Introduction to figured bass

LilyPond has support for figured bass, also called thorough bass or basso continuo.

  \new Voice { \clef bass dis4 c d ais g fis}
  \new FiguredBass {
    \figuremode {
      <6>4 <7\+>8 <6+ [_!]> <6>4 <6 5 [3+]> |
      <_>4 <6 5/>4

[image of music]

The support for figured bass consists of two parts: there is an input mode, introduced by \figuremode, that accepts entry of bass figures, and there is a context named FiguredBass that takes care of displaying BassFigure objects. Figured bass can also be displayed in Staff contexts.

\figures { … } is a shortcut notation for \new FiguredBass \figuremode { … }.

Although the support for figured bass may superficially resemble chord support, it is much simpler. \figuremode mode simply stores the figures and the FiguredBass context prints them as entered. There is no conversion to pitches.

See also

Music Glossary: figured bass.

Snippets: Chords.

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