5.3.2 The \set command

Each context can have different properties, variables contained in that context. They can be changed during the interpretation step. This is achieved by inserting the \set command in the music,

\set context.prop = #value

For example,

R1*2
\set Score.skipBars = ##t
R1*2

[image of music]

This command skips measures that have no notes. The result is that multi-rests are condensed. The value assigned is a Scheme object. In this case, it is #t, the boolean True value.

If the context argument is left out, then the current bottom-most context (typically ChordNames, Voice, or Lyrics) is used. In this example,

c8 c c c
\set autoBeaming = ##f
c8 c c c

[image of music]

the context argument to \set is left out, so automatic beaming is switched off in the current Voice. Note that the bottom-most context does not always contain the property that you wish to change – for example, attempting to set the skipBars property (of the bottom-most context, in this case Voice) will have no effect.

R1*2
\set skipBars = ##t
R1*2

[image of music]

Contexts are hierarchical, so if a bigger context was specified, for example Staff, then the change would also apply to all Voices in the current stave. The change is applied ‘on-the-fly’, during the music, so that the setting only affects the second group of eighth notes.

There is also an \unset command,

\unset context.prop

which removes the definition of prop. This command removes the definition only if it is set in context, so

\set Staff.autoBeaming = ##f

introduces a property setting at Staff level. The setting also applies to the current Voice. However,

\unset Voice.autoBeaming

does not have any effect. To cancel this setting, the \unset must be specified on the same level as the original \set. In other words, undoing the effect of Staff.autoBeaming = ##f requires

\unset Staff.autoBeaming

Like \set, the context argument does not have to be specified for a bottom context, so the two statements

\set Voice.autoBeaming = ##t
\set autoBeaming = ##t

are equivalent.

Settings that should only apply to a single time-step can be entered with \once, for example in

c4
\once \set fontSize = #4.7
c4
c4

[image of music]

the property fontSize is unset automatically after the second note.

A full description of all available context properties is in the program reference, see Tunable context properties.


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Notation Reference