Quoting other voices

It is very common for one voice to use the same notes as those from another voice. For example, first and second violins playing the same phrase during a particular passage of the music. This is done by letting one voice quote the other, without having to reenter the music all over again for the second voice.

The \addQuote command, used in the top level scope, defines a stream of music from which fragments can be quoted.

The \quoteDuring command is used to indicate the point where the quotation begins. It is followed by two arguments: the name of the quoted voice, as defined with \addQuote, and a music expression for the duration of the quote.

fluteNotes = \relative {
  a'4 gis g gis | b4^"quoted" r8 ais\p a4( f)
}

oboeNotes = \relative {
  c''4 cis c b \quoteDuring "flute" { s1 }
}

\addQuote "flute" { \fluteNotes }

\score {
  <<
    \new Staff \with { instrumentName = "Flute" } \fluteNotes
    \new Staff \with { instrumentName = "Oboe" } \oboeNotes
  >>
}

[image of music]

If the music expression used in \quoteDuring contains notes instead of spacer or multi-measure rests then the quote will appear as polyphony and may produce unexpected results.

fluteNotes = \relative {
  a'4 gis g gis | b4^"quoted" r8 ais\p a4( f)
}

oboeNotes = \relative {
  c''4 cis c b \quoteDuring "flute" { e4 r8 ais b4 a }
}

\addQuote "flute" { \fluteNotes }

\score {
  <<
    \new Staff \with { instrumentName = "Flute" } \fluteNotes
    \new Staff \with { instrumentName = "Oboe" } \oboeNotes
  >>
}

[image of music]

If an \unfoldRepeats command in a music expression is required to be printed when using \quoteDuring, then it too must also contain its own \unfoldRepeats command;

fluteNotes = \relative {
  \repeat volta 2 { a'4 gis g gis }
}

oboeNotesDW = \relative {
  \repeat volta 2 \quoteDuring "incorrect" { s1 }
}

oboeNotesW = \relative {
  \repeat volta 2 \quoteDuring "correct" { s1 }
}


\addQuote "incorrect" { \fluteNotes }

\addQuote "correct" { \unfoldRepeats \fluteNotes }

\score {
  \unfoldRepeats
  <<
    \new Staff \with { instrumentName = "Flute" }
    \fluteNotes
    \new Staff \with { instrumentName = "Oboe (incorrect)" }
    \oboeNotesDW
    \new Staff \with { instrumentName = "Oboe (correct)" }
    \oboeNotesW
  >>
}

[image of music]

The \quoteDuring command uses the \transposition settings of both quoted and quoting parts to produce notes for the quoting part that have the same sounding pitch as those in the quoted part.

clarinetNotes = \relative c'' {
  \transposition bes
  \key d \major
  b4 ais a ais | cis4^"quoted" r8 bis\p b4( f)
}

oboeNotes = \relative {
  c''4 cis c b \quoteDuring "clarinet" { s1 }
}

\addQuote "clarinet" { \clarinetNotes }


\score {
  <<
    \new Staff \with { instrumentName = "Clarinet" } \clarinetNotes
    \new Staff \with { instrumentName = "Oboe" } \oboeNotes
  >>
}

[image of music]

By default quoted music will include all articulations, dynamics, markups, etc., in the quoted expression. It is possible to choose which of these objects from the quoted music are displayed by using the quotedEventTypes context property.

fluteNotes = \relative {
  a'2 g2 |
  b4\<^"quoted" r8 ais a4\f( c->)
 }

oboeNotes = \relative {
  c''2. b4 |
  \quoteDuring "flute" { s1 }
}

\addQuote "flute" { \fluteNotes }

\score {
  <<
    \set Score.quotedEventTypes = #'(note-event articulation-event
                                     crescendo-event rest-event
                                     slur-event dynamic-event)
    \new Staff \with { instrumentName = "Flute" } \fluteNotes
    \new Staff \with { instrumentName = "Oboe" } \oboeNotes
  >>
 }

[image of music]

Quotes can also be tagged, see Using tags.

See also

Notation Reference: Instrument transpositions, Using tags.

Installed Files: scm/define-event-classes.scm.

Snippets: Staff notation.

Internals Reference: Music classes, QuoteMusic, Voice.

Known issues and warnings

Only the contents of the first Voice occurring in an \addQuote command will be considered for quotation, so if the music expression contains \new or \context Voice statements, their contents will not be quoted. Quoting grace notes is unsupported and may cause LilyPond to crash whereas quoting nested triplets may result in poor notation.


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