector 3 '(instrument-name
                      left-edge
                      ambitus
                      breathing-sign
                      clef
                      key-signature
                      time-signature
                      staff-bar
                      custos))
  \once \override Staff.TimeSignature #'space-alist =
    #'((first-note . (fixed-space . 2.0))
       (right-edge . (extra-space . 0.5))
       ;; free up some space between time signature
       ;; and repeat bar line
       (staff-bar . (extra-space . 1)))
  \bar "|:"
  c1
  d1
  d4 e f g
}

[image of music]


Setting the double repeat default for volte

There are three different styles of double repeats for volte, that can be set using doubleRepeatType.

\relative c'' {
  \repeat volta 1 { c1 }
  \set Score.doubleRepeatType = #":|:"
  \repeat volta 1 { c1 }
  \set Score.doubleRepeatType = #":|.|:"
  \repeat volta 1 { c1 }
  \set Score.doubleRepeatType = #":|.:"
  \repeat volta 1 { c1 }
}

[image of music]


Shortening volta brackets

By default, the volta brackets will be drawn over all of the alternative music, but it is possible to shorten them by setting voltaSpannerDuration. In the next example, the bracket only lasts one measure, which is a duration of 3/4.

\relative c'' {
  \time 3/4
  c4 c c
  \set Score.voltaSpannerDuration = #(ly:make-moment 3 4)
  \repeat volta 5 { d4 d d }
  \alternative {
    {
      e4 e e
      f4 f f
    }
    { g4 g g }
  }
}

[image of music]


Volta below chords

By adding the Volta_engraver to the relevant staff, volte can be put under chords.

\score {
  <<
    \chords {
      c1
      c1
    }
    \new Staff \with {
      \consists "Volta_engraver"
    }
    {
      \repeat volta 2 { c'1 }
      \alternative { c' }
    }
  >>
  \layout {
    \context {
      \Score
      \remove "Volta_engraver"
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Volta multi staff

By adding the Volta_engraver to the relevant staff, volte can be put over staves other than the topmost one in a score.

voltaMusic = \relative c'' {
  \repeat volta 2 {
    c1
  }
  \alternative {
    d1
    e1
  }
}

<<
  \new StaffGroup <<
    \new Staff \voltaMusic
    \new Staff \voltaMusic
  >>
  \new StaffGroup <<
    \new Staff \with { \consists "Volta_engraver" }
      \voltaMusic
    \new Staff \voltaMusic
  >>
>>

[image of music]


Volta text markup using repeatCommands

Though volte are best specified using \repeat volta, the context property repeatCommands must be used in cases where the volta text needs more advanced formatting with \markup.

Since repeatCommands takes a list, the simplest method of including markup is to use an identifier for the text and embed it in the command list using the Scheme syntax #(list (list 'volta textIdentifier)). Start- and end-repeat commands can be added as separate list elements:

voltaAdLib = \markup { 1. 2. 3... \text \italic { ad lib. } }

\relative c'' {
  c1
  \set Score.repeatCommands = #(list (list 'volta voltaAdLib) 'start-repeat)
  c4 b d e
  \set Score.repeatCommands = #'((volta #f) (volta "4.") end-repeat)
  f1
  \set Score.repeatCommands = #'((volta #f))
}

[image of music]


Simultaneous notes

Simultaneous notes


Additional voices to avoid collisions

In some instances of complex polyphonic music, additional voices are necessary to prevent collisions between notes. If more than four parallel voices are needed, additional voices can be added by defining a variable using the Scheme function context-spec-music.

voiceFive = #(context-spec-music (make-voice-props-set 4) 'Voice)

\relative c'' {
  \time 3/4
  \key d \minor
  \partial 2
  <<
    {
      \voiceOne
      a4. a8
      e'4 e4. e8
      f4 d4. c8
    }
    \\
    {
      \voiceThree
      f,2
      bes4 a2
      a4 s2
    }
    \\
    {
      \voiceFive
      s2
      g4 g2
      f4 f2
    }
    \\
    \bar "||"{
      \voiceTwo
      d2
      d4 cis2
      d4 bes2
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Changing a single note’s size in a chord

Individual note heads in a chord can be modified with the \tweak command inside a chord, by altering the font-size property.

Inside the chord (within the brackets < >), before the note to be altered, place the \tweak command, followed by #'font-size and define the proper size like #-2 (a tiny note head).

\relative c' {
  <\tweak #'font-size #+2 c e g c \tweak #'font-size #-2 e>1^\markup { A tiny e }_\markup { A big c }
}

[image of music]


Changing partcombine texts

When using the automatic part combining feature, the printed text for the solo and unison sections may be changed:

\new Staff <<
  \set Staff.soloText = #"girl"
  \set Staff.soloIIText = #"boy"
  \set Staff.aDueText = #"together"
  \partcombine
    \relative c'' {
      g4 g r r
      a2 g
    }
    \relative c'' {
      r4 r a( b)
      a2 g
    }
>>

[image of music]


Clusters

Clusters are a device to denote that a complete range of notes is to be played.

fragment = \relative c' {
  c4 f <e d'>4
  <g a>8 <e a> a4 c2 <d b>4
  e2 c
}

<<
  \new Staff \fragment
  \new Staff \makeClusters \fragment
>>

[image of music]


Combining two parts on the same staff

The part combiner tool ( \partcombine command ) allows the combination of several different parts on the same staff. Text directions such as “solo” or “a2” are added by default; to remove them, simply set the property printPartCombineTexts to f. For vocal scores (hymns), there is no need to add “solo/a2” texts, so they should be switched off. However, it might be better not to use it if there are any solos, as they won’t be indicated. In such cases, standard polyphonic notation may be preferable.

This snippet presents the three ways two parts can be printed on a same staff: standard polyphony, \partcombine without texts, and \partcombine with texts.

musicUp = \relative c'' {
  \time 4/4
  a4 c4.( g8) a4 |
  g4 e' g,( a8 b) |
  c b a2.
}

musicDown = \relative c'' {
  g4 e4.( d8) c4 |
  r2 g'4( f8 e) |
  d2 \stemDown a
}

\score {
  <<
    <<
    \new Staff {
      \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Standard polyphony"
      << \musicUp \\ \musicDown >>
    }
    \new Staff \with { printPartCombineTexts = ##f } {
      \set Staff.instrumentName = #"PartCombine without texts"
      \partcombine \musicUp \musicDown
    }
    \new Staff {
      \set Staff.instrumentName = #"PartCombine with texts"
      \partcombine \musicUp \musicDown
    }
    >>
  >>
  \layout {
    indent = 6.0\cm
    \context {
      \Score
      \override SystemStartBar #'collapse-height = #30
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Displaying complex chords

Here is a way to display a chord where the same note is played twice with different accidentals.

fixA = {
  \once \override Stem #'length = #9
}
fixB = {
  \once \override NoteHead #'X-offset = #1.7
  \once \override Stem #'rotation = #'(45 0 0)
  \once \override Stem #'extra-offset = #'(-0.2 . -0.2)
  \once \override Flag #'style = #'no-flag
  \once \override Accidental #'extra-offset = #'(4 . 0)
}

\relative c' {
  << { \fixA <b d!>8 } \\ { \voiceThree \fixB dis } >> s
}

[image of music]


Double glissando

To connect chords with glissando lines, attach a second glissando to a hidden voice.

\relative c {
  \clef bass
  <<
    {
      % new voice ( = \voiceOne), hidden
      \hideNotes
      % attach glissando to note heads
      e2\glissando g
    }
    \\
    {
      % original voice with chords rearranged so that
      % glissando is attached to a & c
      <e a,>2\glissando <g c,>
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Forcing horizontal shift of notes

When the typesetting engine cannot cope, the following syntax can be used to override typesetting decisions. The units of measure used here are staff spaces.

\relative c' <<
  {
    <d g>2 <d g>
  }
  \\
  {
    <b f'>2
    \once \override NoteColumn #'force-hshift = #1.7
    <b f'>2
  }
>>

[image of music]


Making an object invisible with the ’transparent property

Setting the transparent property will cause an object to be printed in “invisible ink”: the object is not printed, but all its other behavior is retained. The object still takes up space, it takes part in collisions, and slurs, ties and beams can be attached to it.

This snippet demonstrates how to connect different voices using ties. Normally, ties only connect two notes in the same voice. By introducing a tie in a different voice, and blanking the first up-stem in that voice, the tie appears to cross voices.

\relative c'' {
  \time 2/4
  <<
    {
      \once \override Stem #'transparent = ##t
      \once \override Stem #'length = #8
      b8 ~ b\noBeam
      \once \override Stem #'transparent = ##t
      \once \override Stem #'length = #8
      g8 ~ g\noBeam
    }
    \\
    {
      b8 g g e
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Moving dotted notes in polyphony

When a dotted note in the upper voice is moved to avoid a collision with a note in another voice, the default is to move the upper note to the right. This behaviour can be over-ridden by using the prefer-dotted-right property of NoteCollision.

\new Staff \relative c' <<
  { f2. f4
    \override Staff.NoteCollision #'prefer-dotted-right = ##f
    f2. f4
    \override Staff.NoteCollision #'prefer-dotted-right = ##t
    f2. f4
  }
  \\
  { e4 e e e e e e e e e e e}
>>

[image of music]


Suppressing warnings for clashing note columns

If notes from two voices with stems in the same direction are placed at the same position, and both voices have no shift or the same shift specified, the error message ‘warning: ignoring too many clashing note columns’ will appear when compiling the LilyPond file. This message can be suppressed by setting the 'ignore-collision property of the NoteColumn object to #t. Please note that this does not just suppress warnings but stops LilyPond trying to resolve collisions at all and so may have unintended results unless used with care.

ignore = \override NoteColumn #'ignore-collision = ##t

\relative c' {
  <<
    \ignore
    { \stemDown f2 g }
    \\
    { c2 c, }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Staff notation

Staff notation


Adding ambitus per voice

Ambitus can be added per voice. In this case, the ambitus must be moved manually to prevent collisions.

\new Staff <<
  \new Voice \with {
    \consists "Ambitus_engraver"
  } \relative c'' {
    \override Ambitus #'X-offset = #2.0
    \voiceOne
    c4 a d e
    f1
  }
  \new Voice \with {
    \consists "Ambitus_engraver"
  } \relative c' {
    \voiceTwo
    es4 f g as
    b1
  }
>>

[image of music]


Adding an extra staff at a line break

When adding a new staff at a line break, some extra space is unfortunately added at the end of the line before the break (to fit in a key signature change, which will never be printed anyway). The workaround is to add a setting of Staff.explicitKeySignatureVisibility as is shown in the example.

\score {
  \new StaffGroup \relative c'' {
    \new Staff
    \key f \major
    c1 c^"Unwanted extra space" \break
    << { c1 | c }
       \new Staff {
         \key f \major
         \once \override Staff.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f
         c1 | c
       }
    >>
    c1 | c^"Fixed here" \break
    << { c1 | c }
       \new Staff {
         \once \set Staff.explicitKeySignatureVisibility = #end-of-line-invisible
         \key f \major
         \once \override Staff.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f
         c1 | c
       }
    >>
  }
}

[image of music]


Adding an extra staff

An extra staff can be added (possibly temporarily) after the start of a piece.

\score {
  <<
    \new Staff \relative c'' {
      c1 | c | c | c | c
    }
    \new StaffGroup \relative c'' {
      \new Staff {
        c1 | c
        <<
          {
            c1 | d
          }
          \new Staff {
            \once \override Staff.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f
            c1 | b
          }
        >>
        c1
      }
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Adding indicators to staves which get split after a break

This snippet defines the \splitStaffBarLine command, which adds arrows in north-east and south-east directions at a bar line, to denote that several voices sharing a staff will each continue on a staff of their own in the next system.

#(define-markup-command (arrow-at-angle layout props angle-deg length fill)
   (number? number? boolean?)
   (let* (
          ;; PI-OVER-180 and degrees->radians are taken from flag-styles.scm
          (PI-OVER-180 (/ (atan 1 1) 45))
          (degrees->radians (lambda (degrees) (* degrees PI-OVER-180)))
          (angle-rad (degrees->radians angle-deg))
          (target-x (* length (cos angle-rad)))
          (target-y (* length (sin angle-rad))))
     (interpret-markup layout props
                       (markup
                        #:translate (cons (/ target-x 2) (/ target-y 2))
                        #:rotate angle-deg
                        #:translate (cons (/ length -2) 0)
                        #:concat (#:draw-line (cons length 0)
                                              #:arrow-head X RIGHT fill)))))

splitStaffBarLineMarkup = \markup \with-dimensions #'(0 . 0) #'(0 . 0) {
  \combine
    \arrow-at-angle #45 #(sqrt 8) ##f
    \arrow-at-angle #-45 #(sqrt 8) ##f
}

splitStaffBarLine = {
  \once \override Staff.BarLine #'stencil =
    #(lambda (grob)
       (ly:stencil-combine-at-edge
        (ly:bar-line::print grob)
        X RIGHT
        (grob-interpret-markup grob splitStaffBarLineMarkup)
        0))
  \break
}

\paper {
  ragged-right = ##t
  short-indent = 5\mm
}

\score {
  <<
    \new ChoirStaff <<
      \new Staff \with { instrumentName = #"High I + II" } {
        <<
          \repeat unfold 4 f''1
          \\
          \repeat unfold 4 d''1
        >>
        \splitStaffBarLine
      }
      \new Staff \with { instrumentName = #"Low" } {
        <<
          \repeat unfold 4 b'1
          \\
          \repeat unfold 4 g'1
        >>
      }

      \new Staff \with { shortInstrumentName = #"H I" } {
        R1*4
        \repeat unfold 2 { r4 f''2 r4 } \repeat unfold 2 e''1
      }
      \new Staff \with { shortInstrumentName = #"H II" } {
        R1*4
        \repeat unfold 4 b'2 \repeat unfold 2 c''1
      }
      \new Staff \with { shortInstrumentName = #"L" } {
        R1*4
        <<
          \repeat unfold 4 g'1
          \\
          \repeat unfold 4 c'1
        >>
      }
    >>
  >>
  \layout {
    \context {
      \Staff \RemoveEmptyStaves
      \override VerticalAxisGroup #'remove-first = ##t
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Adding orchestral cues to a vocal score

This shows one approach to simplify adding many orchestral cues to the piano reduction in a vocal score. The music function \cueWhile takes four arguments: the music from which the cue is to be taken, as defined by \addQuote, the name to be inserted before the cue notes, then either #UP or #DOWN to specify either \voiceOne with the name above the staff or \voiceTwo with the name below the staff, and finally the piano music in parallel with which the cue notes are to appear. The name of the cued instrument is positioned to the left of the cued notes. Many passages can be cued, but they cannot overlap each other in time.

cueWhile =
#(define-music-function
   (parser location instrument name dir music)
   (string? string? ly:dir? ly:music?)
   #{
     \cueDuring $instrument #dir {
       \once \override TextScript #'self-alignment-X = #RIGHT
       \once \override TextScript #'direction = $dir
       <>-\markup { \tiny #name }
       $music
     }
   #})

flute = \relative c'' {
  \transposition c'
  s4 s4 e g
}
\addQuote "flute" { \flute }

clarinet = \relative c' {
  \transposition bes
  fis4 d d c
}
\addQuote "clarinet" { \clarinet }

singer = \relative c'' { c4. g8 g4 bes4 }
words = \lyricmode { here's the lyr -- ics }

pianoRH = \relative c'' {
  \transposition c'
  \cueWhile "clarinet" "Clar." #DOWN { c4. g8 }
  \cueWhile "flute" "Flute" #UP { g4 bes4 }
}
pianoLH = \relative c { c4 <c' e> e, <g c> }

\score {
  <<
    \new Staff {
      \new Voice = "singer" {
        \singer
      }
    }
    \new Lyrics {
      \lyricsto "singer"
      \words
    }
    \new PianoStaff <<
      \new Staff {
        \new Voice {
          \pianoRH
        }
      }
      \new Staff {
        \clef "bass"
        \pianoLH
      }
    >>
  >>
}

[image of music]


Alternative bar numbering

Two alternative methods for bar numbering can be set, especially for when using repeated music.

\relative c'{
  \set Score.alternativeNumberingStyle = #'numbers
  \repeat volta 3 { c4 d e f | }
    \alternative {
      { c4 d e f | c2 d \break }
      { f4 g a b | f4 g a b | f2 a | \break }
      { c4 d e f | c2 d }
    }
  c1 \break
  \set Score.alternativeNumberingStyle = #'numbers-with-letters
  \repeat volta 3 { c,4 d e f | }
    \alternative {
      { c4 d e f | c2 d \break }
      { f4 g a b | f4 g a b | f2 a | \break }
      { c4 d e f | c2 d }
    }
  c1
}

[image of music]


Changing the number of lines in a staff

The number of lines in a staff may changed by overriding the StaffSymbol property line-count.

upper = \relative c'' {
  c4 d e f
}

lower = \relative c {
  \clef bass
  c4 b a g
}

\score {
  \context PianoStaff <<
    \new Staff {
      \upper
    }
    \new Staff {
      \override Staff.StaffSymbol #'line-count = #4
      \lower
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Changing the staff size

Though the simplest way to resize staves is to use #(set-global-staff-size xx), an individual staff’s size can be changed by scaling the properties 'staff-space and fontSize.

<<
  \new Staff {
    \relative c'' {
      \dynamicDown
      c8\ff c c c c c c c
    }
  }
  \new Staff \with {
    fontSize = #-3
    \override StaffSymbol #'staff-space = #(magstep -3)
  } {
    \clef bass
    c8 c c c c\f c c c
  }
>>

[image of music]


Creating blank staves

To create blank staves, generate empty measures then remove the Bar_number_engraver from the Score context, and the Time_signature_engraver, Clef_engraver and Bar_engraver from the Staff context.

#(set-global-staff-size 20)

\score {
  {
    \repeat unfold 12 { s1 \break }
  }
  \layout {
    indent = 0\in
    \context {
      \Staff
      \remove "Time_signature_engraver"
      \remove "Clef_engraver"
      \remove "Bar_engraver"
    }
    \context {
      \Score
      \remove "Bar_number_engraver"
    }
  }
}

\paper {
  #(set-paper-size "letter")
  ragged-last-bottom = ##f
  line-width = 7.5\in
  left-margin = 0.5\in
  bottom-margin = 0.25\in
  top-margin = 0.25\in
}

[image of music]


Creating double-digit fingerings

By default you cannot make double-digit fingering notation (i.e. numbers larger than 9). This is a hard coded limitation.

This snippet shows two methods of creating fingerings larger than 9.

ten =
#(make-music 'FingeringEvent
             'digit 10)

fifty =
#(make-music 'FingeringEvent
             'digit 50)

finger =
#(define-music-function (parser location digit) (integer?)
   (make-music 'FingeringEvent
               'digit digit))

#(define (calc-finger-without-warning grob)
   (let* ((event (event-cause grob))
	  (digit (ly:event-property event 'digit)))
     (number->string digit 10)))

\relative c' {
  % optional override to remove warnings for fingerings larger than 5
  \override Fingering #'text = #calc-finger-without-warning
  c1\ten
  c1\fifty
  c1-\finger #36
  c1-\finger #29
}

[image of music]


Cross staff stems

This snippet shows the use of the Span_stem_engraver and \crossStaff to connect stems across staves automatically. The stem length need not be specified, as the variable distance between noteheads and staves is calculated automatically.

\layout {
  \context {
    \PianoStaff
    \consists #Span_stem_engraver
  }
}

{
  \new PianoStaff <<
    \new Staff {
      <b d'>4 r d'16\> e'8. g8 r\!
      e'8 f' g'4 e'2
    }
    \new Staff {
      \clef bass
      \voiceOne
      \autoBeamOff
      \crossStaff { <e g>4 e, g16 a8. c8} d
      \autoBeamOn
      g8 f g4 c2
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Display bracket with only one staff in a system

If there is only one staff in one of the staff types ChoirStaff or StaffGroup, the bracket and the starting bar line will not be displayed as standard behavior. This can be changed by overriding the relevant properties.

Note that in contexts such as PianoStaff and GrandStaff where the systems begin with a brace instead of a bracket, another property has to be set, as shown on the second system in the example.

\markup \left-column {
  \score {
    \new StaffGroup <<
      % Must be lower than the actual number of staff lines
      \override StaffGroup.SystemStartBracket #'collapse-height = #1
      \override Score.SystemStartBar #'collapse-height = #1
      \new Staff {
        c'1
      }
    >>
    \layout { }
  }
  \null
  \score {
    \new PianoStaff <<
      \override PianoStaff.SystemStartBrace #'collapse-height = #1
      \override Score.SystemStartBar #'collapse-height = #1
      \new Staff {
        c'1
      }
    >>
    \layout { }
  }
}

[image of music]


Forcing measure width to adapt to MetronomeMark’s width

By default, metronome marks do not influence horizontal spacing. This has one downside: when using compressed rests, some metronome marks may be too close and therefore are printed vertically stacked, as demonstrated in the first part of this example. This can be solved through a simple override, as shown in the second half of the example.

example = {
  \tempo "Allegro"
  R1*6
  \tempo "Rall."
  R1*2
  \tempo "A tempo"
  R1*8
}

{
  \compressFullBarRests

  \example

  R1
  R1

  \override Score.MetronomeMark #'extra-spacing-width = #'(0 . 0)
  \example
}

[image of music]


Glissandi can skip grobs

NoteColumn grobs can be skipped over by glissandi.

\relative c' {
  a2 \glissando
  \once \override NoteColumn #'glissando-skip = ##t
  f''4 d,
}

[image of music]


How to print two rehearsal marks above and below the same barline (method 1)

This method prints two ’rehearsal marks’, one on top of the other. It shifts the lower rehearsal mark below the staff and then adds padding above it in order to place the upper rehearsal mark above the staff.

By adjusting the extra-offset and baseline-skip values you can increase or decrease the overall space between the rehearsal mark and the staff.

Because nearly every type of glyph or string can be made to behave like a rehearsal mark it is possible to centre those above and below a bar line.

Adding the appropriate ’break visibility’ as shown in snippet 1 will allow you to position two marks at the end of a line as well.

Note: Method 1 is less complex than Method 2 but does not really allow for fine tuning of placement of one of the rehearsal marks without affecting the other. It may also give some problems with vertical spacing, since using extra-offset does not change the bounding box of the mark from its original value.

\relative c'{
    c d e f |
    \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'extra-offset = #'(0 . -8.5)
    \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'baseline-skip = #9
    \mark \markup \center-column { \circle 1 \box A }
    g f e d |
    \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'extra-offset = #'(0 . -8.5)
    \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'baseline-skip = #9
    \mark \markup \center-column { \flat { \bold \small \italic Fine. } }
    g f e d |
    \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'extra-offset = #'(0 . -8.5)
    \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'baseline-skip = #9
    \override Score.RehearsalMark #'break-visibility = #begin-of-line-invisible
    \mark \markup \center-column { \musicglyph #"scripts.ufermata" \box z }
}

[image of music]


How to print two rehearsal marks above and below the same barline (method 2)

This method prints two ’rehearsal marks’ - one above the stave and one below, by creating two voices, adding the Rehearsal Mark engraver to each voice - without this no rehearsal mark is printed - and then placing each rehearsal mark UP and DOWN in each voice respectively.

This method (as opposed to method 1) is more complex, but allows for more flexibility, should it be needed to tweak each rehearsal mark independently of the other.

\score {
  \relative c'
  <<
    \new Staff {
      <<
        \new Voice \with {
          \consists "Mark_engraver"
          \consists "Staff_collecting_engraver"
        }
        { c4 d e f
          \mark \markup { \box A }
          c4 d e f
        }
        \new Voice \with {
          \consists "Mark_engraver"
          \consists "Staff_collecting_engraver"
          \override RehearsalMark #'direction = #DOWN
        }
        { s4 s s s
          \mark \markup { \circle 1 }
          s4 s s s
        }
      >>
    }
  >>
  \layout {
    \context {
      \Score
      \remove "Mark_engraver"
      \remove "Staff_collecting_engraver"
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Incipit

Incipits can be added using the instrument name grob, but keeping separate the instrument name definition and the incipit definition.

incipit =
#(define-music-function (parser location incipit-music) (ly:music?)
  #{
    \once \override Staff.InstrumentName #'self-alignment-X = #RIGHT
    \once \override Staff.InstrumentName #'self-alignment-Y = #UP
    \once \override Staff.InstrumentName #'Y-offset =
      #(lambda (grob)
         (+ 4 (system-start-text::calc-y-offset grob)))
    \once \override Staff.InstrumentName #'padding = #0.3
    \once \override Staff.InstrumentName #'stencil =
      #(lambda (grob)
	 (let* ((instrument-name (ly:grob-property grob 'long-text)))
	   (set! (ly:grob-property grob 'long-text)
		 #{ \markup
		      \score
		         {
			   { \context MensuralStaff \with {
	                        instrumentName = #instrument-name
			        \override VerticalAxisGroup
			         #'Y-extent = #'(-4 . 4)
	                     } $incipit-music
			   }
	                   \layout { $(ly:grob-layout grob)
			             line-width = \indent
		                     indent =
				% primitive-eval is probably easiest for
				% escaping lexical closure and evaluating
				% everything respective to (current-module).
	                             #(primitive-eval
                                       '(or (false-if-exception (- indent (* mm incipit-width)))
					    (* 0.5 indent)))
			             ragged-right = ##f
			             ragged-last = ##f
			             system-count = #1 }
			 }
		  #})
           (system-start-text::print grob)))
  #})

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

global = {
  \set Score.skipBars = ##t
  \key g \major
  \time 4/4

  % the actual music
  \skip 1*8

  % let finis bar go through all staves
  \override Staff.BarLine #'transparent = ##f

  % finis bar
  \bar "|."
}

discantusIncipit = <<
  \new MensuralVoice = "discantusIncipit" <<
    \repeat unfold 9 { s1 \noBreak }
    {
      \clef "neomensural-c1"
      \key f \major
      \time 2/2
      c''1.
    }
  >>
  \new Lyrics \lyricsto discantusIncipit { IV- }
>>

discantusNotes = {
  \transpose c' c'' {
    \clef "treble"
    d'2. d'4 |
    b e' d'2 |
    c'4 e'4.( d'8 c' b |
    a4) b a2 |
    b4.( c'8 d'4) c'4 |
    \once \override NoteHead #'transparent = ##t
    c'1 |
    b\breve |
  }
}

discantusLyrics = \lyricmode {
  Ju -- bi -- |
  la -- te De -- |
  o, om --
  nis ter -- |
  ra, __ om- |
  "..." |
  -us. |
}

altusIncipit = <<
  \new MensuralVoice = "altusIncipit" <<
    \repeat unfold 9 { s1 \noBreak }
    {
      \clef "neomensural-c3"
      \key f \major
      \time 2/2
      r1 f'1.
    }
  >>
  \new Lyrics \lyricsto altusIncipit { IV- }
>>

altusNotes = {
  \transpose c' c'' {
    \clef "treble"
    % two measures
    r2 g2. e4 fis g |
    a2 g4 e |
    fis g4.( fis16 e fis4) |
    g1 |
    \once \override NoteHead #'transparent = ##t
    g1 |
    g\breve |
  }
}

altusLyrics = \lyricmode {
  % two measures
  Ju -- bi -- la -- te |
  De -- o, om -- |
  nis ter -- ra, |
  "..." |
  -us. |
}

tenorIncipit = <<
  \new MensuralVoice = "tenorIncipit" <<
    \repeat unfold 9 { s1 \noBreak }
    {
      \clef "neomensural-c4"
      \key f \major
      \time 2/2
      r\longa
      r\breve
      r1 c'1.
    }
  >>
  \new Lyrics \lyricsto tenorIncipit { IV- }
>>

tenorNotes = {
  \transpose c' c' {
    \clef "treble_8"
    R1 |
    R1 |
    R1 |
    % two measures
    r2 d'2. d'4 b e' |
    \once \override NoteHead #'transparent = ##t
    e'1 |
    d'\breve |
  }
}

tenorLyrics = \lyricmode {
  % two measures
  Ju -- bi -- la -- te |
  "..." |
  -us.
}

bassusIncipit = <<
  \new MensuralVoice = "bassusIncipit" <<
    \repeat unfold 9 { s1 \noBreak }
    {
      \clef "bass"
      \key f \major
      \time 2/2
      %% incipit
      r\maxima
      f1.
    }
  >>
  \new Lyrics \lyricsto bassusIncipit { IV- }
>>

bassusNotes = {
  \transpose c' c' {
    \clef "bass"
    R1 |
    R1 |
    R1 |
    R1 |
    g2. e4 |
    \once \override NoteHead #'transparent = ##t
    e1 |
    g\breve |
  }
}

bassusLyrics = \lyricmode {
  Ju -- bi- |
  "..." |
  -us.
}

\score {
  <<
    \new StaffGroup = choirStaff <<
      \new Voice = "discantusNotes" <<
        \global
        \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Discantus"
        \incipit \discantusIncipit
        \discantusNotes
      >>
      \new Lyrics = "discantusLyrics" \lyricsto discantusNotes { \discantusLyrics }
      \new Voice = "altusNotes" <<
        \global
        \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Altus"
        \incipit \altusIncipit
        \altusNotes
      >>
      \new Lyrics = "altusLyrics" \lyricsto altusNotes { \altusLyrics }
      \new Voice = "tenorNotes" <<
        \global
        \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Tenor"
        \incipit \tenorIncipit
        \tenorNotes
      >>
      \new Lyrics = "tenorLyrics" \lyricsto tenorNotes { \tenorLyrics }
      \new Voice = "bassusNotes" <<
        \global
        \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Bassus"
        \incipit \bassusIncipit
        \bassusNotes
      >>
      \new Lyrics = "bassusLyrics" \lyricsto bassusNotes { \bassusLyrics }
    >>
  >>
  \layout {
    \context {
      \Score
      %% no bar lines in staves or lyrics
      \override BarLine #'transparent = ##t
    }
    %% the next two instructions keep the lyrics between the bar lines
    \context {
      \Lyrics
      \consists "Bar_engraver"
      \consists "Separating_line_group_engraver"
    }
    \context {
      \Voice
      %% no slurs
      \override Slur #'transparent = ##t
      %% Comment in the below "\remove" command to allow line
      %% breaking also at those bar lines where a note overlaps
      %% into the next measure.  The command is commented out in this
      %% short example score, but especially for large scores, you
      %% will typically yield better line breaking and thus improve
      %% overall spacing if you comment in the following command.
      %%\remove "Forbid_line_break_engraver"
    }
    indent = 6\cm
    incipit-width = 4\cm
  }
}

[image of music]


Inserting score fragments above a staff as markups

The \markup command is quite versatile. In this snippet, it contains a \score block instead of texts or marks.

tuning = \markup {
  \score {
    \new Staff \with { \remove "Time_signature_engraver" }
    {
      \clef bass
      <c, g, d g>1
    }
    \layout { ragged-right = ##t }
  }
}

\header {
  title = "Solo Cello Suites"
  subtitle = "Suite IV"
  subsubtitle = \markup { Originalstimmung: \general-align #Y #CENTER \tuning }
}

\layout { ragged-right = ##f }

\relative c'' {
  \time 4/8
  \times 2/3 { c8 d e } \times 2/3 { c d e }
  \times 2/3 { c8 d e } \times 2/3 { c d e }
  g8 a g a
  g8 a g a
}

[image of music]


Letter tablature formatting

Tablature can be formatted using letters instead of numbers.

music = \relative c {
  c4 d e f
  g4 a b c
  d4 e f g
}

<<
  \new Staff {
    \clef "G_8"
    \music
  }
  \new TabStaff \with {
    tablatureFormat = #fret-letter-tablature-format
  }
  {
    \music
  }
>>

[image of music]


Making some staff lines thicker than the others

For educational purposes, a staff line can be thickened (e.g., the middle line, or to emphasize the line of the G clef). This can be achieved by adding extra lines very close to the line that should be emphasized, using the line-positions property of the StaffSymbol object.

{
  \override Staff.StaffSymbol #'line-positions =
    #'(-4 -2 -0.2 0 0.2 2 4)
  d'4 e' f' g'
}

[image of music]


Measure counter

This snippet provides a workaround for emitting measure counters using transparent percent repeats.

<<
  \context Voice = "foo" {
    \clef bass
    c4 r g r
    c4 r g r
    c4 r g r
    c4 r g r
  }
  \context Voice = "foo" {
    \set countPercentRepeats = ##t
    \override PercentRepeat #'transparent = ##t
    \override PercentRepeatCounter #'staff-padding = #1
    \repeat percent 4 { s1 }
  }
>>

[image of music]


Mensurstriche layout (bar lines between the staves)

The mensurstriche-layout where the bar lines do not show on the staves but between staves can be achieved with a StaffGroup instead of a ChoirStaff. The bar line on staves is blanked out by setting the transparent property.

global = {
  \override Staff.BarLine #'transparent = ##t
  s1 s
  % the final bar line is not interrupted
  \revert Staff.BarLine #'transparent
  \bar "|."
}
\new StaffGroup \relative c'' {
  <<
    \new Staff { << \global { c1 c } >> }
    \new Staff { << \global { c c } >> }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Nesting staves

The property systemStartDelimiterHierarchy can be used to make more complex nested staff groups. The command \set StaffGroup.systemStartDelimiterHierarchy takes an alphabetical list of the number of staves produced. Before each staff a system start delimiter can be given. It has to be enclosed in brackets and takes as much staves as the brackets enclose. Elements in the list can be omitted, but the first bracket takes always the complete number of staves. The possibilities are SystemStartBar, SystemStartBracket, SystemStartBrace, and SystemStartSquare.

\new StaffGroup
\relative c'' <<
  \set StaffGroup.systemStartDelimiterHierarchy
    = #'(SystemStartSquare (SystemStartBrace (SystemStartBracket a
                             (SystemStartSquare b)  ) c ) d)
  \new Staff { c1 }
  \new Staff { c1 }
  \new Staff { c1 }
  \new Staff { c1 }
  \new Staff { c1 }
>>

[image of music]


Non-traditional key signatures

The commonly used \key command sets the keySignature property, in the Staff context.

To create non-standard key signatures, set this property directly. The format of this command is a list:

\set Staff.keySignature = #`(((octave . step) . alter) ((octave . step) . alter) ...) where, for each element in the list, octave specifies the octave (0 being the octave from middle C to the B above), step specifies the note within the octave (0 means C and 6 means B), and alter is ,SHARP ,FLAT ,DOUBLE-SHARP etc. (Note the leading comma.) The accidentals in the key signature will appear in the reverse order to that in which they are specified.

Alternatively, for each item in the list, using the more concise format (step . alter) specifies that the same alteration should hold in all octaves.

For microtonal scales where a “sharp” is not 100 cents, alter refers to the alteration as a proportion of a 200-cent whole tone.

Here is an example of a possible key signature for generating a whole-tone scale:

\relative c' {
  \set Staff.keySignature = #`(((0 . 6) . ,FLAT)
                               ((0 . 5) . ,FLAT)
                               ((0 . 3) . ,SHARP))
  c4 d e fis
  aes4 bes c2
}

[image of music]


Orchestra choir and piano template

This template demonstrates the use of nested StaffGroup and GrandStaff contexts to sub-group instruments of the same type together, and a way to use \transpose so that variables hold music for transposing instruments at concert pitch.

#(set-global-staff-size 17)
\paper {
  indent = 3.0\cm  % space for instrumentName
  short-indent = 1.5\cm  % space for shortInstrumentName
}

fluteMusic = \relative c' { \key g \major g'1 b }
% Pitches as written on a manuscript for Clarinet in A
% are transposed to concert pitch.
clarinetMusic = \transpose c' a
  \relative c'' { \key bes \major bes1 d }
trumpetMusic = \relative c { \key g \major g''1 b }
% Key signature is often omitted for horns
hornMusic = \transpose c' f
  \relative c { d'1 fis }
percussionMusic = \relative c { \key g \major g1 b }
sopranoMusic = \relative c'' { \key g \major g'1 b }
sopranoLyrics = \lyricmode { Lyr -- ics }
altoIMusic = \relative c' { \key g \major g'1 b }
altoIIMusic = \relative c' { \key g \major g'1 b }
altoILyrics =  \sopranoLyrics
altoIILyrics = \lyricmode { Ah -- ah }
tenorMusic = \relative c' { \clef "treble_8" \key g \major g1 b }
tenorLyrics = \sopranoLyrics
pianoRHMusic = \relative c { \key g \major g''1 b }
pianoLHMusic = \relative c { \clef bass \key g \major g1 b }
violinIMusic = \relative c' { \key g \major g'1 b }
violinIIMusic = \relative c' { \key g \major g'1 b }
violaMusic = \relative c { \clef alto \key g \major g'1 b }
celloMusic = \relative c { \clef bass \key g \major g1 b }
bassMusic = \relative c { \clef "bass_8" \key g \major g,1 b }

\score {
  <<
    \new StaffGroup = "StaffGroup_woodwinds" <<
      \new Staff = "Staff_flute" {
        \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Flute"
        % shortInstrumentName, midiInstrument, etc.
        % may be set here as well
        \fluteMusic
      }
      \new Staff = "Staff_clarinet" {
        \set Staff.instrumentName =
        \markup { \concat { "Clarinet in B" \flat } }
        % Declare that written Middle C in the music
        %  to follow sounds a concert B flat, for
        %  output using sounded pitches such as MIDI.
        \transposition bes
        % Print music for a B-flat clarinet
        \transpose bes c' \clarinetMusic
      }
    >>
    \new StaffGroup = "StaffGroup_brass" <<
      \new Staff = "Staff_hornI" {
        \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Horn in F"
        \transposition f
        \transpose f c' \hornMusic
      }
      \new Staff = "Staff_trumpet" {
        \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Trumpet in  C"
        \trumpetMusic
      }
    >>
    \new RhythmicStaff = "RhythmicStaff_percussion" <<
      \set RhythmicStaff.instrumentName = #"Percussion"
      \percussionMusic
    >>
    \new PianoStaff <<
      \set PianoStaff.instrumentName = #"Piano"
      \new Staff { \pianoRHMusic }
      \new Staff { \pianoLHMusic }
    >>
    \new ChoirStaff = "ChoirStaff_choir" <<
      \new Staff = "Staff_soprano" {
        \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Soprano"
        \new Voice = "soprano"
        \sopranoMusic
      }
      \new Lyrics \lyricsto "soprano" { \sopranoLyrics }
      \new GrandStaff = "GrandStaff_altos"
      \with { \accepts Lyrics } <<
        \new Staff = "Staff_altoI"  {
          \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Alto I"
          \new Voice = "altoI"
          \altoIMusic
        }
        \new Lyrics \lyricsto "altoI" { \altoILyrics }
        \new Staff = "Staff_altoII" {
          \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Alto II"
          \new Voice = "altoII"
          \altoIIMusic
        }
        \new Lyrics \lyricsto "altoII" { \altoIILyrics }
      >>
      \new Staff = "Staff_tenor" {
        \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Tenor"
        \new Voice = "tenor"
        \tenorMusic
      }
      \new Lyrics \lyricsto "tenor" { \tenorLyrics }
    >>
    \new StaffGroup = "StaffGroup_strings" <<
      \new GrandStaff = "GrandStaff_violins" <<
        \new Staff = "Staff_violinI" {
          \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Violin I"
          \violinIMusic
        }
        \new Staff = "Staff_violinII" {
          \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Violin II"
          \violinIIMusic
        }
      >>
      \new Staff = "Staff_viola" {
        \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Viola"
        \violaMusic
      }
      \new Staff = "Staff_cello" {
        \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Cello"
        \celloMusic
      }
      \new Staff = "Staff_bass" {
        \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Double Bass"
        \bassMusic
      }
    >>
  >>
  \layout { }
}

[image of music]


Putting lyrics inside the staff

Lyrics can be moved vertically to place them inside the staff. The lyrics are moved with \override LyricText #'extra-offset = #'(0 . dy) and there are similar commands to move the extenders and hyphens. The offset needed is established with trial and error.

<<
  \new Staff <<
    \new Voice = "voc" \relative c' { \stemDown a bes c8 b c4 }
  >>
  \new Lyrics \with {
    \override LyricText #'extra-offset = #'(0 . 8.6)
    \override LyricExtender #'extra-offset = #'(0 . 8.6)
    \override LyricHyphen #'extra-offset = #'(0 . 8.6)
  } \lyricsto "voc" { La la -- la __ _ la }
>>

[image of music]


Quoting another voice with transposition

Quotations take into account the transposition of both source and target. In this example, all instruments play sounding middle C; the target is an instrument in F. The target part may be transposed using \transpose. In this case, all the pitches (including the quoted ones) are transposed.

\addQuote clarinet {
  \transposition bes
  \repeat unfold 8 { d'16 d' d'8 }
}

\addQuote sax {
  \transposition es'
  \repeat unfold 16 { a8 }
}

quoteTest = {
  % french horn
  \transposition f
  g'4
  << \quoteDuring #"clarinet" { \skip 4 } s4^"clar." >>
  << \quoteDuring #"sax" { \skip 4 } s4^"sax." >>
  g'4
}

{
  \set Staff.instrumentName =
    \markup {
      \center-column { Horn \line { in F } }
    }
  \quoteTest
  \transpose c' d' << \quoteTest s4_"up a tone" >>
}

[image of music]


Quoting another voice

The quotedEventTypes property determines the music event types which should be quoted. The default value is (note-event rest-event tie-event beam-event tuplet-span-event), which means that only the notes, rests, ties, beams and tuplets of the quoted voice will appear in the \quoteDuring expression. In the following example, a 16th rest is not quoted since rest-event is not in quotedEventTypes.

For a list of event types, consult the “Music classes” section of the Internals Reference.

quoteMe = \relative c' {
  fis4 r16 a8.-> b4\ff c
}
\addQuote quoteMe \quoteMe

original = \relative c'' {
  c8 d s2
  \once \override NoteColumn #'ignore-collision = ##t
  es8 gis8
}

<<
  \new Staff {
    \set Staff.instrumentName = #"quoteMe"
    \quoteMe
  }
  \new Staff {
    \set Staff.instrumentName = #"orig"
    \original
  }
  \new Staff \relative c'' <<
    \set Staff.instrumentName = #"orig+quote"
    \set Staff.quotedEventTypes =
      #'(note-event articulation-event)
    \original
    \new Voice {
      s4
      \set fontSize = #-4
      \override Stem #'length-fraction = #(magstep -4)
      \quoteDuring #"quoteMe" { \skip 2. }
    }
  >>
>>

[image of music]


Removing the first empty line

The first empty staff can also be removed from the score by setting the VerticalAxisGroup property remove-first. This can be done globally inside the \layout block, or locally inside the specific staff that should be removed. In the latter case, you have to specify the context (Staff applies only to the current staff) in front of the property.

The lower staff of the second staff group is not removed, because the setting applies only to the specific staff inside of which it is written.

\layout {
  \context {
    \Staff \RemoveEmptyStaves
    % To use the setting globally, uncomment the following line:
    % \override VerticalAxisGroup #'remove-first = ##t
  }
}
\new StaffGroup <<
  \new Staff \relative c' {
    e4 f g a \break
    c1
  }
  \new Staff {
    % To use the setting globally, comment this line,
    % uncomment the line in the \layout block above
    \override Staff.VerticalAxisGroup #'remove-first = ##t
    R1 \break
    R
  }
>>
\new StaffGroup <<
  \new Staff \relative c' {
    e4 f g a \break
    c1
  }
  \new Staff {
    R1 \break
    R
  }
>>

[image of music]


Setting system separators

System separators can be inserted between systems. Any markup can be used, but \slashSeparator has been provided as a sensible default.

\paper {
  system-separator-markup = \slashSeparator
}

notes = \relative c' {
  c1 | c \break
  c1 | c \break
  c1 | c
}

\book {
  \score {
    \new GrandStaff <<
      \new Staff \notes
      \new Staff \notes
    >>
  }
}

[image of music]


Tick bar lines

’Tick’ bar lines are often used in music where the bar line is used only for coordination and is not meant to imply any rhythmic stress.

\relative c' {
  \set Score.defaultBarType = #"'"
  c4 d e f
  g4 f e d
  c4 d e f
  g4 f e d
  \bar "|."
}

[image of music]


Time signature in parentheses - method 3

Another way to put the time signature in parenthesis

\relative c'' {
  \override Staff.TimeSignature #'stencil = #(lambda (grob)
    (parenthesize-stencil (ly:time-signature::print grob) 0.1 0.4 0.4 0.1 ))
  \time 2/4
  a4 b8 c
}

[image of music]


Time signature in parentheses

The time signature can be enclosed within parentheses.

\relative c'' {
  \override Staff.TimeSignature #'stencil = #(lambda (grob)
    (bracketify-stencil (ly:time-signature::print grob) Y 0.1 0.2 0.1))
  \time 2/4
  a4 b8 c
}

[image of music]


Tweaking clef properties

The command \clef "treble_8" is equivalent to setting clefGlyph, clefPosition (which controls the vertical position of the clef), middleCPosition and clefOctavation. A clef is printed when any of the properties except middleCPosition are changed.

Note that changing the glyph, the position of the clef, or the octavation does not in itself change the position of subsequent notes on the staff: the position of middle C must also be specified to do this. The positional parameters are relative to the staff center line, positive numbers displacing upwards, counting one for each line and space. The clefOctavation value would normally be set to 7, -7, 15 or -15, but other values are valid.

When a clef change takes place at a line break the new clef symbol is printed at both the end of the previous line and the beginning of the new line by default. If the warning clef at the end of the previous line is not required it can be suppressed by setting the Staff property explicitClefVisibility to the value end-of-line-invisible. The default behavior can be recovered with \unset Staff.explicitClefVisibility.

The following examples show the possibilities when setting these properties manually. On the first line, the manual changes preserve the standard relative positioning of clefs and notes, whereas on the second line, they do not.

\layout { ragged-right = ##t }

{
  % The default treble clef
  c'1
  % The standard bass clef
  \set Staff.clefGlyph = #"clefs.F"
  \set Staff.clefPosition = #2
  \set Staff.middleCPosition = #6
  c'1
  % The baritone clef
  \set Staff.clefGlyph = #"clefs.C"
  \set Staff.clefPosition = #4
  \set Staff.middleCPosition = #4
  c'1
  % The standard choral tenor clef
  \set Staff.clefGlyph = #"clefs.G"
  \set Staff.clefPosition = #-2
  \set Staff.clefOctavation = #-7
  \set Staff.middleCPosition = #1
  c'1
  % A non-standard clef
  \set Staff.clefPosition = #0
  \set Staff.clefOctavation = #0
  \set Staff.middleCPosition = #-4
  c'1 \break

  % The following clef changes do not preserve
  % the normal relationship between notes and clefs:

  \set Staff.clefGlyph = #"clefs.F"
  \set Staff.clefPosition = #2
  c'1
  \set Staff.clefGlyph = #"clefs.G"
  c'1
  \set Staff.clefGlyph = #"clefs.C"
  c'1
  \set Staff.clefOctavation = #7
  c'1
  \set Staff.clefOctavation = #0
  \set Staff.clefPosition = #0
  c'1

  % Return to the normal clef:

  \set Staff.middleCPosition = #0
  c'1
}

[image of music]


Use square bracket at the start of a staff group

The system start delimiter SystemStartSquare can be used by setting it explicitly in a StaffGroup or ChoirStaff context.

\score {
  \new StaffGroup { <<
  \set StaffGroup.systemStartDelimiter = #'SystemStartSquare
    \new Staff { c'4 d' e' f' }
    \new Staff { c'4 d' e' f' }
  >> }
}

[image of music]


Using autochange with more than one voice

Using autochange with more than one voice.

\score
{
  \new PianoStaff
  <<
    \new Staff = "up" {
      <<
        \set Timing.beamExceptions = #'()
        \set Timing.beatStructure = #'(4)
        \new Voice {
          \voiceOne
          \autochange
          \relative c' {
            g8 a b c d e f g
            g,8 a b c d e f g
          }
        }

        \new Voice {
          \voiceTwo
          \autochange
          \relative c' {
            g8 a b c d e f g
            g,,8 a b c d e f g
          }
        }
      >>
    }

    \new Staff = "down" {
      \clef bass
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Volta below chords

By adding the Volta_engraver to the relevant staff, volte can be put under chords.

\score {
  <<
    \chords {
      c1
      c1
    }
    \new Staff \with {
      \consists "Volta_engraver"
    }
    {
      \repeat volta 2 { c'1 }
      \alternative { c' }
    }
  >>
  \layout {
    \context {
      \Score
      \remove "Volta_engraver"
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Volta multi staff

By adding the Volta_engraver to the relevant staff, volte can be put over staves other than the topmost one in a score.

voltaMusic = \relative c'' {
  \repeat volta 2 {
    c1
  }
  \alternative {
    d1
    e1
  }
}

<<
  \new StaffGroup <<
    \new Staff \voltaMusic
    \new Staff \voltaMusic
  >>
  \new StaffGroup <<
    \new Staff \with { \consists "Volta_engraver" }
      \voltaMusic
    \new Staff \voltaMusic
  >>
>>

[image of music]


Editorial annotations

Editorial annotations


Adding fingerings to a score

Fingering instructions can be entered using a simple syntax.

\relative c'' {
  c4-1 d-2 f-4 e-3
}

[image of music]


Allowing fingerings to be printed inside the staff

By default, vertically oriented fingerings are positioned outside the staff. However, this behavior can be canceled. Note: you must use a chord construct <>, even if it is only a single note.

\relative c' {
  <c-1 e-2 g-3 b-5>2
  \override Fingering #'staff-padding = #'()
  <c-1 e-2 g-3 b-5>4 <g'-0>
}

[image of music]


Alternative bar numbering

Two alternative methods for bar numbering can be set, especially for when using repeated music.

\relative c'{
  \set Score.alternativeNumberingStyle = #'numbers
  \repeat volta 3 { c4 d e f | }
    \alternative {
      { c4 d e f | c2 d \break }
      { f4 g a b | f4 g a b | f2 a | \break }
      { c4 d e f | c2 d }
    }
  c1 \break
  \set Score.alternativeNumberingStyle = #'numbers-with-letters
  \repeat volta 3 { c,4 d e f | }
    \alternative {
      { c4 d e f | c2 d \break }
      { f4 g a b | f4 g a b | f2 a | \break }
      { c4 d e f | c2 d }
    }
  c1
}

[image of music]


Analysis brackets above the staff

Simple horizontal analysis brackets are added below the staff by default. The following example shows a way to place them above the staff instead.

\layout {
  \context {
    \Voice
    \consists "Horizontal_bracket_engraver"
  }
}
\relative c'' {
  \once \override HorizontalBracket #'direction = #UP
  c2\startGroup
  d2\stopGroup
}

[image of music]


Applying note head styles depending on the step of the scale

The shapeNoteStyles property can be used to define various note head styles for each step of the scale (as set by the key signature or the tonic property). This property requires a set of symbols, which can be purely arbitrary (geometrical expressions such as triangle, cross, and xcircle are allowed) or based on old American engraving tradition (some latin note names are also allowed).

That said, to imitate old American song books, there are several predefined note head styles available through shortcut commands such as \aikenHeads or \sacredHarpHeads.

This example shows different ways to obtain shape note heads, and demonstrates the ability to transpose a melody without losing the correspondence between harmonic functions and note head styles.

fragment = {
  \key c \major
  c2 d
  e2 f
  g2 a
  b2 c
}

\new Staff {
  \transpose c d
  \relative c' {
    \set shapeNoteStyles = #'#(do re mi fa
                               #f la ti)
    \fragment
  }

  \break

  \relative c' {
    \set shapeNoteStyles = #'#(cross triangle fa #f
                               mensural xcircle diamond)
    \fragment
  }
}

[image of music]


Avoiding collisions with chord fingerings

Fingerings and string numbers applied to individual notes will automatically avoid beams and stems, but this is not true by default for fingerings and string numbers applied to the individual notes of chords. The following example shows how this default behavior can be overridden.

\relative c' {
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(up)
  \set stringNumberOrientations = #'(up)
  \set strokeFingerOrientations = #'(up)

  % Default behavior
  r8
  <f c'-5>8
  <f c'\5>8
  <f c'-\rightHandFinger #2 >8

  % Corrected to avoid collisions
  r8
  \override Fingering #'add-stem-support = ##t
  <f c'-5>8
  \override StringNumber #'add-stem-support = ##t
  <f c'\5>8
  \override StrokeFinger #'add-stem-support = ##t
  <f c'-\rightHandFinger #2 >8
}

[image of music]


Blanking staff lines using the \whiteout command

The \whiteout command underlays a markup with a white box. Since staff lines are in a lower layer than most other grobs, this white box will not overlap any other grob.

\layout { ragged-right = ##f }
\relative c' {
  \override TextScript #'extra-offset = #'(2 . 4)
  c2-\markup { \whiteout \pad-markup #0.5 "middle C" } c
}

[image of music]


Changing a single note’s size in a chord

Individual note heads in a chord can be modified with the \tweak command inside a chord, by altering the font-size property.

Inside the chord (within the brackets < >), before the note to be altered, place the \tweak command, followed by #'font-size and define the proper size like #-2 (a tiny note head).

\relative c' {
  <\tweak #'font-size #+2 c e g c \tweak #'font-size #-2 e>1^\markup { A tiny e }_\markup { A big c }
}

[image of music]


Changing the appearance of a slur from solid to dotted or dashed

The appearance of slurs may be changed from solid to dotted or dashed.

\relative c' {
  c4( d e c)
  \slurDotted
  c4( d e c)
  \slurSolid
  c4( d e c)
  \slurDashed
  c4( d e c)
  \slurSolid
  c4( d e c)
}

[image of music]


Coloring notes depending on their pitch

It is possible to color note heads depending on their pitch and/or their names: the function used in this example even makes it possible to distinguish enharmonics.

%Association list of pitches to colors.
#(define color-mapping
   (list
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 0 NATURAL) (x11-color 'red))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 0 SHARP) (x11-color 'green))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 1 FLAT) (x11-color 'green))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 2 NATURAL) (x11-color 'red))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 2 SHARP) (x11-color 'green))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 3 FLAT) (x11-color 'red))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 3 NATURAL) (x11-color 'green))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 4 SHARP) (x11-color 'red))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 5 NATURAL) (x11-color 'green))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 5 FLAT) (x11-color 'red))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 6 SHARP) (x11-color 'red))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 1 NATURAL) (x11-color 'blue))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 3 SHARP) (x11-color 'blue))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 4 FLAT) (x11-color 'blue))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 5 SHARP) (x11-color 'blue))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 6 FLAT) (x11-color 'blue))))

%Compare pitch and alteration (not octave).
#(define (pitch-equals? p1 p2)
   (and
    (= (ly:pitch-alteration p1) (ly:pitch-alteration p2))
    (= (ly:pitch-notename p1) (ly:pitch-notename p2))))

#(define (pitch-to-color pitch)
   (let ((color (assoc pitch color-mapping pitch-equals?)))
     (if color
         (cdr color))))

#(define (color-notehead grob)
   (pitch-to-color
    (ly:event-property (event-cause grob) 'pitch)))

\score {
  \new Staff \relative c' {
    \override NoteHead #'color = #color-notehead
    c8 b d dis ees f g aes
  }
}

[image of music]


Controlling the placement of chord fingerings

The placement of fingering numbers can be controlled precisely. For fingering orientation to apply, you must use a chord construct <> even if it is a single note.

\relative c' {
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(left)
  <c-1 e-3 a-5>4
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(down)
  <c-1 e-3 a-5>4
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(down right up)
  <c-1 e-3 a-5>4
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(up)
  <c-1 e-3 a-5>4
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(left)
  <c-1>2
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(down)
  <e-3>2
}

[image of music]


Creating a delayed turn

Creating a delayed turn, where the lower note of the turn uses the accidental, requires several overrides. The outside-staff-priority property must be set to #f, as otherwise this would take precedence over the avoid-slur property. The value of halign is used to position the turn horizontally.

\relative c'' {
  \once \override TextScript #'avoid-slur = #'inside
  \once \override TextScript #'outside-staff-priority = ##f
  c2(^\markup \tiny \override #'(baseline-skip . 1) {
    \halign #-4
    \center-column {
      \sharp
      \musicglyph #"scripts.turn"
    }
  }
  d4.) c8
}

[image of music]


Creating blank staves

To create blank staves, generate empty measures then remove the Bar_number_engraver from the Score context, and the Time_signature_engraver, Clef_engraver and Bar_engraver from the Staff context.

#(set-global-staff-size 20)

\score {
  {
    \repeat unfold 12 { s1 \break }
  }
  \layout {
    indent = 0\in
    \context {
      \Staff
      \remove "Time_signature_engraver"
      \remove "Clef_engraver"
      \remove "Bar_engraver"
    }
    \context {
      \Score
      \remove "Bar_number_engraver"
    }
  }
}

\paper {
  #(set-paper-size "letter")
  ragged-last-bottom = ##f
  line-width = 7.5\in
  left-margin = 0.5\in
  bottom-margin = 0.25\in
  top-margin = 0.25\in
}

[image of music]


Creating double-digit fingerings

By default you cannot make double-digit fingering notation (i.e. numbers larger than 9). This is a hard coded limitation.

This snippet shows two methods of creating fingerings larger than 9.

ten =
#(make-music 'FingeringEvent
             'digit 10)

fifty =
#(make-music 'FingeringEvent
             'digit 50)

finger =
#(define-music-function (parser location digit) (integer?)
   (make-music 'FingeringEvent
               'digit digit))

#(define (calc-finger-without-warning grob)
   (let* ((event (event-cause grob))
	  (digit (ly:event-property event 'digit)))
     (number->string digit 10)))

\relative c' {
  % optional override to remove warnings for fingerings larger than 5
  \override Fingering #'text = #calc-finger-without-warning
  c1\ten
  c1\fifty
  c1-\finger #36
  c1-\finger #29
}

[image of music]


Default direction of stems on the center line of the staff

The default direction of stems on the center line of the staff is set by the Stem property neutral-direction.

\relative c'' {
  a4 b c b
  \override Stem #'neutral-direction = #up
  a4 b c b
  \override Stem #'neutral-direction = #down
  a4 b c b
}

[image of music]


Drawing boxes around grobs

The print-function can be overridden to draw a box around an arbitrary grob.

\relative c'' {
  \override TextScript #'stencil =
    #(make-stencil-boxer 0.1 0.3 ly:text-interface::print)
  c'4^"foo"

  \override Stem #'stencil =
    #(make-stencil-boxer 0.05 0.25 ly:stem::print)
  \override Score.RehearsalMark  #'stencil =
    #(make-stencil-boxer 0.15 0.3 ly:text-interface::print)
  b8

  \revert Stem #'stencil

  \revert Flag #'stencil
  c4. c4
  \mark "F"
  c1
}

[image of music]


Drawing circles around note heads

Here is how to circle a note.

circle =
\once \override NoteHead #'stencil = #(lambda (grob)
    (let* ((note (ly:note-head::print grob))
           (combo-stencil (ly:stencil-add
               note
               (circle-stencil note 0.1 0.8))))
          (ly:make-stencil (ly:stencil-expr combo-stencil)
            (ly:stencil-extent note X)
            (ly:stencil-extent note Y))))

{ \circle c' }

[image of music]


Drawing circles around various objects

The \circle markup command draws circles around various objects, for example fingering indications. For other objects, specific tweaks may be required: this example demonstrates two strategies for rehearsal marks and measure numbers.

\relative c' {
  c1
  \set Score.markFormatter =
    #(lambda (mark context)
             (make-circle-markup (format-mark-numbers mark context)))
  \mark \default

  c2 d^\markup {
    \override #'(thickness . 3) {
      \circle \finger 2
    }
  }
  \override Score.BarNumber #'break-visibility = #all-visible
  \override Score.BarNumber #'stencil =
    #(make-stencil-circler 0.1 0.25 ly:text-interface::print)
}

[image of music]


Embedding native PostScript in a \markup block

PostScript code can be directly inserted inside a \markup block.

% PostScript is a registered trademark of Adobe Systems Inc.

\relative c'' {
  a4-\markup { \postscript #"3 4 moveto 5 3 rlineto stroke" }
  -\markup { \postscript #"[ 0 1 ] 0 setdash 3 5 moveto 5 -3 rlineto stroke " }

  b4-\markup { \postscript #"3 4 moveto 0 0 1 2 8 4 20 3.5 rcurveto stroke" }
  s2
  a'1
}

[image of music]


Grid lines: changing their appearance

The appearance of grid lines can be changed by overriding some of their properties.

\score {
  \new ChoirStaff <<
    \new Staff {
      \relative c'' {
        \stemUp
        c'4. d8 e8 f g4
      }
    }
    \new Staff {
      \relative c {
        % this moves them up one staff space from the default position
        \override Score.GridLine #'extra-offset = #'(0.0 . 1.0)
        \stemDown
        \clef bass
        \once \override Score.GridLine #'thickness = #5.0
        c4
        \once \override Score.GridLine #'thickness = #1.0
        g'4
        \once \override Score.GridLine #'thickness = #3.0
        f4
        \once \override Score.GridLine #'thickness = #5.0
        e4
      }
    }
  >>
  \layout {
    \context {
      \Staff
      % set up grids
      \consists "Grid_point_engraver"
      % set the grid interval to one quarter note
      gridInterval = #(ly:make-moment 1 4)
    }
    \context {
      \Score
      \consists "Grid_line_span_engraver"
      % this moves them to the right half a staff space
      \override NoteColumn #'X-offset = #-0.5
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Grid lines: emphasizing rhythms and notes synchronization

Regular vertical lines can be drawn between staves to show note synchronization; however, in case of monophonic music, you may want to make the second stave invisible, and make the lines shorter like in this snippet.

\score {
  \new ChoirStaff {
    \relative c'' <<
      \new Staff {
        \time 12/8
        \stemUp
        c4. d8 e8 f g4 f8 e8. d16 c8
      }
      \new Staff {
        % hides staff and notes so that only the grid lines are visible
        \hideNotes
        \override Staff.BarLine #'transparent = ##t
        \override Staff.StaffSymbol #'line-count = #0
        \override Staff.TimeSignature #'transparent = ##t
        \override Staff.Clef #'transparent = ##t

        % dummy notes to force regular note spacing
        \once  \override Score.GridLine #'thickness = #4.0
        c8 c c
        \once  \override Score.GridLine #'thickness = #3.0
        c8 c c
        \once  \override Score.GridLine #'thickness = #4.0
        c8 c c
        \once  \override Score.GridLine #'thickness = #3.0
        c8 c c
      }
    >>
  }
  \layout {
    \context {
      \Score
      \consists "Grid_line_span_engraver"
      % center grid lines horizontally below note heads
      \override NoteColumn #'X-offset = #-0.5
    }
    \context {
      \Staff
      \consists "Grid_point_engraver"
      gridInterval = #(ly:make-moment 1 8)
      % set line length and positioning:
      % two staff spaces above center line on hidden staff
      % to four spaces below center line on visible staff
      \override GridPoint #'Y-extent = #'(2 . -4)
    }
    ragged-right = ##t
  }
}

[image of music]


How to print two rehearsal marks above and below the same barline (method 1)

This method prints two ’rehearsal marks’, one on top of the other. It shifts the lower rehearsal mark below the staff and then adds padding above it in order to place the upper rehearsal mark above the staff.

By adjusting the extra-offset and baseline-skip values you can increase or decrease the overall space between the rehearsal mark and the staff.

Because nearly every type of glyph or string can be made to behave like a rehearsal mark it is possible to centre those above and below a bar line.

Adding the appropriate ’break visibility’ as shown in snippet 1 will allow you to position two marks at the end of a line as well.

Note: Method 1 is less complex than Method 2 but does not really allow for fine tuning of placement of one of the rehearsal marks without affecting the other. It may also give some problems with vertical spacing, since using extra-offset does not change the bounding box of the mark from its original value.

\relative c'{
    c d e f |
    \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'extra-offset = #'(0 . -8.5)
    \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'baseline-skip = #9
    \mark \markup \center-column { \circle 1 \box A }
    g f e d |
    \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'extra-offset = #'(0 . -8.5)
    \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'baseline-skip = #9
    \mark \markup \center-column { \flat { \bold \small \italic Fine. } }
    g f e d |
    \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'extra-offset = #'(0 . -8.5)
    \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'baseline-skip = #9
    \override Score.RehearsalMark #'break-visibility = #begin-of-line-invisible
    \mark \markup \center-column { \musicglyph #"scripts.ufermata" \box z }
}

[image of music]


How to print two rehearsal marks above and below the same barline (method 2)

This method prints two ’rehearsal marks’ - one above the stave and one below, by creating two voices, adding the Rehearsal Mark engraver to each voice - without this no rehearsal mark is printed - and then placing each rehearsal mark UP and DOWN in each voice respectively.

This method (as opposed to method 1) is more complex, but allows for more flexibility, should it be needed to tweak each rehearsal mark independently of the other.

\score {
  \relative c'
  <<
    \new Staff {
      <<
        \new Voice \with {
          \consists "Mark_engraver"
          \consists "Staff_collecting_engraver"
        }
        { c4 d e f
          \mark \markup { \box A }
          c4 d e f
        }
        \new Voice \with {
          \consists "Mark_engraver"
          \consists "Staff_collecting_engraver"
          \override RehearsalMark #'direction = #DOWN
        }
        { s4 s s s
          \mark \markup { \circle 1 }
          s4 s s s
        }
      >>
    }
  >>
  \layout {
    \context {
      \Score
      \remove "Mark_engraver"
      \remove "Staff_collecting_engraver"
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Making some staff lines thicker than the others

For educational purposes, a staff line can be thickened (e.g., the middle line, or to emphasize the line of the G clef). This can be achieved by adding extra lines very close to the line that should be emphasized, using the line-positions property of the StaffSymbol object.

{
  \override Staff.StaffSymbol #'line-positions =
    #'(-4 -2 -0.2 0 0.2 2 4)
  d'4 e' f' g'
}

[image of music]


Marking notes of spoken parts with a cross on the stem

This example shows how to put crosses on stems. Mark the beginning of a spoken section with the \speakOn keyword, and end it with the \speakOff keyword.

speakOn = {
  \override Stem #'stencil =
    #(lambda (grob)
       (let* ((x-parent (ly:grob-parent grob X))
              (is-rest? (ly:grob? (ly:grob-object x-parent 'rest))))
         (if is-rest?
             empty-stencil
             (ly:stencil-combine-at-edge
              (ly:stem::print grob)
              Y
              (- (ly:grob-property grob 'direction))
              (grob-interpret-markup grob
                                     (markup #:center-align #:fontsize -4
                                             #:musicglyph "noteheads.s2cross"))
              -2.3))))
}

speakOff = {
  \revert Stem #'stencil
  \revert Flag #'stencil
}

\score {
  \new Staff {
    \relative c'' {
      a4 b a c
      \speakOn
      g4 f r g
      b4 r d e
      \speakOff
      c4 a g f
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Measure counter

This snippet provides a workaround for emitting measure counters using transparent percent repeats.

<<
  \context Voice = "foo" {
    \clef bass
    c4 r g r
    c4 r g r
    c4 r g r
    c4 r g r
  }
  \context Voice = "foo" {
    \set countPercentRepeats = ##t
    \override PercentRepeat #'transparent = ##t
    \override PercentRepeatCounter #'staff-padding = #1
    \repeat percent 4 { s1 }
  }
>>

[image of music]


Positioning fingering indications precisely

Generally the options available for positioning the fingering of chords work well by default, but if one of the indications needs to positioned more precisely the following tweak may be used. This is particularly useful for correcting the positioning when intervals of a second are involved.

\relative c' {
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(left)
  <c-1 d-2 a'-5>4
  <c-1 d-\tweak #'extra-offset #'(0 . 0.7)-2 a'-5>4
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(down)
  <c-1 d-2 a'-5>4
  <c-1 d-\tweak #'extra-offset #'(-1.2 . 0)-2 a'-5>4
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(down right up)
  <c-1 d-2 a'-5>4
  <c-1 d-\tweak #'extra-offset #'(-1 . 1.2)-2 a'-5>4
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(up)
  <c-1 d-2 a'-5>4
  <c-1 d-\tweak #'extra-offset #'(-1.2 . 0)-2 a'-5>4
}

[image of music]


Positioning text markups inside slurs

Text markups need to have the outside-staff-priority property set to false in order to be printed inside slurs.

\relative c'' {
  \override TextScript #'avoid-slur = #'inside
  \override TextScript #'outside-staff-priority = ##f
  c2(^\markup { \halign #-10 \natural } d4.) c8
}

[image of music]


Printing text from right to left

It is possible to print text from right to left in a markup object, as demonstrated here.

{
  b1^\markup {
    \line { i n g i r u m i m u s n o c t e }
  }
  f'_\markup {
    \override #'(text-direction . -1)
    \line { i n g i r u m i m u s n o c t e }
  }
}

[image of music]


String number extender lines

Make an extender line for string number indications, showing that a series of notes is supposed to be played all on the same string.

stringNumberSpanner =
#(define-music-function (parser location StringNumber) (string?)
  #{
    \override TextSpanner #'style = #'solid
    \override TextSpanner #'font-size = #-5
    \override TextSpanner #'(bound-details left stencil-align-dir-y) = #CENTER
    \override TextSpanner #'(bound-details left text) = \markup { \circle \number #StringNumber }
  #})


\relative c {
  \clef "treble_8"
  \stringNumberSpanner "5"
  \textSpannerDown
  a8\startTextSpan
  b c d e f\stopTextSpan
  \stringNumberSpanner "4"
  g\startTextSpan a
  bes4 a g2\stopTextSpan
}

[image of music]


Using PostScript to generate special note head shapes

When a note head with a special shape cannot easily be generated with graphic markup, PostScript code can be used to generate the shape. This example shows how a parallelogram-shaped note head is generated.

parallelogram =
  #(ly:make-stencil (list 'embedded-ps
    "gsave
      currentpoint translate
      newpath
      0 0.25 moveto
      1.3125 0.75 lineto
      1.3125 -0.25 lineto
      0 -0.75 lineto
      closepath
      fill
      grestore" )
    (cons 0 1.3125)
    (cons -.75 .75))

myNoteHeads = \override NoteHead #'stencil = \parallelogram
normalNoteHeads = \revert NoteHead #'stencil

\relative c'' {
  \myNoteHeads
  g4 d'
  \normalNoteHeads
  <f, \tweak #'stencil \parallelogram b e>4 d
}

[image of music]


Using the whiteout property

Any graphical object can be printed over a white background to mask parts of objects that lie beneath. This can be useful to improve the appearance of collisions in complex situations when repositioning objects is impractical. It is necessary to explicitly set the layer property to control which objects are masked by the white background.

In this example the collision of the tie with the time signature is improved by masking out the part of the tie that crosses the time signature by setting the whiteout property of TimeSignature. To do this TimeSignature is moved to a layer above Tie, which is left in the default layer of 1, and StaffSymbol is moved to a layer above TimeSignature so it is not masked.

{
  \override Score.StaffSymbol #'layer = #4
  \override Staff.TimeSignature #'layer = #3
  b'2 b'~
  \once \override Staff.TimeSignature #'whiteout = ##t
  \time 3/4
  b' r4
}

[image of music]


Text

Text


Adding the current date to a score

With a little Scheme code, the current date can easily be added to a score.

% first, define a variable to hold the formatted date:
date = #(strftime "%d-%m-%Y" (localtime (current-time)))

% use it in the title block:
\header {
  title = "Including the date!"
  subtitle = \date
}

\score {
  \relative c'' {
    c4 c c c
  }
}
% and use it in a \markup block:
\markup {
  \date
}

[image of music]


Adjusting lyrics vertical spacing

This snippet shows how to bring the lyrics line closer to the staff.

% Default layout:
<<
  \new Staff \new Voice = melody \relative c' {
    c4 d e f
    g4 f e d
    c1
  }
  \new Lyrics \lyricsto melody { aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa }

  \new Staff {
    \new Voice = melody \relative c' {
      c4 d e f
      g4 f e d
      c1
    }
  }
  % Reducing the minimum space below the staff and above the lyrics:
  \new Lyrics \with {
    \override VerticalAxisGroup #'nonstaff-relatedstaff-spacing = #'((basic-distance . 1))
  }
  \lyricsto melody { aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa }
>>

[image of music]


Aligning and centering instrument names

The horizontal alignment of instrument names is tweaked by changing the Staff.InstrumentName #'self-alignment-X property. The \layout variables indent and short-indent define the space in which the instrument names are aligned before the first and the following systems, respectively.

\paper {
  left-margin = 3\cm
}

\score {
  \new StaffGroup <<
    \new Staff {
      \override Staff.InstrumentName #'self-alignment-X = #LEFT
      \set Staff.instrumentName = \markup \left-column {
        "Left aligned"
        "instrument name"
      }
      \set Staff.shortInstrumentName = #"Left"
      c''1
      \break
      c''1
    }
    \new Staff {
      \override Staff.InstrumentName #'self-alignment-X = #CENTER
      \set Staff.instrumentName = \markup \center-column {
        Centered
        "instrument name"
      }
      \set Staff.shortInstrumentName = #"Centered"
      g'1
      g'1
    }
    \new Staff {
      \override Staff.InstrumentName #'self-alignment-X = #RIGHT
      \set Staff.instrumentName = \markup \right-column {
        "Right aligned"
        "instrument name"
      }
      \set Staff.shortInstrumentName = #"Right"
      e'1
      e'1
    }
  >>
  \layout {
    ragged-right = ##t
    indent = 4\cm
    short-indent = 2\cm
  }
}

[image of music]


Aligning marks with various notation objects

If specified, text marks may be aligned with notation objects other than bar lines. These objects include ambitus, breathing-sign, clef, custos, staff-bar, left-edge, key-cancellation, key-signature, and time-signature.

In such cases, text marks will be horizontally centered above the object. However this can be changed, as demonstrated on the second line of this example (in a score with multiple staves, this setting should be done for all the staves).

\relative c' {
  e1

  % the RehearsalMark will be centered above the Clef
  \override Score.RehearsalMark #'break-align-symbols = #'(clef)
  \key a \major
  \clef treble
  \mark \markup { \char ##x2193 }
  e1

  % the RehearsalMark will be centered above the TimeSignature
  \override Score.RehearsalMark #'break-align-symbols = #'(time-signature)
  \key a \major
  \clef treble
  \time 3/4
  \mark \markup { \char ##x2193 }
  e2.

  % the RehearsalMark will be centered above the KeySignature
  \override Score.RehearsalMark #'break-align-symbols = #'(key-signature)
  \key a \major
  \clef treble
  \time 4/4
  \mark \markup { \char ##x2193 }
  e1

  \break
  e1

  % the RehearsalMark will be aligned with the left edge of the KeySignature
  \once \override Score.KeySignature #'break-align-anchor-alignment = #LEFT
  \mark \markup { \char ##x2193 }
  \key a \major
  e1

  % the RehearsalMark will be aligned with the right edge of the KeySignature
  \once \override Score.KeySignature #'break-align-anchor-alignment = #RIGHT
  \key a \major
  \mark \markup { \char ##x2193 }
  e1

  % the RehearsalMark will be aligned with the left edge of the KeySignature
  % and then shifted right by one unit.
  \once \override Score.KeySignature #'break-align-anchor = #1
  \key a \major
  \mark \markup { \char ##x2193 }
  e1
}

[image of music]


Aligning objects created with the \mark command

By default the \mark command centers objects over a bar line. This behavior can be modified to align at right or left.

\relative c' {
  c1 \mark "(Center)"
  c1
  \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'self-alignment-X = #LEFT
  \mark "(Left)"
  c4 c c c
  c4 c c c
  \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'self-alignment-X = #RIGHT
  \mark "(Right)"
  c1
}

[image of music]


Aligning syllables with melisma

By default, lyrics syllables that start a melisma are left aligned on their note. The alignment can be altered using the lyricMelismaAlignment property.

\score {
  <<
    \new Staff {
      \relative c''
      \new Voice = "vocal" {
        c d~^\markup default  d e
        c d~^\markup "right aligned" d e
        c d~^\markup "center aligned" d e
        c d~^\markup "reset to default" d e
      }
    }
    \new Lyrics \lyricsto "vocal" \lyricmode {
      word word word
      \set lyricMelismaAlignment = #RIGHT
      word word word
      \set lyricMelismaAlignment = #CENTER
      word word word
      \unset lyricMelismaAlignment
      word word word
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Blanking staff lines using the \whiteout command

The \whiteout command underlays a markup with a white box. Since staff lines are in a lower layer than most other grobs, this white box will not overlap any other grob.

\layout { ragged-right = ##f }
\relative c' {
  \override TextScript #'extra-offset = #'(2 . 4)
  c2-\markup { \whiteout \pad-markup #0.5 "middle C" } c
}

[image of music]


Center text below hairpin dynamics

This example provides a function to typeset a hairpin (de)crescendo with some additional text below it, such as “molto” or “poco”. The example also illustrates how to modify the way an object is normally printed, using some Scheme code.

hairpinWithCenteredText =
#(define-music-function (parser location text) (markup?)
#{
  \override Voice.Hairpin #'stencil = #(lambda (grob)
    (ly:stencil-aligned-to
     (ly:stencil-combine-at-edge
      (ly:stencil-aligned-to (ly:hairpin::print grob) X CENTER)
      Y DOWN
      (ly:stencil-aligned-to (grob-interpret-markup grob text) X CENTER))
     X LEFT))
#})

hairpinMolto = \hairpinWithCenteredText \markup { \italic molto }
hairpinMore = \hairpinWithCenteredText \markup { \larger moltissimo }

\layout { ragged-right = ##f }

\relative c' {
  \hairpinMolto
  c2\< c\f
  \hairpinMore
  c2\< c\f
}

[image of music]


Centering markup on note heads automatically

For technical reasons, text scripts attached to note heads cannot easily be centered on a note head’s width, unlike articulations.

Instead of using trial-and-error offset tweaks, this snippet uses a Scheme engraver to reset the horizontal parent of each markup to a NoteColumn. This also allows text to follow note heads which have been shifted via force-hshift.

#(define (Text_align_engraver ctx)
  (let ((scripts '())
        (note-column #f))
    (make-engraver
     (acknowledgers
      ((note-column-interface trans grob source)
       ;; cache NoteColumn in this Voice context
       (set! note-column grob))
      ((text-script-interface trans grob source)
       ;; whenever a TextScript is acknowledged,
       ;; add it to `scripts' list
       (set! scripts (cons grob scripts))))
     ((stop-translation-timestep trans)
      ;; if any TextScript grobs exist,
      ;; set NoteColumn as X-parent
      (for-each (lambda (script)
		  (set! (ly:grob-parent script X) note-column))
		scripts)
      ;; clear scripts ready for next timestep
      (set! scripts '())))))

\layout {
  \context {
    \Voice
    \consists #Text_align_engraver
    \override TextScript #'X-offset =
      #ly:self-alignment-interface::aligned-on-x-parent
    \override TextScript #'self-alignment-X = #CENTER
  }
}

\new Staff <<
  \relative c'' {
    \override NoteColumn #'force-hshift = #3
    c1-\markup { \arrow-head #Y #DOWN ##t }
  }
  \\
  \relative c' {
    a4 a-\markup { \huge ^ } a a
  }
>>

[image of music]


Changing the default text font family

The default font families for text can be overridden with make-pango-font-tree.

\paper {
  % change for other default global staff size.
  myStaffSize = #20
  %{
     run
         lilypond -dshow-available-fonts blabla
     to show all fonts available in the process log.
  %}

  #(define fonts
    (make-pango-font-tree "Times New Roman"
                          "Nimbus Sans"
                          "Luxi Mono"
;;                        "Helvetica"
;;                        "Courier"
     (/ myStaffSize 20)))
}

\relative c'' {
  c4^\markup {
    roman: foo \bold bla \italic bar \italic \bold baz
  }
  c'4_\markup {
    \override #'(font-family . sans)
    {
      sans: foo \bold bla \italic bar \italic \bold baz
    }
  }
  c'2^\markup {
    \override #'(font-family . typewriter)
    {
      mono: foo \bold bla \italic bar \italic \bold baz
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Combining dynamics with markup texts

Some dynamics may involve text indications (such as “più forte” or “piano subito”). These can be produced using a \markup block.

piuF = \markup { \italic più \dynamic f }
\layout { ragged-right = ##f }
\relative c'' {
  c2\f c-\piuF
}

[image of music]


Combining two parts on the same staff

The part combiner tool ( \partcombine command ) allows the combination of several different parts on the same staff. Text directions such as “solo” or “a2” are added by default; to remove them, simply set the property printPartCombineTexts to f. For vocal scores (hymns), there is no need to add “solo/a2” texts, so they should be switched off. However, it might be better not to use it if there are any solos, as they won’t be indicated. In such cases, standard polyphonic notation may be preferable.

This snippet presents the three ways two parts can be printed on a same staff: standard polyphony, \partcombine without texts, and \partcombine with texts.

musicUp = \relative c'' {
  \time 4/4
  a4 c4.( g8) a4 |
  g4 e' g,( a8 b) |
  c b a2.
}

musicDown = \relative c'' {
  g4 e4.( d8) c4 |
  r2 g'4( f8 e) |
  d2 \stemDown a
}

\score {
  <<
    <<
    \new Staff {
      \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Standard polyphony"
      << \musicUp \\ \musicDown >>
    }
    \new Staff \with { printPartCombineTexts = ##f } {
      \set Staff.instrumentName = #"PartCombine without texts"
      \partcombine \musicUp \musicDown
    }
    \new Staff {
      \set Staff.instrumentName = #"PartCombine with texts"
      \partcombine \musicUp \musicDown
    }
    >>
  >>
  \layout {
    indent = 6.0\cm
    \context {
      \Score
      \override SystemStartBar #'collapse-height = #30
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Creating "real" parenthesized dynamics

Although the easiest way to add parentheses to a dynamic mark is to use a \markup block, this method has a downside: the created objects will behave like text markups, and not like dynamics.

However, it is possible to create a similar object using the equivalent Scheme code (as described in the Notation Reference), combined with the make-dynamic-script function. This way, the markup will be regarded as a dynamic, and therefore will remain compatible with commands such as \dynamicUp or \dynamicDown.

parenF = #(make-dynamic-script (markup #:line (#:normal-text #:italic
           #:fontsize 2 "(" #:hspace -0.8 #:dynamic "f" #:normal-text
           #:italic #:fontsize 2 ")")))

\relative c'' {
  c4\parenF c c \dynamicUp c\parenF
}

[image of music]


Creating simultaneous rehearsal marks

Unlike text scripts, rehearsal marks cannot be stacked at a particular point in a score: only one RehearsalMark object is created. Using an invisible measure and bar line, an extra rehearsal mark can be added, giving the appearance of two marks in the same column. This method may also prove useful for placing rehearsal marks at both the end of one system and the start of the following system.

{
  \key a \major
  \set Score.markFormatter = #format-mark-box-letters
  \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'outside-staff-priority = #5000
  \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'self-alignment-X = #LEFT
  \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'break-align-symbols = #'(key-signature)
  \mark \markup { \bold { Senza denti } }

  % the hidden measure and bar line
  % \cadenzaOn turns off automatic calculation of bar numbers
  \cadenzaOn
  \once \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f
  \time 1/16
  s16 \bar ""
  \cadenzaOff

  \time 4/4
  \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'self-alignment-X = #LEFT
  \mark \markup { \box \bold Intro }
  d'1
  \mark \default
  d'1
}

[image of music]


Creating text spanners

The \startTextSpan and \stopTextSpan commands allow the creation of text spanners as easily as pedal indications or octavations. Override some properties of the TextSpanner object to modify its output.

\paper { ragged-right = ##f }

\relative c'' {
  \override TextSpanner #'(bound-details left text) = #"bla"
  \override TextSpanner #'(bound-details right text) = #"blu"
  a4 \startTextSpan
  b4 c
  a4 \stopTextSpan

  \override TextSpanner #'style = #'line
  \once \override TextSpanner
    #'(bound-details left stencil-align-dir-y) = #CENTER
  a4 \startTextSpan
  b4 c
  a4 \stopTextSpan

  \override TextSpanner #'style = #'dashed-line
  \override TextSpanner #'(bound-details left text) =
    \markup { \draw-line #'(0 . 1) }
  \override TextSpanner #'(bound-details right text) =
    \markup { \draw-line #'(0 . -2) }
  \once \override TextSpanner #'(bound-details right padding) = #-2

  a4 \startTextSpan
  b4 c
  a4 \stopTextSpan

  \set Staff.middleCPosition = #-13
  \override TextSpanner #'dash-period = #10
  \override TextSpanner #'dash-fraction = #0.5
  \override TextSpanner #'thickness = #10
  a4 \startTextSpan
  b4 c
  a4 \stopTextSpan
}

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Demonstrating all headers

All header fields with special meanings.

\header {
  copyright = "copyright"
  title = "title"
  subtitle = "subtitle"
  composer = "composer"
  arranger = "arranger"
  instrument = "instrument"
  metre = "metre"
  opus = "opus"
  piece = "piece"
  poet = "poet"
  texidoc = "All header fields with special meanings."
  copyright = "public domain"
  enteredby = "jcn"
  source = "urtext"
}

\layout {
  ragged-right = ##f
}

\score {
  \relative c'' { c1 | c | c | c }
}

\score {
   \relative c'' { c1 | c | c | c }
   \header {
     title = "localtitle"
     subtitle = "localsubtitle"
     composer = "localcomposer"
     arranger = "localarranger"
     instrument = "localinstrument"
     metre = "localmetre"
     opus = "localopus"
     piece = "localpiece"
     poet = "localpoet"
     copyright = "localcopyright"
   }
}

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Embedding native PostScript in a \markup block

PostScript code can be directly inserted inside a \markup block.

% PostScript is a registered trademark of Adobe Systems Inc.

\relative c'' {
  a4-\markup { \postscript #"3 4 moveto 5 3 rlineto stroke" }
  -\markup { \postscript #"[ 0 1 ] 0 setdash 3 5 moveto 5 -3 rlineto stroke " }

  b4-\markup { \postscript #"3 4 moveto 0 0 1 2 8 4 20 3.5 rcurveto stroke" }
  s2
  a'1
}

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Formatting lyrics syllables

Markup mode may be used to format individual syllables in lyrics.

mel = \relative c'' { c4 c c c }
lyr = \lyricmode {
  Lyrics \markup { \italic can } \markup { \with-color #red contain }
  \markup { \fontsize #8 \bold Markup! }
}

<<
  \new Voice = melody \mel
  \new Lyrics \lyricsto melody \lyr
>>

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How to put ties between syllables in lyrics

This can be achieved by separating those syllables by tildes.

\lyrics {
  wa~o~a
}

[image of music]


Lyrics alignment

Horizontal alignment for lyrics can be set by overriding the self-alignment-X property of the LyricText object. #-1 is left, #0 is center and #1 is right; however, you can use #LEFT, #CENTER and #RIGHT as well.

\layout { ragged-right = ##f }
\relative c'' {
  c1
  c1
  c1
}
\addlyrics {
  \once \override LyricText #'self-alignment-X = #LEFT
  "This is left-aligned"
  \once \override LyricText #'self-alignment-X = #CENTER
  "This is centered"
  \once \override LyricText #'self-alignment-X = #1
  "This is right-aligned"
}

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Markup lines

Text that can spread over pages is entered with the \markuplist command.

#(set-default-paper-size "a6")

#(define-markup-list-command (paragraph layout props args) (markup-list?)
  (interpret-markup-list layout props
   (make-justified-lines-markup-list (cons (make-hspace-markup 2) args))))

% Candide, Voltaire
\markuplist {
  \override-lines #'(baseline-skip . 2.5) {
    \paragraph {
      Il y avait en Westphalie, dans le château de M. le baron de
      Thunder-ten-tronckh, un jeune garçon à qui la nature avait donné
      les mœurs les plus douces.  Sa physionomie annonçait son âme.
      Il avait le jugement assez droit, avec l'esprit le plus simple ;
      c'est, je crois, pour cette raison qu'on le nommait Candide.  Les
      anciens domestiques de la maison soupçonnaient qu'il était fils
      de la sœur de monsieur le baron et d'un bon et honnête
      gentilhomme du voisinage, que cette demoiselle ne voulut jamais
      épouser parce qu'il n'avait pu prouver que soixante et onze
      quartiers, et que le reste de son arbre généalogique avait été
      perdu par l'injure du temps.
    }
    \paragraph {
      Monsieur le baron était un des plus puissants seigneurs de la
      Westphalie, car son château avait une porte et des fenêtres.  Sa
      grande salle même était ornée d'une tapisserie.  Tous les chiens
      de ses basses-cours composaient une meute dans le besoin ; ses
      palefreniers étaient ses piqueurs; le vicaire du village était
      son grand-aumônier.  Ils l'appelaient tous monseigneur, et ils
      riaient quand il faisait des contes.
    }
  }
}

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Multi-measure rest markup

Markups attached to a multi-measure rest will be centered above or below it. Long markups attached to multi-measure rests do not cause the measure to expand. To expand a multi-measure rest to fit the markup, use a spacer rest with an attached markup before the multi-measure rest.

Note that the spacer rest causes a bar line to be inserted. Text attached to a spacer rest in this way is left-aligned to the position where the note would be placed in the measure, but if the measure length is determined by the length of the text, the text will appear to be centered.

\relative c' {
  \compressFullBarRests
  \textLengthOn
  s1*0^\markup { [MAJOR GENERAL] }
  R1*19
  s1*0_\markup { \italic { Cue: ... it is yours } }
  s1*0^\markup { A }
  R1*30^\markup { [MABEL] }
  \textLengthOff
  c4^\markup { CHORUS } d f c
}

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Ottava text

Internally, \ottava sets the properties ottavation (for example, to 8va or 8vb) and middleCPosition. To override the text of the bracket, set ottavation after invoking \ottava.

{
  \ottava #1
  \set Staff.ottavation = #"8"
  c''1
  \ottava #0
  c'1
  \ottava #1
  \set Staff.ottavation = #"Text"
  c''1
}

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Outputting the version number

By putting the output of lilypond-version into a lyric, it is possible to print the version number of LilyPond in a score, or in a document generated with lilypond-book. Another possibility is to append the version number to the doc-string, in this manner:

\score {
  \new Lyrics {
    \override Score.RehearsalMark #'self-alignment-X = #LEFT
    \mark #(string-append "Processed with LilyPond version " (lilypond-version))
    s2
  }
}

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Piano template with centered lyrics

Instead of having a full staff for the melody and lyrics, lyrics can be centered between the staves of a piano staff.

upper = \relative c'' {
  \clef treble
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4

  a4 b c d
}

lower = \relative c {
  \clef bass
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4

  a2 c
}

text = \lyricmode {
  Aaa Bee Cee Dee
}

\score {
  \new GrandStaff <<
    \new Staff = upper { \new Voice = "singer" \upper }
    \new Lyrics \lyricsto "singer" \text
    \new Staff = lower { \lower }
  >>
  \layout {
    \context {
      \GrandStaff
      \accepts "Lyrics"
    }
    \context {
      \Lyrics
      \consists "Bar_engraver"
    }
  }
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


Printing marks at the end of a line

Marks can be printed at the end of the current line, instead of the beginning of the following line. In such cases, it might be preferable to align the right end of the mark with the bar line.

\relative c'' {
  g2 c
  d,2 a'
  \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'break-visibility = #end-of-line-visible
  \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'self-alignment-X = #RIGHT
  \mark "D.C. al Fine"
  \break
  g2 b,
  c1 \bar "||"
}

[image of music]


Printing marks on every staff

Although text marks are normally only printed above the topmost staff, they may also be printed on every staff.

\score {
  <<
    \new Staff { c''1 \mark "molto" c'' }
    \new Staff { c'1 \mark "molto" c' }
  >>
  \layout {
    \context {
      \Score
      \remove "Mark_engraver"
      \remove "Staff_collecting_engraver"
    }
    \context {
      \Staff
      \consists "Mark_engraver"
      \consists "Staff_collecting_engraver"
    }
  }
}

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Printing text from right to left

It is possible to print text from right to left in a markup object, as demonstrated here.

{
  b1^\markup {
    \line { i n g i r u m i m u s n o c t e }
  }
  f'_\markup {
    \override #'(text-direction . -1)
    \line { i n g i r u m i m u s n o c t e }
  }
}

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Putting lyrics inside the staff

Lyrics can be moved vertically to place them inside the staff. The lyrics are moved with \override LyricText #'extra-offset = #'(0 . dy) and there are similar commands to move the extenders and hyphens. The offset needed is established with trial and error.

<<
  \new Staff <<
    \new Voice = "voc" \relative c' { \stemDown a bes c8 b c4 }
  >>
  \new Lyrics \with {
    \override LyricText #'extra-offset = #'(0 . 8.6)
    \override LyricExtender #'extra-offset = #'(0 . 8.6)
    \override LyricHyphen #'extra-offset = #'(0 . 8.6)
  } \lyricsto "voc" { La la -- la __ _ la }
>>

[image of music]


Stand-alone two-column markup

Stand-alone text may be arranged in several columns using \markup commands:

\markup {
  \fill-line {
    \hspace #1
    \column {
      \line { O sacrum convivium }
      \line { in quo Christus sumitur, }
      \line { recolitur memoria passionis ejus, }
      \line { mens impletur gratia, }
      \line { futurae gloriae nobis pignus datur. }
      \line { Amen. }
    }
    \hspace #2
    \column {
      \line { \italic { O sacred feast } }
      \line { \italic { in which Christ is received, } }
      \line { \italic { the memory of His Passion is renewed, } }
      \line { \italic { the mind is filled with grace, } }
      \line { \italic { and a pledge of future glory is given to us. } }
      \line { \italic { Amen. } }
    }
    \hspace #1
  }
}

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String number extender lines

Make an extender line for string number indications, showing that a series of notes is supposed to be played all on the same string.

stringNumberSpanner =
#(define-music-function (parser location StringNumber) (string?)
  #{
    \override TextSpanner #'style = #'solid
    \override TextSpanner #'font-size = #-5
    \override TextSpanner #'(bound-details left stencil-align-dir-y) = #CENTER
    \override TextSpanner #'(bound-details left text) = \markup { \circle \number #StringNumber }
  #})


\relative c {
  \clef "treble_8"
  \stringNumberSpanner "5"
  \textSpannerDown
  a8\startTextSpan
  b c d e f\stopTextSpan
  \stringNumberSpanner "4"
  g\startTextSpan a
  bes4 a g2\stopTextSpan
}

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Three-sided box

This example shows how to add a markup command to get a three sided box around some text (or other markup).

% New command to add a three sided box, with sides north, west and south
% Based on the box-stencil command defined in scm/stencil.scm
% Note that ";;" is used to comment a line in Scheme
#(define-public (NWS-box-stencil stencil thickness padding)
   "Add a box around STENCIL, producing a new stencil."
   (let* ((x-ext (interval-widen (ly:stencil-extent stencil X) padding))
          (y-ext (interval-widen (ly:stencil-extent stencil Y) padding))
          (y-rule (make-filled-box-stencil (cons 0 thickness) y-ext))
          (x-rule (make-filled-box-stencil
                   (interval-widen x-ext thickness) (cons 0 thickness))))
     ;; (set! stencil (ly:stencil-combine-at-edge stencil X 1 y-rule padding))
     (set! stencil (ly:stencil-combine-at-edge stencil X LEFT y-rule padding))
     (set! stencil (ly:stencil-combine-at-edge stencil Y UP x-rule 0.0))
     (set! stencil (ly:stencil-combine-at-edge stencil Y DOWN x-rule 0.0))
     stencil))

% The corresponding markup command, based on the \box command defined
% in scm/define-markup-commands.scm
#(define-markup-command (NWS-box layout props arg) (markup?)
   "Draw a box round @var{arg}.  Looks at @code{thickness},
@code{box-padding} and @code{font-size} properties to determine line
thickness and padding around the markup."
   (let* ((th (chain-assoc-get 'thickness props 0.1))
          (size (chain-assoc-get 'font-size props 0))
          (pad (* (magstep size)
                  (chain-assoc-get 'box-padding props 0.2)))
          (m (interpret-markup layout props arg)))
     (NWS-box-stencil m th pad)))

% Test it:

\relative c' {
  c1^\markup { \NWS-box ABCD }
  c1^\markup { \NWS-box \note #"4" #1.0 }
}

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UTF-8

Various scripts may be used for texts (like titles and lyrics) by entering them in UTF-8 encoding, and using a Pango based backend. Depending on the fonts installed, this fragment will render Bulgarian (Cyrillic), Hebrew, Japanese and Portuguese.

% end verbatim - this comment is a hack to prevent texinfo.tex
% from choking on non-European UTF-8 subsets

%% Edit this file using a Unicode aware editor, such as GVIM, GEDIT, Emacs

%{

You may have to install additional fonts.

Red Hat Fedora

    taipeifonts fonts-xorg-truetype ttfonts-ja fonts-arabic \
   ttfonts-zh_CN fonts-ja fonts-hebrew

Debian GNU/Linux

   apt-get install emacs-intl-fonts xfonts-intl-.* \
  ttf-kochi-gothic ttf-kochi-mincho \
  xfonts-bolkhov-75dpi xfonts-cronyx-100dpi xfonts-cronyx-75dpi
%}

% Cyrillic font
bulgarian = \lyricmode {
  Жълтата дюля беше щастлива, че пухът, който цъфна, замръзна като гьон.
}

hebrew = \lyricmode {
  זה כיף סתם לשמוע איך תנצח קרפד עץ טוב בגן.
}

japanese = \lyricmode {
  いろはにほへど ちりぬるを
  わがよたれぞ  つねならむ
  うゐのおくや  まけふこえて
  あさきゆめみじ ゑひもせず
}

% "a legal song to you"
portuguese = \lyricmode {
  à vo -- cê uma can -- ção legal
}

\relative c' {
  c2 d
  e2 f
  g2 f
  e1
}
\addlyrics { \bulgarian }
\addlyrics { \hebrew }
\addlyrics { \japanese }
\addlyrics { \portuguese }

[image of music]


Vocal ensemble template with lyrics aligned below and above the staves

This template is basically the same as the simple “Vocal ensemble” template, with the exception that here all the lyrics lines are placed using alignAboveContext and alignBelowContext.

global = {
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
}

sopMusic = \relative c'' {
  c4 c c8[( b)] c4
}
sopWords = \lyricmode {
  hi hi hi hi
}

altoMusic = \relative c' {
  e4 f d e
}
altoWords = \lyricmode {
  ha ha ha ha
}

tenorMusic = \relative c' {
  g4 a f g
}
tenorWords = \lyricmode {
  hu hu hu hu
}

bassMusic = \relative c {
  c4 c g c
}
bassWords = \lyricmode {
  ho ho ho ho
}

\score {
  \new ChoirStaff <<
    \new Staff = "women" <<
      \new Voice = "sopranos" { \voiceOne << \global \sopMusic >> }
      \new Voice = "altos" { \voiceTwo << \global \altoMusic >> }
    >>
    \new Lyrics \with { alignAboveContext = #"women" }
      \lyricsto "sopranos" \sopWords
    \new Lyrics \with { alignBelowContext = #"women" }
      \lyricsto "altos" \altoWords
    % we could remove the line about this with the line below, since
    % we want the alto lyrics to be below the alto Voice anyway.
    % \new Lyrics \lyricsto "altos" \altoWords

    \new Staff = "men" <<
      \clef bass
      \new Voice = "tenors" { \voiceOne << \global \tenorMusic >> }
      \new Voice = "basses" { \voiceTwo << \global \bassMusic >> }
    >>
    \new Lyrics \with { alignAboveContext = #"men" }
      \lyricsto "tenors" \tenorWords
    \new Lyrics \with { alignBelowContext = #"men" }
      \lyricsto "basses" \bassWords
    % again, we could replace the line above this with the line below.
    % \new Lyrics \lyricsto "basses" \bassWords
  >>
}

[image of music]


Volta text markup using repeatCommands

Though volte are best specified using \repeat volta, the context property repeatCommands must be used in cases where the volta text needs more advanced formatting with \markup.

Since repeatCommands takes a list, the simplest method of including markup is to use an identifier for the text and embed it in the command list using the Scheme syntax #(list (list 'volta textIdentifier)). Start- and end-repeat commands can be added as separate list elements:

voltaAdLib = \markup { 1. 2. 3... \text \italic { ad lib. } }

\relative c'' {
  c1
  \set Score.repeatCommands = #(list (list 'volta voltaAdLib) 'start-repeat)
  c4 b d e
  \set Score.repeatCommands = #'((volta #f) (volta "4.") end-repeat)
  f1
  \set Score.repeatCommands = #'((volta #f))
}

[image of music]


Vocal music

Vocal music


Adding ambitus per voice

Ambitus can be added per voice. In this case, the ambitus must be moved manually to prevent collisions.

\new Staff <<
  \new Voice \with {
    \consists "Ambitus_engraver"
  } \relative c'' {
    \override Ambitus #'X-offset = #2.0
    \voiceOne
    c4 a d e
    f1
  }
  \new Voice \with {
    \consists "Ambitus_engraver"
  } \relative c' {
    \voiceTwo
    es4 f g as
    b1
  }
>>

[image of music]


Adding indicators to staves which get split after a break

This snippet defines the \splitStaffBarLine command, which adds arrows in north-east and south-east directions at a bar line, to denote that several voices sharing a staff will each continue on a staff of their own in the next system.

#(define-markup-command (arrow-at-angle layout props angle-deg length fill)
   (number? number? boolean?)
   (let* (
          ;; PI-OVER-180 and degrees->radians are taken from flag-styles.scm
          (PI-OVER-180 (/ (atan 1 1) 45))
          (degrees->radians (lambda (degrees) (* degrees PI-OVER-180)))
          (angle-rad (degrees->radians angle-deg))
          (target-x (* length (cos angle-rad)))
          (target-y (* length (sin angle-rad))))
     (interpret-markup layout props
                       (markup
                        #:translate (cons (/ target-x 2) (/ target-y 2))
                        #:rotate angle-deg
                        #:translate (cons (/ length -2) 0)
                        #:concat (#:draw-line (cons length 0)
                                              #:arrow-head X RIGHT fill)))))

splitStaffBarLineMarkup = \markup \with-dimensions #'(0 . 0) #'(0 . 0) {
  \combine
    \arrow-at-angle #45 #(sqrt 8) ##f
    \arrow-at-angle #-45 #(sqrt 8) ##f
}

splitStaffBarLine = {
  \once \override Staff.BarLine #'stencil =
    #(lambda (grob)
       (ly:stencil-combine-at-edge
        (ly:bar-line::print grob)
        X RIGHT
        (grob-interpret-markup grob splitStaffBarLineMarkup)
        0))
  \break
}

\paper {
  ragged-right = ##t
  short-indent = 5\mm
}

\score {
  <<
    \new ChoirStaff <<
      \new Staff \with { instrumentName = #"High I + II" } {
        <<
          \repeat unfold 4 f''1
          \\
          \repeat unfold 4 d''1
        >>
        \splitStaffBarLine
      }
      \new Staff \with { instrumentName = #"Low" } {
        <<
          \repeat unfold 4 b'1
          \\
          \repeat unfold 4 g'1
        >>
      }

      \new Staff \with { shortInstrumentName = #"H I" } {
        R1*4
        \repeat unfold 2 { r4 f''2 r4 } \repeat unfold 2 e''1
      }
      \new Staff \with { shortInstrumentName = #"H II" } {
        R1*4
        \repeat unfold 4 b'2 \repeat unfold 2 c''1
      }
      \new Staff \with { shortInstrumentName = #"L" } {
        R1*4
        <<
          \repeat unfold 4 g'1
          \\
          \repeat unfold 4 c'1
        >>
      }
    >>
  >>
  \layout {
    \context {
      \Staff \RemoveEmptyStaves
      \override VerticalAxisGroup #'remove-first = ##t
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Adding orchestral cues to a vocal score

This shows one approach to simplify adding many orchestral cues to the piano reduction in a vocal score. The music function \cueWhile takes four arguments: the music from which the cue is to be taken, as defined by \addQuote, the name to be inserted before the cue notes, then either #UP or #DOWN to specify either \voiceOne with the name above the staff or \voiceTwo with the name below the staff, and finally the piano music in parallel with which the cue notes are to appear. The name of the cued instrument is positioned to the left of the cued notes. Many passages can be cued, but they cannot overlap each other in time.

cueWhile =
#(define-music-function
   (parser location instrument name dir music)
   (string? string? ly:dir? ly:music?)
   #{
     \cueDuring $instrument #dir {
       \once \override TextScript #'self-alignment-X = #RIGHT
       \once \override TextScript #'direction = $dir
       <>-\markup { \tiny #name }
       $music
     }
   #})

flute = \relative c'' {
  \transposition c'
  s4 s4 e g
}
\addQuote "flute" { \flute }

clarinet = \relative c' {
  \transposition bes
  fis4 d d c
}
\addQuote "clarinet" { \clarinet }

singer = \relative c'' { c4. g8 g4 bes4 }
words = \lyricmode { here's the lyr -- ics }

pianoRH = \relative c'' {
  \transposition c'
  \cueWhile "clarinet" "Clar." #DOWN { c4. g8 }
  \cueWhile "flute" "Flute" #UP { g4 bes4 }
}
pianoLH = \relative c { c4 <c' e> e, <g c> }

\score {
  <<
    \new Staff {
      \new Voice = "singer" {
        \singer
      }
    }
    \new Lyrics {
      \lyricsto "singer"
      \words
    }
    \new PianoStaff <<
      \new Staff {
        \new Voice {
          \pianoRH
        }
      }
      \new Staff {
        \clef "bass"
        \pianoLH
      }
    >>
  >>
}

[image of music]


Adjusting lyrics vertical spacing

This snippet shows how to bring the lyrics line closer to the staff.

% Default layout:
<<
  \new Staff \new Voice = melody \relative c' {
    c4 d e f
    g4 f e d
    c1
  }
  \new Lyrics \lyricsto melody { aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa }

  \new Staff {
    \new Voice = melody \relative c' {
      c4 d e f
      g4 f e d
      c1
    }
  }
  % Reducing the minimum space below the staff and above the lyrics:
  \new Lyrics \with {
    \override VerticalAxisGroup #'nonstaff-relatedstaff-spacing = #'((basic-distance . 1))
  }
  \lyricsto melody { aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa }
>>

[image of music]


Aligning syllables with melisma

By default, lyrics syllables that start a melisma are left aligned on their note. The alignment can be altered using the lyricMelismaAlignment property.

\score {
  <<
    \new Staff {
      \relative c''
      \new Voice = "vocal" {
        c d~^\markup default  d e
        c d~^\markup "right aligned" d e
        c d~^\markup "center aligned" d e
        c d~^\markup "reset to default" d e
      }
    }
    \new Lyrics \lyricsto "vocal" \lyricmode {
      word word word
      \set lyricMelismaAlignment = #RIGHT
      word word word
      \set lyricMelismaAlignment = #CENTER
      word word word
      \unset lyricMelismaAlignment
      word word word
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Ambitus with multiple voices

Adding the Ambitus_engraver to the Staff context creates a single ambitus per staff, even in the case of staves with multiple voices.

\new Staff \with {
  \consists "Ambitus_engraver"
  }
<<
  \new Voice \relative c'' {
    \voiceOne
    c4 a d e
    f1
  }
  \new Voice \relative c' {
    \voiceTwo
    es4 f g as
    b1
  }
>>

[image of music]


Ambitus

Ambitus indicate pitch ranges for voices.

Accidentals only show up if they are not part of the key signature. AmbitusNoteHead grobs also have ledger lines.

\layout {
  \context {
    \Voice
    \consists "Ambitus_engraver"
  }
}

<<
  \new Staff {
    \relative c' {
      \time 2/4
      c4 f'
    }
  }
  \new Staff {
    \relative c' {
      \time  2/4
      \key d \major
      cis4 as'
    }
  }
>>

[image of music]


Ancient notation template – modern transcription of gregorian music

This example demonstrates how to do modern transcription of Gregorian music. Gregorian music has no measure, no stems; it uses only half and quarter note heads, and special marks, indicating rests of different length.

\include "gregorian.ly"

chant = \relative c' {
  \set Score.timing = ##f
  f4 a2 \divisioMinima
  g4 b a2 f2 \divisioMaior
  g4( f) f( g) a2 \finalis
}

verba = \lyricmode {
  Lo -- rem ip -- sum do -- lor sit a -- met
}

\score {
  \new Staff <<
    \new Voice = "melody" \chant
    \new Lyrics = "one" \lyricsto melody \verba
  >>
  \layout {
    \context {
      \Staff
      \remove "Time_signature_engraver"
      \remove "Bar_engraver"
      \override Stem #'transparent = ##t
      \override Flag #'transparent = ##t
    }
    \context {
      \Voice
      \override Stem #'length = #0
    }
    \context {
      \Score
      barAlways = ##t
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Anglican psalm template

This template shows one way of setting out an Anglican psalm chant. It also shows how the verses may be added as stand-alone text under the music. The two verses are coded in different styles to demonstrate more possibilities.

SopranoMusic = \relative g' {
  g1 | c2 b | a1 | \bar "||"
  a1 | d2 c | c b | c1 | \bar "||"
}

AltoMusic = \relative c' {
  e1 | g2 g | f1 |
  f1 | f2 e | d d | e1 |
}

TenorMusic = \relative a {
  c1 | c2 c | c1 |
  d1 | g,2 g | g g | g1 |
}

BassMusic =  \relative c {
  c1 | e2 e | f1 |
  d1 | b2 c | g' g | c,1 |
}

global = {
  \time 2/2
}

dot = \markup {
  \raise #0.7 \musicglyph #"dots.dot"
}

tick = \markup {
  \raise #1 \fontsize #-5 \musicglyph #"scripts.rvarcomma"
}

% Use markup to center the chant on the page
\markup {
  \fill-line {
    \score {  % centered
      <<
        \new ChoirStaff <<
          \new Staff <<
            \global
            \clef "treble"
            \new Voice = "Soprano" <<
              \voiceOne
              \SopranoMusic
            >>
            \new Voice = "Alto" <<
              \voiceTwo
              \AltoMusic
            >>
          >>
          \new Staff <<
            \clef "bass"
            \global
            \new Voice = "Tenor" <<
              \voiceOne
              \TenorMusic
            >>
            \new Voice = "Bass" <<
              \voiceTwo
              \BassMusic
            >>
          >>
        >>
      >>
      \layout {
        \context {
          \Score
          \override SpacingSpanner
          #'base-shortest-duration = #(ly:make-moment 1 2)
        }
        \context {
          \Staff
          \remove "Time_signature_engraver"
        }
      }
    }  % End score
  }
}  % End markup

\markup {
  \fill-line {
    \column {
      \left-align {
        \null \null \null
        \line {
          \fontsize #5 O
          \fontsize #3 come
          let us \bold sing | unto \dot the | Lord : let
        }
        \line {
          us heartily
          \concat { re \bold joice }
          in the | strength of | our
        }
        \line {
          sal | vation.
        }
        \null
        \line {
          \hspace #2.5 8. Today if ye will hear his voice *
        }
        \line {
          \concat { \bold hard en }
          \tick not your \tick hearts : as in the pro-
        }
        \line {
          vocation * and as in the \bold day of tempt- \tick
        }
        \line {
          -ation \tick in the \tick wilderness.
        }
      }
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Changing stanza fonts

Fonts can be changed independently for each stanza, including the font used for printing the stanza number.

\new Voice {
  \time 3/4
  g2 e4
  a2 f4
  g2.
}
\addlyrics {
  \set stanza = #"1. "
  Hi, my name is Bert.
}
\addlyrics {
  \override StanzaNumber #'font-name = #"DejaVu"
  \set stanza = #"2. "
  \override LyricText #'font-family = #'typewriter
  Oh, ché -- ri, je t'aime
}

[image of music]


Chant or psalms notation

This form of notation is used for the chant of the Psalms, where verses aren’t always the same length.

stemOn = {
  \revert Staff.Stem #'transparent
  \revert Staff.Flag #'transparent
}

stemOff = {
  \override Staff.Stem #'transparent = ##t
  \override Staff.Flag #'transparent = ##t
}

\score {
  \new Staff \with { \remove "Time_signature_engraver" }
  {
    \key g \minor
    \cadenzaOn
    \stemOff a'\breve bes'4 g'4
    \stemOn a'2 \bar "||"
    \stemOff a'\breve g'4 a'4
    \stemOn f'2 \bar "||"
    \stemOff a'\breve^\markup { \italic flexe }
    \stemOn g'2 \bar "||"
  }
}

[image of music]


Forcing hyphens to be shown

If LilyPond does not think there is space for a hyphen, it will be omitted. The behaviour can be overridden with the minimum-distance property of LyricHyphen.

\relative c'' {
  c32 c c c
  c32 c c c
  c32 c c c
  c32 c c c
}
\addlyrics {
  syl -- lab word word
  \override LyricHyphen #'minimum-distance = #1.0
  syl -- lab word word
  \override LyricHyphen #'minimum-distance = #2.0
  syl -- lab word word
  \revert LyricHyphen #'minimum-distance
  syl -- lab word word
}

[image of music]


Formatting lyrics syllables

Markup mode may be used to format individual syllables in lyrics.

mel = \relative c'' { c4 c c c }
lyr = \lyricmode {
  Lyrics \markup { \italic can } \markup { \with-color #red contain }
  \markup { \fontsize #8 \bold Markup! }
}

<<
  \new Voice = melody \mel
  \new Lyrics \lyricsto melody \lyr
>>

[image of music]


How to put ties between syllables in lyrics

This can be achieved by separating those syllables by tildes.

\lyrics {
  wa~o~a
}

[image of music]


Hymn template

This code shows one way of setting out a hymn tune when each line starts and ends with a partial measure. It also shows how to add the verses as stand-alone text under the music.

Timeline = {
  \time 4/4
  \tempo 4=96
  \partial 2
  s2 | s1 | s2 \breathe s2 | s1 | s2 \bar "||" \break
  s2 | s1 | s2 \breathe s2 | s1 | s2 \bar "||"
}

SopranoMusic = \relative g' {
  g4 g | g g g g | g g g g | g g g g | g2
  g4 g | g g g g | g g g g | g g g g | g2
}

AltoMusic = \relative c' {
  d4 d | d d d d | d d d d | d d d d | d2
  d4 d | d d d d | d d d d | d d d d | d2
}

TenorMusic = \relative a {
  b4 b | b b b b | b b b b | b b b b | b2
  b4 b | b b b b | b b b b | b b b b | b2
}

BassMusic =  \relative g {
  g4 g | g g g g | g g g g | g g g g | g2
  g4 g | g g g g | g g g g | g g g g | g2
}

global = {
 \key g \major
}

\score {  % Start score
  <<
    \new PianoStaff <<  % Start pianostaff
      \new Staff <<  % Start Staff = RH
        \global
        \clef "treble"
        \new Voice = "Soprano" <<  % Start Voice = "Soprano"
          \Timeline
          \voiceOne
          \SopranoMusic
        >>  % End Voice = "Soprano"
        \new Voice = "Alto" <<  % Start Voice = "Alto"
          \Timeline
          \voiceTwo
          \AltoMusic
        >>  % End Voice = "Alto"
      >>  % End Staff = RH
      \new Staff <<  % Start Staff = LH
        \global
        \clef "bass"
        \new Voice = "Tenor" <<  % Start Voice = "Tenor"
          \Timeline
          \voiceOne
          \TenorMusic
        >>  % End Voice = "Tenor"
        \new Voice = "Bass" <<  % Start Voice = "Bass"
          \Timeline
          \voiceTwo
          \BassMusic
        >>  % End Voice = "Bass"
      >>  % End Staff = LH
    >>  % End pianostaff
  >>
}  % End score

\markup {
  \fill-line {
    ""
    {
      \column {
        \left-align {
          "This is line one of the first verse"
          "This is line two of the same"
          "And here's line three of the first verse"
          "And the last line of the same"
        }
      }
    }
    ""
  }
}

\paper {  % Start paper block
  indent = 0     % don't indent first system
  line-width = 130   % shorten line length to suit music
}  % End paper block

[image of music]


Lyrics alignment

Horizontal alignment for lyrics can be set by overriding the self-alignment-X property of the LyricText object. #-1 is left, #0 is center and #1 is right; however, you can use #LEFT, #CENTER and #RIGHT as well.

\layout { ragged-right = ##f }
\relative c'' {
  c1
  c1
  c1
}
\addlyrics {
  \once \override LyricText #'self-alignment-X = #LEFT
  "This is left-aligned"
  \once \override LyricText #'self-alignment-X = #CENTER
  "This is centered"
  \once \override LyricText #'self-alignment-X = #1
  "This is right-aligned"
}

[image of music]


Marking notes of spoken parts with a cross on the stem

This example shows how to put crosses on stems. Mark the beginning of a spoken section with the \speakOn keyword, and end it with the \speakOff keyword.

speakOn = {
  \override Stem #'stencil =
    #(lambda (grob)
       (let* ((x-parent (ly:grob-parent grob X))
              (is-rest? (ly:grob? (ly:grob-object x-parent 'rest))))
         (if is-rest?
             empty-stencil
             (ly:stencil-combine-at-edge
              (ly:stem::print grob)
              Y
              (- (ly:grob-property grob 'direction))
              (grob-interpret-markup grob
                                     (markup #:center-align #:fontsize -4
                                             #:musicglyph "noteheads.s2cross"))
              -2.3))))
}

speakOff = {
  \revert Stem #'stencil
  \revert Flag #'stencil
}

\score {
  \new Staff {
    \relative c'' {
      a4 b a c
      \speakOn
      g4 f r g
      b4 r d e
      \speakOff
      c4 a g f
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Obtaining 2.12 lyrics spacing in newer versions

The vertical spacing engine changed for version 2.14. This can cause lyrics to be spaced differently. It is possible to set properties for Lyric and Staff contexts to get the spacing engine to behave as it did in version 2.12.

global = {
  \key d \major
  \time 3/4
}

sopMusic = \relative c' {
  % VERSE ONE
  fis4 fis fis | \break
  fis4. e8 e4
}

altoMusic = \relative c' {
  % VERSE ONE
  d4 d d |
  d4. b8 b4 |
}

tenorMusic = \relative c' {
  a4 a a |
  b4. g8 g4 |
}

bassMusic = \relative c {
  d4 d d |
  g,4. g8 g4 |
}

words = \lyricmode {
  Great is Thy faith- ful- ness,
}

\score {
  \new ChoirStaff <<
    \new Lyrics = sopranos
    \new Staff = women <<
      \new Voice = "sopranos" {
        \voiceOne
        \global \sopMusic
      }
      \new Voice = "altos" {
        \voiceTwo
        \global \altoMusic
      }
    >>
    \new Lyrics = "altos"
    \new Lyrics = "tenors"
    \new Staff = men <<
      \clef bass
      \new Voice = "tenors" {
        \voiceOne
        \global \tenorMusic
      }
      \new Voice = "basses" {
        \voiceTwo  \global \bassMusic
      }
    >>
    \new Lyrics = basses
    \context Lyrics = sopranos \lyricsto sopranos \words
    \context Lyrics = altos \lyricsto altos \words
    \context Lyrics = tenors \lyricsto tenors \words
    \context Lyrics = basses \lyricsto basses \words
  >>
  \layout {
    \context {
      \Lyrics
      \override VerticalAxisGroup #'staff-affinity = ##f
      \override VerticalAxisGroup #'staff-staff-spacing =
        #'((basic-distance . 0)
	   (minimum-distance . 2)
	   (padding . 2))
    }
    \context {
      \Staff
      \override VerticalAxisGroup #'staff-staff-spacing =
        #'((basic-distance . 0)
	   (minimum-distance . 2)
	   (padding . 2))
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Orchestra choir and piano template

This template demonstrates the use of nested StaffGroup and GrandStaff contexts to sub-group instruments of the same type together, and a way to use \transpose so that variables hold music for transposing instruments at concert pitch.

#(set-global-staff-size 17)
\paper {
  indent = 3.0\cm  % space for instrumentName
  short-indent = 1.5\cm  % space for shortInstrumentName
}

fluteMusic = \relative c' { \key g \major g'1 b }
% Pitches as written on a manuscript for Clarinet in A
% are transposed to concert pitch.
clarinetMusic = \transpose c' a
  \relative c'' { \key bes \major bes1 d }
trumpetMusic = \relative c { \key g \major g''1 b }
% Key signature is often omitted for horns
hornMusic = \transpose c' f
  \relative c { d'1 fis }
percussionMusic = \relative c { \key g \major g1 b }
sopranoMusic = \relative c'' { \key g \major g'1 b }
sopranoLyrics = \lyricmode { Lyr -- ics }
altoIMusic = \relative c' { \key g \major g'1 b }
altoIIMusic = \relative c' { \key g \major g'1 b }
altoILyrics =  \sopranoLyrics
altoIILyrics = \lyricmode { Ah -- ah }
tenorMusic = \relative c' { \clef "treble_8" \key g \major g1 b }
tenorLyrics = \sopranoLyrics
pianoRHMusic = \relative c { \key g \major g''1 b }
pianoLHMusic = \relative c { \clef bass \key g \major g1 b }
violinIMusic = \relative c' { \key g \major g'1 b }
violinIIMusic = \relative c' { \key g \major g'1 b }
violaMusic = \relative c { \clef alto \key g \major g'1 b }
celloMusic = \relative c { \clef bass \key g \major g1 b }
bassMusic = \relative c { \clef "bass_8" \key g \major g,1 b }

\score {
  <<
    \new StaffGroup = "StaffGroup_woodwinds" <<
      \new Staff = "Staff_flute" {
        \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Flute"
        % shortInstrumentName, midiInstrument, etc.
        % may be set here as well
        \fluteMusic
      }
      \new Staff = "Staff_clarinet" {
        \set Staff.instrumentName =
        \markup { \concat { "Clarinet in B" \flat } }
        % Declare that written Middle C in the music
        %  to follow sounds a concert B flat, for
        %  output using sounded pitches such as MIDI.
        \transposition bes
        % Print music for a B-flat clarinet
        \transpose bes c' \clarinetMusic
      }
    >>
    \new StaffGroup = "StaffGroup_brass" <<
      \new Staff = "Staff_hornI" {
        \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Horn in F"
        \transposition f
        \transpose f c' \hornMusic
      }
      \new Staff = "Staff_trumpet" {
        \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Trumpet in  C"
        \trumpetMusic
      }
    >>
    \new RhythmicStaff = "RhythmicStaff_percussion" <<
      \set RhythmicStaff.instrumentName = #"Percussion"
      \percussionMusic
    >>
    \new PianoStaff <<
      \set PianoStaff.instrumentName = #"Piano"
      \new Staff { \pianoRHMusic }
      \new Staff { \pianoLHMusic }
    >>
    \new ChoirStaff = "ChoirStaff_choir" <<
      \new Staff = "Staff_soprano" {
        \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Soprano"
        \new Voice = "soprano"
        \sopranoMusic
      }
      \new Lyrics \lyricsto "soprano" { \sopranoLyrics }
      \new GrandStaff = "GrandStaff_altos"
      \with { \accepts Lyrics } <<
        \new Staff = "Staff_altoI"  {
          \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Alto I"
          \new Voice = "altoI"
          \altoIMusic
        }
        \new Lyrics \lyricsto "altoI" { \altoILyrics }
        \new Staff = "Staff_altoII" {
          \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Alto II"
          \new Voice = "altoII"
          \altoIIMusic
        }
        \new Lyrics \lyricsto "altoII" { \altoIILyrics }
      >>
      \new Staff = "Staff_tenor" {
        \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Tenor"
        \new Voice = "tenor"
        \tenorMusic
      }
      \new Lyrics \lyricsto "tenor" { \tenorLyrics }
    >>
    \new StaffGroup = "StaffGroup_strings" <<
      \new GrandStaff = "GrandStaff_violins" <<
        \new Staff = "Staff_violinI" {
          \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Violin I"
          \violinIMusic
        }
        \new Staff = "Staff_violinII" {
          \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Violin II"
          \violinIIMusic
        }
      >>
      \new Staff = "Staff_viola" {
        \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Viola"
        \violaMusic
      }
      \new Staff = "Staff_cello" {
        \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Cello"
        \celloMusic
      }
      \new Staff = "Staff_bass" {
        \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Double Bass"
        \bassMusic
      }
    >>
  >>
  \layout { }
}

[image of music]


Piano template with melody and lyrics

Here is a typical song format: one staff with the melody and lyrics, with piano accompaniment underneath.

melody = \relative c'' {
  \clef treble
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4

  a b c d
}

text = \lyricmode {
  Aaa Bee Cee Dee
}

upper = \relative c'' {
  \clef treble
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4

  a4 b c d
}

lower = \relative c {
  \clef bass
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4

  a2 c
}

\score {
  <<
    \new Voice = "mel" { \autoBeamOff \melody }
    \new Lyrics \lyricsto mel \text
    \new PianoStaff <<
      \new Staff = "upper" \upper
      \new Staff = "lower" \lower
    >>
  >>
  \layout {
    \context { \Staff \RemoveEmptyStaves }
  }
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


Putting lyrics inside the staff

Lyrics can be moved vertically to place them inside the staff. The lyrics are moved with \override LyricText #'extra-offset = #'(0 . dy) and there are similar commands to move the extenders and hyphens. The offset needed is established with trial and error.

<<
  \new Staff <<
    \new Voice = "voc" \relative c' { \stemDown a bes c8 b c4 }
  >>
  \new Lyrics \with {
    \override LyricText #'extra-offset = #'(0 . 8.6)
    \override LyricExtender #'extra-offset = #'(0 . 8.6)
    \override LyricHyphen #'extra-offset = #'(0 . 8.6)
  } \lyricsto "voc" { La la -- la __ _ la }
>>

[image of music]


SATB Choir template - four staves

SATB choir template (four staves)

global = {
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
  \dynamicUp
}
sopranonotes = \relative c'' {
  c2 \p \< d c d \f
}
sopranowords = \lyricmode { do do do do }
altonotes = \relative c'' {
  c2\p d c d
}
altowords = \lyricmode { re re re re }
tenornotes = {
  \clef "G_8"
  c2\mp d c d
}
tenorwords = \lyricmode { mi mi mi mi }
bassnotes = {
  \clef bass
  c2\mf d c d
}
basswords = \lyricmode { mi mi mi mi }

\score {
  \new ChoirStaff <<
    \new Staff <<
      \new Voice = "soprano" <<
        \global
        \sopranonotes
      >>
      \lyricsto "soprano" \new Lyrics \sopranowords
    >>
    \new Staff <<
      \new Voice = "alto" <<
        \global
        \altonotes
      >>
      \lyricsto "alto" \new Lyrics \altowords
    >>
    \new Staff <<
      \new Voice = "tenor" <<
        \global
        \tenornotes
      >>
      \lyricsto "tenor" \new Lyrics \tenorwords
    >>
    \new Staff <<
      \new Voice = "bass" <<
        \global
        \bassnotes
      >>
      \lyricsto "bass" \new Lyrics \basswords
    >>
  >>
}

[image of music]


Single staff template with notes lyrics and chords

This template allows the preparation of a song with melody, words, and chords.

melody = \relative c' {
  \clef treble
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4

  a4 b c d
}

text = \lyricmode {
  Aaa Bee Cee Dee
}

harmonies = \chordmode {
  a2 c
}

\score {
  <<
    \new ChordNames {
      \set chordChanges = ##t
      \harmonies
    }
    \new Voice = "one" { \autoBeamOff \melody }
    \new Lyrics \lyricsto "one" \text
  >>
  \layout { }
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


Single staff template with notes lyrics chords and frets

Here is a simple lead sheet template with melody, lyrics, chords and fret diagrams.

verseI = \lyricmode {
  \set stanza = #"1."
  This is the first verse
}

verseII = \lyricmode {
  \set stanza = #"2."
  This is the second verse.
}

theChords = \chordmode {
  % insert chords for chordnames and fretboards here
  c2 g4 c
}

staffMelody = \relative c' {
   \key c \major
   \clef treble
   % Type notes for melody here
   c4 d8 e f4 g
   \bar "|."
}

\score {
  <<
    \context ChordNames { \theChords }
    \context FretBoards { \theChords }
    \new Staff {
      \context Voice = "voiceMelody" { \staffMelody }
    }
    \new Lyrics = "lyricsI" {
      \lyricsto "voiceMelody" \verseI
    }
    \new Lyrics = "lyricsII" {
      \lyricsto "voiceMelody" \verseII
    }
  >>
  \layout { }
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


Single staff template with notes and lyrics

This small template demonstrates a simple melody with lyrics. Cut and paste, add notes, then words for the lyrics. This example turns off automatic beaming, which is common for vocal parts. To use automatic beaming, change or comment out the relevant line.

melody = \relative c' {
  \clef treble
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4

  a4 b c d
}

text = \lyricmode {
  Aaa Bee Cee Dee
}

\score{
  <<
    \new Voice = "one" {
      \autoBeamOff
      \melody
    }
    \new Lyrics \lyricsto "one" \text
  >>
  \layout { }
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


Skips in lyric mode (2)

Although s skips cannot be used in \lyricmode (it is taken to be a literal “s”, not a space), double quotes ("") or underscores (_) are available.So for example:

<<
  \relative c'' { a4 b c d }
  \new Lyrics \lyricmode { a4 "" _ gap }
>>

[image of music]


Skips in lyric mode

The s syntax for skips is only available in note mode and chord mode. In other situations, for example, when entering lyrics, using the \skip command is recommended.

<<
  \relative c'' { a1 | a }
  \new Lyrics \lyricmode { \skip 1 bla1 }
>>

[image of music]


Using arpeggioBracket to make divisi more visible

The arpeggioBracket can be used to indicate the division of voices where there are no stems to provide the information. This is often seen in choral music.

\include "english.ly"

\score {
  \relative c'' {
    \key a \major
    \time 2/2
    <<
      \new Voice = "upper"
      <<
        { \voiceOne \arpeggioBracket
          a2( b2
          <b d>1\arpeggio)
          <cs e>\arpeggio ~
          <cs e>4
        }
        \addlyrics { \lyricmode { A -- men. } }
      >>
      \new Voice = "lower"
      { \voiceTwo
        a1 ~
        a
        a ~
        a4 \bar "|."
      }
    >>
  }
  \layout { ragged-right = ##t }
}

[image of music]


Vertically aligning ossias and lyrics

This snippet demonstrates the use of the context properties alignBelowContext and alignAboveContext to control the positioning of lyrics and ossias.

\paper {
  ragged-right = ##t
}

\relative c' <<
  \new Staff = "1" { c4 c s2 }
  \new Staff = "2" { c4 c s2 }
  \new Staff = "3" { c4 c s2 }
  { \skip 2
    <<
      \lyrics {
        \set alignBelowContext = #"1"
        lyrics4 below
      }
      \new Staff \with {
        alignAboveContext = #"3"
        fontSize = #-2
        \override StaffSymbol #'staff-space = #(magstep -2)
        \remove "Time_signature_engraver"
      } {
        \times 4/6 {
          \override TextScript #'padding = #3
          c8[^"ossia above" d e d e f]
        }
      }
    >>
  }
>>

[image of music]


Vertically centered common lyrics

In a vocal piece where there are several (two,four or more) lines of lyrics, and common lyrics for all voices at some point, these common lyrics may be vertically centered regardingly, as shown in the following example:

\include "english.ly"
leftbrace = \markup { \override #'(font-encoding . fetaBraces) \lookup #"brace240" }
rightbrace = \markup { \rotate #180 \leftbrace }

dropLyrics =
{
    \override LyricText #'extra-offset = #'(0 . -5)
    \override LyricHyphen #'extra-offset = #'(0 . -5)
    \override LyricExtender #'extra-offset = #'(0 . -5)
}

raiseLyrics =
{
    \revert LyricText #'extra-offset
    \revert LyricHyphen #'extra-offset
    \revert LyricExtender #'extra-offset
}

skipFour = \repeat unfold 4 { \skip 8 }

lyricsA = \lyricmode { The first verse has \dropLyrics the com -- mon
__ words \raiseLyrics used in all four. }
lyricsB = \lyricmode { In stan -- za two, \skipFour al -- so ap -- pear. }
lyricsC = \lyricmode { By the third verse, \skipFour are get -- ting dull. }
lyricsD = \lyricmode { Last stan -- za, and \skipFour get used once more. }

melody = \relative c' { c4 d e f g f e8( e f) d4 c e d c }

\score
{
        <<
                \new Voice = m \melody
                \new Lyrics \lyricsto m \lyricsA
                \new Lyrics \lyricsto m \lyricsB
                \new Lyrics \lyricsto m \lyricsC
                \new Lyrics \lyricsto m \lyricsD
        >>
}

[image of music]


Vocal ensemble template with automatic piano reduction

This template adds an automatic piano reduction to the standard SATB vocal score demonstrated in “Vocal ensemble template”. This demonstrates one of the strengths of LilyPond – you can use a music definition more than once. If any changes are made to the vocal notes (say, tenorMusic), then the changes will also apply to the piano reduction.

\paper {
  top-system-spacing #'basic-distance = #10
  score-system-spacing #'basic-distance = #20
  system-system-spacing #'basic-distance = #20
  last-bottom-spacing #'basic-distance = #10
}

global = {
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
}

sopMusic = \relative c'' {
  c4 c c8[( b)] c4
}
sopWords = \lyricmode {
  hi hi hi hi
}

altoMusic = \relative c' {
  e4 f d e
}
altoWords =\lyricmode {
  ha ha ha ha
}

tenorMusic = \relative c' {
  g4 a f g
}
tenorWords = \lyricmode {
  hu hu hu hu
}

bassMusic = \relative c {
  c4 c g c
}
bassWords = \lyricmode {
  ho ho ho ho
}

\score {
  <<
    \new ChoirStaff <<
      \new Lyrics = "sopranos" \with {
        % This is needed for lyrics above a staff
        \override VerticalAxisGroup #'staff-affinity = #DOWN
      }
      \new Staff = "women" <<
        \new Voice = "sopranos" { \voiceOne << \global \sopMusic >> }
        \new Voice = "altos" { \voiceTwo << \global \altoMusic >> }
      >>
      \new Lyrics = "altos"
      \new Lyrics = "tenors" \with {
        % This is needed for lyrics above a staff
        \override VerticalAxisGroup #'staff-affinity = #DOWN
      }

      \new Staff = "men" <<
        \clef bass
        \new Voice = "tenors" { \voiceOne << \global \tenorMusic >> }
        \new Voice = "basses" { \voiceTwo << \global \bassMusic >> }
      >>
      \new Lyrics = "basses"
      \context Lyrics = "sopranos" \lyricsto "sopranos" \sopWords
      \context Lyrics = "altos" \lyricsto "altos" \altoWords
      \context Lyrics = "tenors" \lyricsto "tenors" \tenorWords
      \context Lyrics = "basses" \lyricsto "basses" \bassWords
    >>
    \new PianoStaff <<
      \new Staff <<
        \set Staff.printPartCombineTexts = ##f
        \partcombine
        << \global \sopMusic >>
        << \global \altoMusic >>
      >>
      \new Staff <<
        \clef bass
        \set Staff.printPartCombineTexts = ##f
        \partcombine
        << \global \tenorMusic >>
        << \global \bassMusic >>
      >>
    >>
  >>
}

[image of music]


Vocal ensemble template with lyrics aligned below and above the staves

This template is basically the same as the simple “Vocal ensemble” template, with the exception that here all the lyrics lines are placed using alignAboveContext and alignBelowContext.

global = {
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
}

sopMusic = \relative c'' {
  c4 c c8[( b)] c4
}
sopWords = \lyricmode {
  hi hi hi hi
}

altoMusic = \relative c' {
  e4 f d e
}
altoWords = \lyricmode {
  ha ha ha ha
}

tenorMusic = \relative c' {
  g4 a f g
}
tenorWords = \lyricmode {
  hu hu hu hu
}

bassMusic = \relative c {
  c4 c g c
}
bassWords = \lyricmode {
  ho ho ho ho
}

\score {
  \new ChoirStaff <<
    \new Staff = "women" <<
      \new Voice = "sopranos" { \voiceOne << \global \sopMusic >> }
      \new Voice = "altos" { \voiceTwo << \global \altoMusic >> }
    >>
    \new Lyrics \with { alignAboveContext = #"women" }
      \lyricsto "sopranos" \sopWords
    \new Lyrics \with { alignBelowContext = #"women" }
      \lyricsto "altos" \altoWords
    % we could remove the line about this with the line below, since
    % we want the alto lyrics to be below the alto Voice anyway.
    % \new Lyrics \lyricsto "altos" \altoWords

    \new Staff = "men" <<
      \clef bass
      \new Voice = "tenors" { \voiceOne << \global \tenorMusic >> }
      \new Voice = "basses" { \voiceTwo << \global \bassMusic >> }
    >>
    \new Lyrics \with { alignAboveContext = #"men" }
      \lyricsto "tenors" \tenorWords
    \new Lyrics \with { alignBelowContext = #"men" }
      \lyricsto "basses" \bassWords
    % again, we could replace the line above this with the line below.
    % \new Lyrics \lyricsto "basses" \bassWords
  >>
}

[image of music]


Vocal ensemble template with verse and refrain

This template creates a score which starts with a solo verse and continues into a refrain for two voices. It also demonstrates the use of spacer rests within the \global variable to define meter changes (and other elements common to all parts) throughout the entire score.

global = {
  \key g \major

  % verse
  \time 3/4
  s2.*2
  \break

  % refrain
  \time 2/4
  s2*2
  \bar "|."
}

SoloNotes = \relative g' {
  \clef "treble"

  % verse
  g4 g g |
  b4 b b |

  % refrain
  R2*2 |
}

SoloLyrics = \lyricmode {
  One two three |
  four five six |
}

SopranoNotes = \relative c'' {
  \clef "treble"

  % verse
  R2.*2 |

  % refrain
  c4 c |
  g4 g |
}

SopranoLyrics = \lyricmode {
  la la |
  la la |
}

BassNotes = \relative c {
  \clef "bass"

  % verse
  R2.*2 |

  % refrain
  c4 e |
  d4 d |
}

BassLyrics = \lyricmode {
  dum dum |
  dum dum |
}

\score {
  <<
    \new Voice = "SoloVoice" << \global \SoloNotes >>
    \new Lyrics \lyricsto "SoloVoice" \SoloLyrics

    \new ChoirStaff <<
      \new Voice = "SopranoVoice" << \global \SopranoNotes >>
      \new Lyrics \lyricsto "SopranoVoice" \SopranoLyrics

      \new Voice = "BassVoice" << \global \BassNotes >>
      \new Lyrics \lyricsto "BassVoice" \BassLyrics
    >>
  >>
  \layout {
    ragged-right = ##t
    \context { \Staff
      % these lines prevent empty staves from being printed
      \RemoveEmptyStaves
      \override VerticalAxisGroup #'remove-first = ##t
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Vocal ensemble template

Here is a standard four-part SATB vocal score. With larger ensembles, it is often useful to include a section which is included in all parts. For example, the time signature and key signature are almost always the same for all parts. Like in the “Hymn” template, the four voices are regrouped on only two staves.

\paper {
  top-system-spacing #'basic-distance = #10
  score-system-spacing #'basic-distance = #20
  system-system-spacing #'basic-distance = #20
  last-bottom-spacing #'basic-distance = #10
}

global = {
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
}

sopMusic = \relative c'' {
  c4 c c8[( b)] c4
}
sopWords = \lyricmode {
  hi hi hi hi
}

altoMusic = \relative c' {
  e4 f d e
}
altoWords = \lyricmode {
  ha ha ha ha
}

tenorMusic = \relative c' {
  g4 a f g
}
tenorWords = \lyricmode {
  hu hu hu hu
}

bassMusic = \relative c {
  c4 c g c
}
bassWords = \lyricmode {
  ho ho ho ho
}

\score {
  \new ChoirStaff <<
    \new Lyrics = "sopranos" \with {
      % this is needed for lyrics above a staff
      \override VerticalAxisGroup #'staff-affinity = #DOWN
    }
    \new Staff = "women" <<
      \new Voice = "sopranos" {
        \voiceOne
        << \global \sopMusic >>
      }
      \new Voice = "altos" {
        \voiceTwo
        << \global \altoMusic >>
      }
    >>
    \new Lyrics = "altos"
    \new Lyrics = "tenors" \with {
      % this is needed for lyrics above a staff
      \override VerticalAxisGroup #'staff-affinity = #DOWN
    }
    \new Staff = "men" <<
      \clef bass
      \new Voice = "tenors" {
        \voiceOne
        << \global \tenorMusic >>
      }
      \new Voice = "basses" {
        \voiceTwo << \global \bassMusic >>
      }
    >>
    \new Lyrics = "basses"
    \context Lyrics = "sopranos" \lyricsto "sopranos" \sopWords
    \context Lyrics = "altos" \lyricsto "altos" \altoWords
    \context Lyrics = "tenors" \lyricsto "tenors" \tenorWords
    \context Lyrics = "basses" \lyricsto "basses" \bassWords
  >>
}

[image of music]


Chords

Chord notation


Adding a figured bass above or below the notes

When writing a figured bass, you can place the figures above or below the bass notes, by defining the BassFigureAlignmentPositioning #'direction property (exclusively in a Staff context). Choices are #UP (or #1), #CENTER (or #0) and #DOWN (or #-1).

This property can be changed as many times as you wish. Use \once \override if you don’t want the override to apply to the whole score.

bass = {
  \clef bass
  g4 b, c d
  e d8 c d2
}
continuo = \figuremode {
  <_>4 <6>4 <5/>4
  \override Staff.BassFigureAlignmentPositioning #'direction = #UP
  %\bassFigureStaffAlignmentUp
  < _+ >4 <6>
  \set Staff.useBassFigureExtenders = ##t
  \override Staff.BassFigureAlignmentPositioning #'direction = #DOWN
  %\bassFigureStaffAlignmentDown
  <4>4. <4>8 <_+>4
}
\score {
  <<
    \new Staff = bassStaff \bass
    \context Staff = bassStaff \continuo
  >>
}

[image of music]


Adding bar lines to ChordNames context

To add bar line indications in the ChordNames context, add the Bar_engraver.

\new ChordNames \with {
  \override BarLine #'bar-extent = #'(-2 . 2)
  \consists "Bar_engraver"
}
\chordmode {
  f1:maj7 f:7 bes:7
}

[image of music]


Avoiding collisions with chord fingerings

Fingerings and string numbers applied to individual notes will automatically avoid beams and stems, but this is not true by default for fingerings and string numbers applied to the individual notes of chords. The following example shows how this default behavior can be overridden.

\relative c' {
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(up)
  \set stringNumberOrientations = #'(up)
  \set strokeFingerOrientations = #'(up)

  % Default behavior
  r8
  <f c'-5>8
  <f c'\5>8
  <f c'-\rightHandFinger #2 >8

  % Corrected to avoid collisions
  r8
  \override Fingering #'add-stem-support = ##t
  <f c'-5>8
  \override StringNumber #'add-stem-support = ##t
  <f c'\5>8
  \override StrokeFinger #'add-stem-support = ##t
  <f c'-\rightHandFinger #2 >8
}

[image of music]


Bar chords notation for Guitar (with Text Spanner)

Here is how to print bar chords, or half-bar chords (just uncomment the appropriate line for to select either one).

The syntax is \bbarre #"fret number" { notes } .

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
%% %%%%%%%  Cut here ----- Start 'bbarred.ly'

%% C with slash -------------------------------
cWithSlash = \markup {
  \combine \roman C \translate #'(0.6 . -0.4) \draw-line #'(0 . 2.0)
}
%% Span -----------------------------------
%% Syntax: \bbarre #"text" { notes } - text = any number of box
bbarre =
#(define-music-function (barre location str music) (string? ly:music?)
   (let ((elts (extract-named-music music '(NoteEvent EventChord))))
     (if (pair? elts)
         (let ((first-element (first elts))
               (last-element (last elts)))
           (set! (ly:music-property first-element 'articulations)
                 (cons (make-music 'TextSpanEvent 'span-direction -1)
                       (ly:music-property first-element 'articulations)))
           (set! (ly:music-property last-element 'articulations)
                 (cons (make-music 'TextSpanEvent 'span-direction 1)
                       (ly:music-property last-element 'articulations))))))
   #{
       \once \override TextSpanner #'font-size = #-2
       \once \override TextSpanner #'font-shape = #'upright
       \once \override TextSpanner #'staff-padding = #3
       \once \override TextSpanner #'style = #'line
       \once \override TextSpanner #'to-barline = ##f
       \once \override TextSpanner #'bound-details =
            #`((left
                (text . ,#{ \markup { \draw-line #'( 0 . -.5) } #})
                (Y . 0)
                (padding . 0.25)
                (attach-dir . -2))
               (right
                (text . ,#{ \markup { \cWithSlash #str } #})
                (Y . 0)
                (padding . 0.25)
                (attach-dir . 2)))
%% uncomment this line for make full barred
       % \once  \override TextSpanner #'bound-details #'left #'text =  \markup { "B" #str }
       $music
   #})

%% %%%%%%%  Cut here ----- End 'bbarred.ly'
%% Copy and change the last line for full barred. Rename in 'fbarred.ly'
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

%% Syntaxe: \bbarre #"text" { notes } - text = any number of box
\relative c'{ \clef "G_8" \stemUp \bbarre #"III" { <f a'>16[  c' d c d8] } }

[image of music]


Changing chord separator

The separator between different parts of a chord name can be set to any markup.

\chords {
  c:7sus4
  \set chordNameSeparator
    = \markup { \typewriter | }
  c:7sus4
}

[image of music]


Changing the chord names to German or semi-German notation

The english naming of chords (default) can be changed to german (\germanChords replaces B and Bes with H and B) or semi-german (\semiGermanChords replaces B and Bes with H and Bb).

music = \chordmode {
  c1/c | cis/cis
  b1/b | bis/bis | bes/bes
}

%% The following is only here to print the names of the
%% chords styles; it can be removed if you do not need to
%% print them.

\layout {
  \context {
    \ChordNames
    \consists "Instrument_name_engraver"
  }
}

<<
  \new ChordNames {
    \set ChordNames.instrumentName = #"default"
    \music
  }
  \new ChordNames {
    \set ChordNames.instrumentName = #"german"
    \germanChords \music }
  \new ChordNames {
    \set ChordNames.instrumentName = #"semi-german"
    \semiGermanChords \music }
  \context Voice { \music }
>>

[image of music]


Changing the positions of figured bass alterations

Accidentals and plus signs can appear before or after the numbers, depending on the figuredBassAlterationDirection and figuredBassPlusDirection properties.

\figures {
  <6\+> <5+> <6 4-> r
  \set figuredBassAlterationDirection = #RIGHT
  <6\+> <5+> <6 4-> r
  \set figuredBassPlusDirection = #RIGHT
  <6\+> <5+> <6 4-> r
  \set figuredBassAlterationDirection = #LEFT
  <6\+> <5+> <6 4-> r
}

[image of music]


Chord name exceptions

The property chordNameExceptions can be used to store a list of special notations for specific chords.

% modify maj9 and 6(add9)
% Exception music is chords with markups
chExceptionMusic = {
  <c e g b d'>1-\markup { \super "maj9" }
  <c e g a d'>1-\markup { \super "6(add9)" }
}

% Convert music to list and prepend to existing exceptions.
chExceptions = #( append
  ( sequential-music-to-chord-exceptions chExceptionMusic #t)
  ignatzekExceptions)

theMusic = \chordmode {
  g1:maj9 g1:6.9
  \set chordNameExceptions = #chExceptions
  g1:maj9 g1:6.9
}

\layout {
  ragged-right = ##t
}

<< \context ChordNames \theMusic
   \context Voice \theMusic
>>

[image of music]


chord name major7

The layout of the major 7 can be tuned with majorSevenSymbol.

\chords {
  c:7+
  \set majorSevenSymbol = \markup { j7 }
  c:7+
}

[image of music]


Clusters

Clusters are a device to denote that a complete range of notes is to be played.

fragment = \relative c' {
  c4 f <e d'>4
  <g a>8 <e a> a4 c2 <d b>4
  e2 c
}

<<
  \new Staff \fragment
  \new Staff \makeClusters \fragment
>>

[image of music]


Controlling the placement of chord fingerings

The placement of fingering numbers can be controlled precisely. For fingering orientation to apply, you must use a chord construct <> even if it is a single note.

\relative c' {
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(left)
  <c-1 e-3 a-5>4
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(down)
  <c-1 e-3 a-5>4
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(down right up)
  <c-1 e-3 a-5>4
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(up)
  <c-1 e-3 a-5>4
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(left)
  <c-1>2
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(down)
  <e-3>2
}

[image of music]


Cross-staff chords - beaming problems workaround

Sometimes it is better to use stems from the upper staff for creating cross-staff chords, because no problems with automatic beam collision avoidance then arise. If the stems from the lower staff were used in the following example, it would be necessary to change the automatic beam collision avoidance settings so that it doesn’t detect collisions between staves using \override Staff.Beam #'collision-voice-only = ##t

\new PianoStaff <<
  \new Staff = up
    \relative c' {
      <<
        { r4
          \override Stem #'cross-staff = ##t
          \override Stem #'length = #19 % this is in half-spaces,
              % so it makes stems 9.5 staffspaces long
          \override Stem #'Y-offset = #-6 % stems are normally lengthened
              % upwards, so here we must lower the stem by the amount
              % equal to the lengthening - in this case (19 - 7) / 2
              % (7 is default stem length)
          e e e }
        { s4
          \change Staff = "bottom"
          \override NoteColumn #'ignore-collision = ##t
          c, c c
        }
      >>
    }
  \new Staff = bottom
    \relative c' {
      \clef bass
      \voiceOne
      g8 a g a g a g a
    }
>>

[image of music]


Displaying complex chords

Here is a way to display a chord where the same note is played twice with different accidentals.

fixA = {
  \once \override Stem #'length = #9
}
fixB = {
  \once \override NoteHead #'X-offset = #1.7
  \once \override Stem #'rotation = #'(45 0 0)
  \once \override Stem #'extra-offset = #'(-0.2 . -0.2)
  \once \override Flag #'style = #'no-flag
  \once \override Accidental #'extra-offset = #'(4 . 0)
}

\relative c' {
  << { \fixA <b d!>8 } \\ { \voiceThree \fixB dis } >> s
}

[image of music]


Manually break figured bass extenders for only some numbers

Figured bass often uses extenders to indicate continuation of the corresponding step. However, in this case lilypond is in greedy-mode and uses extenders whenever possible. To break individual extenders, one can simply use a modifier \! to a number, which breaks any extender attributed to that number right before the number.

bassfigures = \figuremode {
  \set useBassFigureExtenders = ##t
  <6 4>4 <6 4\!> <6 4\!> <6 4\!> |  <6\! 4\!>  <6 4> <6 4\!> <6 4>
}

<<
  \new Staff \relative c'' { c1 c1 }
  \new FiguredBass \bassfigures
>>

[image of music]


Showing chords at changes

Chord names can be displayed only at the start of lines and when the chord changes.

harmonies = \chordmode {
  c1:m c:m \break c:m c:m d
}
<<
  \new ChordNames {
    \set chordChanges = ##t
    \harmonies
  }
  \new Staff {
    \relative c' { \harmonies }
  }
>>

[image of music]


Simple lead sheet

When put together, chord names, a melody, and lyrics form a lead sheet:

<<
  \chords { c2 g:sus4 f e }
  \relative c'' {
    a4 e c8 e r4
    b2 c4( d)
  }
  \addlyrics { One day this shall be free __ }
>>

[image of music]


Single staff template with notes lyrics and chords

This template allows the preparation of a song with melody, words, and chords.

melody = \relative c' {
  \clef treble
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4

  a4 b c d
}

text = \lyricmode {
  Aaa Bee Cee Dee
}

harmonies = \chordmode {
  a2 c
}

\score {
  <<
    \new ChordNames {
      \set chordChanges = ##t
      \harmonies
    }
    \new Voice = "one" { \autoBeamOff \melody }
    \new Lyrics \lyricsto "one" \text
  >>
  \layout { }
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


Single staff template with notes lyrics chords and frets

Here is a simple lead sheet template with melody, lyrics, chords and fret diagrams.

verseI = \lyricmode {
  \set stanza = #"1."
  This is the first verse
}

verseII = \lyricmode {
  \set stanza = #"2."
  This is the second verse.
}

theChords = \chordmode {
  % insert chords for chordnames and fretboards here
  c2 g4 c
}

staffMelody = \relative c' {
   \key c \major
   \clef treble
   % Type notes for melody here
   c4 d8 e f4 g
   \bar "|."
}

\score {
  <<
    \context ChordNames { \theChords }
    \context FretBoards { \theChords }
    \new Staff {
      \context Voice = "voiceMelody" { \staffMelody }
    }
    \new Lyrics = "lyricsI" {
      \lyricsto "voiceMelody" \verseI
    }
    \new Lyrics = "lyricsII" {
      \lyricsto "voiceMelody" \verseII
    }
  >>
  \layout { }
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


Single staff template with notes and chords

Want to prepare a lead sheet with a melody and chords? Look no further!

melody = \relative c' {
  \clef treble
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4

  f4 e8[ c] d4 g
  a2 ~ a
}

harmonies = \chordmode {
  c4:m f:min7 g:maj c:aug
  d2:dim b:sus
}

\score {
  <<
    \new ChordNames {
      \set chordChanges = ##t
      \harmonies
    }
    \new Staff \melody
  >>
  \layout{ }
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


Vertically centering paired figured bass extenders

Where figured bass extender lines are being used by setting useBassFigureExtenders to true, pairs of congruent figured bass extender lines are vertically centered if figuredBassCenterContinuations is set to true.

<<
  \relative c' {
    c8 c b b a a c16 c b b
    c8 c b b a a c16 c b b
    c8 c b b a a c c b b
  }
  \figures {
    \set useBassFigureExtenders = ##t
    <6+ 4 3>4 <6 4 3>8 r
    <6+ 4 3>4 <6 4 3>8 <4 3+>16 r
    \set figuredBassCenterContinuations = ##t
    <6+ 4 3>4 <6 4 3>8 r
    <6+ 4 3>4 <6 4 3>8 <4 3+>16 r
    \set figuredBassCenterContinuations = ##f
    <6+ 4 3>4 <6 4 3>8 r
    <6+ 4 3>4 <6 4 3>8 <4 3+>8
  }
>>

[image of music]


Volta below chords

By adding the Volta_engraver to the relevant staff, volte can be put under chords.

\score {
  <<
    \chords {
      c1
      c1
    }
    \new Staff \with {
      \consists "Volta_engraver"
    }
    {
      \repeat volta 2 { c'1 }
      \alternative { c' }
    }
  >>
  \layout {
    \context {
      \Score
      \remove "Volta_engraver"
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Keyboards

Keyboard and other multi-staff instruments


Accordion-discant symbols

Accordion discant-specific symbols are added using \markup. The vertical placement of the symbols can be tweaked by changing the \raise arguments.

discant = \markup {
  \musicglyph #"accordion.discant"
}
dot = \markup {
  \musicglyph #"accordion.dot"
}

\layout { ragged-right = ##t }

% 16 voets register
accBasson = ^\markup {
  \combine
  \discant
  \raise #0.5 \dot
}

% een korig 8 en 16 voets register
accBandon = ^\markup {
  \combine
    \discant
    \combine
      \raise #0.5 \dot
      \raise #1.5 \dot
}

accVCello = ^\markup {
  \combine
    \discant
    \combine
      \raise #0.5 \dot
      \combine
        \raise #1.5 \dot
        \translate #'(1 . 0) \raise #1.5 \dot
}

% 4-8-16 voets register
accHarmon = ^\markup {
  \combine
    \discant
    \combine
      \raise #0.5 \dot
      \combine
        \raise #1.5 \dot
        \raise #2.5 \dot
}

accTrombon = ^\markup {
  \combine
    \discant
    \combine
      \raise #0.5 \dot
      \combine
        \raise #1.5 \dot
        \combine
          \translate #'(1 . 0) \raise #1.5 \dot
          \translate #'(-1 . 0) \raise #1.5 \dot
}

% eenkorig 4 en 16 voets register
accOrgan = ^\markup {
  \combine
    \discant
    \combine
      \raise #0.5 \dot
      \raise #2.5 \dot
}

accMaster = ^\markup {
  \combine
    \discant
    \combine
      \raise #0.5 \dot
      \combine
        \raise #1.5 \dot
        \combine
          \translate #'(1 . 0) \raise #1.5 \dot
          \combine
            \translate #'(-1 . 0) \raise #1.5 \dot
            \raise #2.5 \dot
}

accAccord = ^\markup {
  \combine
    \discant
    \combine
      \raise #1.5 \dot
      \combine
        \translate #'(1 . 0) \raise #1.5 \dot
        \combine
          \translate #'(-1 . 0) \raise #1.5 \dot
          \raise #2.5 \dot
}

accMusette = ^\markup {
  \combine
    \discant
    \combine
      \raise #1.5 \dot
      \combine
        \translate #'(1 . 0) \raise #1.5 \dot
        \translate #'(-1 . 0) \raise #1.5 \dot
}

accCeleste = ^\markup {
  \combine
    \discant
    \combine
      \raise #1.5 \dot
      \translate #'(-1 . 0) \raise #1.5 \dot
}

accOboe = ^\markup {
  \combine
    \discant
    \combine
      \raise #1.5 \dot
      \raise #2.5 \dot
}

accClarin = ^\markup {
  \combine
    \discant
    \raise #1.5 \dot
}

accPiccolo = ^\markup {
    \combine
       \discant
       \raise #2.5 \dot
}

accViolin = ^\markup {
  \combine
    \discant
    \combine
      \raise #1.5 \dot
      \combine
        \translate #'(1 . 0) \raise #1.5 \dot
        \raise #2.5 \dot
}

\relative c'' {
  c4 d\accBasson e f
  c4 d\accBandon e f
  c4 d\accVCello e f
  c4 d\accHarmon e f
  c4 d\accTrombon e f
  \break
  c4 d\accOrgan e f
  c4 d\accMaster e f
  c4 d\accAccord e f
  c4 d\accMusette e f
  c4 d\accCeleste e f
  \break
  c4 d\accOboe e f
  c4 d\accClarin e f
  c4 d\accPiccolo e f
  c4 d\accViolin e f
}

[image of music]


Changing the text for sustain markings

Staff.pedalSustainStrings can be used to set the text used for pedal down and up. Note that the only valid strings are those found in the list of pedal glyphs - the values used this snippet constitute an exhaustive list.

sustainNotes = { c4\sustainOn d e\sustainOff\sustainOn f\sustainOff }

\relative c' {
  \sustainNotes
  \set Staff.pedalSustainStrings = #'("P" "P-" "-")
  \sustainNotes
  \set Staff.pedalSustainStrings = #'("d" "de" "e")
  \sustainNotes
  \set Staff.pedalSustainStrings = #'("M" "M-" "-")
  \sustainNotes
  \set Staff.pedalSustainStrings = #'("Ped" "*Ped" "*")
  \sustainNotes
}

[image of music]


Clusters

Clusters are a device to denote that a complete range of notes is to be played.

fragment = \relative c' {
  c4 f <e d'>4
  <g a>8 <e a> a4 c2 <d b>4
  e2 c
}

<<
  \new Staff \fragment
  \new Staff \makeClusters \fragment
>>

[image of music]


Controlling the placement of chord fingerings

The placement of fingering numbers can be controlled precisely. For fingering orientation to apply, you must use a chord construct <> even if it is a single note.

\relative c' {
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(left)
  <c-1 e-3 a-5>4
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(down)
  <c-1 e-3 a-5>4
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(down right up)
  <c-1 e-3 a-5>4
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(up)
  <c-1 e-3 a-5>4
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(left)
  <c-1>2
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(down)
  <e-3>2
}

[image of music]


Creating slurs across voices

In some situations, it may be necessary to create slurs between notes from different voices.

The solution is to add invisible notes to one of the voices, using \hideNotes.

This example is measure 235 of the Ciaconna from Bach’s 2nd Partita for solo violin, BWV 1004.

\relative c' {
  <<
    {
      d16( a') s a s a[ s a] s a[ s a]
    }
    \\
    {
      \slurUp
      bes,16[ s e](
      \hideNotes a)
      \unHideNotes f[(
      \hideNotes a)
      \unHideNotes fis](
      \hideNotes a)
      \unHideNotes g[(
      \hideNotes a)
      \unHideNotes gis](
      \hideNotes a)
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Cross-staff chords - beaming problems workaround

Sometimes it is better to use stems from the upper staff for creating cross-staff chords, because no problems with automatic beam collision avoidance then arise. If the stems from the lower staff were used in the following example, it would be necessary to change the automatic beam collision avoidance settings so that it doesn’t detect collisions between staves using \override Staff.Beam #'collision-voice-only = ##t

\new PianoStaff <<
  \new Staff = up
    \relative c' {
      <<
        { r4
          \override Stem #'cross-staff = ##t
          \override Stem #'length = #19 % this is in half-spaces,
              % so it makes stems 9.5 staffspaces long
          \override Stem #'Y-offset = #-6 % stems are normally lengthened
              % upwards, so here we must lower the stem by the amount
              % equal to the lengthening - in this case (19 - 7) / 2
              % (7 is default stem length)
          e e e }
        { s4
          \change Staff = "bottom"
          \override NoteColumn #'ignore-collision = ##t
          c, c c
        }
      >>
    }
  \new Staff = bottom
    \relative c' {
      \clef bass
      \voiceOne
      g8 a g a g a g a
    }
>>

[image of music]


Cross-staff tremolos

Since \repeat tremolo expects exactly two musical arguments for chord tremolos, the note or chord which changes staff within a cross-staff tremolo should be placed inside curly braces together with its \change Staff command.

\new PianoStaff <<
  \new Staff = "up" \relative c'' {
    \key a \major
    \time 3/8
    s4.
  }
  \new Staff = "down" \relative c'' {
    \key a \major
    \time 3/8
    \voiceOne
    \repeat tremolo 6 {
      <a e'>32
      {
        \change Staff = "up"
        \voiceTwo
        <cis a' dis>32
      }
    }
  }
>>

[image of music]


Fine-tuning pedal brackets

The appearance of pedal brackets may be altered in different ways.

\paper { ragged-right = ##f }
\relative c'' {
  c2\sostenutoOn c
  c2\sostenutoOff c
  \once \override Staff.PianoPedalBracket #'shorten-pair = #'(-7 . -2)
  c2\sostenutoOn c
  c2\sostenutoOff c
  \once \override Staff.PianoPedalBracket #'edge-height = #'(0 . 3)
  c2\sostenutoOn c
  c2\sostenutoOff c
}

[image of music]


Indicating cross-staff chords with arpeggio bracket

An arpeggio bracket can indicate that notes on two different staves are to be played with the same hand. In order to do this, the PianoStaff must be set to accept cross-staff arpeggios and the arpeggios must be set to the bracket shape in the PianoStaff context.

(Debussy, Les collines d’Anacapri, m. 65)

\new PianoStaff <<
  \set PianoStaff.connectArpeggios = ##t
  \override PianoStaff.Arpeggio #'stencil = #ly:arpeggio::brew-chord-bracket
  \new Staff {
    \relative c' {
      \key b \major
      \time 6/8
      b8-.(\arpeggio fis'-.\> cis-. e-. gis-. b-.)\!\fermata^\laissezVibrer
      \bar "||"
    }
  }
  \new Staff {
    \relative c' {
      \clef bass
      \key b \major
      <<
        {
          <a e cis>2.\arpeggio
        }
        \\
        {
          <a, e a,>2.
        }
      >>
    }
  }
>>

[image of music]


Jazz combo template

This is quite an advanced template, for a jazz ensemble. Note that all instruments are notated in \key c \major. This refers to the key in concert pitch; the key will be automatically transposed if the music is within a \transpose section.

\header {
  title = "Song"
  subtitle = "(tune)"
  composer = "Me"
  meter = "moderato"
  piece = "Swing"
  tagline = \markup {
    \column {
      "LilyPond example file by Amelie Zapf,"
      "Berlin 07/07/2003"
    }
  }
}

%#(set-global-staff-size 16)
\include "english.ly"

%%%%%%%%%%%% Some macros %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

sl = {
  \override NoteHead #'style = #'slash
  \override Stem #'transparent = ##t
  \override Flag #'transparent = ##t
}
nsl = {
  \revert NoteHead #'style
  \revert Stem #'transparent
  \revert Flag #'transparent
}
crOn = \override NoteHead #'style = #'cross
crOff = \revert NoteHead #'style

%% insert chord name style stuff here.

jazzChords = { }

%%%%%%%%%%%% Keys'n'thangs %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

global = { \time 4/4 }

Key = { \key c \major }

% ############ Horns ############

% ------ Trumpet ------
trpt = \transpose c d \relative c'' {
  \Key
  c1 | c | c |
}
trpHarmony = \transpose c' d {
  \jazzChords
}
trumpet = {
  \global
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Trumpet"
  \clef treble
  <<
    \trpt
  >>
}

% ------ Alto Saxophone ------
alto = \transpose c a \relative c' {
  \Key
  c1 | c | c |
}
altoHarmony = \transpose c' a {
  \jazzChords
}
altoSax = {
  \global
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Alto Sax"
  \clef treble
  <<
    \alto
  >>
}

% ------ Baritone Saxophone ------
bari = \transpose c a' \relative c {
  \Key
  c1
  c1
  \sl
  d4^"Solo" d d d
  \nsl
}
bariHarmony = \transpose c' a \chordmode {
  \jazzChords s1 s d2:maj e:m7
}
bariSax = {
  \global
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Bari Sax"
  \clef treble
  <<
    \bari
  >>
}

% ------ Trombone ------
tbone = \relative c {
  \Key
  c1 | c | c
}
tboneHarmony = \chordmode {
  \jazzChords
}
trombone = {
  \global
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Trombone"
  \clef bass
  <<
    \tbone
  >>
}

% ############ Rhythm Section #############

% ------ Guitar ------
gtr = \relative c'' {
  \Key
  c1
  \sl
  b4 b b b
  \nsl
  c1
}
gtrHarmony = \chordmode {
  \jazzChords
  s1 c2:min7+ d2:maj9
}
guitar = {
  \global
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Guitar"
  \clef treble
  <<
    \gtr
  >>
}

%% ------ Piano ------
rhUpper = \relative c'' {
  \voiceOne
  \Key
  c1 | c | c
}
rhLower = \relative c' {
  \voiceTwo
  \Key
  e1 | e | e
}

lhUpper = \relative c' {
  \voiceOne
  \Key
  g1 | g | g
}
lhLower = \relative c {
  \voiceTwo
  \Key
  c1 | c | c
}

PianoRH = {
  \clef treble
  \global
  \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"acoustic grand"
  <<
    \new Voice = "one" \rhUpper
    \new Voice = "two" \rhLower
  >>
}
PianoLH = {
  \clef bass
  \global
  \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"acoustic grand"
  <<
    \new Voice = "one" \lhUpper
    \new Voice = "two" \lhLower
  >>
}

piano = {
  <<
    \set PianoStaff.instrumentName = #"Piano"
    \new Staff = "upper" \PianoRH
    \new Staff = "lower" \PianoLH
  >>
}

% ------ Bass Guitar ------
Bass = \relative c {
  \Key
  c1 | c | c
}
bass = {
  \global
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Bass"
  \clef bass
  <<
    \Bass
  >>
}

% ------ Drums ------
up = \drummode {
  \voiceOne
  hh4 <hh sn> hh <hh sn>
  hh4 <hh sn> hh <hh sn>
  hh4 <hh sn> hh <hh sn>
}
down = \drummode {
  \voiceTwo
  bd4 s bd s
  bd4 s bd s
  bd4 s bd s
}

drumContents = {
  \global
  <<
    \set DrumStaff.instrumentName = #"Drums"
    \new DrumVoice \up
    \new DrumVoice \down
  >>
}

%%%%%%%%% It All Goes Together Here %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

\score {
  <<
    \new StaffGroup = "horns" <<
      \new Staff = "trumpet" \trumpet
      \new Staff = "altosax" \altoSax
      \new ChordNames = "barichords" \bariHarmony
      \new Staff = "barisax" \bariSax
      \new Staff = "trombone" \trombone
    >>

    \new StaffGroup = "rhythm" <<
      \new ChordNames = "chords" \gtrHarmony
      \new Staff = "guitar" \guitar
      \new PianoStaff = "piano" \piano
      \new Staff = "bass" \bass
      \new DrumStaff \drumContents
    >>
  >>
  \layout {
    \context { \Staff \RemoveEmptyStaves }
    \context {
      \Score
      \override BarNumber #'padding = #3
      \override RehearsalMark #'padding = #2
      skipBars = ##t
    }
  }
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


Laissez vibrer ties

Laissez vibrer ties have a fixed size. Their formatting can be tuned using 'tie-configuration.

\relative c' {
  <c e g>4\laissezVibrer r <c f g>\laissezVibrer r
  <c d f g>4\laissezVibrer r <c d f g>4.\laissezVibrer r8

  <c d e f>4\laissezVibrer r
  \override LaissezVibrerTieColumn #'tie-configuration
     = #`((-7 . ,DOWN)
          (-5 . ,DOWN)
          (-3 . ,UP)
          (-1 . ,UP))
  <c d e f>4\laissezVibrer r
}

[image of music]


Piano template (simple)

Here is a simple piano staff with some notes.

upper = \relative c'' {
  \clef treble
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4

  a4 b c d
}

lower = \relative c {
  \clef bass
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4

  a2 c
}

\score {
  \new PianoStaff <<
    \set PianoStaff.instrumentName = #"Piano  "
    \new Staff = "upper" \upper
    \new Staff = "lower" \lower
  >>
  \layout { }
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


Piano template with centered lyrics

Instead of having a full staff for the melody and lyrics, lyrics can be centered between the staves of a piano staff.

upper = \relative c'' {
  \clef treble
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4

  a4 b c d
}

lower = \relative c {
  \clef bass
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4

  a2 c
}

text = \lyricmode {
  Aaa Bee Cee Dee
}

\score {
  \new GrandStaff <<
    \new Staff = upper { \new Voice = "singer" \upper }
    \new Lyrics \lyricsto "singer" \text
    \new Staff = lower { \lower }
  >>
  \layout {
    \context {
      \GrandStaff
      \accepts "Lyrics"
    }
    \context {
      \Lyrics
      \consists "Bar_engraver"
    }
  }
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


Piano template with melody and lyrics

Here is a typical song format: one staff with the melody and lyrics, with piano accompaniment underneath.

melody = \relative c'' {
  \clef treble
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4

  a b c d
}

text = \lyricmode {
  Aaa Bee Cee Dee
}

upper = \relative c'' {
  \clef treble
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4

  a4 b c d
}

lower = \relative c {
  \clef bass
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4

  a2 c
}

\score {
  <<
    \new Voice = "mel" { \autoBeamOff \melody }
    \new Lyrics \lyricsto mel \text
    \new PianoStaff <<
      \new Staff = "upper" \upper
      \new Staff = "lower" \lower
    >>
  >>
  \layout {
    \context { \Staff \RemoveEmptyStaves }
  }
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


Using autochange with more than one voice

Using autochange with more than one voice.

\score
{
  \new PianoStaff
  <<
    \new Staff = "up" {
      <<
        \set Timing.beamExceptions = #'()
        \set Timing.beatStructure = #'(4)
        \new Voice {
          \voiceOne
          \autochange
          \relative c' {
            g8 a b c d e f g
            g,8 a b c d e f g
          }
        }

        \new Voice {
          \voiceTwo
          \autochange
          \relative c' {
            g8 a b c d e f g
            g,,8 a b c d e f g
          }
        }
      >>
    }

    \new Staff = "down" {
      \clef bass
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Vocal ensemble template with automatic piano reduction

This template adds an automatic piano reduction to the standard SATB vocal score demonstrated in “Vocal ensemble template”. This demonstrates one of the strengths of LilyPond – you can use a music definition more than once. If any changes are made to the vocal notes (say, tenorMusic), then the changes will also apply to the piano reduction.

\paper {
  top-system-spacing #'basic-distance = #10
  score-system-spacing #'basic-distance = #20
  system-system-spacing #'basic-distance = #20
  last-bottom-spacing #'basic-distance = #10
}

global = {
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
}

sopMusic = \relative c'' {
  c4 c c8[( b)] c4
}
sopWords = \lyricmode {
  hi hi hi hi
}

altoMusic = \relative c' {
  e4 f d e
}
altoWords =\lyricmode {
  ha ha ha ha
}

tenorMusic = \relative c' {
  g4 a f g
}
tenorWords = \lyricmode {
  hu hu hu hu
}

bassMusic = \relative c {
  c4 c g c
}
bassWords = \lyricmode {
  ho ho ho ho
}

\score {
  <<
    \new ChoirStaff <<
      \new Lyrics = "sopranos" \with {
        % This is needed for lyrics above a staff
        \override VerticalAxisGroup #'staff-affinity = #DOWN
      }
      \new Staff = "women" <<
        \new Voice = "sopranos" { \voiceOne << \global \sopMusic >> }
        \new Voice = "altos" { \voiceTwo << \global \altoMusic >> }
      >>
      \new Lyrics = "altos"
      \new Lyrics = "tenors" \with {
        % This is needed for lyrics above a staff
        \override VerticalAxisGroup #'staff-affinity = #DOWN
      }

      \new Staff = "men" <<
        \clef bass
        \new Voice = "tenors" { \voiceOne << \global \tenorMusic >> }
        \new Voice = "basses" { \voiceTwo << \global \bassMusic >> }
      >>
      \new Lyrics = "basses"
      \context Lyrics = "sopranos" \lyricsto "sopranos" \sopWords
      \context Lyrics = "altos" \lyricsto "altos" \altoWords
      \context Lyrics = "tenors" \lyricsto "tenors" \tenorWords
      \context Lyrics = "basses" \lyricsto "basses" \bassWords
    >>
    \new PianoStaff <<
      \new Staff <<
        \set Staff.printPartCombineTexts = ##f
        \partcombine
        << \global \sopMusic >>
        << \global \altoMusic >>
      >>
      \new Staff <<
        \clef bass
        \set Staff.printPartCombineTexts = ##f
        \partcombine
        << \global \tenorMusic >>
        << \global \bassMusic >>
      >>
    >>
  >>
}

[image of music]


Percussion

Percussion


Adding drum parts

Using the powerful pre-configured tools such as the \drummode function and the DrumStaff context, inputting drum parts is quite easy: drums are placed at their own staff positions (with a special clef symbol) and have note heads according to the drum. Attaching an extra symbol to the drum or restricting the number of lines is possible.

drh = \drummode { cymc4.^"crash" hhc16^"h.h." hh hhc8 hho hhc8 hh16 hh hhc4 r4 r2 }
drl = \drummode { bd4 sn8 bd bd4 << bd ss >>  bd8 tommh tommh bd toml toml bd tomfh16 tomfh }
timb = \drummode { timh4 ssh timl8 ssh r timh r4 ssh8 timl r4 cb8 cb }

\score {
  <<
    \new DrumStaff \with {
      drumStyleTable = #timbales-style
      \override StaffSymbol #'line-count = #2
      \override BarLine #'bar-extent = #'(-1 . 1)
    } <<
      \set Staff.instrumentName = #"timbales"
      \timb
    >>
    \new DrumStaff <<
      \set Staff.instrumentName = #"drums"
      \new DrumVoice { \stemUp \drh }
      \new DrumVoice { \stemDown \drl }
    >>
  >>
  \layout { }
  \midi {
    \tempo 4 = 120
  }
}

[image of music]


Heavily customized polymetric time signatures

Though the polymetric time signature shown was not the most essential item here, it has been included to show the beat of this piece (which is the template of a real Balkan song!).

#(define plus (markup #:vcenter "+"))
#(define ((custom-time-signature one two three four five six
                                 seven eight nine ten eleven num) grob)
   (grob-interpret-markup grob
                          (markup #:override '(baseline-skip . 0) #:number
                                  (#:line ((#:column (one num)) plus
                                           (#:column (two num)) plus
                                           (#:column (three num)) plus
                                           (#:column (four num)) plus
                                           (#:column (five num)) plus
                                           (#:column (six num)) plus
                                           (#:column (seven num)) plus
                                           (#:column (eight num)) plus
                                           (#:column (nine num)) plus
                                           (#:column (ten num)) plus
                                           (#:column (eleven num)))))))
melody = \relative c'' {
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Bb Sop."
  \key g \major
  \time #'(3 2 2 3 2 2 2 2 3 2 2) 25/8
  \override Staff.TimeSignature #'stencil =
    #(custom-time-signature "3" "2" "2" "3" "2" "2"
      "2" "2" "3" "2" "2" "8")
  c8 c c d4 c8 c b c b a4 g fis8 e d c b' c d e4-^ fis8 g \break
  c,4. d4 c4 d4. c4 d c2 d4. e4-^ d4
  c4. d4 c4 d4. c4 d c2 d4. e4-^ d4 \break
  c4. d4 c4 d4. c4 d c2 d4. e4-^ d4
  c4. d4 c4 d4. c4 d c2 d4. e4-^ d4 \break
}

drum = \new DrumStaff \drummode {
  \bar "|:" bd4.^\markup { Drums } sn4 bd \bar ":" sn4.
  bd4 sn \bar ":" bd sn bd4. sn4 bd \bar ":|"
}

{
  \melody
  \drum
}

[image of music]


Jazz combo template

This is quite an advanced template, for a jazz ensemble. Note that all instruments are notated in \key c \major. This refers to the key in concert pitch; the key will be automatically transposed if the music is within a \transpose section.

\header {
  title = "Song"
  subtitle = "(tune)"
  composer = "Me"
  meter = "moderato"
  piece = "Swing"
  tagline = \markup {
    \column {
      "LilyPond example file by Amelie Zapf,"
      "Berlin 07/07/2003"
    }
  }
}

%#(set-global-staff-size 16)
\include "english.ly"

%%%%%%%%%%%% Some macros %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

sl = {
  \override NoteHead #'style = #'slash
  \override Stem #'transparent = ##t
  \override Flag #'transparent = ##t
}
nsl = {
  \revert NoteHead #'style
  \revert Stem #'transparent
  \revert Flag #'transparent
}
crOn = \override NoteHead #'style = #'cross
crOff = \revert NoteHead #'style

%% insert chord name style stuff here.

jazzChords = { }

%%%%%%%%%%%% Keys'n'thangs %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

global = { \time 4/4 }

Key = { \key c \major }

% ############ Horns ############

% ------ Trumpet ------
trpt = \transpose c d \relative c'' {
  \Key
  c1 | c | c |
}
trpHarmony = \transpose c' d {
  \jazzChords
}
trumpet = {
  \global
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Trumpet"
  \clef treble
  <<
    \trpt
  >>
}

% ------ Alto Saxophone ------
alto = \transpose c a \relative c' {
  \Key
  c1 | c | c |
}
altoHarmony = \transpose c' a {
  \jazzChords
}
altoSax = {
  \global
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Alto Sax"
  \clef treble
  <<
    \alto
  >>
}

% ------ Baritone Saxophone ------
bari = \transpose c a' \relative c {
  \Key
  c1
  c1
  \sl
  d4^"Solo" d d d
  \nsl
}
bariHarmony = \transpose c' a \chordmode {
  \jazzChords s1 s d2:maj e:m7
}
bariSax = {
  \global
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Bari Sax"
  \clef treble
  <<
    \bari
  >>
}

% ------ Trombone ------
tbone = \relative c {
  \Key
  c1 | c | c
}
tboneHarmony = \chordmode {
  \jazzChords
}
trombone = {
  \global
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Trombone"
  \clef bass
  <<
    \tbone
  >>
}

% ############ Rhythm Section #############

% ------ Guitar ------
gtr = \relative c'' {
  \Key
  c1
  \sl
  b4 b b b
  \nsl
  c1
}
gtrHarmony = \chordmode {
  \jazzChords
  s1 c2:min7+ d2:maj9
}
guitar = {
  \global
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Guitar"
  \clef treble
  <<
    \gtr
  >>
}

%% ------ Piano ------
rhUpper = \relative c'' {
  \voiceOne
  \Key
  c1 | c | c
}
rhLower = \relative c' {
  \voiceTwo
  \Key
  e1 | e | e
}

lhUpper = \relative c' {
  \voiceOne
  \Key
  g1 | g | g
}
lhLower = \relative c {
  \voiceTwo
  \Key
  c1 | c | c
}

PianoRH = {
  \clef treble
  \global
  \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"acoustic grand"
  <<
    \new Voice = "one" \rhUpper
    \new Voice = "two" \rhLower
  >>
}
PianoLH = {
  \clef bass
  \global
  \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"acoustic grand"
  <<
    \new Voice = "one" \lhUpper
    \new Voice = "two" \lhLower
  >>
}

piano = {
  <<
    \set PianoStaff.instrumentName = #"Piano"
    \new Staff = "upper" \PianoRH
    \new Staff = "lower" \PianoLH
  >>
}

% ------ Bass Guitar ------
Bass = \relative c {
  \Key
  c1 | c | c
}
bass = {
  \global
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Bass"
  \clef bass
  <<
    \Bass
  >>
}

% ------ Drums ------
up = \drummode {
  \voiceOne
  hh4 <hh sn> hh <hh sn>
  hh4 <hh sn> hh <hh sn>
  hh4 <hh sn> hh <hh sn>
}
down = \drummode {
  \voiceTwo
  bd4 s bd s
  bd4 s bd s
  bd4 s bd s
}

drumContents = {
  \global
  <<
    \set DrumStaff.instrumentName = #"Drums"
    \new DrumVoice \up
    \new DrumVoice \down
  >>
}

%%%%%%%%% It All Goes Together Here %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

\score {
  <<
    \new StaffGroup = "horns" <<
      \new Staff = "trumpet" \trumpet
      \new Staff = "altosax" \altoSax
      \new ChordNames = "barichords" \bariHarmony
      \new Staff = "barisax" \bariSax
      \new Staff = "trombone" \trombone
    >>

    \new StaffGroup = "rhythm" <<
      \new ChordNames = "chords" \gtrHarmony
      \new Staff = "guitar" \guitar
      \new PianoStaff = "piano" \piano
      \new Staff = "bass" \bass
      \new DrumStaff \drumContents
    >>
  >>
  \layout {
    \context { \Staff \RemoveEmptyStaves }
    \context {
      \Score
      \override BarNumber #'padding = #3
      \override RehearsalMark #'padding = #2
      skipBars = ##t
    }
  }
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


Percussion beaters

Graphic symbols for percussion instruments are not natively supported; however it is possible to include such symbols, either as an external EPS file or as embedded PostScript code inside a markup, as demonstrated in this example.

stick = \markup {
  \with-dimensions #'(0 . 5) #'(0 . 5)
  \postscript #"
    0 6 translate
    0.8 -0.8 scale
    0 0 0 setrgbcolor
    [] 0 setdash
    1 setlinewidth
    0 setlinejoin
    0 setlinecap
    gsave [1 0 0 1 0 0] concat
    gsave [1 0 0 1 -3.5406095 -199.29342] concat
    gsave
    0 0 0 setrgbcolor
    newpath
    7.1434065 200.94354 moveto
    7.2109628 200.90454 7.2785188 200.86554 7.3460747 200.82654 curveto
    8.2056347 202.31535 9.0651946 203.80414 9.9247546 205.29295 curveto
    9.8571989 205.33195 9.7896429 205.37095 9.7220864 205.40996 curveto
    8.8625264 203.92115 8.0029664 202.43233 7.1434065 200.94354 curveto
    closepath
    eofill
    grestore
    gsave
    0 0 0 setrgbcolor
    newpath
    4.9646672 203.10444 moveto
    5.0036707 203.03688 5.0426744 202.96933 5.0816777 202.90176 curveto
    6.5704792 203.76133 8.0592809 204.6209 9.5480824 205.48045 curveto
    9.5090791 205.54801 9.4700754 205.61556 9.4310717 205.68311 curveto
    7.94227 204.82356 6.4534687 203.96399 4.9646672 203.10444 curveto
    closepath
    eofill
    grestore
    gsave
    <<
    /ShadingType 3
    /ColorSpace /DeviceRGB
    /Coords [113.13708 207.87465 0 113.13708 207.87465 16.162441]
    /Extend [true true]
    /Domain [0 1]
    /Function <<
    /FunctionType 3
    /Functions
    [
    <<
    /FunctionType 2
    /Domain [0 1]
    /C0 [1 1 1]
    /C1 [0.72941178 0.72941178 0.72941178]
    /N 1
    >>
    ]
    /Domain [0 1]
    /Bounds [ ]
    /Encode [ 0 1 ]
    >>
    >>
    newpath
    7.6422017 200.76488 moveto
    7.6505696 201.02554 7.3905363 201.24867 7.1341335 201.20075 curveto
    6.8759501 201.16916 6.6949602 200.87978 6.7801462 200.63381 curveto
    6.8480773 200.39155 7.1438307 200.25377 7.3728389 200.35861 curveto
    7.5332399 200.42458 7.6444521 200.59122 7.6422017 200.76488 curveto
    closepath
    clip
    gsave [0.052859054 0.063089841 -0.020912282 0.017521108 5.7334261 189.76443] concat
    shfill
    grestore
    grestore
    0 0 0 setrgbcolor
    [] 0 setdash
    0.027282091 setlinewidth
    0 setlinejoin
    0 setlinecap
    newpath
    7.6422017 200.76488 moveto
    7.6505696 201.02554 7.3905363 201.24867 7.1341335 201.20075 curveto
    6.8759501 201.16916 6.6949602 200.87978 6.7801462 200.63381 curveto
    6.8480773 200.39155 7.1438307 200.25377 7.3728389 200.35861 curveto
    7.5332399 200.42458 7.6444521 200.59122 7.6422017 200.76488 curveto
    closepath
    stroke
    gsave
    <<
    /ShadingType 3
    /ColorSpace /DeviceRGB
    /Coords [113.13708 207.87465 0 113.13708 207.87465 16.162441]
    /Extend [true true]
    /Domain [0 1]
    /Function <<
    /FunctionType 3
    /Functions
    [
    <<
    /FunctionType 2
    /Domain [0 1]
    /C0 [1 1 1]
    /C1 [0.72941178 0.72941178 0.72941178]
    /N 1
    >>
    ]
    /Domain [0 1]
    /Bounds [ ]
    /Encode [ 0 1 ]
    >>
    >>
    newpath
    5.2721217 202.83181 moveto
    5.2804896 203.09247 5.0204563 203.3156 4.7640539 203.26768 curveto
    4.5058701 203.23609 4.3248803 202.94671 4.4100662 202.70074 curveto
    4.4779975 202.45848 4.7737511 202.3207 5.0027593 202.42554 curveto
    5.1631598 202.49149 5.2743721 202.65813 5.2721217 202.83181 curveto
    closepath
    clip
    gsave [0.052859054 0.063089841 -0.020912282 0.017521108 3.363346 191.83136] concat
    shfill
    grestore
    grestore
    0 0 0 setrgbcolor
    [] 0 setdash
    0.027282091 setlinewidth
    0 setlinejoin
    0 setlinecap
    newpath
    5.2721217 202.83181 moveto
    5.2804896 203.09247 5.0204563 203.3156 4.7640539 203.26768 curveto
    4.5058701 203.23609 4.3248803 202.94671 4.4100662 202.70074 curveto
    4.4779975 202.45848 4.7737511 202.3207 5.0027593 202.42554 curveto
    5.1631598 202.49149 5.2743721 202.65813 5.2721217 202.83181 curveto
    closepath
    stroke
    grestore
    grestore
  "
}

\score {
  b1^\stick
}

[image of music]


Printing music with different time signatures

In the following snippet, two parts have a completely different time signature, yet remain synchronized. The bar lines can no longer be printed at the Score level; to allow independent bar lines in each part, the Default_barline_engraver and Timing_translator are moved from the Score context to the Staff context.

If bar numbers are required, the Bar_number_engraver should also be moved, since it relies on properties set by the Timing_translator; a \with block can be used to add bar numbers to the relevant staff.

\paper {
  indent = #0
  ragged-right = ##t
}

global = { \time 3/4 { s2.*3 } \bar "" \break { s2.*3 } }

\layout {
  \context {
    \Score
    \remove "Timing_translator"
    \remove "Default_bar_line_engraver"
    \remove "Bar_number_engraver"
    \override SpacingSpanner #'uniform-stretching = ##t
    \override SpacingSpanner #'strict-note-spacing = ##t
    proportionalNotationDuration = #(ly:make-moment 1 64)
  }
  \context {
    \Staff
    \consists "Timing_translator"
    \consists "Default_bar_line_engraver"
  }
  \context {
    \Voice
    \remove "Forbid_line_break_engraver"
    tupletFullLength = ##t
  }
}

Bassklarinette = \new Staff \with {
  \consists "Bar_number_engraver"
  barNumberVisibility = #(every-nth-bar-number-visible 2)
  \override BarNumber #'break-visibility = #end-of-line-invisible
} <<
  \global {
    \bar "|"
    \clef treble
    \time 3/8
    d''4.

    \bar "|"
    \time 3/4
    r8 des''2( c''8)

    \bar "|"
    \time 7/8
    r4. ees''2 ~

    \bar "|"
    \time 2/4
    \tupletUp
    \times 2/3 { ees''4 r4 d''4 ~ }

    \bar "|"
    \time 3/8
    \tupletUp
    \times 3/4 { d''4 r4 }

    \bar "|"
    \time 2/4
    e''2

    \bar "|"
    \time 3/8
    es''4.

    \bar "|"
    \time 3/4
    r8 d''2 r8
    \bar "|"
  }
>>

Perkussion = \new StaffGroup <<
  \new Staff <<
    \global {
      \bar "|"
      \clef percussion
      \time 3/4
      r4 c'2 ~

      \bar "|"
      c'2.

      \bar "|"
      R2.

      \bar "|"
      r2 g'4 ~

      \bar "|"
      g'2. ~

      \bar "|"
      g'2.
    }
  >>
  \new Staff <<
    \global {
      \bar "|"
      \clef percussion
      \time 3/4
      R2.

      \bar "|"
      g'2. ~

      \bar "|"
      g'2.

      \bar "|"
      r4 g'2 ~

      \bar "|"
      g'2 r4

      \bar "|"
      g'2.
    }
  >>
>>

\score {
  <<
    \Bassklarinette
    \Perkussion
  >>
}

[image of music]


Fretted strings

Fretted string instruments


Adding fingerings to a score

Fingering instructions can be entered using a simple syntax.

\relative c'' {
  c4-1 d-2 f-4 e-3
}

[image of music]


Adding fingerings to tablatures

To add fingerings to tablatures, use a combination of \markup and \finger.

one = \markup { \finger 1 }
two = \markup { \finger 2 }
threeTwo = \markup {
  \override #'(baseline-skip . 2)
  \column {
    \finger 3
    \finger 2
  }
}
threeFour = \markup {
  \override #'(baseline-skip . 2)
  \column {
    \finger 3
    \finger 4
  }
}

\score {
  \new TabStaff {
    \tabFullNotation
    \stemUp
    e8\4^\one b\2 <g\3 e'\1>^>[ b\2 e\4]
    <a\3 fis'\1>^>^\threeTwo[ b\2 e\4]
  }
}

[image of music]


Allowing fingerings to be printed inside the staff

By default, vertically oriented fingerings are positioned outside the staff. However, this behavior can be canceled. Note: you must use a chord construct <>, even if it is only a single note.

\relative c' {
  <c-1 e-2 g-3 b-5>2
  \override Fingering #'staff-padding = #'()
  <c-1 e-2 g-3 b-5>4 <g'-0>
}

[image of music]


Bar chords notation for Guitar (with Text Spanner)

Here is how to print bar chords, or half-bar chords (just uncomment the appropriate line for to select either one).

The syntax is \bbarre #"fret number" { notes } .

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
%% %%%%%%%  Cut here ----- Start 'bbarred.ly'

%% C with slash -------------------------------
cWithSlash = \markup {
  \combine \roman C \translate #'(0.6 . -0.4) \draw-line #'(0 . 2.0)
}
%% Span -----------------------------------
%% Syntax: \bbarre #"text" { notes } - text = any number of box
bbarre =
#(define-music-function (barre location str music) (string? ly:music?)
   (let ((elts (extract-named-music music '(NoteEvent EventChord))))
     (if (pair? elts)
         (let ((first-element (first elts))
               (last-element (last elts)))
           (set! (ly:music-property first-element 'articulations)
                 (cons (make-music 'TextSpanEvent 'span-direction -1)
                       (ly:music-property first-element 'articulations)))
           (set! (ly:music-property last-element 'articulations)
                 (cons (make-music 'TextSpanEvent 'span-direction 1)
                       (ly:music-property last-element 'articulations))))))
   #{
       \once \override TextSpanner #'font-size = #-2
       \once \override TextSpanner #'font-shape = #'upright
       \once \override TextSpanner #'staff-padding = #3
       \once \override TextSpanner #'style = #'line
       \once \override TextSpanner #'to-barline = ##f
       \once \override TextSpanner #'bound-details =
            #`((left
                (text . ,#{ \markup { \draw-line #'( 0 . -.5) } #})
                (Y . 0)
                (padding . 0.25)
                (attach-dir . -2))
               (right
                (text . ,#{ \markup { \cWithSlash #str } #})
                (Y . 0)
                (padding . 0.25)
                (attach-dir . 2)))
%% uncomment this line for make full barred
       % \once  \override TextSpanner #'bound-details #'left #'text =  \markup { "B" #str }
       $music
   #})

%% %%%%%%%  Cut here ----- End 'bbarred.ly'
%% Copy and change the last line for full barred. Rename in 'fbarred.ly'
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

%% Syntaxe: \bbarre #"text" { notes } - text = any number of box
\relative c'{ \clef "G_8" \stemUp \bbarre #"III" { <f a'>16[  c' d c d8] } }

[image of music]


Changing fret orientations

Fret diagrams can be oriented in three ways. By default the top string or fret in the different orientations will be aligned.

\include "predefined-guitar-fretboards.ly"

<<
  \chords {
    c1
    c1
    c1
  }
  \new FretBoards {
    \chordmode {
      c1
      \override FretBoard #'(fret-diagram-details orientation) =
        #'landscape
      c1
      \override FretBoard #'(fret-diagram-details orientation) =
        #'opposing-landscape
      c1
    }
  }
  \new Voice {
    c'1
    c'1
    c'
  }
>>

[image of music]


Chord glissando in tablature

Slides for chords can be indicated in both Staff and TabStaff. String numbers are necessary for TabStaff because automatic string calculations are different for chords and for single notes.

myMusic = \relative c' {
  <c\3 e\2 g\1>1 \glissando <f\3 a\2 c\1>
}

\score {
  <<
    \new Staff {
      \clef "treble_8"
      \myMusic
    }
    \new TabStaff {
      \myMusic
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]


ChordChanges for FretBoards

FretBoards can be set to display only when the chord changes or at the beginning of a new line.

\include "predefined-guitar-fretboards.ly"

myChords = \chordmode {
  c1 c1 \break
  \set chordChanges = ##t
  c1 c1 \break
  c1 c1
}

<<
  \new ChordNames { \myChords }
  \new FretBoards { \myChords }
  \new Staff { \myChords }
>>

[image of music]


Controlling the placement of chord fingerings

The placement of fingering numbers can be controlled precisely. For fingering orientation to apply, you must use a chord construct <> even if it is a single note.

\relative c' {
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(left)
  <c-1 e-3 a-5>4
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(down)
  <c-1 e-3 a-5>4
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(down right up)
  <c-1 e-3 a-5>4
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(up)
  <c-1 e-3 a-5>4
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(left)
  <c-1>2
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(down)
  <e-3>2
}

[image of music]


Customizing fretboard fret diagrams

Fret diagram properties can be set through 'fret-diagram-details. For FretBoard fret diagrams, overrides are applied to the FretBoards.FretBoard object. Like Voice, FretBoards is a bottom level context, therefore can be omitted in property overrides.

\include "predefined-guitar-fretboards.ly"
\storePredefinedDiagram #default-fret-table \chordmode { c' }
                        #guitar-tuning
                        #"x;1-1-(;3-2;3-3;3-4;1-1-);"
<<
  \new ChordNames {
    \chordmode { c1 | c | c | d }
  }
  \new FretBoards {
    % Set global properties of fret diagram
    \override FretBoards.FretBoard #'size = #'1.2
    \override FretBoard
      #'(fret-diagram-details finger-code) = #'in-dot
    \override FretBoard
      #'(fret-diagram-details dot-color) = #'white
    \chordmode {
      c
      \once \override FretBoard #'size = #'1.0
      \once \override FretBoard
        #'(fret-diagram-details barre-type) = #'straight
      \once \override FretBoard
        #'(fret-diagram-details dot-color) = #'black
      \once \override FretBoard
        #'(fret-diagram-details finger-code) = #'below-string
      c'
      \once \override FretBoard
        #'(fret-diagram-details barre-type) = #'none
      \once \override FretBoard
        #'(fret-diagram-details number-type) = #'arabic
      \once \override FretBoard
        #'(fret-diagram-details orientation) = #'landscape
      \once \override FretBoard
        #'(fret-diagram-details mute-string) = #"M"
      \once \override FretBoard
        #'(fret-diagram-details label-dir) = #LEFT
      \once \override FretBoard
        #'(fret-diagram-details dot-color) = #'black
      c'
      \once \override FretBoard
        #'(fret-diagram-details finger-code) = #'below-string
      \once \override FretBoard
        #'(fret-diagram-details dot-radius) = #0.35
      \once \override FretBoard
        #'(fret-diagram-details dot-position) = #0.5
      \once \override FretBoard
        #'(fret-diagram-details fret-count) = #3
      d
    }
  }
  \new Voice {
    c'1 | c' | c' | d'
  }
>>

[image of music]


Customizing markup fret diagrams

Fret diagram properties can be set through 'fret-diagram-details. For markup fret diagrams, overrides can be applied to the Voice.TextScript object or directly to the markup.

<<
  \chords { c1 | c | c | d }

  \new Voice = "mel" {
    \textLengthOn
    % Set global properties of fret diagram
    \override TextScript #'size = #'1.2
    \override TextScript
      #'(fret-diagram-details finger-code) = #'in-dot
    \override TextScript
      #'(fret-diagram-details dot-color) = #'white

    %% C major for guitar, no barre, using defaults
       % terse style
    c'1^\markup { \fret-diagram-terse #"x;3-3;2-2;o;1-1;o;" }

    %% C major for guitar, barred on third fret
       % verbose style
       % size 1.0
       % roman fret label, finger labels below string, straight barre
    c'1^\markup {
      % standard size
      \override #'(size . 1.0) {
        \override #'(fret-diagram-details . (
                     (number-type . roman-lower)
                     (finger-code . in-dot)
                     (barre-type . straight))) {
          \fret-diagram-verbose #'((mute 6)
                                   (place-fret 5 3 1)
                                   (place-fret 4 5 2)
                                   (place-fret 3 5 3)
                                   (place-fret 2 5 4)
                                   (place-fret 1 3 1)
                                   (barre 5 1 3))
        }
      }
    }

    %% C major for guitar, barred on third fret
       % verbose style
       % landscape orientation, arabic numbers, M for mute string
       % no barre, fret label down or left, small mute label font
    c'1^\markup {
      \override #'(fret-diagram-details . (
                   (finger-code . below-string)
                   (number-type . arabic)
                   (label-dir . -1)
                   (mute-string . "M")
                   (orientation . landscape)
                   (barre-type . none)
                   (xo-font-magnification . 0.4)
                   (xo-padding . 0.3))) {
        \fret-diagram-verbose #'((mute 6)
                                 (place-fret 5 3 1)
                                 (place-fret 4 5 2)
                                 (place-fret 3 5 3)
                                 (place-fret 2 5 4)
                                 (place-fret 1 3 1)
                                 (barre 5 1 3))
      }
    }

    %% simple D chord
       % terse style
       % larger dots, centered dots, fewer frets
       % label below string
    d'1^\markup {
      \override #'(fret-diagram-details . (
                   (finger-code . below-string)
                   (dot-radius . 0.35)
                   (dot-position . 0.5)
                   (fret-count . 3))) {
        \fret-diagram-terse #"x;x;o;2-1;3-2;2-3;"
      }
    }
  }
>>

[image of music]


Defining predefined fretboards for other instruments

Predefined fret diagrams can be added for new instruments in addition to the standards used for guitar. This file shows how this is done by defining a new string-tuning and a few predefined fretboards for the Venezuelan cuatro.

This file also shows how fingerings can be included in the chords used as reference points for the chord lookup, and displayed in the fret diagram and the TabStaff, but not the music.

These fretboards are not transposable because they contain string information. This is planned to be corrected in the future.

% add FretBoards for the Cuatro
%   Note: This section could be put into a separate file
%      predefined-cuatro-fretboards.ly
%      and \included into each of your compositions

cuatroTuning = #`(,(ly:make-pitch 0 6 0)
                  ,(ly:make-pitch 1 3 SHARP)
		  ,(ly:make-pitch 1 1 0)
		  ,(ly:make-pitch 0 5 0))

dSix = { <a\4 b\1 d\3 fis\2> }
dMajor = { <a\4 d\1 d\3 fis \2> }
aMajSeven = { <a\4 cis\1 e\3 g\2> }
dMajSeven = { <a\4 c\1 d\3 fis\2> }
gMajor = { <b\4 b\1 d\3 g\2> }

\storePredefinedDiagram #default-fret-table \dSix
                        #cuatroTuning
                        #"o;o;o;o;"
\storePredefinedDiagram #default-fret-table \dMajor
                        #cuatroTuning
                        #"o;o;o;3-3;"
\storePredefinedDiagram #default-fret-table \aMajSeven
                        #cuatroTuning
                        #"o;2-2;1-1;2-3;"
\storePredefinedDiagram #default-fret-table \dMajSeven
                        #cuatroTuning
                        #"o;o;o;1-1;"
\storePredefinedDiagram #default-fret-table \gMajor
                        #cuatroTuning
                        #"2-2;o;1-1;o;"

% end of potential include file /predefined-cuatro-fretboards.ly


#(set-global-staff-size 16)

primerosNames = \chordmode {
  d:6 d a:maj7 d:maj7
  g
}
primeros = {
  \dSix \dMajor \aMajSeven \dMajSeven
  \gMajor
}

\score {
  <<
    \new ChordNames {
      \set chordChanges = ##t
      \primerosNames
    }

    \new Staff {
      \new Voice \with {
        \remove "New_fingering_engraver"
      }
      \relative c'' {
        \primeros
      }
    }

    \new FretBoards {
      \set Staff.stringTunings = #cuatroTuning
%      \override FretBoard
%        #'(fret-diagram-details string-count) = #'4
      \override FretBoard
        #'(fret-diagram-details finger-code) = #'in-dot
      \primeros
    }

    \new TabStaff \relative c'' {
      \set TabStaff.stringTunings = #cuatroTuning
      \primeros
    }

  >>

  \layout {
    \context {
      \Score
      \override SpacingSpanner
        #'base-shortest-duration = #(ly:make-moment 1 16)
    }
  }
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


Faking a hammer in tablatures

A hammer in tablature can be faked with slurs.

\score {
  \new TabStaff {
    \relative c'' {
      \tabFullNotation
      c4( d) d( d)
      d2( c)
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Fingerings string indications and right-hand fingerings

This example combines left-hand fingering, string indications, and right-hand fingering.

#(define RH rightHandFinger)

\relative c {
  \clef "treble_8"
  <c-3\5-\RH #1 >4
  <e-2\4-\RH #2 >4
  <g-0\3-\RH #3 >4
  <c-1\2-\RH #4 >4
}

[image of music]


Flamenco notation

For flamenco guitar, special notation is used:

* a golpe symbol to indicate a slap on the guitar body with the nail of the ring finger * an arrow to indicate (the direction of) strokes * different letters for fingering (“p”: thumb, “i”: index finger, “m”: middle finger, “a”: ring finger and “x”: little finger) * 3- and 4-finger rasgueados; stroke upwards with all fingers, ending with an up- and down using the index finger * abanicos: strokes (in tuples) with thumb (down), little and index finger (both up). There’s also an abanico 2 where middle and ring finger are used instead of the little finger. * alza pua: fast playing with the thumb

Most figures use arrows in combination with fingering; with abanicos and rasgueados, noteheads are printed only for the first chord.

This snippet contains some header-like code that can be copied as ‘flamenco.ly’ and included in source files.

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
%%%%%%%  Cut here ----- Start 'flamenco.ly'

% Text indicators
abanico = \markup { \italic Abanico }
rasgueaso = \markup { \italic Ras. }
alzapua = \markup { \italic Alzapua }

% Finger stroke symbols
strokeUp = \markup { \postscript #"
  0.1     setlinewidth
  0.5 0   moveto
  0.5 2   lineto
  0.2 1.4 lineto
  0.5 2   moveto
  0.8 1.4 lineto
  stroke
"}

strokeDown = \markup { \postscript #"
  0.1     setlinewidth
  0.5 2   moveto
  0.5 0   lineto
  0.2 0.6 lineto
  0.5 0   moveto
  0.8 0.6 lineto
  stroke
"}

% Golpe symbol
golpe = \markup { \postscript #"
  0.2 setlinewidth
  0 0 moveto
  1 0 lineto
  1 1 lineto
  stroke
  "\postscript #"
  0.1       setlinewidth
  -0.6 -0.1  moveto
  -0.6  1.0 lineto
  0.5  1.0 lineto
  stroke
"}

strokeUpGolpe = \markup { \column { \golpe \line { \strokeUp } } }
iUpGolpe = \markup { \column { \golpe \line { \small i } \line { \strokeUp } } }

% Strokes for all fingers
pUp   = \markup { \column { \small p \line { \strokeUp } } }
pDown = \markup { \column { \small p \line { \strokeDown } } }
iUp   = \markup { \column { \small i \line { \strokeUp } } }
iDown = \markup { \column { \small i \line { \strokeDown } } }
mUp   = \markup { \column { \small m \line { \strokeUp } } }
mDown = \markup { \column { \small m \line { \strokeDown } } }
aUp   = \markup { \column { \small a \line { \strokeUp } } }
aDown = \markup { \column { \small a \line { \strokeDown } } }
xUp   = \markup { \column { \small x \line { \strokeUp } } }
xDown = \markup { \column { \small x \line { \strokeDown } } }


% Just handy :)
tupletOff = {
  \once \override TupletNumber #'stencil = ##f
  \once \override TupletBracket #'stencil = ##f
}

tupletsOff = {
  \override TupletNumber #'stencil = ##f
  \override TupletBracket #'bracket-visibility = #'if-no-beam
}

tupletsOn = {
  \override TupletBracket #'bracket-visibility = #'default
  \revert TupletNumber #'stencil
}

headsOff = {
  \override TabNoteHead #'transparent = ##t
  \override NoteHead #'transparent = ##t
  \override NoteHead #'no-ledgers = ##t
}

headsOn = {
  \override TabNoteHead #'transparent = ##f
  \override NoteHead #'transparent = ##f
  \override NoteHead #'no-ledgers = ##f
}

%%%%%%%  Cut here ----- End 'flamenco.ly'
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

part = \relative c' {
  <a, e' a cis e>8^\iUp
  <a e' a cis e>8^\iDown
  r4
  r2^\golpe

  <a e' a cis e>8^\iUp
  <a e' a cis e>8^\iDown
  <a e' a cis e>8^\iUpGolpe
  <a e' a cis e>8^\iDown
  r2

  <a e' a cis e>16^\aUp
  \headsOff
  <a e' a cis e>^\mUp
  <a e' a cis e>^\iUp
  <a e' a cis e>^\iDown~
  \headsOn
  <a e' a cis e>2
  r4

  \tupletOff
  \times 4/5 {
    <a e' a cis e>16^\xUp
    \headsOff
    <a e' a cis e>^\aUp
    <a e' a cis e>^\mUp
    <a e' a cis e>^\iUp
    <a e' a cis e>^\iDown~
    \headsOn
  }
  <a e' a cis e>2
  r4

  \tupletsOff
  \times 2/3 {
    <a e' a cis e>8^\pDown
    \headsOff
    <a e' a cis e>^\xUp
    <a e' a cis e>^\iUp
    \headsOn
  }

  \times 2/3 {
    <a e' a cis e>8^\pDown
    \headsOff
    <a e' a cis e>^\xUp
    <a e' a cis e>^\iUp
    \headsOn
  }

  \times 2/3 {
    <a e' a cis e>8^\pDown
    \headsOff
    <a e' a cis e>^\xUp
    <a e' a cis e>^\iUp
    \headsOn
  }
  \times 2/3 {
    <a e' a cis e>8^\pDown
    \headsOff
    <a e' a cis e>^\xUp
    <a e' a cis e>^\iUp
    \headsOn
  }

  \tupletsOff
  \override Beam #'positions = #'(2 . 2)
  \times 2/3 {
    a8^\markup{ \small p }
    <e' a>^\strokeUpGolpe
    <e a>^\strokeDown
  }
  \times 2/3 {
    a,8^\markup{ \small p }
    <e' a>^\strokeUpGolpe
    <e a>^\strokeDown
  }
  \times 2/3 {
    a,8^\markup{ \small p }
    <e' a>^\strokeUpGolpe
    <e a>^\strokeDown
  }
  \times 2/3 {
    a,8^\markup{ \small p }
    <e' a>^\strokeUpGolpe
    <e a>^\strokeDown
  }
  \tupletsOn

  \once \override TextScript #'extra-offset = #'(0 . -1)
  <g, b f'>1_\golpe^\mUp
  \bar "|."
}

\score {
  \new StaffGroup <<
    \context Staff = "part" <<
      \clef G
      \transpose c c'
      {
        \part
      }
    >>
    \context TabStaff {
      \part
    }
  >>
  \layout {
    ragged-right = ##t
  }
}

[image of music]


Fret diagrams explained and developed

This snippet shows many possibilities for obtaining and tweaking fret diagrams.

<<
  \chords {
    a2 a
    \repeat unfold 3 {
      c c c d d
    }
  }

  \new Voice = "mel" {
    \textLengthOn
    % Set global properties of fret diagram
    \override TextScript #'size = #1.2
    \override TextScript
      #'fret-diagram-details #'finger-code = #'below-string
    \override TextScript #'fret-diagram-details #'dot-color = #'black

    %% A chord for ukulele
    a'2^\markup {
      \override #'(fret-diagram-details . (
                   (string-count . 4)
                   (dot-color . white)
                   (finger-code . in-dot))) {
        \fret-diagram #"4-2-2;3-1-1;2-o;1-o;"
      }
    }

    %% A chord for ukulele, with formatting defined in definition string
    %  1.2 * size, 4 strings, 4 frets, fingerings below string
    %  dot radius .35 of fret spacing, dot position 0.55 of fret spacing
    a'2^\markup {
      \override #'(fret-diagram-details . (
                   (dot-color . white)
                   (open-string . "o"))) {
        \fret-diagram #"s:1.2;w:4;h:3;f:2;d:0.35;p:0.55;4-2-2;3-1-1;2-o;1-o;"
      }
    }

      %% These chords will be in normal orientation

    %% C major for guitar, barred on third fret
    %  verbose style
    %  roman fret label, finger labels below string, straight barre
    c'2^\markup {
      % 110% of default size
      \override #'(size . 1.1) {
        \override #'(fret-diagram-details . (
                     (number-type . roman-lower)
                     (finger-code . below-string)
                     (barre-type . straight))) {
          \fret-diagram-verbose #'((mute 6)
                                   (place-fret 5 3 1)
                                   (place-fret 4 5 2)
                                   (place-fret 3 5 3)
                                   (place-fret 2 5 4)
                                   (place-fret 1 3 1)
                                   (barre 5 1 3))
        }
      }
    }

    %% C major for guitar, barred on third fret
    %% Double barre used to test barre function
    %  verbose style
    c'2^\markup {
      % 110% of default size
      \override #'(size . 1.1) {
        \override #'(fret-diagram-details . (
                     (number-type . arabic)
                     (dot-label-font-mag . 0.9)
                     (finger-code . in-dot)
                     (fret-label-font-mag . 0.6)
                     (fret-label-vertical-offset . 0)
                     (label-dir . -1)
                     (mute-string . "M")
                     (xo-font-magnification . 0.4)
                     (xo-padding . 0.3))) {
          \fret-diagram-verbose #'((mute 6)
                                   (place-fret 5 3 1)
                                   (place-fret 4 5 2)
                                   (place-fret 3 5 3)
                                   (place-fret 2 5 4)
                                   (place-fret 1 3 1)
                                   (barre 4 2 5)
                                   (barre 5 1 3))
        }
      }
    }

    %% C major for guitar, with capo on third fret
    %  verbose style
    c'2^\markup {
      % 110% of default size
      \override #'(size . 1.1) {
        \override #'(fret-diagram-details . (
                     (number-type . roman-upper)
                     (dot-label-font-mag . 0.9)
                     (finger-code . none)
                     (fret-label-vertical-offset . 0.5)
                     (xo-font-magnification . 0.4)
                     (xo-padding . 0.3))) {
          \fret-diagram-verbose #'((mute 6)
                                   (capo 3)
                                   (open 5)
                                   (place-fret 4 5 1)
                                   (place-fret 3 5 2)
                                   (place-fret 2 5 3)
                                   (open 1))
        }
      }
    }

    %% simple D chord
    d'2^\markup {
      \override #'(fret-diagram-details . (
                   (finger-code . below-string)
                   (dot-radius . 0.35)
                   (string-thickness-factor . 0.3)
                   (dot-position . 0.5)
                   (fret-count . 3))) {
        \fret-diagram-terse #"x;x;o;2-1;3-2;2-3;"
      }
    }

    %% simple D chord, large top fret thickness
    d'2^\markup  {
      \override #'(fret-diagram-details . (
                   (finger-code . below-string)
                   (dot-radius . 0.35)
                   (dot-position . 0.5)
                   (top-fret-thickness . 7)
                   (fret-count . 3))) {
        \fret-diagram-terse #"x;x;o;2-1;3-2;2-3;"
      }
    }

      % These chords will be in landscape orientation
    \override TextScript
       #'fret-diagram-details #'orientation = #'landscape

    %% C major for guitar, barred on third fret
    %  verbose style
    %  roman fret label, finger labels below string, straight barre
    c'2^\markup {
      % 110% of default size
      \override #'(size . 1.1) {
        \override #'(fret-diagram-details . (
                     (number-type . roman-lower)
                     (finger-code . below-string)
                     (barre-type . straight))) {
          \fret-diagram-verbose #'((mute 6)
                                   (place-fret 5 3 1)
                                   (place-fret 4 5 2)
                                   (place-fret 3 5 3)
                                   (place-fret 2 5 4)
                                   (place-fret 1 3 1)
                                   (barre 5 1 3))
        }
      }
    }

    %% C major for guitar, barred on third fret
    %% Double barre used to test barre function
    %  verbose style
    c'2^\markup {
      % 110% of default size
      \override #'(size . 1.1) {
        \override #'(fret-diagram-details . (
                     (number-type . arabic)
                     (dot-label-font-mag . 0.9)
                     (finger-code . in-dot)
                     (fret-label-font-mag . 0.6)
                     (fret-label-vertical-offset . 0)
                     (label-dir . -1)
                     (mute-string . "M")
                     (xo-font-magnification . 0.4)
                     (xo-padding . 0.3))) {
          \fret-diagram-verbose #'((mute 6)
                                   (place-fret 5 3 1)
                                   (place-fret 4 5 2)
                                   (place-fret 3 5 3)
                                   (place-fret 2 5 4)
                                   (place-fret 1 3 1)
                                   (barre 4 2 5)
                                   (barre 5 1 3))
        }
      }
    }

    %% C major for guitar, with capo on third fret
    %  verbose style
    c'2^\markup {
      % 110% of default size
      \override #'(size . 1.1) {
        \override #'(fret-diagram-details . (
                     (number-type . roman-upper)
                     (dot-label-font-mag . 0.9)
                     (finger-code . none)
                     (fret-label-vertical-offset . 0.5)
                     (xo-font-magnification . 0.4)
                     (xo-padding . 0.3))) {
          \fret-diagram-verbose #'((mute 6)
                                   (capo 3)
                                   (open 5)
                                   (place-fret 4 5 1)
                                   (place-fret 3 5 2)
                                   (place-fret 2 5 3)
                                   (open 1))
        }
      }
    }

    %% simple D chord
    d'2^\markup {
      \override #'(fret-diagram-details . (
                   (finger-code . below-string)
                   (dot-radius . 0.35)
                   (dot-position . 0.5)
                   (fret-count . 3))) {
        \fret-diagram-terse #"x;x;o;2-1;3-2;2-3;"
      }
    }

    %% simple D chord, large top fret thickness
    d'2^\markup {
      \override #'(fret-diagram-details . (
                   (finger-code . below-string)
                   (dot-radius . 0.35)
                   (dot-position . 0.5)
                   (top-fret-thickness . 7)
                   (fret-count . 3))) {
        \fret-diagram-terse #"x;x;o;2-1;3-2;2-3;"
      }
    }

      % These chords will be in opposing-landscape orientation
    \override TextScript #'fret-diagram-details
                           #'orientation = #'opposing-landscape

    %% C major for guitar, barred on third fret
    %  verbose style
    %  roman fret label, finger labels below string, straight barre
    c'2^\markup {
      % 110% of default size
      \override #'(size . 1.1) {
        \override #'(fret-diagram-details . (
                     (number-type . roman-lower)
                     (finger-code . below-string)
                     (barre-type . straight))) {
          \fret-diagram-verbose #'((mute 6)
                                   (place-fret 5 3 1)
                                   (place-fret 4 5 2)
                                   (place-fret 3 5 3)
                                   (place-fret 2 5 4)
                                   (place-fret 1 3 1)
                                   (barre 5 1 3))
        }
      }
    }

    %% C major for guitar, barred on third fret
    %% Double barre used to test barre function
    %  verbose style
    c'2^\markup {
      % 110% of default size
      \override #'(size . 1.1) {
        \override #'(fret-diagram-details . (
                     (number-type . arabic)
                     (dot-label-font-mag . 0.9)
                     (finger-code . in-dot)
                     (fret-label-font-mag . 0.6)
                     (fret-label-vertical-offset . 0)
                     (label-dir . -1)
                     (mute-string . "M")
                     (xo-font-magnification . 0.4)
                     (xo-padding . 0.3))) {
          \fret-diagram-verbose #'((mute 6)
                                   (place-fret 5 3 1)
                                   (place-fret 4 5 2)
                                   (place-fret 3 5 3)
                                   (place-fret 2 5 4)
                                   (place-fret 1 3 1)
                                   (barre 4 2 5)
                                   (barre 5 1 3))
        }
      }
    }

    %% C major for guitar, with capo on third fret
    %  verbose style
    c'2^\markup {
      % 110% of default size
      \override #'(size . 1.1) {
        \override #'(fret-diagram-details . (
                     (number-type . roman-upper)
                     (dot-label-font-mag . 0.9)
                     (finger-code . none)
                     (fret-label-vertical-offset . 0.5)
                     (xo-font-magnification . 0.4)
                     (xo-padding . 0.3))) {
          \fret-diagram-verbose #'((mute 6)
                                   (capo 3)
                                   (open 5)
                                   (place-fret 4 5 1)
                                   (place-fret 3 5 2)
                                   (place-fret 2 5 3)
                                   (open 1))
        }
      }
    }

    %% simple D chord
    d'2^\markup {
      \override #'(fret-diagram-details . (
                   (finger-code . below-string)
                   (dot-radius . 0.35)
                   (dot-position . 0.5)
                   (fret-count . 3))) {
        \fret-diagram-terse #"x;x;o;2-1;3-2;2-3;"
      }
    }

    %% simple D chord, large top fret thickness
    d'2^\markup {
      \override #'(fret-diagram-details . (
                   (finger-code . below-string)
                   (dot-radius . 0.35)
                   (dot-position . 0.5)
                   (top-fret-thickness . 7)
                   (fret-count . 3))) {
        \fret-diagram-terse #"x;x;o;2-1;3-2;2-3;"
      }
    }
  }
>>

[image of music]


Fretboards alternate tables

Alternate fretboard tables can be created. These would be used in order to have alternate fretboards for a given chord.

In order to use an alternate fretboard table, the table must first be created. Fretboards are then added to the table.

The created fretboard table can be blank, or it can be copied from an existing table.

The table to be used in displaying predefined fretboards is selected by the property \predefinedDiagramTable.

\include "predefined-guitar-fretboards.ly"

% Make a blank new fretboard table
#(define custom-fretboard-table-one (make-fretboard-table))

% Make a new fretboard table as a copy of default-fret-table
#(define custom-fretboard-table-two (make-fretboard-table default-fret-table))

% Add a chord to custom-fretboard-table-one
\storePredefinedDiagram #custom-fretboard-table-one
                        \chordmode{c}
                        #guitar-tuning
                        "3-(;3;5;5;5;3-);"

% Add a chord to custom-fretboard-table-two
\storePredefinedDiagram #custom-fretboard-table-two
                        \chordmode{c}
                        #guitar-tuning
                        "x;3;5;5;5;o;"

<<
  \chords {
    c1 | d1 |
    c1 | d1 |
    c1 | d1 |
  }
  \new FretBoards {
    \chordmode {
      \set predefinedDiagramTable = #default-fret-table
      c1 | d1 |
      \set predefinedDiagramTable = #custom-fretboard-table-one
      c1 | d1 |
      \set predefinedDiagramTable = #custom-fretboard-table-two
      c1 | d1 |
    }
  }
  \new Staff {
    \clef "treble_8"
    <<
      \chordmode {
        c1 | d1 |
        c1 | d1 |
        c1 | d1 |
      }
      {
        s1_\markup "Default table" | s1 |
        s1_\markup \column {"New table" "from empty"} | s1 |
        s1_\markup \column {"New table" "from default"} | s1 |
      }
    >>
  }
>>

[image of music]


Fretted-string harmonics in tablature

Demonstrates fretted-string harmonics in tablature

pinchedHarmonics = {
   \textSpannerDown
   \override TextSpanner #'bound-details #'left #'text =
      \markup {\halign #-0.5 \teeny "PH" }
      \override TextSpanner #'style =
         #'dashed-line
   \override TextSpanner #'dash-period = #0.6
   \override TextSpanner #'bound-details #'right #'attach-dir = #1
   \override TextSpanner #'bound-details #'right #'text =
      \markup { \draw-line #'(0 . 1) }
   \override TextSpanner #'bound-details #'right #'padding = #-0.5
}

harmonics = {
  %artificial harmonics (AH)
  \textLengthOn
  <\parenthesize b b'\harmonic>4_\markup{ \teeny "AH 16" }
  <\parenthesize g g'\harmonic>4_\markup{ \teeny "AH 17" }
  <\parenthesize d' d''\harmonic>2_\markup{ \teeny "AH 19" }
  %pinched harmonics (PH)
  \pinchedHarmonics
  <a'\harmonic>2\startTextSpan
  <d''\harmonic>4
  <e'\harmonic>4\stopTextSpan
  %tapped harmonics (TH)
  <\parenthesize g\4 g'\harmonic>4_\markup{ \teeny "TH 17" }
  <\parenthesize a\4 a'\harmonic>4_\markup{ \teeny "TH 19" }
  <\parenthesize c'\3 c''\harmonic>2_\markup{ \teeny "TH 17" }
  %touch harmonics (TCH)
  a4( <e''\harmonic>2. )_\markup{ \teeny "TCH" }
}

frettedStrings = {
  %artificial harmonics (AH)
  \harmonicByFret #4 g4\3
  \harmonicByFret #5 d4\4
  \harmonicByFret #7 g2\3
  %pinched harmonics (PH)
  \harmonicByFret #7 d2\4
  \harmonicByFret #5 d4\4
  \harmonicByFret #7 a4\5
  %tapped harmonics (TH)
  \harmonicByFret #5 d4\4
  \harmonicByFret #7 d4\4
  \harmonicByFret #5 g2\3
  %touch harmonics (TCH)
  a4 \harmonicByFret #9 g2.\3
}

\score {
  <<
    \new Staff {
      \new Voice {
        \clef "treble_8"
        \harmonics
      }
    }
    \new TabStaff {
      \new TabVoice {
        \frettedStrings
      }
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Guitar slides

Unlike glissandos, slides may go from an imprecise point of the fretboard to a specific fret. A good way to do that is to add a grace hidden note before the note which is actually played, as demonstrated in the following example.

%% Hide fret number: useful to draw slide into/from a casual point of
%% the fretboard.
hideFretNumber = {
  \once \override TabNoteHead #'transparent = ##t
  \once \override NoteHead #'transparent = ##t
  \once \override Stem #'transparent = ##t
  \once \override Flag #'transparent = ##t
  \once \override NoteHead #'no-ledgers = ##t
  \once \override Glissando #'(bound-details left padding) = #0.3
}

music= \relative c' {
  \grace { \hideFretNumber d8\2 \glissando s2 } g2\2
  \grace { \hideFretNumber g8\2 \glissando s2 } d2 |

  \grace { \hideFretNumber c,8 \glissando s } f4\5^\markup \tiny { Slide into }
  \grace { \hideFretNumber f8 \glissando s } a4\4
  \grace { \hideFretNumber e'8\3 \glissando s } b4\3^\markup \tiny { Slide from }
  \grace { \hideFretNumber b'8 \glissando s2 } g4 |
}

\score {
  <<
    \new Staff {
      \clef "G_8"
      \music
    }
    \new TabStaff {
      \music
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Guitar strum rhythms

For guitar music, it is possible to show strum rhythms, along with melody notes, chord names and fret diagrams.

\include "predefined-guitar-fretboards.ly"
<<
  \new ChordNames {
    \chordmode {
      c1 | f | g | c
    }
  }
  \new FretBoards {
    \chordmode {
      c1 | f | g | c
    }
  }
  \new Voice \with {
    \consists "Pitch_squash_engraver"
  } {
    \relative c'' {
      \improvisationOn
      c4 c8 c c4 c8 c
      f4 f8 f f4 f8 f
      g4 g8 g g4 g8 g
      c4 c8 c c4 c8 c
    }
  }
  \new Voice = "melody" {
    \relative c'' {
      c2 e4 e4
      f2. r4
      g2. a4
      e4 c2.
    }
  }
  \new Lyrics {
    \lyricsto "melody" {
      This is my song.
      I like to sing.
    }
  }
>>

[image of music]


How to change fret diagram position

If you want to move the position of a fret diagram, for example, to avoid collision, or to place it between two notes, you have various possibilities:

1) modify #’padding or #’extra-offset values (as shown in the first snippet)

2) you can add an invisible voice and attach the fret diagrams to the invisible notes in that voice (as shown in the second example).

If you need to move the fret according with a rythmic position inside the bar (in the example, the third beat of the measure) the second example is better, because the fret is aligned with the third beat itself.

harmonies = \chordmode
{
  a8:13
% THE FOLLOWING IS THE COMMAND TO MOVE THE CHORD NAME
  \once \override ChordNames.ChordName #'extra-offset = #'(10 . 0)
  b8:13 s2.
% THIS LINE IS THE SECOND METHOD
    s4 s4  b4:13
}

\score
{
  <<
    \context ChordNames \harmonies
    \context Staff
    {a8^\markup { \fret-diagram  #"6-x;5-0;4-2;3-0;2-0;1-2;"  }
% THE FOLLOWING IS THE COMMAND TO MOVE THE FRET DIAGRAM
     \once \override TextScript #'extra-offset = #'(10 . 0)
     b4.~^\markup { \fret-diagram  #"6-x;5-2;4-4;3-2;2-2;1-4;"  } b4. a8\break
% HERE IS THE SECOND METHOD
     <<
       { a8 b4.~ b4. a8}
       { s4 s4 s4^\markup { \fret-diagram  #"6-x;5-2;4-4;3-2;2-2;1-4;"  }
       }
     >>
   }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Jazz combo template

This is quite an advanced template, for a jazz ensemble. Note that all instruments are notated in \key c \major. This refers to the key in concert pitch; the key will be automatically transposed if the music is within a \transpose section.

\header {
  title = "Song"
  subtitle = "(tune)"
  composer = "Me"
  meter = "moderato"
  piece = "Swing"
  tagline = \markup {
    \column {
      "LilyPond example file by Amelie Zapf,"
      "Berlin 07/07/2003"
    }
  }
}

%#(set-global-staff-size 16)
\include "english.ly"

%%%%%%%%%%%% Some macros %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

sl = {
  \override NoteHead #'style = #'slash
  \override Stem #'transparent = ##t
  \override Flag #'transparent = ##t
}
nsl = {
  \revert NoteHead #'style
  \revert Stem #'transparent
  \revert Flag #'transparent
}
crOn = \override NoteHead #'style = #'cross
crOff = \revert NoteHead #'style

%% insert chord name style stuff here.

jazzChords = { }

%%%%%%%%%%%% Keys'n'thangs %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

global = { \time 4/4 }

Key = { \key c \major }

% ############ Horns ############

% ------ Trumpet ------
trpt = \transpose c d \relative c'' {
  \Key
  c1 | c | c |
}
trpHarmony = \transpose c' d {
  \jazzChords
}
trumpet = {
  \global
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Trumpet"
  \clef treble
  <<
    \trpt
  >>
}

% ------ Alto Saxophone ------
alto = \transpose c a \relative c' {
  \Key
  c1 | c | c |
}
altoHarmony = \transpose c' a {
  \jazzChords
}
altoSax = {
  \global
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Alto Sax"
  \clef treble
  <<
    \alto
  >>
}

% ------ Baritone Saxophone ------
bari = \transpose c a' \relative c {
  \Key
  c1
  c1
  \sl
  d4^"Solo" d d d
  \nsl
}
bariHarmony = \transpose c' a \chordmode {
  \jazzChords s1 s d2:maj e:m7
}
bariSax = {
  \global
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Bari Sax"
  \clef treble
  <<
    \bari
  >>
}

% ------ Trombone ------
tbone = \relative c {
  \Key
  c1 | c | c
}
tboneHarmony = \chordmode {
  \jazzChords
}
trombone = {
  \global
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Trombone"
  \clef bass
  <<
    \tbone
  >>
}

% ############ Rhythm Section #############

% ------ Guitar ------
gtr = \relative c'' {
  \Key
  c1
  \sl
  b4 b b b
  \nsl
  c1
}
gtrHarmony = \chordmode {
  \jazzChords
  s1 c2:min7+ d2:maj9
}
guitar = {
  \global
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Guitar"
  \clef treble
  <<
    \gtr
  >>
}

%% ------ Piano ------
rhUpper = \relative c'' {
  \voiceOne
  \Key
  c1 | c | c
}
rhLower = \relative c' {
  \voiceTwo
  \Key
  e1 | e | e
}

lhUpper = \relative c' {
  \voiceOne
  \Key
  g1 | g | g
}
lhLower = \relative c {
  \voiceTwo
  \Key
  c1 | c | c
}

PianoRH = {
  \clef treble
  \global
  \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"acoustic grand"
  <<
    \new Voice = "one" \rhUpper
    \new Voice = "two" \rhLower
  >>
}
PianoLH = {
  \clef bass
  \global
  \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"acoustic grand"
  <<
    \new Voice = "one" \lhUpper
    \new Voice = "two" \lhLower
  >>
}

piano = {
  <<
    \set PianoStaff.instrumentName = #"Piano"
    \new Staff = "upper" \PianoRH
    \new Staff = "lower" \PianoLH
  >>
}

% ------ Bass Guitar ------
Bass = \relative c {
  \Key
  c1 | c | c
}
bass = {
  \global
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Bass"
  \clef bass
  <<
    \Bass
  >>
}

% ------ Drums ------
up = \drummode {
  \voiceOne
  hh4 <hh sn> hh <hh sn>
  hh4 <hh sn> hh <hh sn>
  hh4 <hh sn> hh <hh sn>
}
down = \drummode {
  \voiceTwo
  bd4 s bd s
  bd4 s bd s
  bd4 s bd s
}

drumContents = {
  \global
  <<
    \set DrumStaff.instrumentName = #"Drums"
    \new DrumVoice \up
    \new DrumVoice \down
  >>
}

%%%%%%%%% It All Goes Together Here %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

\score {
  <<
    \new StaffGroup = "horns" <<
      \new Staff = "trumpet" \trumpet
      \new Staff = "altosax" \altoSax
      \new ChordNames = "barichords" \bariHarmony
      \new Staff = "barisax" \bariSax
      \new Staff = "trombone" \trombone
    >>

    \new StaffGroup = "rhythm" <<
      \new ChordNames = "chords" \gtrHarmony
      \new Staff = "guitar" \guitar
      \new PianoStaff = "piano" \piano
      \new Staff = "bass" \bass
      \new DrumStaff \drumContents
    >>
  >>
  \layout {
    \context { \Staff \RemoveEmptyStaves }
    \context {
      \Score
      \override BarNumber #'padding = #3
      \override RehearsalMark #'padding = #2
      skipBars = ##t
    }
  }
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


Laissez vibrer ties

Laissez vibrer ties have a fixed size. Their formatting can be tuned using 'tie-configuration.

\relative c' {
  <c e g>4\laissezVibrer r <c f g>\laissezVibrer r
  <c d f g>4\laissezVibrer r <c d f g>4.\laissezVibrer r8

  <c d e f>4\laissezVibrer r
  \override LaissezVibrerTieColumn #'tie-configuration
     = #`((-7 . ,DOWN)
          (-5 . ,DOWN)
          (-3 . ,UP)
          (-1 . ,UP))
  <c d e f>4\laissezVibrer r
}

[image of music]


Letter tablature formatting

Tablature can be formatted using letters instead of numbers.

music = \relative c {
  c4 d e f
  g4 a b c
  d4 e f g
}

<<
  \new Staff {
    \clef "G_8"
    \music
  }
  \new TabStaff \with {
    tablatureFormat = #fret-letter-tablature-format
  }
  {
    \music
  }
>>

[image of music]


Open string harmonics in tablature

This snippet demonstrates open-string harmonics

openStringHarmonics = {
  %first harmonic
  \harmonicByFret #12 e,2\6_\markup{"1st harm."}
  \harmonicByRatio #1/2 e,\6
  %second harmonic
  \harmonicByFret #7 e,\6_\markup{"2nd harm. - - - -"}
  \harmonicByRatio #1/3 e,\6
  \harmonicByFret #19 e,\6
  \harmonicByRatio #2/3 e,\6
  %\harmonicByFret #19 < e,\6 a,\5 d\4 >
  %\harmonicByRatio #2/3 < e,\6 a,\5 d\4 >
  %third harmonic
  \harmonicByFret #5 e,\6_\markup{"3rd harm. - - - -"}
  \harmonicByRatio #1/4 e,\6
  \harmonicByFret #24 e,\6
  \harmonicByRatio #3/4 e,\6
  \break
  %fourth harmonic
  \harmonicByFret #4 e,\6_\markup{"4th harm. - - - - - - - - - - - - -"}
  \harmonicByRatio #1/5 e,\6
  \harmonicByFret #9 e,\6
  \harmonicByRatio #2/5 e,\6
  \harmonicByFret #16 e,\6
  \harmonicByRatio #3/5 e,\6
  %fifth harmonic
  \harmonicByFret #3 e,\6_\markup{"5th harm."}
  \harmonicByRatio #1/6 e,\6
  \break
  %sixth harmonic
  \harmonicByFret #2.7 e,\6_\markup{"6th harm."}
  \harmonicByRatio #1/7 e,\6
  %seventh harmonic
  \harmonicByFret #2.3 e,\6_\markup{"7th harm."}
  \harmonicByRatio #1/8 e,\6
  %eighth harmonic
  \harmonicByFret #2 e,\6_\markup{"8th harm."}
  \harmonicByRatio #1/9 e,\6
}

\score {
  <<
    \new Staff {
      \new Voice {
        \clef "treble_8"
        \openStringHarmonics
      }
    }
    \new TabStaff {
      \new TabVoice {
        \openStringHarmonics
      }
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Placement of right-hand fingerings

It is possible to exercise greater control over the placement of right-hand fingerings by setting a specific property, as demonstrated in the following example. Note: you must use a chord construct

#(define RH rightHandFinger)

\relative c {
  \clef "treble_8"

  \set strokeFingerOrientations = #'(up down)
  <c-\RH #1 e-\RH #2 g-\RH #3 c-\RH #4 >4

  \set strokeFingerOrientations = #'(up right down)
  <c-\RH #1 e-\RH #2 g-\RH #3 c-\RH #4 >4

  \set strokeFingerOrientations = #'(left)
  <c-\RH #1 e-\RH #2 g-\RH #3 c-\RH #4 >2
}

[image of music]


Polyphony in tablature

Polyphony is created the same way in a TabStaff as in a regular staff.

upper = \relative c' {
  \time 12/8
  \key e \minor
  \voiceOne
  r4. r8 e, fis g16 b g e e' b c b a g fis e
}

lower = \relative c {
  \key e \minor
  \voiceTwo
  r16 e d c b a g4 fis8 e fis g a b c
}

\score {
  <<
    \new StaffGroup = "tab with traditional" <<
      \new Staff = "guitar traditional" <<
        \clef "treble_8"
        \context Voice = "upper" \upper
        \context Voice = "lower" \lower
      >>
      \new TabStaff = "guitar tab" <<
        \context TabVoice = "upper" \upper
        \context TabVoice = "lower" \lower
      >>
    >>
  >>
}

[image of music]


Slides in tablature

Slides can be typeset in both Staff and TabStaff contexts:

slides = {
  c'8\3(\glissando d'8\3)
  c'8\3\glissando d'8\3
  \hideNotes
  \grace { g16\3\glissando }
  \unHideNotes
  c'4\3
  \afterGrace d'4\3\glissando {
  \stemDown \hideNotes
  g16\3 }
  \unHideNotes
}

\score {
  <<
    \new Staff { \clef "treble_8" \slides }
    \new TabStaff { \slides }
  >>
  \layout {
    \context {
      \Score
      \override Glissando #'minimum-length = #4
      \override Glissando #'springs-and-rods =
                          #ly:spanner::set-spacing-rods
      \override Glissando #'thickness = #2
    }
  }
}

[image of music]