The direction property

The following example shows the default positioning of slurs in the first bar, with slurs starting on high notes positioned above the notes and those starting on low notes positioned below, followed by a bar with both slurs forced down, a bar with both slurs forced up, and finally a bar with both slurs reverted back to the default behavior.

a'4( g') c''( a') |
\override Slur.direction = #DOWN
a'4( g') c''( a') |
\override Slur.direction = #UP
a'4( g') c''( a') |
\revert Slur.direction
a'4( g') c''( a') |

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Here we have used the constants DOWN and UP. These have the values -1 and +1 respectively, and these numerical values may be used instead. The value 0 may also be used in some cases. It is simply treated as meaning UP for slurs, but for some objects it means ‘center’. There is a constant, CENTER which has the value 0.

However, these explicit overrides are not usually used, as there are simpler equivalent predefined commands available. Here is a table of the commonest. The meaning of each is stated where it is not obvious.

\arpeggioArrowDown\arpeggioArrowUp\arpeggioNormalArrow is at bottom, at top, or no arrow
\dotsDown\dotsUp\dotsNeutralDirection of movement to avoid staff lines
\phrasingSlurDown\phrasingSlurUp\phrasingSlurNeutralNote: distinct from slur commands
\textSpannerDown\textSpannerUp\textSpannerNeutralText entered as spanner is below/above staff
\tupletDown\tupletUp\tupletNeutralTuplets are below/above notes

The neutral/normal variants of these commands are implemented using \revert and these may not be preceded by \once. If you wish to limit the effect of the other commands (which are implemented using \override) to a single timestep, you can precede them with \once like you would do with explicit overrides.

Or, if just a single layout object needs to be forced up or down, the direction indicators, ^ or _, may be used:

a'4( g') c''( a') |
a'4^( g') c''_( a') |

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LilyPond — Learning Manual v2.25.8 (development-branch).