Objects may be parenthesized by prefixing \parenthesize to the music event. When prefixed to a chord, it parenthesizes every note. Individual notes inside a chord may also be parenthesized.

\relative {
  c''2 \parenthesize d
  c2 \parenthesize <c e g>
  c2 <c \parenthesize e g>

[image of music]

Non-note objects may be parenthesized as well. For articulations, a hyphen is needed before the \parenthesize command.

\relative {
  c''2-\parenthesize -. d
  c2 \parenthesize r

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When \parenthesize applies to a chord, all of its notes are enclosed in the parentheses.

\relative c' {
  \parenthesize <e f>

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To parenthesize only certain notes in a chord, use a parallel music construct << … >>.

\new Voice \relative c {
    { \tweak Parentheses.font-size 0 \parenthesize <ces des> }
    { \parenthesize ees' }
    { \tweak Parentheses.font-size -2 \parenthesize <c' e> }

[image of music]

A second form of the \parenthesize command involves a grob path: either \parenthesize ContextName.GrobName or just \parenthesize GrobName (the latter implying the bottommost context, typically Voice). This should be added before the musical moment, like a \once \override. This form makes it possible to parenthesize grobs that are only caused indirectly by events.

\new Staff \relative <<
    \parenthesize NoteHead
  \new CueVoice {
    \once \override Staff.Parentheses.font-size = 3
    \parenthesize Staff.CueClef
    \cueClef treble
    e'8 f a g

[image of music]

See also

Snippets: Editorial annotations.

Internals Reference: Parenthesis_engraver, Parentheses, parentheses-interface.

Known issues and warnings

Currently, the font-size property of the Parentheses grob has to be adjusted manually to obtain correctly sized parentheses on chords and some other objects.

LilyPond — Notation Reference v2.25.8 (development-branch).