The \caesura command calls for unmetered silence: typically, a short break in sound that does not shorten the previous note.

\fixed c'' { c2. \caesura d4 }

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In chants and hymns, \caesura can serve more generally as a phrase division; for more information, see the references at the end of this section. For a break in sound that shortens the previous note, see Breath marks.

Articulations may follow \caesura to indicate the relative duration or significance of the break; these create CaesuraScript grobs.

\fixed c'' { c2. \caesura \fermata d4 }

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By default, \caesura creates a BreathingSign grob. The breath element of the caesuraType context property controls which of several predefined signs \caesura creates. See List of breath marks.

\fixed c'' {
  \set Score.caesuraType = #'((breath . curvedcaesura))
  c2. \caesura d4

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To designate one or more CaesuraScript grobs to be created as a normal part of an unarticulated caesura, set the scripts element of the caesuraType context property. (Additional scripts can still be attached as articulations.) In conjunction with the breath element, the scripts listed in the script element attach to the BreathingSign; otherwise, if a BarLine is present, they attach to it.

The caesuraTypeTransform context property can be set to a Scheme function to enable a degree of automatic adaptation. The at-bar-line-substitute-caesura-type function generator supports styles where the notation differs at a bar line.

\fixed c' {
  \set Score.caesuraType =
    #'((breath . spacer)
       (scripts . (outsidecomma)))
  \set Score.caesuraTypeTransform =
      '((scripts . (fermata))))
  c'2. \caesura d'4
  b1 \caesura

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Predefined commands


Selected Snippets

Positioning opposing fermatas on a bar line

This snippet demonstrates a command that prints fermatas both above and below a bar line. If there would not otherwise be a bar line, it adds a double bar line. Semantically, the command codes a longer-than-normal caesura, which might be considered misuse depending on the situation.

twoWayFermata = {
  \once \set Staff.caesuraType = #'((underlying-bar-line . "||"))
  \once \set Staff.caesuraTypeTransform = ##f
  \caesura ^\fermata _\fermata

music = {
  f'1 \twoWayFermata
  f'2 \twoWayFermata f'2
  b'1 \twoWayFermata \fine

\new GrandStaff <<
  \new Staff \music
  \new Staff \music

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See also

Music Glossary: caesura.

Notation Reference: Breath marks, Divisiones, Kievan bar lines, Phrase bar lines in hymn tunes.

Snippets: Expressive marks.

Internals Reference: BreathingSign, Caesura_engraver, CaesuraEvent, CaesuraScript, caesuraTypeTransform, caesuraType.

LilyPond Notation Reference v2.25.18 (development-branch).