Custodes

A custos (plural: custodes; Latin word for “guard”) is a symbol that appears at the end of a staff. It anticipates the pitch of the first note of the following line, thus helping the performer to manage line breaks during performance.

Custodes were frequently used in music notation until the seventeenth century. Nowadays, they have survived only in a few particular forms of musical notation such as contemporary editions of Gregorian chant like the Editio Vaticana. There are different custos glyphs used in different flavors of notational style.

For typesetting custodes, just put a Custos_engraver into the Staff context when declaring the \layout block, and change the style of the custos with an \override if desired, as shown in the following example:

\score {
  \relative {
    a'1
    \break
    g
  }
  \layout {
    \context {
      \Staff
      \consists Custos_engraver
      \override Custos.style = #'mensural
    }
  }
}

[image of music]

The custos glyph is selected by the style property. The styles supported are vaticana, medicaea, hufnagel, and mensural.

\new Lyrics \lyricmode {
  \markup { \column {
    \typewriter "vaticana "
    \line { " " \musicglyph "custodes.vaticana.u0" }
  } }
  \markup { \column {
    \typewriter "medicaea "
    \line { " " \musicglyph "custodes.medicaea.u0" }
  }}
  \markup { \column {
    \typewriter "hufnagel "
    \line { " " \musicglyph "custodes.hufnagel.u0" }
  }}
  \markup { \column {
    \typewriter "mensural "
    \line { " " \musicglyph "custodes.mensural.u0" }
  }}
}

[image of music]

See also

Music Glossary: custos.

Snippets: Ancient notation.

Internals Reference: Custos.


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