The positions property

The positions property allows the vertical position and hence the slope of tuplets, slurs, phrasing slurs, and beams to be controlled manually.

Here’s an example in which the phrasing slur and slur collide:

\relative { a'8 \( ( a'16 ) a \) }

[image of music]

One possibility would be to move the two ends of the phrasing slur higher. We can try setting the left end to 2.5 staff spaces above the center line and the right end to 4.5 above, and LilyPond will select the phrasing slur from the candidates it has found with its end points closest to these:

\once \override PhrasingSlur.positions = #'(2.5 . 4.5)
a'8 \( ( a''16 ) a'' \)

[image of music]

This is an improvement, but why not lower the right end of the slur a little? If you try it you’ll find it can’t be done in this way. That’s because there are no candidate slurs lower than the one already selected, and in this case the positions property has no effect. However, ties, slurs and phrasing slurs can be positioned and shaped very precisely when necessary. To learn how to do this, see Modifying ties and slurs.

Here’s a further example. We see that the beams collide with the ties:

{
  \time 4/2
  <<
    \relative { c'1~ 2. e8 f }
    \\
    \relative {
      e''8 e e e
      e e e e
      f2 g
    }
  >>
  <<
    \relative { c'1~ 2. e8 f }
    \\
    \relative {
      e''8 e e e
      e e e e
      f2 g
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]

This can be resolved by manually moving both ends of the beam up from their position at 1.81 staff spaces below the center line to, say, 1:

{
  \time 4/2
  <<
    \relative { c'1~ 2. e8 f }
    \\
    \relative {
      \override Beam.positions = #'(-1 . -1)
      e''8 e e e
      e e e e
      f2 g
    }
  >>
  <<
    \relative { c'1~ 2. e8 f }
    \\
    \relative {
      e''8 e e e
      e e e e
      f2 g
      \revert Beam.positions
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]

Note that the override continues to apply in the second voice of the second measure of eighth notes, but not to any of the beams in the first voice, even those in the later second measure. As soon as the override should no longer apply it should be reverted, as shown.


LilyPond Learning Manual v2.25.17 (development-branch).