Harmonics

Natural harmonics

Natural harmonics can be notated in several ways. A diamond-shaped note head generally means to touch the string where you would stop the note if it were not a diamond.

\relative d'' {
  d4 e4.
  \harmonicsOn
  d8 e e
  d4 e4.
  \harmonicsOff
  d8 e e
}

[image of music]

Alternatively a normal note head is shown at the pitch to be sounded together with a small circle to indicate it should be played as a harmonic:

d''2^\flageolet d''_\flageolet

[image of music]

Artificial harmonics

Artificial harmonics are notated with two notes, one with a normal note head indicating the stopped position and one with an open diamond note head to indicate the harmonic position.

Artificial harmonics indicated with \harmonic do not show the dots. The context property harmonicDots should be set if dots are required.

\relative e' {
  <e a\harmonic>2.  <c g'\harmonic>4
  \set harmonicDots = ##t
  <e a\harmonic>2.  <c g'\harmonic>4
}

[image of music]

See also

Music Glossary: harmonics.

Notation Reference: Special note heads, References for unfretted strings.

Known issues and warnings

If you want to center a harmonic on a whole note, make it part of a chord.

{
  << { d''1\harmonic } \\ { a'1 } >>
  <a' d''\harmonic>1
}

[image of music]


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