Applying note head styles depending on the step of the scale

The shapeNoteStyles property can be used to define various note head styles for each step of the scale (as set by the key signature or the tonic property).

This property requires a set of symbols, which can be purely arbitrary (geometrical expressions such as triangle, cross, and xcircle are allowed) or based on old American engraving tradition (some latin note names are also allowed).

That said, to imitate old American song books, there are several predefined note head styles available through shortcut commands such as \aikenHeads or \sacredHarpHeads.

This example shows different ways to obtain shape note heads, and demonstrates the ability to transpose a melody without losing the correspondence between harmonic functions and note head styles.

fragment = {
  \key c \major
  c2 d
  e2 f
  g2 a
  b2 c

\new Staff {
  \transpose c d
  \relative c' {
    \set shapeNoteStyles = ##(do re mi fa
                               #f la ti)


  \relative c' {
    \set shapeNoteStyles = ##(cross triangle fa #f
                               mensural xcircle diamond)

[image of music]

LilyPond snippets v2.25.17 (development-branch).