Output definitions – blueprints for contexts

This section explains the relevance of output definitions when working with contexts. Examples for actual output definitions are given later (see Changing all contexts of the same type).

While music written in a file may refer to context types and names, contexts are created only when the music is actually being interpreted. LilyPond interprets music under control of an ‘output definition’ and may do so for several different output definitions, resulting in different output. The output definition relevant for printing music is specified using \layout.

A much simpler output definition used for producing Midi output is specified using \midi. Several other output definitions are used by LilyPond internally, like when using the part combiner (Automatic part combining) or creating music quotes (Quoting other voices).

Output definitions define the relation between contexts as well as their respective default settings. While most changes will usually be made inside of a \layout block, Midi-related settings will only have an effect when made within a \midi block.

Some settings affect several outputs: for example, if autoBeaming is turned off in some context, beams count as melismata for the purpose of matching music to lyrics as described in Automatic syllable durations. This matching is done both for printed output as well as for Midi. If changes made to autoBeaming within a context definition of a \layout block are not repeated in the corresponding \midi block, lyrics and music will get out of sync in Midi.

See also

Installed Files: ly/engraver-init.ly. ly/performer-init.ly.

LilyPond Notation Reference v2.25.10 (development-branch).