1.3.3 Lines

This section explains how to create various expressive marks that follow a linear path: glissandos, arpeggios, and trills.


Glissando

A glissando is created by attaching \glissando to a note:

g2\glissando g'
c2\glissando c,

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Different styles of glissandi can be created. For details, see Line styles.

Selected Snippets

Contemporary glissando

A contemporary glissando without a final note can be typeset using a hidden note and cadenza timing.

\relative c'' {
  \time 3/4
  \override Glissando #'style = #'zigzag
  c4 c
  \cadenzaOn
  c4\glissando
  \hideNotes
  c,,4 
  \unHideNotes
  \cadenzaOff
  \bar "|"
}

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See also

Music Glossary: glissando.

Notation Reference: Line styles.

Snippets: Expressive marks.

Internals Reference: Glissando.

Known issues and warnings

Printing text over the line (such as gliss.) is not supported.


Arpeggio

An arpeggio on a chord (also known as a broken chord) is denoted by appending \arpeggio to the chord construct:

<c e g c>1\arpeggio

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Different types of arpeggios may be written. \arpeggioNormal reverts to a normal arpeggio:

<c e g c>2\arpeggio
\arpeggioArrowUp
<c e g c>2\arpeggio
\arpeggioArrowDown
<c e g c>2\arpeggio
\arpeggioNormal
<c e g c>2\arpeggio

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Special bracketed arpeggio symbols can be created:

<c e g c>2
\arpeggioBracket
<c e g c>2\arpeggio
\arpeggioParenthesis
<c e g c>2\arpeggio
\arpeggioNormal
<c e g c>2\arpeggio

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Arpeggios can be explicitly written out with ties. For more information, see Ties.

Predefined commands

\arpeggio, \arpeggioArrowUp, \arpeggioArrowDown, \arpeggioNormal, \arpeggioBracket, \arpeggioParenthesis.

Selected Snippets

Creating cross-staff arpeggios in a piano staff

In a PianoStaff, it is possible to let an arpeggio cross between the staves by setting the property PianoStaff.connectArpeggios.

\new PianoStaff \relative c'' <<
  \set PianoStaff.connectArpeggios = ##t
  \new Staff {
    <c e g c>4\arpeggio
    <g c e g>4\arpeggio
    <e g c e>4\arpeggio
    <c e g c>4\arpeggio
  }
  \new Staff {
    \clef bass
    \repeat unfold 4 {
      <c,, e g c>4\arpeggio
    }
  }
>>

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Creating cross-staff arpeggios in other contexts

Cross-staff arpeggios can be created in contexts other than PianoStaff if the Span_arpeggio_engraver is included in the Score context.

\score {
  \new StaffGroup {
    \set Score.connectArpeggios = ##t
    <<
      \new Voice \relative c' {
        <c e>2\arpeggio
        <d f>2\arpeggio
        <c e>1\arpeggio
      }
      \new Voice  \relative c {
        \clef bass
         <c g'>2\arpeggio
         <b g'>2\arpeggio
         <c g'>1\arpeggio
      }
    >>
  }
  \layout {
    \context {
      \Score
      \consists "Span_arpeggio_engraver"
    }
  }
}

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Creating arpeggios across notes in different voices

An arpeggio can be drawn across notes in different voices on the same staff if the Span_arpeggio_engraver is moved to the Staff context:

\new Staff \with {
  \consists "Span_arpeggio_engraver"
}
\relative c' {
  \set Staff.connectArpeggios = ##t
  <<
    { <e' g>4\arpeggio <d f> <d f>2 } \\
    { <d, f>2\arpeggio <g b>2 }
  >>
}

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See also

Music Glossary: arpeggio.

Notation Reference: Ties.

Snippets: Expressive marks.

Internals Reference: Arpeggio, PianoStaff.

Known issues and warnings

It is not possible to mix connected arpeggios and unconnected arpeggios in one PianoStaff at the same point in time.

The parenthesis-style arpeggio brackets do not work for cross-staff arpeggios.


Trills

Short trills without an extender line are printed with \trill; see Articulations and ornamentations.

Longer trills with an extender line are made with \startTrillSpan and \stopTrillSpan:

d1~\startTrillSpan
d1
c2\stopTrillSpan r2

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In the following example, a trill is combined with grace notes. The syntax of this construct and the method to precisely position the grace notes are described in Grace notes.

c1 \afterGrace
d1\startTrillSpan { c32[ d]\stopTrillSpan }
e2 r2

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Trills that require an auxiliary note with an explicit pitch can be typeset with the \pitchedTrill command. The first argument is the main note, and the second is the trilled note, printed as a stemless note head in parentheses.

\pitchedTrill e2\startTrillSpan fis
d\stopTrillSpan

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In the following example, the second pitched trill is ambiguous; the accidental of the trilled note is not printed. As a workaround, the accidentals of the trilled notes can be forced. The second measure illustrates this method:

\pitchedTrill eis4\startTrillSpan fis
g\stopTrillSpan
\pitchedTrill eis4\startTrillSpan fis
g\stopTrillSpan
\pitchedTrill eis4\startTrillSpan fis
g\stopTrillSpan
\pitchedTrill eis4\startTrillSpan fis!
g\stopTrillSpan

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Predefined commands

\startTrillSpan, \stopTrillSpan.

See also

Music Glossary: trill.

Notation Reference: Articulations and ornamentations, Grace notes.

Snippets: Expressive marks.

Internals Reference: TrillSpanner.


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