1.4.1 Omitted material

LilyPond input must be surrounded by { } marks or a ‘\relative c'' { … }’, as we saw in Working on input files. For the rest of this manual, most examples will omit this. To replicate the examples, you may copy and paste the displayed input, but you must add the ‘\relative c'' { … }’ like this:

\relative c'' {
  …example goes here…

Why omit the braces? Most examples in this manual can be inserted into the middle of a longer piece of music. For these examples, it does not make sense to add ‘\relative c'' { … }’ – you should not place a \relative inside another \relative! If we included ‘\relative c'' { … }’ around every example, you would not be able to copy a small documentation example and paste it inside a longer piece of your own. Most people want to add material to an existing piece, so we format the manual this way.

Also, remember that every LilyPond file should have a \version statement. Because the examples in the manuals are snippets, not files, the \version statement is omitted. But you should make a practice of including them in your files.

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LilyPond — Learning Manual v2.18.2 (stable-branch).