Instrument names

Instrument names can be printed on the left side of staves in the Staff, PianoStaff, StaffGroup, GrandStaff and ChoirStaff contexts. The value of instrumentName is used for the first staff, and the value of shortInstrumentName is used for all succeeding staves.

\new Staff \with {
  instrumentName = "Violin "
  shortInstrumentName = "Vln. "
} \relative {
  c'4.. g'16 c4.. g'16 \break | c1 |
}

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\markup can be used to create more complex instrument names:

\new Staff \with {
  instrumentName = \markup {
    \column { "Clarinetti"
      \line { "in B" \smaller \flat }
    }
  }
} \relative {
  c''4 c,16 d e f g2
}

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When two or more staff contexts are grouped together, the instrument names and short instrument names are centered by default. To center multi-line instrument names, \center-column must be used:

<<
  \new Staff \with {
    instrumentName = "Flute"
  } \relative {
    f''2 g4 f
}
  \new Staff \with {
    instrumentName = \markup {
      \center-column { "Clarinet"
        \line { "in B" \smaller \flat }
      }
    }
  } \relative { c''4 b c2 }
>>

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However, if the instrument names are longer, the instrument names in a staff group may not be centered unless the indent and short-indent settings are increased. For details about these settings, see \paper variables for shifts and indents.

<<
  \new Staff \with {
    instrumentName = "Alto Flute in G"
    shortInstrumentName = "Flt."
  } \relative {
    f''2 g4 f \break
    g4 f g2
  }
  \new Staff \with {
    instrumentName = "Clarinet"
    shortInstrumentName = "Clar."
  } \relative {
    c''4 b c2 \break
    c2 b4 c
  }
>>

\layout {
  indent = 3.0\cm
  short-indent = 1.5\cm
}

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To add instrument names to other contexts (such as ChordNames or FiguredBass), Instrument_name_engraver must be added to that context. For details, see Modifying context plug-ins.

The shortInstrumentName may be changed in the middle of a piece, along with other settings as needed for the new instrument. However, only the first instance of instrumentName will be printed and subsequent changes will be ignored:

prepPiccolo = <>^\markup \italic { muta in Piccolo }

prepFlute = <>^\markup \italic { muta in Flauto }

setPiccolo = {
  <>^\markup \bold { Piccolo }
  \transposition c''
}

setFlute = {
  <>^\markup \bold { Flute }
  \transposition c'
}

\new Staff \with {
  instrumentName = "Flute"
  shortInstrumentName = "Flt."
}
\relative {
  g'1 g g g \break
  g1 g \prepPiccolo R R \break
  \set Staff.instrumentName = "Piccolo"
  \set Staff.shortInstrumentName = "Picc."
  \setPiccolo
  g1 g g g \break
  g1 g \prepFlute R R \break
  \set Staff.instrumentName = "Flute"
  \set Staff.shortInstrumentName = "Flt."
  \setFlute
  g1 g g g
}

[image of music]

See also

Notation Reference: \paper variables for shifts and indents, Modifying context plug-ins.

Snippets: Staff notation.

Internals Reference: InstrumentName, PianoStaff, Staff.


LilyPond Notation Reference v2.25.14 (development-branch).