A cluster indicates a continuous range of pitches to be played. They can be denoted as the envelope of a set of notes. They are entered by applying the function \makeClusters to a sequence of chords, e.g.,

\relative \makeClusters { <g' b>2 <c g'> }

[image of music]

Ordinary notes and clusters can be put together in the same staff, even simultaneously. In such a case no attempt is made to automatically avoid collisions between ordinary notes and clusters.

The following cluster styles are supported: ramp, leftsided-stairs, rightsided-stairs, and centered-stairs.

fragment = { <e' d''>4 <g' a'> <e' a'> r }

  \omit Staff.Clef
  \omit Staff.TimeSignature

  <>^\markup \typewriter "ramp"
  \override = #'ramp
  \makeClusters \fragment

  <>_\markup \typewriter "leftsided-stairs"
  \override = #'leftsided-stairs
  \makeClusters \fragment

  <>^\markup \typewriter "rightsided-stairs"
  \override = #'rightsided-stairs
  \makeClusters \fragment

  <>_\markup \typewriter "centered-stairs"
  \override = #'centered-stairs
  \makeClusters \fragment

[image of music]

See also

Music Glossary: cluster.

Snippets: Simultaneous notes.

Internals Reference: ClusterSpanner, ClusterSpannerBeacon, Cluster_spanner_engraver.

Known issues and warnings

Clusters look good only if they span at least two chords; otherwise they appear too narrow.

Clusters do not have a stem and cannot indicate durations by themselves, but the length of the printed cluster is determined by the durations of the defining chords. Separate clusters need a separating rest between them.

Clusters do not produce MIDI output.

LilyPond Notation Reference v2.25.13 (development-branch).