2.3.5 Single staff polyphony

When different melodic lines are combined on a single staff they are printed as polyphonic voices; each voice has its own stems, slurs and beams, and the top voice has the stems up, while the bottom voice has them down.

Entering such parts is done by entering each voice as a sequence (with {...}) and combining these simultaneously, separating the voices with \\:

<<
  { a4 g2 f4~ f4 } \\
  { r4 g4 f2 f4 }
>>

[image of music]

For polyphonic music typesetting, spacer rests can also be convenient; these are rests that do not print. They are useful for filling up voices that temporarily do not play. Here is the same example with a spacer rest (s) instead of a normal rest (r),

<<
  { a4 g2 f4~ f4 } \\
  { s4 g4 f2 f4 }
>>

[image of music]

Again, these expressions can be nested arbitrarily.

<<
  \new Staff <<
    { a4 g2 f4~ f4 } \\
    { s4 g4 f2 f4 }
  >>
  \new Staff <<
    \clef bass
    { <c g>1 ~ <c g>4 } \\
    { e,,4 d e2 ~ e4}
  >>
>>

[image of music]

See also

Notation Reference: Simultaneous notes.


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