GNU LilyPond — Snippets List

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This document shows a selected set of LilyPond snippets from the LilyPond Snippet Repository (LSR). It is in the public domain.

Please note that it is not an exact subset of LSR: some snippets come from ‘input/new’ LilyPond sources directory, and snippets from LSR are converted through convert-ly, as LSR is based on a stable LilyPond version, and this document is for version 2.12.2.

Snippets are grouped by tags; tags listed in the table of contents match a section of LilyPond notation manual. Snippets may have several tags, and not all LSR tags may appear in this document.

In the HTML version of this document, you can click on the file name or figure for each example to see the corresponding input file.


Pitches

These snippets illustrate the Notation Reference, section Pitches.


Adding ambitus per voice

Ambitus can be added per voice. In this case, the ambitus must be moved manually to prevent collisions.

\new Staff <<
  \new Voice \with {
    \consists "Ambitus_engraver"
  } \relative c'' {
    \override Ambitus #'X-offset = #2.0
    \voiceOne
    c4 a d e
    f1
  }
  \new Voice \with {
    \consists "Ambitus_engraver"
  } \relative c' {
    \voiceTwo
    es4 f g as
    b1
  }
>>

[image of music]


Ambitus with multiple voices

Adding the Ambitus_engraver to the Staff context creates a single ambitus per staff, even in the case of staves with multiple voices.

\new Staff \with {
  \consists "Ambitus_engraver"
  }
<<
  \new Voice \relative c'' {
    \voiceOne
    c4 a d e
    f1
  }
  \new Voice \relative c' {
    \voiceTwo
    es4 f g as
    b1
  }
>>

[image of music]


Ambitus

Ambitus indicate pitch ranges for voices.

Accidentals only show up if they are not part of the key signature. AmbitusNoteHead grobs also have ledger lines.

\layout {
  \context {
    \Voice
    \consists "Ambitus_engraver"
  }
}

<<
  \new Staff {
    \relative c' {
      \time 2/4
      c4 f'
    }
  }
  \new Staff {
    \relative c' {
      \time  2/4
      \key d \major
      cis4 as'
    }
  }
>>

[image of music]


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
}

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

    \break

    \relative c' {
      \set shapeNoteStyles  = #'#(cross triangle fa #f
                                  mensural xcircle diamond)
      \fragment
    }
  }
  \layout { ragged-right = ##t }
}

[image of music]


Coloring notes depending on their pitch

It is possible to color note heads depending on their pitch and/or their names: the function used in this example even makes it possible to distinguish enharmonics.

%Association list of pitches to colors.
#(define color-mapping
  (list
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 0 0) (x11-color 'red))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 0 1/2) (x11-color 'green))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 1 -1/2) (x11-color 'green))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 2 0) (x11-color 'red))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 2 1/2) (x11-color 'green))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 3 -1/2) (x11-color 'red))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 3 0) (x11-color 'green))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 4 1/2) (x11-color 'red))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 5 0) (x11-color 'green))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 5 -1/2) (x11-color 'red))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 6 1/2) (x11-color 'red))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 1 0) (x11-color 'blue))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 3 1/2) (x11-color 'blue))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 4 -1/2) (x11-color 'blue))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 5 1/2) (x11-color 'blue))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 6 -1/2) (x11-color 'blue))
    ))

%Compare pitch and alteration (not octave).
#(define (pitch-equals? p1 p2)
  (and
    (= (ly:pitch-alteration p1) (ly:pitch-alteration p2))
    (= (ly:pitch-notename p1) (ly:pitch-notename p2))))

#(define (pitch-to-color pitch)
  (let ((color (assoc pitch color-mapping pitch-equals?)))
    (if color
      (cdr color))))

#(define (color-notehead grob)
  (pitch-to-color
    (ly:event-property (ly:grob-property grob 'cause) 'pitch)))

\score {
  \new Staff \relative c' {
    \override NoteHead #'color = #color-notehead
    c8 b d dis ees f g aes
  }
}

[image of music]


Creating a sequence of notes on various pitches

In music that contains many occurrences of the same sequence of notes at different pitches, the following music function may prove useful. It takes a note, of which only the pitch is used. The supporting Scheme functions were borrowed from the "Tips and tricks" document in the manual for version 2.10. This example creates the rhythm used throughout Mars, from Gustav Holst’s The Planets.

#(define (make-note-req p d)
  (make-music 'NoteEvent
   'duration d
   'pitch p))

#(define (make-note p d)
  (make-music 'EventChord
   'elements (list (make-note-req p d))))

#(define (seq-music-list elts)
  (make-music 'SequentialMusic
   'elements elts))

#(define (make-triplet elt)
  (make-music 'TimeScaledMusic
   'denominator 3
   'numerator 2
   'element elt))


rhythm =
#(define-music-function (parser location note) (ly:music?)
  "Make the rhythm in Mars (the Planets) at the given note's pitch"
  (let ((p (ly:music-property
              (car (ly:music-property note 'elements))
              'pitch)))
  (seq-music-list (list
    (make-triplet (seq-music-list (list
      (make-note p (ly:make-duration 3 0 2 3))
      (make-note p (ly:make-duration 3 0 2 3))
      (make-note p (ly:make-duration 3 0 2 3))
    )))
    (make-note p (ly:make-duration 2 0))
    (make-note p (ly:make-duration 2 0))
    (make-note p (ly:make-duration 3 0))
    (make-note p (ly:make-duration 3 0))
    (make-note p (ly:make-duration 2 0))
  ))))

\new Staff {
  \time 5/4
  \rhythm c'
  \rhythm c''
  \rhythm g
}

[image of music]


Dodecaphonic-style accidentals for each note including naturals

In early 20th century works, starting with Schoenberg, Berg and Webern (the "Second" Viennese school), every pitch in the twelve-tone scale has to be regarded as equal, without any hierarchy such as the classical (tonal) degrees. Therefore, these composers print one accidental for each note, even at natural pitches, to emphasize their new approach to music theory and language.

This snippet shows how to achieve such notation rules.

\score {
  \new Staff {
    #(set-accidental-style 'dodecaphonic)
    c'4 dis' cis' cis'
    c'4 dis' cis' cis'
    c'4 c' dis' des'
  }
  \layout {
    \context {
      \Staff
      \remove "Key_engraver"
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Generating random notes

This Scheme-based snippet generates 24 random notes (or as many as required), based on the current time (or any randomish number specified instead, in order to obtain the same random notes each time): i.e., to get different random note patterns, just change this number.

\score {
  { #(let ((random-state (seed->random-state (current-time))))
    (ly:export
     (make-music 'SequentialMusic 'elements
      (map (lambda x
           (let ((idx (random 12 random-state)))
            (make-music 'EventChord
             'elements (list (make-music 'NoteEvent
                              'duration (ly:make-duration 2 0 1 1)
                              'pitch (ly:make-pitch (quotient idx 7)
                                      (remainder idx 7)
                                      0))))))
       (make-list 24)))))
  }
}

[image of music]


Makam example

Makam is a type of melody from Turkey using 1/9th-tone microtonal alterations. Consult the initialization file makam.ly (see the ‘Learning Manual 2.12.2, 4.6.3 Other sources of information’ for the location of this file) for details of pitch names and alterations.

% Initialize makam settings
\include "makam.ly"

\relative c' {
  \set Staff.keySignature = #`((3 . ,BAKIYE) (6 . ,(- KOMA)))
  c4 cc db fk
  gbm4 gfc gfb efk
  fk4 db cc c
}

[image of music]


Non-traditional key signatures

The commonly used \key command sets the keySignature property, in the Staff context.

To create non-standard key signatures, set this property directly. The format of this command is a list:

\set Staff.keySignature = #`(((octave . step) . alter) ((octave . step) . alter) ...) where, for each element in the list, octave specifies the octave (0 being the octave from middle C to the B above), step specifies the note within the octave (0 means C and 6 means B), and alter is ,SHARP ,FLAT ,DOUBLE-SHARP etc. (Note the leading comma.) The accidentals in the key signature will appear in the reverse order to that in which they are specified.

Alternatively, for each item in the list, using the more concise format (step . alter) specifies that the same alteration should hold in all octaves.

For microtonal scales where a "sharp" is not 100 cents, alter refers to the alteration as a proportion of a 200-cent whole tone.

Here is an example of a possible key signature for generating a whole-tone scale:

\relative c' {
  \set Staff.keySignature = #`(((0 . 3) . ,SHARP)
                               ((0 . 5) . ,FLAT)
                               ((0 . 6) . ,FLAT))
  c4 d e fis
  aes4 bes c2
}

[image of music]


Ottava text

Internally, \ottava sets the properties ottavation (for example, to "8va" or "8vb") and middleCPosition. To override the text of the bracket, set ottavation after invoking \ottava.

{
  \ottava #1
  \set Staff.ottavation = #"8"
  c''1
  \ottava #0
  c'1
  \ottava #1
  \set Staff.ottavation = #"Text"
  c''1
}

[image of music]


Preventing extra naturals from being automatically added

In accordance with standard typesetting rules, a natural sign is printed before a sharp or flat if a previous accidental on the same note needs to be canceled. To change this behavior, set the extraNatural property to "false" in the Staff context.

\relative c'' {
  aeses4 aes ais a
  \set Staff.extraNatural = ##f
  aeses4 aes ais a
}

[image of music]


Preventing natural signs from being printed when the key signature changes

When the key signature changes, natural signs are automatically printed to cancel any accidentals from previous key signatures. This may be prevented by setting to "false" the printKeyCancellation property in the Staff context.

\relative c' {
  \key d \major
  a4 b cis d
  \key g \minor
  a4 bes c d
  \set Staff.printKeyCancellation = ##f
  \key d \major
  a4 b cis d
  \key g \minor
  a4 bes c d
}

[image of music]


Quoting another voice with transposition

Quotations take into account the transposition of both source and target. In this example, all instruments play sounding middle C; the target is an instrument in F. The target part may be transposed using \transpose. In this case, all the pitches (including the quoted ones) are transposed.

\addQuote clarinet {
  \transposition bes
  \repeat unfold 8 { d'16 d' d'8 }
}

\addQuote sax {
  \transposition es'
  \repeat unfold 16 { a8 }
}

quoteTest = {
  % french horn
  \transposition f
  g'4
  << \quoteDuring #"clarinet" { \skip 4 } s4^"clar." >>
  << \quoteDuring #"sax" { \skip 4 } s4^"sax." >>
  g'4
}

{
  \set Staff.instrumentName =
    \markup {
      \center-column { Horn \line { in F } }
    }
  \quoteTest
  \transpose c' d' << \quoteTest s4_"up a tone" >>
}

[image of music]


Transposing music with minimum accidentals

This example uses some Scheme code to enforce enharmonic modifications for notes in order to have the minimum number of accidentals. In this case, the following rules apply:

In this manner, the most natural enharmonic notes are chosen.

#(define  (naturalize-pitch p)
  (let* ((o (ly:pitch-octave p))
         (a (* 4 (ly:pitch-alteration p)))
         ; alteration, a, in quarter tone steps,
         ; for historical reasons
         (n (ly:pitch-notename p)))
    (cond
     ((and (> a 1) (or (eq? n 6) (eq? n 2)))
      (set! a (- a 2))
      (set! n (+ n 1)))
     ((and (< a -1) (or (eq? n 0) (eq? n 3)))
      (set! a (+ a 2))
      (set! n (- n 1))))
    (cond
     ((> a 2) (set! a (- a 4)) (set! n (+ n 1)))
     ((< a -2) (set! a (+ a 4)) (set! n (- n 1))))
    (if (< n 0) (begin (set! o (- o 1)) (set! n (+ n 7))))
    (if (> n 6) (begin (set! o (+ o 1)) (set! n (- n 7))))
    (ly:make-pitch o n (/ a 4))))

#(define (naturalize music)
  (let* ((es (ly:music-property music 'elements))
         (e (ly:music-property music 'element))
         (p (ly:music-property music 'pitch)))
    (if (pair? es)
       (ly:music-set-property!
         music 'elements
         (map (lambda (x) (naturalize x)) es)))
    (if (ly:music? e)
       (ly:music-set-property!
         music 'element
         (naturalize e)))
    (if (ly:pitch? p)
       (begin
         (set! p (naturalize-pitch p))
         (ly:music-set-property! music 'pitch p)))
    music))

naturalizeMusic =
#(define-music-function (parser location m)
  (ly:music?)
  (naturalize m))

music = \relative c' { c4 d e g }

\score {
  \new Staff {
    \transpose c ais { \music }
    \naturalizeMusic \transpose c ais { \music }
    \transpose c deses { \music }
    \naturalizeMusic \transpose c deses { \music }
  }
  \layout { }
}

[image of music]


Tweaking clef properties

The command \clef "treble_8" is equivalent to setting clefGlyph, clefPosition (which controls the vertical position of the clef), middleCPosition and clefOctavation. A clef is printed when any of the properties except middleCPosition are changed.

Note that changing the glyph, the position of the clef, or the octavation does not in itself change the position of subsequent notes on the staff: the position of middle C must also be specified to do this. The positional parameters are relative to the staff center line, positive numbers displacing upwards, counting one for each line and space. The clefOctavation value would normally be set to 7, -7, 15 or -15, but other values are valid.

When a clef change takes place at a line break the new clef symbol is printed at both the end of the previous line and the beginning of the new line by default. If the warning clef at the end of the previous line is not required it can be suppressed by setting the Staff property explicitClefVisibility to the value end-of-line-invisible. The default behavior can be recovered with \unset Staff.explicitClefVisibility.

The following examples show the possibilities when setting these properties manually. On the first line, the manual changes preserve the standard relative positioning of clefs and notes, whereas on the second line, they do not.

\layout { ragged-right = ##t }

{
  % The default treble clef
  c'1
  % The standard bass clef
  \set Staff.clefGlyph = #"clefs.F"
  \set Staff.clefPosition = #2
  \set Staff.middleCPosition = #6
  c'1
  % The baritone clef
  \set Staff.clefGlyph = #"clefs.C"
  \set Staff.clefPosition = #4
  \set Staff.middleCPosition = #4
  c'1
  % The standard choral tenor clef
  \set Staff.clefGlyph = #"clefs.G"
  \set Staff.clefPosition = #-2
  \set Staff.clefOctavation = #-7
  \set Staff.middleCPosition = #1
  c'1
  % A non-standard clef
  \set Staff.clefPosition = #0
  \set Staff.clefOctavation = #0
  \set Staff.middleCPosition = #-4
  c'1 \break

  % The following clef changes do not preserve
  % the normal relationship between notes and clefs:

  \set Staff.clefGlyph = #"clefs.F"
  \set Staff.clefPosition = #2
  c'1
  \set Staff.clefGlyph = #"clefs.G"
  c'1
  \set Staff.clefGlyph = #"clefs.C"
  c'1
  \set Staff.clefOctavation = #7
  c'1
  \set Staff.clefOctavation = #0
  \set Staff.clefPosition = #0
  c'1
  
  % Return to the normal clef:

  \set Staff.middleCPosition = #0
  c'1
}

[image of music]


Rhythms

These snippets illustrate the Notation Reference, section Rhythms.


Adding beams, slurs, ties etc. when using tuplet and non-tuplet rythms.

LilyPond syntax can involve many unusual placements for parentheses, brackets etc., which might sometimes have to be interleaved. For example, when entering a manual beam, the left square bracket has to be placed after the starting note and its duration, not before. Similarly, the right square bracket should directly follow the note which is to be at the end of the requested beaming, even if this note happens to be inside a tuplet section. This snippet demonstrates how to combine manual beaming, manual slurs, ties and phrasing slurs with tuplet sections (enclosed within curly braces).

{
  r16[ g16 \times 2/3 { r16 e'8] }
  g16( a \times 2/3 { b d e') }
  g8[( a \times 2/3 { b d') e'] ~ }
  \time 2/4
  \times 4/5 { e'32\( a b d' e' } a'4.\)
}

[image of music]


Adding drum parts

Using the powerful pre-configured tools such as the \drummode function and the DrumStaff context, inputting drum parts is quite easy: drums are placed at their own staff positions (with a special clef symbol) and have note heads according to the drum. Attaching an extra symbol to the drum or restricting the number of lines is possible.

drh = \drummode { cymc4.^"crash" hhc16^"h.h." hh hhc8 hho hhc8 hh16 hh hhc4 r4 r2 }
drl = \drummode { bd4 sn8 bd bd4 << bd ss >>  bd8 tommh tommh bd toml toml bd tomfh16 tomfh }
timb = \drummode { timh4 ssh timl8 ssh r timh r4 ssh8 timl r4 cb8 cb }

\score {
  <<
    \new DrumStaff \with {
      drumStyleTable = #timbales-style
      \override StaffSymbol #'line-count = #2
      \override BarLine #'bar-size = #2
    } <<
      \set Staff.instrumentName = #"timbales"
      \timb
    >>
    \new DrumStaff <<
      \set Staff.instrumentName = #"drums"
      \new DrumVoice { \stemUp \drh }
      \new DrumVoice { \stemDown \drl }
    >>
  >>
  \layout { }
  \midi {
    \context {
      \Score
      tempoWholesPerMinute = #(ly:make-moment 120 4)
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Automatic beam subdivisions

Beams can be subdivided automatically. By setting the property subdivideBeams, beams are subdivided at beat positions (as specified in beatLength).

\new Staff {
  \relative c'' {
    <<
      {
        \voiceOne
        \set subdivideBeams = ##t
        b32[ a g f c' b a g
        b32^"subdivide beams" a g f c' b a g]
      }
      \new Voice {
        \voiceTwo
        b32_"default"[ a g f c' b a g
        b32 a g f c' b a g]
      }
    >>
    \oneVoice
    \set beatLength = #(ly:make-moment 1 8)
    b32^"beatLength 1 8"[ a g f c' b a g]
    \set beatLength = #(ly:make-moment 1 16)
    b32^"beatLength 1 16"[ a g f c' b a g]
  }
}

[image of music]


Automatic beams two per two in 4/4 or 2/2 time signature

In a simple time signature of 2/2 or 4/4, 8th notes are beamed by default as two sets of four.

Using a macro which overrides the autobeaming behavior, this snippet changes the beaming to quarter note beats.

% Automatic beams two per two in 4/4 or 2/2 time signature
%              _____
% Default     | | | |
%              _   _
% Required    | | | |

% macro for beamed two per two in 2/2 and 4/4 time signature
qBeam = {
  #(override-auto-beam-setting '(end 1 8 * *) 1 4 'Staff)
  #(override-auto-beam-setting '(end 1 8 * *) 2 4 'Staff)
  #(override-auto-beam-setting '(end 1 8 * *) 3 4 'Staff)
}

\score {
  <<
    \new Staff {
      \relative c'' {
        \time 4/4
        g8-"without the macro" g g g g g g g
        g8 g g g4 g8 g g
      }
    }
    %Use the macro
    \new Staff {
      \relative c'' {
        \time 4/4
        \qBeam
        g8-"with the macro" g g g g g g g
        g8 g g g4 g8 g g
      }
    }
  >>
  \layout {
    \context {
      \Staff
      \override TimeSignature #'style = #'()
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Avoiding collisions with chord fingerings

Fingerings and string numbers applied to individual notes will automatically avoid beams and stems, but this is not true by default for fingerings and string numbers applied to the individual notes of chords. The following example shows how this default behavior can be overridden.

\relative c' {
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(up)
  \set stringNumberOrientations = #'(up)
  \set strokeFingerOrientations = #'(up)
  
  % Default behavior
  r8
  <f c'-5>8
  <f c'\5>8
  <f c'-\rightHandFinger #2 >8
  
  % Corrected to avoid collisions
  r8
  \override Fingering #'add-stem-support = ##t
  <f c'-5>8
  \override StringNumber #'add-stem-support = ##t
  <f c'\5>8
  \override StrokeFinger #'add-stem-support = ##t
  <f c'-\rightHandFinger #2 >8
}

[image of music]


Beam endings in Score context

Beam-ending rules specified in the Score context apply to all staves, but can be modified at both Staff and Voice levels:

\relative c'' {
  \time 5/4
  % Set default beaming for all staves
  #(score-override-auto-beam-setting '(end * * 5 4) 3 8)
  #(score-override-auto-beam-setting '(end * * 5 4) 7 8)
  <<
    \new Staff {
      c8 c c c c c c c c c
    }
    \new Staff {
      % Modify beaming for just this staff
      #(override-auto-beam-setting '(end * * 5 4) 6 8 'Staff)
      #(revert-auto-beam-setting '(end * * 5 4) 7 8 'Staff)
      c8 c c c c c c c c c
    }
    \new Staff {
      % Inherit beaming from Score context
      <<
        {
          \voiceOne
          c8 c c c c c c c c c
        }
        % Modify beaming for this voice only
        \new Voice {
          \voiceTwo
          #(override-auto-beam-setting '(end * * 5 4) 6 8)
          #(revert-auto-beam-setting '(end * * 5 4) 7 8)
          a8 a a a a a a a a a
        }
      >>
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Beam grouping in 7/8 time

There are no default automatic beam groupings specified for 7/8 time, so if automatic beams are required the grouping must be specified. For example, to group all beams 2-3-2 in 7/8 time, specify beam endings at 2/8 and 5/8:

\relative c'' {
  \time 7/8
  % rhythm 2-3-2
  a8 a a a a a a
  #(override-auto-beam-setting '(end * * 7 8) 2 8)
  #(override-auto-beam-setting '(end * * 7 8) 5 8)
  a8 a a a a a a
}

[image of music]


Beams across line breaks

Line breaks are normally forbidden when beams cross bar lines. This behavior can be changed as shown:

\relative c'' {
  \override Beam #'breakable = ##t
  c8 c[ c] c[ c] c[ c] c[ \break  
  c8] c[ c] c[ c] c[ c] c
}

[image of music]


Changing beam knee gap

Kneed beams are inserted automatically when a large gap is detected between the note heads. This behavior can be tuned through the auto-knee-gap property. A kneed beam is drawn if the gap is larger than the value of auto-knee-gap plus the width of the beam object (which depends on the duration of the notes and the slope of the beam). By default auto-knee-gap is set to 5.5 staff spaces.

{
  f8 f''8 f8 f''8
  \override Beam #'auto-knee-gap = #6
  f8 f''8 f8 f''8
}

[image of music]


Changing form of multi-measure rests

If there are ten or fewer measures of rests, a series of longa and breve rests (called in German "Kirchenpausen" - church rests) is printed within the staff; otherwise a simple line is shown. This default number of ten may be changed by overriding the expand-limit property:

\relative c'' {
  \compressFullBarRests
  R1*2 | R1*5 | R1*9
  \override MultiMeasureRest #'expand-limit = #3
  R1*2 | R1*5 | R1*9
}

[image of music]


Changing text and spanner styles for text dynamics

The text used for crescendos and decrescendos can be changed by modifying the context properties crescendoText and decrescendoText. The style of the spanner line can be changed by modifying the 'style property of DynamicTextSpanner. The default value is 'hairpin, and other possible values include 'line, 'dashed-line and 'dotted-line:

\relative c'' {
  \set crescendoText = \markup { \italic { cresc. poco } }
  \set crescendoSpanner = #'text
  \override DynamicTextSpanner #'style = #'dotted-line
  a2\< a
  a2 a
  a2 a
  a2 a\mf
}

[image of music]


Changing the time signature without affecting the beaming

The \time command sets the properties timeSignatureFraction, beatLength, beatGrouping and measureLength in the Timing context, which is normally aliased to Score. Changing the value of timeSignatureFraction causes the new time signature symbol to be printed without changing any of the other properties:

\relative c'' {
  \time 3/4
  a16 a a a a a a a a a a a

  % Change time signature symbol but keep 3/4 beaming
  % due to unchanged underlying time signature
  \set Score.timeSignatureFraction = #'(12 . 16)
  a16 a a a a a a a a a a a

  \time 12/16
  % Lose 3/4 beaming now \time has been changed
  a16 a a a a a a a a a a a
}

[image of music]


Changing the tuplet number

By default, only the numerator of the tuplet number is printed over the tuplet bracket, i.e., the denominator of the argument to the \times command. Alternatively, num:den of the tuplet number may be printed, or the tuplet number may be suppressed altogether.

\relative c'' {
  \times 2/3 { c8 c c }
  \times 2/3 { c8 c c }
  \override TupletNumber #'text = #tuplet-number::calc-fraction-text
  \times 2/3 { c8 c c }
  \override TupletNumber #'stencil = ##f
  \times 2/3 { c8 c c }
}

[image of music]


Changing time signatures inside a polymetric section using \scaleDurations

The measureLength property, together with measurePosition, determines when a bar line is needed. However, when using \scaleDurations, the scaling of durations makes it difficult to change time signatures. In this case, measureLength should be set manually, using the ly:make-moment callback. The second argument must be the same as the second argument of \scaleDurations.

\layout {
  \context {
    \Score
    \remove "Timing_translator"
    \remove "Default_bar_line_engraver"
  }
  \context {
    \Staff
    \consists "Timing_translator"
    \consists "Default_bar_line_engraver"
  }
}

<<
  \new Staff {
    \scaleDurations #'(8 . 5) {
      \time 6/8
      \set Timing.measureLength = #(ly:make-moment 6 5)
      b8 b b b b b
      \time 2/4
      \set Timing.measureLength = #(ly:make-moment 4 5)
      b4 b
    }
  }
  \new Staff {
    \clef bass
    \time 2/4
    c2 d e f
  }
>>

[image of music]


Chant or psalms notation

This form of notation is used for the chant of the Psalms, where verses aren’t always the same length.

stemOn = { \revert Staff.Stem #'transparent }
stemOff = { \override Staff.Stem #'transparent = ##t }

\score {
  \new Staff \with { \remove "Time_signature_engraver" }
  {
    \key g \minor
    \cadenzaOn
    \stemOff a'\breve bes'4 g'4
    \stemOn a'2 \bar "||"
    \stemOff a'\breve g'4 a'4
    \stemOn f'2 \bar "||"
    \stemOff a'\breve^\markup { \italic flexe }
    \stemOn g'2 \bar "||"
  }
}

[image of music]


Compound time signatures

Odd 20th century time signatures (such as "5/8") can often be played as compound time signatures (e.g. "3/8 + 2/8"), which combine two or more inequal metrics. LilyPond can make such music quite easy to read and play, by explicitly printing the compound time signatures and adapting the automatic beaming behavior. (Graphic measure grouping indications can also be added; see the appropriate snippet in this database.)

#(define ((compound-time one two num) grob)
  (grob-interpret-markup grob
    (markup #:override '(baseline-skip . 0) #:number
      (#:line (
          (#:column (one num))
          #:vcenter "+"
          (#:column (two num))))
      )))

\relative c' {
  \override Staff.TimeSignature #'stencil = #(compound-time "2" "3" "8")
  \time 5/8
  #(override-auto-beam-setting '(end 1 8 5 8) 1 4)
  c8 d e fis gis
  c8 fis, gis e d
  c8 d e4 gis8
}

[image of music]


Conducting signs, measure grouping signs

Options to group beats within a bar are available through the Scheme function set-time-signature, which takes three arguments: the number of beats, the beat length, and the internal grouping of beats in the measure. If the Measure_grouping_engraver is included, the function will also create MeasureGrouping signs. Such signs ease reading rhythmically complex modern music. In the example, the 9/8 measure is subdivided in 2, 2, 2 and 3. This is passed to set-time-signature as the third argument: '(2 2 2 3):

\score {
  \relative c'' {
    #(set-time-signature 9 8 '(2 2 2 3))
    #(revert-auto-beam-setting '(end * * 9 8) 3 8)
    #(override-auto-beam-setting '(end 1 8 9 8) 1 4)
    #(override-auto-beam-setting '(end 1 8 9 8) 2 4)
    #(override-auto-beam-setting '(end 1 8 9 8) 3 4)
    g8 g d d g g a( bes g) |
    #(set-time-signature 5 8 '(3 2))
    a4. g4
  }
  \layout {
    \context {
      \Staff
      \consists "Measure_grouping_engraver"
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Controlling tuplet bracket visibility

The default behavior of tuplet-bracket visibility is to print a bracket unless there is a beam of the same length as the tuplet. To control the visibility of tuplet brackets, set the property 'bracket-visibility to either #t (always print a bracket), #f (never print a bracket) or #'if-no-beam (only print a bracket if there is no beam).

music = \relative c'' {
  \times 2/3 { c16[ d e } f8]
  \times 2/3 { c8 d e }
  \times 2/3 { c4 d e }
}

\new Voice {
  \relative c' {
    << \music s4^"default" >>
    \override TupletBracket #'bracket-visibility = #'if-no-beam
    << \music s4^"'if-no-beam" >>
    \override TupletBracket #'bracket-visibility = ##t
    << \music s4^"#t" >>
    \override TupletBracket #'bracket-visibility = ##f
    << \music s4^"#f" >>
  }
} 

[image of music]


Engraving ties manually

Ties may be engraved manually by changing the tie-configuration property of the TieColumn object. The first number indicates the distance from the center of the staff in staff-spaces, and the second number indicates the direction (1 = up, -1 = down).

\relative c' {
  <c e g>2 ~ <c e g>
  \override TieColumn #'tie-configuration =
    #'((0.0 . 1) (-2.0 . 1) (-4.0 . 1))
  <c e g> ~ <c e g>
}

[image of music]


Entering several tuplets using only one \times command

The property tupletSpannerDuration sets how long each of the tuplets contained within the brackets after \times should last. Many consecutive tuplets can then be placed within a single \times expression, thus saving typing.

In the example, two triplets are shown, while \times was entered only once.

For more information about make-moment, see "Time administration".

\relative c' {
  \time 2/4
  \set tupletSpannerDuration = #(ly:make-moment 1 4)
  \times 2/3 { c8 c c c c c }
}

[image of music]


Flat flags and beam nibs

Flat flags on lone notes and beam nibs at the ends of beamed figures are both possible with a combination of stemLeftBeamCount, stemRightBeamCount and paired [] beam indicators.

For right-pointing flat flags on lone notes, use paired [] beam indicators and set stemLeftBeamCount to zero (see Example 1).

For left-pointing flat flags, set stemRightBeamCount instead (Example 2).

For right-pointing nibs at the end of a run of beamed notes, set stemRightBeamCount to a positive value. And for left-pointing nibs at the start of a run of beamed notes, set stemLeftBeamCount instead (Example 3).

Sometimes it may make sense for a lone note surrounded by rests to carry both a left- and right-pointing flat flag. Do this with paired [] beam indicators alone (Example 4).

(Note that \set stemLeftBeamCount is always equivalent to \once \set. In other words, the beam count settings are not "sticky", so the pair of flat flags attached to the lone c'16[] in the last example have nothing to do with the \set two notes prior.)

\score {
  <<
    % Example 1
    \new RhythmicStaff {
      \set stemLeftBeamCount = #0
      c16[]
      r8.
    }
    
    % Example 2
    \new RhythmicStaff {
      r8.
      \set stemRightBeamCount = #0
      c16[]
    }
    
    % Example 3
    \new RhythmicStaff {
      c16 c
      \set stemRightBeamCount = #2
      c16 r r
      \set stemLeftBeamCount = #2
      c16 c c
    }
    
    % Example 4
    \new RhythmicStaff {
      c16 c
      \set stemRightBeamCount = #2
      c16 r
      c16[]
      r16
      \set stemLeftBeamCount = #2
      c16 c
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Forcing rehearsal marks to start from a given letter or number

This snippet demonstrates how to obtain automatic ordered rehearsal marks, but from the letter or number desired.

\relative c''{
  c1 \mark \default
  c1 \mark \default
  c1 \mark \default
  c1 \mark #14
  c1 \mark \default
  c1 \mark \default
  c1 \mark \default
  c1 \mark \default
  \break
  \set Score.markFormatter = #format-mark-numbers
  c1 \mark #1
  c1 \mark \default
  c1 \mark \default
  c1 \mark \default
  c1 \mark #14
  c1 \mark \default
  c1 \mark \default
  c1 \mark \default
  c1 \mark \default
}

[image of music]


Grouping beats

Beaming patterns may be altered with the beatGrouping property:

\relative c'' {
  \time 5/16
  #(override-auto-beam-setting '(end * * 5 16) 5 16)
  \set beatGrouping = #'(2 3)
  c8^"(2+3)" c16 c8
  \set beatGrouping = #'(3 2)
  c8^"(3+2)" c16 c8
}

[image of music]


Guitar strum rhythms

For guitar music, it is possible to show strum rhythms, along with melody notes, chord names, and fret diagrams.

\include "predefined-guitar-fretboards.ly"
<<
  \new ChordNames {
    \chordmode {
      c1 f g c
    }
  }
  \new FretBoards {
    \chordmode {
      c1 f g c
    }
  }
  \new Voice \with {
    \consists "Pitch_squash_engraver"
  } {
    \relative c'' {
      \improvisationOn
      c4 c8 c c4 c8 c
      f4 f8 f f4 f8 f
      g4 g8 g g4 g8 g
      c4 c8 c c4 c8 c
    }
  }
  \new Voice = "melody" {
    \relative c'' {
      c2 e4 e4
      f2. r4
      g2. a4
      e4 c2.
    }
  }
  \new Lyrics {
    \lyricsto "melody" {
      This is my song.
      I like to sing.
    }
  }
>>

[image of music]


Heavily customized polymetric time signatures

Though the polymetric time signature shown was not the most essential item here, it has been included to show the beat of this piece (which is the template of a real Balkan song!).

#(define plus (markup #:vcenter "+"))
#(define ((custom-time-signature one two three four five six
           seven eight nine ten eleven num) grob)
            (grob-interpret-markup grob
              (markup #:override '(baseline-skip . 0) #:number
                (#:line (
                    (#:column (one num)) plus
                    (#:column (two num)) plus
                    (#:column (three num)) plus
                    (#:column (four num)) plus
                    (#:column (five num)) plus
                    (#:column (six num)) plus
                    (#:column (seven num)) plus
                    (#:column (eight num)) plus
                    (#:column (nine num)) plus
                    (#:column (ten num)) plus
                    (#:column (eleven num))))
                )))

melody = \relative c'' {
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Bb Sop."
  \key g \major
  #(set-time-signature 25 8 '(3 2 2 3 2 2 2 2 3 2 2))
  \override Staff.TimeSignature #'stencil =
    #(custom-time-signature "3" "2" "2" "3" "2" "2"
      "2" "2" "3" "2" "2" "8")
  c8 c c d4 c8 c b c b a4 g fis8 e d c b' c d e4-^ fis8 g \break
  c,4. d4 c4 d4. c4 d c2 d4. e4-^ d4
  c4. d4 c4 d4. c4 d c2 d4. e4-^ d4 \break
  c4. d4 c4 d4. c4 d c2 d4. e4-^ d4
  c4. d4 c4 d4. c4 d c2 d4. e4-^ d4 \break
}

drum = \new DrumStaff \drummode {
  \bar "|:" bd4.^\markup { "Drums" } sn4 bd \bar ":" sn4.
  bd4 sn \bar ":" bd sn bd4. sn4 bd \bar ":|"
}

{
  \melody
  \drum
}

[image of music]


Making an object invisible with the transparent property

Setting the 'transparent property will cause an object to be printed in "invisible ink": the object is not printed, but all its other behavior is retained. The object still takes up space, it takes part in collisions, and slurs, ties and beams can be attached to it.

This snippet demonstrates how to connect different voices using ties. Normally, ties only connect two notes in the same voice. By introducing a tie in a different voice, and blanking the first up-stem in that voice, the tie appears to cross voices. To prevent the blanked stem’s flag from interfering with tie positioning, the stem is extended.

\relative c'' {
  \time 2/4
  <<
    {
      \once \override Stem #'transparent = ##t
      \once \override Stem #'length = #8
      b8 ~ b\noBeam
      \once \override Stem #'transparent = ##t
      \once \override Stem #'length = #8
      g8 ~ g\noBeam
    }
    \\
    {
      b8 g g e
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Manually controlling beam positions

Beam positions may be controlled manually, by overriding the positions setting of the Beam grob.

\relative c' {
  \time 2/4
  % from upper staff-line (position 2) to center (position 0)
  \override Beam #'positions = #'(2 . 0)
  c8 c
  % from center to one above center (position 1)
  \override Beam #'positions = #'(0 . 1)
  c8 c
}

[image of music]


Merging multi-measure rests in a polyphonic part

When using multi-measure rests in a polyphonic staff, the rests will be placed differently depending on the voice they belong to. However they can be printed on the same staff line, using the following setting.

normalPos = \revert MultiMeasureRest #'staff-position

{
  <<
    {
      c''1
      R1
      c''1
      \normalPos
      R1
    }
    \\
    {
      c'1
      R1
      c'1
      \normalPos
      R1
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Modifying tuplet bracket length

Tuplet brackets can be made to run to prefatory matter or the next note. Default tuplet brackets end at the right edge of the final note of the tuplet; full-length tuplet brackets extend farther to the right, either to cover all the non-rhythmic notation up to the following note, or to cover only the whitespace before the next item of notation, be that a clef, time signature, key signature, or another note. The example shows how to switch tuplets to full length mode and how to modify what material they cover.

\new RhythmicStaff {
  % Set tuplets to be extendable...
  \set tupletFullLength = ##t
  % ...to cover all items up to the next note
  \set tupletFullLengthNote = ##t
  \time 2/4
  \times 2/3 { c4 c c }
  % ...or to cover just whitespace
  \set tupletFullLengthNote = ##f
  \time 4/4
  \times 4/5 { c4 c1 }
  \time 3/4
  c2.
}

[image of music]


Multi-measure rest markup

Markups attached to a multi-measure rest will be centered above or below it. Long markups attached to multi-measure rests do not cause the measure to expand. To expand a multi-measure rest to fit the markup, use a spacer rest with an attached markup before the multi-measure rest.

Note that the spacer rest causes a bar line to be inserted. Text attached to a spacer rest in this way is left-aligned to the position where the note would be placed in the measure, but if the measure length is determined by the length of the text, the text will appear to be centered.

\relative c' {
  \compressFullBarRests
  \textLengthOn
  s1*0^\markup { [MAJOR GENERAL] }
  R1*19
  s1*0_\markup { \italic { Cue: ... it is yours } }
  s1*0^\markup { A }
  R1*30^\markup { [MABEL] }
  \textLengthOff
  c4^\markup { CHORUS } d f c
}

[image of music]


Permitting line breaks within beamed tuplets

This artificial example shows how both manual and automatic line breaks may be permitted to within a beamed tuplet. Note that such off-beat tuplets have to be beamed manually.

\layout {
  \context {
    \Voice
    % Permit line breaks within tuplets
    \remove "Forbid_line_break_engraver"
    % Allow beams to be broken at line breaks
    \override Beam #'breakable = ##t
  }
}
\relative c'' {
  a8
  \repeat unfold 5 { \times 2/3 { c[ b a] } }
  % Insert a manual line break within a tuplet
  \times 2/3 { c[ b \bar "" \break a] }
  \repeat unfold 5 { \times 2/3 { c[ b a] } }
  c8
}

[image of music]


Positioning multi-measure rests

Unlike ordinary rests, there is no predefined command to change the staff position of a multi-measure rest symbol of either form by attaching it to a note. However, in polyphonic music multi-measure rests in odd-numbered and even-numbered voices are vertically separated. The positioning of multi-measure rests can be controlled as follows:

\relative c'' {
  % Multi-measure rests by default are set under the second line
  R1
  % They can be moved with an override
  \override MultiMeasureRest #'staff-position = #-2
  R1
  % A value of 0 is the default position;
  % the following trick moves the rest to the center line
  \override MultiMeasureRest #'staff-position = #-0.01
  R1
  % Multi-measure rests in odd-numbered voices are under the top line
  << { R1 } \\ { a1 } >>
  % Multi-measure rests in even-numbered voices are under the bottom line
  << { c1 } \\ { R1 } >>
  % They remain separated even in empty measures
  << { R1 } \\ { R1 } >>
  % This brings them together even though there are two voices
  \compressFullBarRests
  <<
    \revert MultiMeasureRest #'staff-position
    { R1*3 }
    \\
    \revert MultiMeasureRest #'staff-position
    { R1*3 }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Printing metronome and rehearsal marks below the staff

By default, metronome and rehearsal marks are printed above the staff. To place them below the staff simply set the direction property of MetronomeMark or RehearsalMark appropriately.

\layout { ragged-right = ##f }

{
  % Metronome marks below the staff 
  \override Score.MetronomeMark #'direction = #DOWN
  \tempo 8. = 120
  c''1

  % Rehearsal marks below the staff
  \override Score.RehearsalMark #'direction = #DOWN
  \mark \default
  c''1
}

[image of music]


Printing music with different time signatures

In the following snippet, two parts have a completely different time signature, yet remain synchronized. The bar lines can no longer be printed at the Score level; to allow independent bar lines in each part, the Default_barline_engraver and Timing_translator are moved from the Score context to the Staff context.

\paper {
  indent = #0
  ragged-right = ##t
}

global = { \time 3/4 { s2.*3 } \bar "" \break { s2.*3 } }

\layout {
  \context {
    \Score
    \remove "Timing_translator"
    \remove "Time_signature_engraver"
    \remove "Default_bar_line_engraver"
    \override SpacingSpanner #'uniform-stretching = ##t
    \override SpacingSpanner #'strict-note-spacing = ##t
    proportionalNotationDuration = #(ly:make-moment 1 64)
  }
  \context {
    \Staff
    \consists "Timing_translator"
    \consists "Default_bar_line_engraver"
    \consists "Time_signature_engraver"
  }
  \context {
    \Voice
    \remove "Forbid_line_break_engraver"
    tupletFullLength = ##t
  }
}

Bassklarinette = \new Staff <<
  \global {
    \bar "|"
    \clef treble
    \time 3/8
    d''4.
    
    \bar "|"
    \time 3/4
    r8 des''2( c''8)
    
    \bar "|"
    \time 7/8
    r4. ees''2 ~
    
    \bar "|"
    \time 2/4
    \tupletUp
    \times 2/3 { ees''4 r4 d''4 ~ }
    
    \bar "|"
    \time 3/8
    \tupletUp
    \times 3/4 { d''4 r4 }
    
    \bar "|"
    \time 2/4
    e''2
    
    \bar "|"
    \time 3/8
    es''4.
    
    \bar "|"
    \time 3/4
    r8 d''2 r8
    \bar "|"
  }
>>

Perkussion = \new StaffGroup <<
  \new Staff <<
    \global {
      \bar "|"
      \clef percussion
      \time 3/4
      r4 c'2 ~
      
      \bar "|"
      c'2.
      
      \bar "|"
      R2.
      
      \bar "|"
      r2 g'4 ~
      
      \bar "|"
      g'2. ~
      
      \bar "|"
      g'2.
    }
  >>
  \new Staff <<
    \global {
      \bar "|"
      \clef percussion
      \time 3/4
      R2.
      
      \bar "|"
      g'2. ~
      
      \bar "|"
      g'2.
      
      \bar "|"
      r4 g'2 ~
      
      \bar "|"
      g'2 r4
      
      \bar "|"
      g'2.
    }
  >>
>>

\score {
  <<
    \Bassklarinette
    \Perkussion
  >>
}

[image of music]


Rest styles

Rests may be used in various styles.

\layout {
  indent = 0.0
  \context {
    \Staff
    \remove "Time_signature_engraver"
  }
}

\new Staff \relative c {
  \cadenzaOn
  \override Staff.Rest #'style = #'mensural
  r\maxima^\markup \typewriter { mensural }
  r\longa r\breve r1 r2 r4 r8 r16 s32 s64 s128 s128
  \bar ""
  
  \override Staff.Rest #'style = #'neomensural
  r\maxima^\markup \typewriter { neomensural }
  r\longa r\breve r1 r2 r4 r8 r16 s32 s64 s128 s128
  \bar ""
  
  \override Staff.Rest #'style = #'classical
  r\maxima^\markup \typewriter { classical }
  r\longa r\breve r1 r2 r4 r8 r16 r32 r64 r128 s128
  \bar ""
  
  \override Staff.Rest  #'style = #'default
  r\maxima^\markup \typewriter { default }
  r\longa r\breve r1 r2 r4 r8 r16 r32 r64 r128 s128
}

[image of music]


Reverting default beam endings

To typeset beams grouped 3-4-3-2 in 12/8 it is necessary first to override the default beam endings in 12/8, and then to set up the new beaming endings:

\relative c'' {
  \time 12/8

  % Default beaming
  a8 a a a a a a a a a a a

  % Revert default values in scm/auto-beam.scm for 12/8 time
  #(revert-auto-beam-setting '(end * * 12 8) 3 8)
  #(revert-auto-beam-setting '(end * * 12 8) 3 4)
  #(revert-auto-beam-setting '(end * * 12 8) 9 8)
  a8 a a a a a a a a a a a

  % Set new values for beam endings
  #(override-auto-beam-setting '(end * * 12 8) 3 8)
  #(override-auto-beam-setting '(end * * 12 8) 7 8)
  #(override-auto-beam-setting '(end * * 12 8) 10 8)
  a8 a a a a a a a a a a a
}

[image of music]


Rhythmic slashes

In "simple" lead-sheets, sometimes no actual notes are written, instead only "rhythmic patterns" and chords above the measures are notated giving the structure of a song. Such a feature is for example useful while creating/transcribing the structure of a song and also when sharing lead sheets with guitarists or jazz musicians. The standard support for this using \repeat percent is unsuitable here since the first beat has to be an ordinary note or rest. This example shows two solutions to this problem, by redefining ordinary rests to be printed as slashes. (If the duration of each beat is not a quarter note, replace the r4 in the definitions with a rest of the appropriate duration).

% Macro to print single slash
rs = {
  \once \override Rest #'stencil = #ly:percent-repeat-item-interface::beat-slash
  \once \override Rest #'thickness = #0.48
  \once \override Rest #'slope = #1.7
  r4
}

% Function to print a specified number of slashes
comp = #(define-music-function (parser location count) ( integer?)
  #{
    \override Rest #'stencil = #ly:percent-repeat-item-interface::beat-slash
    \override Rest #'thickness = #0.48
    \override Rest #'slope = #1.7
    \repeat unfold $count { r4 }
    \revert Rest #'stencil
  #}
)

\score {
  \relative c' {
    c4 d e f |
    \rs \rs \rs \rs |
    \comp #4 |
  }
}

[image of music]


Skips in lyric mode (2)

Although s skips cannot be used in \lyricmode (it is taken to be a literal "s", not a space), double quotes ("") or underscores (_) are available.So for example:

<<
  \relative c'' { a4 b c d }
  \new Lyrics \lyricmode { a4 "" _ gap }
>>

[image of music]


Skips in lyric mode

The s syntax for skips is only available in note mode and chord mode. In other situations, for example, when entering lyrics, using the \skip command is recommended.

<<
  \relative { a'1 a }
  \new Lyrics \lyricmode { \skip 1 bla1 }
>>

[image of music]


Specifying context with beatGrouping

By specifying the context, the effect of beatGrouping can be limited to the context specified, and the values which may have been set in higher-level contexts can be overridden. The \set commands must be placed after all \time commands:

\score {
  \new Staff <<
    \time 7/8
    \new Voice {
      \relative c'' {
        \set Staff.beatGrouping = #'(2 3 2)
        a8 a a a a a a
      }
    }
    \new Voice {
      \relative c' {
        \voiceTwo
        \set beatGrouping = #'(1 3 3)
        f8 f f f f f f
      }
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Stemlets

In some notational conventions beams are allowed to extend over rests. Depending on preference, these beams may drop ’stemlets’ to help the eye appreciate the rhythm better, and in some modern music the rest itself is omitted and only the stemlet remains.

This snippet shows a progression from traditional notation, to beams over the rest, to stemlets over the rest, to stemlets alone. Stemlets are generated by overriding the 'stemlet-length property of Stem, while rests are hidden by setting 'transparent = ##t.

Some \markup elements are included in the source to highlight the different notations.

\paper { ragged-right = ##f }

{
  c'16^\markup { traditional } d' r f'
  g'16[^\markup { beams over rests } f' r d']
  
  % N.B. use Score.Stem to set for the whole score.
  \override Staff.Stem #'stemlet-length = #0.75
  
  c'16[^\markup { stemlets over rests } d' r f']
  g'16[^\markup { stemlets and no rests } f' \once \override Rest #'transparent = ##t r d']
}

[image of music]


Sub-dividing beams

The beams of consecutive 16th (or shorter) notes are, by default, not sub-divided. That is, the three (or more) beams stretch unbroken over entire groups of notes. This behavior can be modified to sub-divide the beams into sub-groups by setting the property subdivideBeams. When set, multiple beams will be sub-divided at intervals defined by the current value of beatLength by reducing the multiple beams to just one beam between the sub-groups. Note that beatLength defaults to one over the denominator of the current time signature if not set explicitly. It must be set to a fraction giving the duration of the beam sub-group using the make-moment function, as shown here:

\relative c'' {
  c32[ c c c c c c c]
  \set subdivideBeams = ##t
  c32[ c c c c c c c]

  % Set beam sub-group length to an eighth note
  \set beatLength = #(ly:make-moment 1 8)
  c32[ c c c c c c c]

  % Set beam sub-group length to a sixteenth note
  \set beatLength = #(ly:make-moment 1 16)
  c32[ c c c c c c c]
}

[image of music]


Three-sided box

This example shows how to add a markup command to get a three sided box around some text (or other markup).

% New command to add a three sided box, with sides north, west and south
% Based on the box-stencil command defined in scm/stencil.scm
% Note that ";" is used to comment a line in Scheme
#(define-public (NWS-box-stencil stencil thickness padding)
  "Add a box around STENCIL, producing a new stencil."
  (let* ((x-ext (interval-widen (ly:stencil-extent stencil 0) padding))
         (y-ext (interval-widen (ly:stencil-extent stencil 1) padding))
         (y-rule (make-filled-box-stencil (cons 0 thickness) y-ext))
         (x-rule (make-filled-box-stencil
                  (interval-widen x-ext thickness) (cons 0 thickness))))
;    (set! stencil (ly:stencil-combine-at-edge stencil X 1 y-rule padding))
    (set! stencil (ly:stencil-combine-at-edge stencil X -1 y-rule padding))
    (set! stencil (ly:stencil-combine-at-edge stencil Y 1 x-rule 0.0))
    (set! stencil (ly:stencil-combine-at-edge stencil Y -1 x-rule 0.0))
    stencil))

% The corresponding markup command, based on the \box command defined 
% in scm/define-markup-commands.scm
#(define-markup-command (NWS-box layout props arg) (markup?)
  "Draw a box round @var{arg}.  Looks at @code{thickness},
@code{box-padding} and @code{font-size} properties to determine line
thickness and padding around the markup."  
  (let* ((th (chain-assoc-get 'thickness props  0.1))
         (size (chain-assoc-get 'font-size props 0))
         (pad (* (magstep size)
                 (chain-assoc-get 'box-padding props 0.2)))
         (m (interpret-markup layout props arg)))
    (NWS-box-stencil m th pad)))

% Test it:

\layout { ragged-right = ##f }
\relative c' {
  c2^\markup { \NWS-box ABCD }
  c2^\markup { \NWS-box \note #"4" #1.0 }
}

[image of music]


Using beatLength and beatGrouping

The property measureLength determines where bar lines should be inserted and, with beatLength and beatGrouping, how automatic beams should be generated for beam durations and time signatures for which no beam-ending rules are defined. This example shows several ways of controlling beaming by setting these properties. The explanations are shown as comments in the code.

\relative c'' {
  \time 3/4
  % The default in 3/4 time is to beam in three groups
  % each of a quarter note length
  a16 a a a a a a a a a a a

  \time 12/16
  % No auto-beaming is defined for 12/16
  a16 a a a a a a a a a a a

  \time 3/4
  % Change time signature symbol, but retain underlying 3/4 beaming
  \set Score.timeSignatureFraction = #'(12 . 16)
  a16 a a a a a a a a a a a

  % The 3/4 time default grouping of (1 1 1) and beatLength of 1/8
  % are not consistent with a measureLength of 3/4, so the beams
  % are grouped at beatLength intervals
  \set Score.beatLength = #(ly:make-moment 1 8)
  a16 a a a a a a a a a a a

  % Specify beams in groups of (3 3 2 3) 1/16th notes
  % 3+3+2+3=11, and 11*1/16<>3/4, so beatGrouping does not apply,
  % and beams are grouped at beatLength (1/16) intervals
  \set Score.beatLength = #(ly:make-moment 1 16)
  \set Score.beatGrouping = #'(3 3 2 3)
  a16 a a a a a a a a a a a

  % Specify beams in groups of (3 4 2 3) 1/16th notes
  % 3+4+2+3=12, and 12*1/16=3/4, so beatGrouping applies
  \set Score.beatLength = #(ly:make-moment 1 16)
  \set Score.beatGrouping = #'(3 4 2 3)
  a16 a a a a a a a a a a a
}

[image of music]


Using ties with arpeggios

Ties are sometimes used to write out arpeggios. In this case, two tied notes need not be consecutive. This can be achieved by setting the tieWaitForNote property to #t. The same feature is also useful, for example, to tie a tremolo to a chord, but in principle, it can also be used for ordinary consecutive notes.

\relative c' {
  \set tieWaitForNote = ##t
  \grace { c16[ ~ e ~ g] ~ } <c, e g>2
  \repeat tremolo 8 { c32 ~ c' ~ } <c c,>1
  e8 ~ c ~ a ~ f ~ <e' c a f>2
  \tieUp
  c8 ~ a
  \tieDown
  \tieDotted
  g8 ~ c g2
}

[image of music]


Expressive marks

These snippets illustrate the Notation Reference, section Expressive marks.


Adding beams, slurs, ties etc. when using tuplet and non-tuplet rythms.

LilyPond syntax can involve many unusual placements for parentheses, brackets etc., which might sometimes have to be interleaved. For example, when entering a manual beam, the left square bracket has to be placed after the starting note and its duration, not before. Similarly, the right square bracket should directly follow the note which is to be at the end of the requested beaming, even if this note happens to be inside a tuplet section. This snippet demonstrates how to combine manual beaming, manual slurs, ties and phrasing slurs with tuplet sections (enclosed within curly braces).

{
  r16[ g16 \times 2/3 { r16 e'8] }
  g16( a \times 2/3 { b d e') }
  g8[( a \times 2/3 { b d') e'] ~ }
  \time 2/4
  \times 4/5 { e'32\( a b d' e' } a'4.\)
}

[image of music]


Adding parentheses around an expressive mark or chordal note

The \parenthesize function is a special tweak that encloses objects in parentheses. The associated grob is Score.ParenthesesItem.

\relative c' {
  c2-\parenthesize ->
  \override ParenthesesItem #'padding = #0.1
  \override ParenthesesItem #'font-size = #-4
  <d \parenthesize f a>2 
}

[image of music]


Adjusting the shape of falls and doits

The shortest-duration-space property may have to be tweaked to adjust the shape of falls and doits.

\relative c'' {
  \override Score.SpacingSpanner #'shortest-duration-space = #4.0
  c2-\bendAfter #+5
  c2-\bendAfter #-3
  c2-\bendAfter #+8
  c2-\bendAfter #-6
}

[image of music]


Breathing signs

Breathing signs are available in different tastes: commas (default), ticks, vees and "railroad tracks" (caesura).

\new Staff \relative c'' {
  \key es \major
  \time 3/4
  % this bar contains no \breathe
  << { g4 as g } \\ { es4 bes es } >> |
  % Modern notation:
  % by default, \breathe uses the rcomma, just as if saying:
  % \override BreathingSign #'text = #(make-musicglyph-markup "scripts.rcomma")
  << { g4 as g } \\ { es4 \breathe bes es } >> |
  
  % rvarcomma and lvarcomma are variations of the default rcomma and lcomma
  % N.B.: must use Staff context here, since we start a Voice below
  \override Staff.BreathingSign #'text = \markup { \musicglyph #"scripts.rvarcomma" }
  << { g4 as g } \\ { es4 \breathe bes es } >> |
  
  % vee
  \override BreathingSign #'text = \markup { \musicglyph #"scripts.upbow" }
  es8[ d es f g] \breathe f |
  
  % caesura
  \override BreathingSign #'text = \markup { \musicglyph #"scripts.caesura.curved" }
  es8[ d] \breathe es[ f g f] |
  es2 r4 \bar "||"
}

[image of music]


Broken crescendo hairpin

In order to make parts of a crescendo hairpin invisible, the following method is used: A white rectangle is drawn on top of the respective part of the crescendo hairpin, making it invisible. The rectangle is defined as postscript code within a text markup.

To fine-tune the position and size of the markup, the number preceding setgray in the postscript definition can be set to a value less than one, making it grey. The two numbers before scale in the postscript code are responsible for the width and height of the rectangle, the two numbers before translate change the x- and y-origin of the rectangle.

Make sure to put the hairpin in a lower layer than the text markup to draw the rectangle over the hairpin.

\relative c' {
  << {
    \dynamicUp
    \override DynamicLineSpanner #'staff-padding = #4
    r2 r16 c'8.\pp r4
  }
  \\
  {
    \override DynamicLineSpanner #'layer = #0
    des,2\mf\< ~
    \override TextScript #'layer = #2
    des16_\markup {
      \postscript #"
        1.9 -8 translate
        5 4 scale
        1 setgray
        0 0 moveto
        0 1 lineto
        1 1 lineto
        1 0 lineto
        0 0 lineto
        fill"
    }
    r8. des4 ~ des16->\sff
  } >>
}

[image of music]


Caesura ("railtracks") with fermata

A caesura is sometimes denoted by a double "railtracks" breath mark with a fermata sign positioned above. This snippet should present an optically pleasing combination of railtracks and fermata.

\relative c'' {
  c2.
  % construct the symbol
  \override BreathingSign #'text = \markup {
    \line {
      \musicglyph #"scripts.caesura.curved"
      \translate #'(-1.75 . 1.6)
      \musicglyph #"scripts.ufermata"
    }
  }
  \breathe c4
  % set the breathe mark back to normal
  \revert BreathingSign #'text
  c2. \breathe c4
  \bar "|."
}

[image of music]


Center text below hairpin dynamics

This example provides a function to typeset a hairpin (de)crescendo with some additional text below it, such as "molto" or "poco". The example also illustrates how to modify the way an object is normally printed, using some Scheme code.

hairpinWithCenteredText =
#(define-music-function (parser location text) (markup?)
#{
  \override Voice.Hairpin #'stencil = #(lambda (grob)
    (ly:stencil-aligned-to
     (ly:stencil-combine-at-edge
      (ly:stencil-aligned-to (ly:hairpin::print grob) X CENTER)
      Y DOWN
      (ly:stencil-aligned-to (grob-interpret-markup grob $text) X CENTER))
     X LEFT))
#})

hairpinMolto = \hairpinWithCenteredText \markup { \italic molto }
hairpinMore = \hairpinWithCenteredText \markup { \larger moltissimo }

\layout { ragged-right = ##f }

{
  \hairpinMolto c'2\< c'\f
  \hairpinMore  c'2\< c'\f
}

[image of music]


Changing \flageolet mark size

To make the \flageolet circle smaller use the following Scheme function.

smallFlageolet =
#(let ((m (make-music 'ArticulationEvent
                      'articulation-type "flageolet")))
   (ly:music-set-property! m 'tweaks
     (acons 'font-size -3
       (ly:music-property m 'tweaks)))
  m)

\layout { ragged-right = ##f }

\relative c'' {
  d4^\flageolet_\markup { default size } d_\flageolet
  c4^\smallFlageolet_\markup { smaller } c_\smallFlageolet
}

[image of music]


Changing text and spanner styles for text dynamics

The text used for crescendos and decrescendos can be changed by modifying the context properties crescendoText and decrescendoText. The style of the spanner line can be changed by modifying the 'style property of DynamicTextSpanner. The default value is 'hairpin, and other possible values include 'line, 'dashed-line and 'dotted-line:

\relative c'' {
  \set crescendoText = \markup { \italic { cresc. poco } }
  \set crescendoSpanner = #'text
  \override DynamicTextSpanner #'style = #'dotted-line
  a2\< a
  a2 a
  a2 a
  a2 a\mf
}

[image of music]


Changing the appearance of a slur from solid to dotted or dashed

The appearance of slurs may be changed from solid to dotted or dashed.

\relative c' {
  c4( d e c)
  \slurDotted
  c4( d e c)
  \slurSolid
  c4( d e c)
  \slurDashed
  c4( d e c)
  \slurSolid
  c4( d e c)
}

[image of music]


Changing the breath mark symbol

The glyph of the breath mark can be tuned by overriding the text property of the BreathingSign layout object with any markup text.

\relative c'' {
  c2
  \override BreathingSign #'text = \markup { \musicglyph #"scripts.rvarcomma" }
  \breathe
  d2
}

[image of music]


Combining dynamics with markup texts

Some dynamics may involve text indications (such as "più forte" or "piano subito"). They can be produced using a \markup block.

piuF = \markup { \italic più \dynamic f }
\layout { ragged-right = ##f }
\relative c'' {
  c2\f c-\piuF
}

[image of music]


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 "|"
}

[image of music]


Controlling the vertical ordering of scripts

The vertical ordering of scripts is controlled with the 'script-priority property. The lower this number, the closer it will be put to the note. In this example, the TextScript (the sharp symbol) first has the lowest priority, so it is put lowest in the first example. In the second, the prall trill (the Script) has the lowest, so it is on the inside. When two objects have the same priority, the order in which they are entered determines which one comes first.

\relative c''' {
  \once \override TextScript #'script-priority = #-100
  a2^\prall^\markup { \sharp }
  
  \once \override Script #'script-priority = #-100
  a2^\prall^\markup { \sharp }
}

[image of music]


Creating a delayed turn

Creating a delayed turn, where the lower note of the turn uses the accidental, requires several overrides. The outside-staff-priority property must be set to #f, as otherwise this would take precedence over the avoid-slur property. The value of halign is used to position the turn horizontally.

\relative c'' {
  \once \override TextScript #'avoid-slur = #'inside
  \once \override TextScript #'outside-staff-priority = ##f
  c2(^\markup \tiny \override #'(baseline-skip . 1) {
    \halign #-4
    \center-column {
      \sharp
      \musicglyph #"scripts.turn"
    }
  }
  d4.) c8
}

[image of music]


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 }
  >>
}

[image of music]


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
    }
  }
>>

[image of music]


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"
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Creating "real" parenthesized dynamics

Although the easiest way to add parentheses to a dynamic mark is to use a \markup block, this method has a downside: the created objects will behave like text markups, and not like dynamics.

However, it is possible to create a similar object using the equivalent Scheme code (as described in "Markup programmer interface"), combined with the make-dynamic-script function. This way, the markup will be regarded as a dynamic, and therefore will remain compatible with commands such as \dynamicUp or \dynamicDown.

\paper { ragged-right = ##t }

parenF = #(make-dynamic-script (markup #:line (#:normal-text #:italic
           #:fontsize 2 "(" #:hspace -0.8 #:dynamic "f" #:normal-text
           #:italic #:fontsize 2 ")"
          )))
\relative c'' {
  c4\parenF c c \dynamicUp c\parenF
}

[image of music]


Creating simultaneous rehearsal marks

Unlike text scripts, rehearsal marks cannot be stacked at a particular point in a score: only one RehearsalMark object is created. Using an invisible measure and bar line, an extra rehearsal mark can be added, giving the appearance of two marks in the same column.

This method may also prove useful for placing rehearsal marks at both the end of one system and the start of the following system.

{
  \key a \major
  \set Score.markFormatter = #format-mark-box-letters
  \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'outside-staff-priority = #5000
  \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'self-alignment-X = #LEFT
  \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'break-align-symbols = #'(key-signature)
  \mark \markup { \bold { Senza denti } }
  
  % the hidden measure and bar line
  \once \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f
  \time 1/16
  s16 \bar ""
  
  \time 4/4
  \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'self-alignment-X = #LEFT
  \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'break-align-symbols = #'(bar-line)
  \mark \markup { \box \bold Intro }
  d'1
  \mark \default
  d'1
}

[image of music]


Creating slurs across voices

In some situations, it may be necessary to create slurs between notes from different voices.

The solution is to add invisible notes to one of the voices, using \hideNotes.

This example is measure 235 of the Ciaconna from Bach’s 2nd Partita for solo violin, BWV 1004.

\relative c' {
  <<
    {
      d16( a') s a s a[ s a] s a[ s a]
    }
    \\
    {
      \slurUp
      bes,16[ s e](
      \hideNotes a)
      \unHideNotes f[(
      \hideNotes a)
      \unHideNotes fis](
      \hideNotes a)
      \unHideNotes g[(
      \hideNotes a)
      \unHideNotes gis](
      \hideNotes a)
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Creating text spanners

The \startTextSpan and \stopTextSpan commands allow the creation of text spanners as easily as pedal indications or octavations. Override some properties of the TextSpanner object to modify its output.

\paper { ragged-right = ##f }

\relative c'' {
  \override TextSpanner #'(bound-details left text) = #"bla"
  \override TextSpanner #'(bound-details right text) = #"blu"
  a4 \startTextSpan
  b4 c
  a4 \stopTextSpan
  
  \override TextSpanner #'style = #'line
  \once \override TextSpanner
    #'(bound-details left stencil-align-dir-y) = #CENTER
  a4 \startTextSpan
  b4 c
  a4 \stopTextSpan
  
  \override TextSpanner #'style = #'dashed-line
  \override TextSpanner #'(bound-details left text) =
    \markup { \draw-line #'(0 . 1) }
  \override TextSpanner #'(bound-details right text) =
    \markup { \draw-line #'(0 . -2) }
  \once \override TextSpanner #'(bound-details right padding) = #-2

  a4 \startTextSpan
  b4 c
  a4 \stopTextSpan
  
  \set Staff.middleCPosition = #-13
  \override TextSpanner #'dash-period = #10
  \override TextSpanner #'dash-fraction = #0.5
  \override TextSpanner #'thickness = #10
  a4 \startTextSpan
  b4 c
  a4 \stopTextSpan
}

[image of music]


Double glissando

To connect chords with glissando lines, attach a second glissando to a hidden voice.

\relative c {
  \clef bass
  <<
    {
      % new voice ( = \voiceOne), hidden
      \hideNotes
      % attach glissando to note heads
      e2\glissando g
    }
    \\
    { 
      % original voice with chords rearranged so that
      % glissando is attached to a & c
      <e a,>2\glissando <g c,>
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Hiding the extender line for text dynamics

Text style dynamic changes (such as cresc. and dim.) are printed with a dashed line showing their extent. This line can be suppressed in the following way:

\relative c'' {
  \override DynamicTextSpanner #'dash-period = #-1.0
  \crescTextCresc
  c1\< | d | b | c\!
}

[image of music]


Horizontally aligning custom dynamics (e.g. "sempre pp", "piu f", "subito p")

Some dynamic expressions involve additional text, like "sempre pp". Since lilypond aligns all dynamics centered on the note, the \pp would be displayed way after the note it applies to.

To correctly align the "sempre \pp" horizontally, so that it is aligned as if it were only the \pp, there are several approaches:

* Simply use \once\override DynamicText #'X-offset = #-9.2 before the note with the dynamics to manually shift it to the correct position. Drawback: This has to be done manually each time you use that dynamic markup... * Add some padding (#:hspace 7.1) into the definition of your custom dynamic mark, so that after lilypond center-aligns it, it is already correctly aligned. Drawback: The padding really takes up that space and does not allow any other markup or dynamics to be shown in that position.

* Shift the dynamic script \once\override ... #'X-offset = ... Drawback: \once\override is needed for every invocation!

* Set the dimensions of the additional text to 0 (using #:with-dimensions '(0 . 0) '(0 . 0)). Drawback: To lilypond "sempre" has no extent, so it might put other stuff there and create collisions (which are not detected by the collision dection!). Also, there seems to be some spacing, so it’s not exactly the same alignment as without the additional text

* Add an explicit shifting directly inside the scheme function for the dynamic-script.

* Set an explicit alignment inside the dynamic-script. By default, this won’t have any effect, only if one sets X-offset! Drawback: One needs to set DynamicText #'X-offset, which will apply to all dynamic texts! Also, it is aligned at the right edge of the additional text, not at the center of pp.

\header { title = "Horizontally aligning custom dynamics" }
\layout { ragged-right = ##t }

% Solution 1: Using a simple markup with a particular halign value
% Drawback: It's a markup, not a dynamic command, so \dynamicDown etc. will have no effect
semppMarkup = \markup { \halign #1.4 \italic "sempre" \dynamic "pp" }

% Solution 2: Using a dynamic script and shifting with \once\override ... #'X-offset = ..
% Drawback: \once\override needed for every invocation
semppK = #(make-dynamic-script (markup #:line( #:normal-text #:italic "sempre" #:dynamic "pp")))

% Solution 3: Padding the dynamic script so the center-alignment puts it to the correct position
% Drawback: the padding really reserves the space, nothing else can be there
semppT = #(
  make-dynamic-script (
    markup #:line (
      #:normal-text #:italic "sempre" #:dynamic "pp" #:hspace 7.1
    )
  )
)

% Solution 4: Dynamic, setting the dimensions of the additional text to 0
% Drawback: To lilypond "sempre" has no extent, so it might put other stuff there => collisions
% Drawback: Also, there seems to be some spacing, so it's not exactly the 
%           same alignment as without the additional text
semppM = #(make-dynamic-script (markup #:line( #:with-dimensions '(0 . 0) '(0 . 0) #:right-align #:normal-text #:italic "sempre" #:dynamic "pp")))

% Solution 5: Dynamic with explicit shifting inside the scheme function
semppG = #(make-dynamic-script
  (markup
    #:hspace 0 #:translate (cons -18.85 0 )
    #:line( #:normal-text #:italic "sempre" #:dynamic "pp"))
)

% Solution 6: Dynamic with explicit alignment. This has only effect, if one sets X-offset!
% Drawback: One needs to set DynamicText #'X-offset!
% Drawback: Aligned at the right edge of the additional text, not at the center of pp
semppMII = #(make-dynamic-script (markup #:line(#:right-align #:normal-text #:italic "sempre" #:dynamic "pp")))


\context StaffGroup <<
  \context Staff="s" << \set Staff.instrumentName = "Normal"
       \relative c'' { \key es \major c4\pp c\p c c | c\ff c c\pp c } 
  >>
  \context Staff="sMarkup" << \set Staff.instrumentName = \markup\column{"Normal" "Markup"}
       \relative c'' { \key es \major c4-\semppMarkup c\p c c | c\ff c c-\semppMarkup c} 
  >>
  \context Staff="sK" << \set Staff.instrumentName = \markup\column{"Explicit" "shifting"}
       \relative c'' { \key es \major 
           \once \override DynamicText #'X-offset = #-9.2 c4\semppK c\p c c | 
           c\ff c \once \override DynamicText #'X-offset = #-9.2  c\semppK c } 
  >>
  \context Staff="sT" << \set Staff.instrumentName = \markup\column{"Right" "padding"}
       \relative c'' { \key es \major c4\semppT c\p c c | c\ff c c\semppT c } 
  >>
  \context Staff="sM" << \set Staff.instrumentName = \markup\column{"Setting" "dimension" "to zero"}
       \relative c'' { \key es \major c4\semppM c\p c c | c\ff c c\semppM c } 
  >>
  \context Staff="sG" << \set Staff.instrumentName = \markup\column{"Shifting" "inside" "dynamics"}
       \relative c'' { \key es \major c4\semppG c\p c c | c\ff c c\semppG c} 
  >>
  \context Staff="sMII" << \set Staff.instrumentName = \markup\column{"Alignment" "inside" "dynamics"}
    \relative c'' { \key es \major 
      \override DynamicText #'X-offset = #0  % Setting to ##f (false) gives the same resul
      c4\semppMII c\p c c | c\ff c c\semppMII c } 
    >>
>>

[image of music]


Inserting a caesura

Caesura marks can be created by overriding the 'text property of the BreathingSign object. A curved caesura mark is also available.

\relative c'' {
  \override BreathingSign #'text = \markup {
    \musicglyph #"scripts.caesura.straight"
  }
  c8 e4. \breathe g8. e16 c4

  \override BreathingSign #'text = \markup {
    \musicglyph #"scripts.caesura.curved"
  }
  g8 e'4. \breathe g8. e16 c4
}

[image of music]


Laissez vibrer ties

Laissez vibrer ties have a fixed size. Their formatting can be tuned using 'tie-configuration.

\relative c' {
  <c e g>4\laissezVibrer r <c f g>\laissezVibrer r
  <c d f g>4\laissezVibrer r <c d f g>4.\laissezVibrer r8

  <c d e f>4\laissezVibrer r
  \override LaissezVibrerTieColumn #'tie-configuration
     = #`((-7 . ,DOWN)
          (-5 . ,DOWN)
          (-3 . ,UP)
          (-1 . ,UP))
  <c d e f>4\laissezVibrer r
}

[image of music]


Line arrows

Arrows can be applied to text-spanners and line-spanners (such as the Glissando).

\relative c'' {
  \override TextSpanner #'bound-padding = #1.0
  \override TextSpanner #'style = #'line
  \override TextSpanner #'(bound-details right arrow) = ##t
  \override TextSpanner #'(bound-details left text) = #"fof"
  \override TextSpanner #'(bound-details right text) = #"gag"
  \override TextSpanner #'(bound-details right padding) = #0.6

  \override TextSpanner #'(bound-details right stencil-align-dir-y) = #CENTER
  \override TextSpanner #'(bound-details left stencil-align-dir-y) = #CENTER
  
  \override Glissando #'(bound-details right arrow) = ##t
  \override Glissando #'arrow-length = #0.5
  \override Glissando #'arrow-width = #0.25
  
  a8\startTextSpan gis a4 b\glissando b,
  g'4 c\stopTextSpan c2
}

[image of music]


Modifying default values for articulation shorthand notation

The shorthands are defined in ‘ly/script-init.ly’, where the variables dashHat, dashPlus, dashDash, dashBar, dashLarger, dashDot, and dashUnderscore are assigned default values. The default values for the shorthands can be modified. For example, to associate the -+ (dashPlus) shorthand with the trill symbol instead of the default + symbol, assign the value trill to the variable dashPlus:

\relative c'' { c1-+ }
dashPlus = "trill"
\relative c'' { c1-+ }

[image of music]


Piano template with centered dynamics

Many piano scores have the dynamics centered between the two staves. This requires a bit of tweaking to implement, but since the template is right here, you don’t have to do the tweaking yourself.

global = {
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
}

upper = \relative c'' {
  \clef treble
  a4 b c d
}

lower = \relative c {
  \clef bass
  a2 c
}

dynamics = {
  s2\fff\> s4 s\!\pp
}

pedal = {
  s2\sustainOn s\sustainOff
}

\score {
  \new PianoStaff = "PianoStaff_pf" <<
    \new Staff = "Staff_pfUpper" \upper
    \new Dynamics = "Dynamics_pf" \dynamics
    \new Staff = "Staff_pfLower" << \lower >>
    \new Dynamics = "pedal" \pedal
  >>

  \layout {
    % define Dynamics context
    \context {
      \type "Engraver_group"
      \name Dynamics
      \alias Voice
      \consists "Output_property_engraver"
      \consists "Piano_pedal_engraver"
      \consists "Script_engraver"
      \consists "New_dynamic_engraver"
      \consists "Dynamic_align_engraver"
      \consists "Text_engraver"
      \consists "Skip_event_swallow_translator"
      \consists "Axis_group_engraver"

      pedalSustainStrings = #'("Ped." "*Ped." "*")
      pedalUnaCordaStrings = #'("una corda" "" "tre corde")
      \override DynamicLineSpanner #'Y-offset = #0
      \override TextScript #'font-size = #2
      \override TextScript #'font-shape = #'italic
      \override VerticalAxisGroup #'minimum-Y-extent = #'(-1 . 1)
    }
    % modify PianoStaff context to accept Dynamics context
    \context {
      \PianoStaff
      \accepts Dynamics
    }
  }
}

\score {
  \new PianoStaff = "PianoStaff_pf" <<
    \new Staff = "Staff_pfUpper" << \global \upper \dynamics \pedal >>
    \new Staff = "Staff_pfLower" << \global \lower \dynamics \pedal >>
  >>
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


Positioning text markups inside slurs

Text markups need to have the outside-staff-priority property set to false in order to be printed inside slurs.

\relative c'' {
  \override TextScript #'avoid-slur = #'inside
  \override TextScript #'outside-staff-priority = ##f
  c2(^\markup { \halign #-10 \natural } d4.) c8
}

[image of music]


Printing hairpins using al niente notation

Hairpins may be printed with a circled tip (al niente notation) by setting the circled-tip property of the Hairpin object to #t.

\relative c'' {
  \override Hairpin #'circled-tip = ##t
  c2\< c\!
  c4\> c\< c2\!
}

[image of music]


Printing metronome and rehearsal marks below the staff

By default, metronome and rehearsal marks are printed above the staff. To place them below the staff simply set the direction property of MetronomeMark or RehearsalMark appropriately.

\layout { ragged-right = ##f }

{
  % Metronome marks below the staff 
  \override Score.MetronomeMark #'direction = #DOWN
  \tempo 8. = 120
  c''1

  % Rehearsal marks below the staff
  \override Score.RehearsalMark #'direction = #DOWN
  \mark \default
  c''1
}

[image of music]


Setting hairpin behavior at bar lines

If the note which ends a hairpin falls on a downbeat, the hairpin stops at the bar line immediately preceding. This behavior can be controlled by overriding the 'to-barline property.

\relative c'' {
  e4\< e2.
  e1\!
  \override Hairpin #'to-barline = ##f
  e4\< e2.
  e1\!
}

[image of music]


Setting the minimum length of hairpins

If hairpins are too short, they can be lengthened by modifying the minimum-length property of the Hairpin object.

\relative c'' {
  c4\< c\! d\> e\!
  \override Hairpin #'minimum-length = #5
  << f1 { s4 s\< s\> s\! } >>
}

[image of music]


Snap-pizzicato markup ("Bartok pizzicato")

A snap-pizzicato (also known as "Bartok pizzicato") is a "strong pizzicato where the string is plucked vertically by snapping and rebounds off the fingerboard of the instrument" (Wikipedia). It is denoted by a cicle with a vertical line going from the center upwards outside the circle. While Lilypond does not have a pre-defined command to created this markup, it is easy to create a definition and place it directly into the lilypond file.

#(define-markup-command (snappizz layout props) ()
  (interpret-markup layout props
    (markup #:stencil
      (ly:stencil-translate-axis
        (ly:stencil-add
          (make-circle-stencil 0.7 0.1 #f)
          (ly:make-stencil
            (list 'draw-line 0.1 0 0.1 0 1)
            '(-0.1 . 0.1) '(0.1 . 1)))
        0.7 X))))

snapPizzicato = \markup \snappizz

% now it can be used as \snappizzicato after the note/chord
% Note that a direction (-, ^ or _) is required.
\relative c' {
  c4^\snapPizzicato
  % This does NOT work:
  %<c e g>\snapPizzicato
  <c' e g>-\snapPizzicato
  <c' e g>^\snapPizzicato
  <c, e g>_\snapPizzicato
}

[image of music]


Using double slurs for legato chords

Some composers write two slurs when they want legato chords. This can be achieved by setting doubleSlurs.

\relative c' {
  \set doubleSlurs = ##t
  <c e>4( <d f> <c e> <d f>)
}

[image of music]


Vertically aligning dynamics across multiple notes

Dynamics that occur at, begin on, or end on the same note will be vertically aligned. To ensure that dynamics are aligned when they do not occur on the same note, increase the staff-padding property of the DynamicLineSpanner object.

\relative c' {
  \override DynamicLineSpanner #'staff-padding = #4
  c2\p f\mf
  g2\< b4\> c\!
}

[image of music]


Repeats

These snippets illustrate the Notation Reference, section Repeats.


Adding volta brackets to additional staves

The Volta_engraver by default resides in the Score context, and brackets for the repeat are thus normally only printed over the topmost staff. This can be adjusted by adding the Volta_engraver to the Staff context where the brackets should appear; see also the "Volta multi staff" snippet.

<<
  \new Staff { \repeat volta 2 { c'1 } \alternative { c' } }
  \new Staff { \repeat volta 2 { c'1 } \alternative { c' } }
  \new Staff \with { \consists "Volta_engraver" } { c'2 g' e' a' }
  \new Staff { \repeat volta 2 { c'1 } \alternative { c' } }
>>

[image of music]


Isolated percent repeats

Isolated percents can also be printed. This is done by entering a multi-measure rest with a different print function:

\relative c'' {
  \override MultiMeasureRest #'stencil
    = #ly:multi-measure-rest::percent
  \override MultiMeasureRest #'thickness = #0.48
  R1
}

[image of music]


Measure counter

This snippet provides a workaround for emitting measure counters using transparent percent repeats.

<<
  \context Voice = "foo" {
    \clef bass
    c4 r g r
    c4 r g r
    c4 r g r
    c4 r g r
  }
  \context Voice = "foo" {
    \set countPercentRepeats = ##t
    \override PercentRepeat #'transparent = ##t
    \override PercentRepeatCounter #'staff-padding = #1
    \repeat percent 4 { s1 }
  }
>>

[image of music]


Percent repeat count visibility

Percent repeat counters can be shown at regular intervals by setting the context property repeatCountVisibility.

\relative c'' {
  \set countPercentRepeats = ##t
  \set repeatCountVisibility = #(every-nth-repeat-count-visible 5)
  \repeat percent 10 { c1 } \break
  \set repeatCountVisibility = #(every-nth-repeat-count-visible 2)
  \repeat percent 6 { c1 d1 }
}

[image of music]


Percent repeat counter

Measure repeats of more than two repeats can get a counter when the convenient property is switched, as shown in this example:

\relative c'' {
  \set countPercentRepeats = ##t
  \repeat percent 4 { c1 }
}

[image of music]


Positioning segno and coda (with line break)

If you want to place an exiting segno sign and add text like "D.S. al Coda" next to it where usually the staff lines are you can use this snippet. The coda will resume in a new line. There is a variation documented in this snippet, where the coda will remain on the same line.

{ 
  \clef treble
  \key g \major
  \time 4/4
  \relative c'' {
    \repeat unfold 2 {
      | c4 c c c
    }
    
    % Set segno sign as rehearsal mark and adjust size if needed
    % \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'font-size = #3
    \mark \markup { \musicglyph #"scripts.segno" }
    \repeat unfold 2 {
      | c4 c c c
    }
    
    % Set coda sign as rehearsal mark and adjust size if needed
    \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'font-size = #4
    \mark \markup { \musicglyph #"scripts.coda" }
    \repeat unfold 2 {
      | c4 c c c
    }
    
    % Should Coda be on anew line?
    % Coda NOT on new line: use \nobreak
    % Coda on new line: DON'T use \nobreak
    % \noBreak
    
    \bar "||"
    
    % Set segno sign as rehearsal mark and adjust size if needed
    \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'break-visibility = #begin-of-line-invisible
    % \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'font-size = #3
    \mark \markup { \musicglyph #"scripts.segno" }
    
    % Here begins the trickery! 
    % \cadenzaOn will suppress the bar count and \stopStaff removes the staff lines.
    \cadenzaOn 
      \stopStaff 
        % Some examples of possible text-displays 
        
        % text line-aligned
        % ==================
        % Move text to the desired position
        % \once \override TextScript #'extra-offset = #'( 2 . -3.5 )
        % | s1*0^\markup { D.S. al Coda } }
        
        % text center-aligned
        % ====================
        % Move text to the desired position
        % \once \override TextScript #'extra-offset = #'( 6 . -5.0 )
        % | s1*0^\markup { \center-column { D.S. "al Coda" } }
        
        % text and symbols center-aligned
        % ===============================
        % Move text to the desired position and tweak spacing for optimum text alignment
        %\once \override TextScript #'extra-offset = #'( 8 . -5.5 )
        \once \override TextScript #'word-space = #1.5
        \once \override TextScript #'X-offset = #8
        \once \override TextScript #'Y-offset = #1.5
        | s1*0^\markup { \center-column { "D.S. al Coda" \line { \musicglyph #"scripts.coda" \musicglyph #"scripts.tenuto" \musicglyph #"scripts.coda"} } }
        
        % Increasing the unfold counter will expand the staff-free space
        \repeat unfold 4 {
          s4 s4 s4 s4
          \bar ""
        }
        % Resume bar count and show staff lines again
     \startStaff
   \cadenzaOff
   
   % Should Coda be on new line?
   % Coda NOT on new line: DON'T use \break
   % Coda on new line: use \break
   \break 
   
   % Show up, you clef and key!
   \once \override Staff.KeySignature #'break-visibility = #end-of-line-invisible
   \once \override Staff.Clef #'break-visibility = #end-of-line-invisible

   % Set coda sign as rehearsal mark and adjust size and position
   
   % Put the coda sign ontop of the (treble-)clef dependend on coda's line-position
      
     % Coda NOT on new line, use this:
     % \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'extra-offset = #'( -2 . 1.75 )
     
     % Coda on new line, use this:
     \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'extra-offset = #'( -8.42 . 1.75 )
   
   \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'font-size = #5
   \mark \markup { \musicglyph #"scripts.coda" }

   % The coda
   \repeat unfold 5 {
      | c4 c c c
    }
    \bar"|."
  }
}

[image of music]


Printing a repeat sign at the beginning of a piece

A |: bar line can be printed at the beginning of a piece, by overriding the relevant property:

\relative c'' {
  \once \override Score.BreakAlignment #'break-align-orders =
        #(make-vector 3 '(instrument-name
                          left-edge
                          ambitus
                          span-bar
                          breathing-sign
                          clef
                          key-signature
                          time-signature
                          staff-bar
                          custos
                          span-bar))
  \bar "|:"
  c1
  d1
  d4 e f g
}

[image of music]


Shortening volta brackets

By default, the volta brackets will be drawn over all of the alternative music, but it is possible to shorten them by setting voltaSpannerDuration. In the next example, the bracket only lasts one measure, which is a duration of 3/4.

\relative c'' {
  \time 3/4
  c4 c c
  \set Score.voltaSpannerDuration = #(ly:make-moment 3 4)
  \repeat volta 5 { d4 d d }
  \alternative {
    {
      e4 e e
      f4 f f
    }
    { g4 g g }
  }
}

[image of music]


Volta under chords

By adding the Volta_engraver to the relevant staff, volte can be put under chords.

\score {
  <<
    \chords {
      c1
      c1
    }
    \new Staff \with {
      \consists "Volta_engraver"
    }
    {
      \repeat volta 2 { c'1 }
      \alternative { c' }
    }
  >>
  \layout {
    \context {
      \Score
      \remove "Volta_engraver"
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Volta multi-staff

By adding the Volta_engraver to the relevant staff, volte can be put over staves other than the topmost one in a score.

voltaMusic = \relative c'' {
  \repeat volta 2 {
    c1
  }
  \alternative {
    d1
    e
  }
}

<<
  \new StaffGroup <<
    \new Staff \voltaMusic
    \new Staff \voltaMusic
  >>
  \new StaffGroup <<
    \new Staff \with { \consists "Volta_engraver" }
      \voltaMusic
    \new Staff \voltaMusic
  >>
>>

[image of music]


Volta text markup using repeatCommands

Though volte are best specified using \repeat volta, the context property repeatCommands must be used in cases where the volta text needs more advanced formatting with \markup.

Since repeatCommands takes a list, the simplest method of including markup is to use an identifier for the text and embed it in the command list using the Scheme syntax #(list (list 'volta textIdentifier)). Start- and end-repeat commands can be added as separate list elements:

voltaAdLib = \markup { 1. 2. 3... \text \italic { ad lib. } }

\relative c'' {
  c1
  \set Score.repeatCommands = #(list (list 'volta voltaAdLib) 'start-repeat)
  c4 b d e
  \set Score.repeatCommands = #'((volta #f) (volta "4.") end-repeat)
  f1
  \set Score.repeatCommands = #'((volta #f))
}

[image of music]


Simultaneous notes

These snippets illustrate the Notation Reference, section Simultaneous notes.


Additional voices to avoid collisions

In some instances of complex polyphonic music, additional voices are necessary to prevent collisions between notes. If more than four parallel voices are needed, additional voices can be added by defining a variable using the Scheme function context-spec-music.

voiceFive = #(context-spec-music (make-voice-props-set 4) 'Voice)
\relative c'' {
  \time 3/4 \key d \minor \partial 2
  <<
    { \voiceOne
      a4. a8
      e'4 e4. e8
      f4 d4. c8
    } \\ {
      \voiceThree
      f,2
      bes4 a2
      a4 s2
    } \\ {
      \voiceFive
      s2
      g4 g2
      f4 f2
    } \\ {
      \voiceTwo
      d2
      d4 cis2
      d4 bes2
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Changing a single note’s size in a chord

Individual note heads in a chord can be modified with the \tweak command inside a chord, by altering the font-size property.

Inside the chord (within the brackets < >), before the note to be altered, place the \tweak command, followed by #'font-size and define the proper size like #-2 (a tiny notehead).

\layout { ragged-right = ##t }
\relative {
  <\tweak #'font-size #+2 c e g c \tweak #'font-size #-2 e>1^\markup { A tiny e }_\markup { A big c }
}

[image of music]


Changing partcombine texts

When using the automatic part combining feature, the printed text for the solo and unison sections may be changed:

\new Staff <<
  \set Staff.soloText = #"girl"
  \set Staff.soloIIText = #"boy"
  \set Staff.aDueText = #"together"
  \partcombine
    \relative c'' {
      g4 g r r
      a2 g
    }
    \relative c'' {
      r4 r a( b)
      a2 g
    }
>>

[image of music]


Clusters

Clusters are a device to denote that a complete range of notes is to be played.

\layout {
  ragged-right = ##t 
}

fragment = \relative c' {
  c4 f <e d'>4
  <g a>8 <e a> a4 c2 <d b>4
  e2 c
}

<<
  \new Staff \fragment
  \new Staff \makeClusters \fragment
>>

[image of music]


Combining two parts on the same staff

The part combiner tool ( \partcombine command ) allows the combination of several different parts on the same staff. Text directions such as "solo" or "a2" are added by default; to remove them, simply set the property printPartCombineTexts to "false". For vocal scores (hymns), there is no need to add "solo"/"a2" texts, so they should be switched off. However, it might be better not to use it if there are any solos, as they won’t be indicated. In such cases, standard polyphonic notation may be preferable.

This snippet presents the three ways two parts can be printed on a same staff: standard polyphony, \partcombine without texts, and \partcombine with texts.

musicUp = \relative c'' {
  \time 4/4
  a4 c4.( g8) a4 |
  g4 e' g,( a8 b) |
  c b a2.
}

musicDown = \relative c'' {
  g4 e4.( d8) c4 |
  r2 g'4( f8 e) |
  d2 \stemDown a
}

\score {
  <<
    <<
    \new Staff {
      \set Staff.instrumentName = "Standard polyphony  "
      << \musicUp \\ \musicDown >>
    }
    \new Staff \with { printPartCombineTexts = ##f } {
      \set Staff.instrumentName = "PartCombine without texts  "
      \partcombine \musicUp \musicDown
    }
    \new Staff {
      \set Staff.instrumentName = "PartCombine with texts  "
      \partcombine \musicUp \musicDown
    }
    >>
  >>
  \layout {
    indent = 6.0\cm
    \context {
      \Score
      \override SystemStartBar #'collapse-height = #30
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Displaying complex chords

Here is a way to display a chord where the same note is played twice with different accidentals.

fixA = {
  \once \override Stem #'length = #9
  \once \override Accidental #'extra-offset = #'(0.3 . 0)
}
fixB = {
  \once \override NoteHead #'extra-offset = #'(1.7 . 0)
  \once \override Stem #'rotation = #'(45 0 0)
  \once \override Stem #'extra-offset = #'(-0.2 . -0.2)
  \once \override Stem #'flag-style = #'no-flag
  \once \override Accidental #'extra-offset = #'(3.1 . 0)
}

\relative c' {
  << { \fixA <b d!>8 } \\ { \voiceThree \fixB dis } >> s
}

[image of music]


Double glissando

To connect chords with glissando lines, attach a second glissando to a hidden voice.

\relative c {
  \clef bass
  <<
    {
      % new voice ( = \voiceOne), hidden
      \hideNotes
      % attach glissando to note heads
      e2\glissando g
    }
    \\
    { 
      % original voice with chords rearranged so that
      % glissando is attached to a & c
      <e a,>2\glissando <g c,>
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Forcing horizontal shift of notes

When the typesetting engine cannot cope, the following syntax can be used to override typesetting decisions. The units of measure used here are staff spaces.

\relative c' <<
  {
    <d g>2 <d g>
  }
  \\
  {
    <b f'>2
    \once \override NoteColumn #'force-hshift = #1.7
    <b f'>2
  }
>>

[image of music]


Suppressing warnings for clashing note columns

If notes from two voices with stems in the same direction are placed at the same position, and both voices have no shift or the same shift specified, the error message "warning: ignoring too many clashing note columns" will appear when compiling the LilyPond file. This message can be suppressed by setting the 'ignore-collision property of the NoteColumn object to #t.

ignore = \override NoteColumn #'ignore-collision = ##t

\relative c' {
  <<
    \ignore
    { \stemDown f2 g }
    \\
    { c2 c, }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Staff notation

These snippets illustrate the Notation Reference, section Staff notation.


Adding ambitus per voice

Ambitus can be added per voice. In this case, the ambitus must be moved manually to prevent collisions.

\new Staff <<
  \new Voice \with {
    \consists "Ambitus_engraver"
  } \relative c'' {
    \override Ambitus #'X-offset = #2.0
    \voiceOne
    c4 a d e
    f1
  }
  \new Voice \with {
    \consists "Ambitus_engraver"
  } \relative c' {
    \voiceTwo
    es4 f g as
    b1
  }
>>

[image of music]


Adding an extra staff at a line break

When adding a new staff at a line break, some extra space is unfortunately added at the end of the line before the break (to fit in a key signature change, which will never be printed anyway). The workaround is to add a setting of Staff.explicitKeySignatureVisibility as is shown in the example. In versions 2.10 and earlier, a similar setting for the time signatures is also required (see the example).

\score {
  \new StaffGroup \relative c'' {
    \new Staff
    \key f \major
    c1 c^"Unwanted extra space" \break
    << { c1 c }
       \new Staff {
         \key f \major
         \once \override Staff.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f
         c1 c 
       } 
    >>
    c1 c^"Fixed here" \break
    << { c1 c }
       \new Staff {
         \once \set Staff.explicitKeySignatureVisibility = #end-of-line-invisible
         % The next line is not needed in 2.11.x or later:
         \once \override Staff.TimeSignature #'break-visibility = #end-of-line-invisible
         \key f \major
         \once \override Staff.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f
         c1 c
       }
    >>
  }
}

[image of music]


Adding an extra staff

An extra staff can be added (possibly temporarily) after the start of a piece.

\score {
  <<
    \new Staff \relative c'' { c1 c c c c }
    \new StaffGroup \relative c'' {
      \new Staff {
        c1 c
        << c1 \new Staff { \once \override Staff.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f c1 } >>
        c
      }
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Changing the number of lines in a staff

The number of lines in a staff may changed by overriding the StaffSymbol property line-count.

upper = \relative c'' {
  c4 d e f
}

lower = \relative c {
  \clef bass
  c4 b a g
}

\score {
  \context PianoStaff <<
    \new Staff {
      \upper
    }
    \new Staff {
      \override Staff.StaffSymbol #'line-count = #4 
      \lower
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Changing the staff size

Though the simplest way to resize staves is to use #(set-global-staff-size xx), an individual staff’s size can be changed by scaling the properties 'staff-space and fontSize.

<<
  \new Staff {
    \relative c'' {
      \dynamicDown
      c8\ff c c c c c c c
    }
  }
  \new Staff \with {
    fontSize = #-3
    \override StaffSymbol #'staff-space = #(magstep -3)
  } {
    \clef bass
    c8 c c c c\f c c c
  }
>>

[image of music]


Changing the tempo without a metronome mark

To change the tempo in MIDI output without printing anything, make the metronome mark invisible:

\score {
  \new Staff \relative c' {
    \tempo 4 = 160
    c4 e g b
    c4 b d c
    \set Score.tempoHideNote = ##t
    \tempo 4 = 96
    d,4 fis a cis
    d4 cis e d
  }
  \layout { }
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


Creating blank staves

To create blank staves, generate empty measures then remove the Bar_number_engraver from the Score context, and the Time_signature_engraver, Clef_engraver and Bar_engraver from the Staff context.

#(set-global-staff-size 20)

\score {
  { 
    \repeat unfold 12 { s1 \break } 
  }
  \layout {
    indent = 0\in
    \context {
      \Staff
      \remove "Time_signature_engraver"
      \remove "Clef_engraver"
      \remove "Bar_engraver"
    }
    \context {
      \Score
      \remove "Bar_number_engraver"
    }
  }
}

\paper {
  #(set-paper-size "letter")
  ragged-last-bottom = ##f
  line-width = 7.5\in
  left-margin = 0.5\in
  bottom-margin = 0.25\in
  top-margin = 0.25\in
}

[image of music]


Creating metronome marks in markup mode

New metronome marks can be created in markup mode, but they will not change the tempo in MIDI output.

\relative c' {
  \tempo \markup {
    \concat {
      (
      \smaller \general-align #Y #DOWN \note #"16." #1
      " = "
      \smaller \general-align #Y #DOWN \note #"8" #1
      )
    }
  }
  c1
  c4 c' c,2
}

[image of music]


Display bracket with only one staff in a system

If there is only one staff in one of the staff types ChoirStaff or StaffGroup, the bracket and the starting bar line will not be displayed as standard behavior. This can be changed by overriding the relevant properties.

Note that in contexts such as PianoStaff and GrandStaff where the systems begin with a brace instead of a bracket, another property has to be set, as shown on the second system in the example.

\markup \left-column {
  \score {
    \new StaffGroup <<
      % Must be lower than the actual number of staff lines
      \override StaffGroup.SystemStartBracket #'collapse-height = #1
      \override Score.SystemStartBar #'collapse-height = #1
      \new Staff {
        c'1
      }
    >>
    \layout { }
  }
  \score {
    \new PianoStaff <<
      \override PianoStaff.SystemStartBrace #'collapse-height = #1
      \override Score.SystemStartBar #'collapse-height = #1
      \new Staff {
        c'1
      }
    >>
    \layout { }
  }
}

[image of music]


Incipit

Incipits can be added using the instrument name grob, but keeping separate the instrument name definition and the incipit definition.

incipit =
#(define-music-function (parser location incipit-music) (ly:music?)
  #{
    \once \override Staff.InstrumentName #'self-alignment-X = #RIGHT
    \once \override Staff.InstrumentName #'self-alignment-Y = #UP
    \once \override Staff.InstrumentName #'Y-offset = #4
    \once \override Staff.InstrumentName #'padding = #0.3
    \once \override Staff.InstrumentName #'stencil =
    #(lambda (grob)
       (let* ((instrument-name (ly:grob-property grob 'long-text))
              (layout (ly:output-def-clone (ly:grob-layout grob)))
              (music (make-music 'SequentialMusic
                      'elements (list (make-music 'ContextSpeccedMusic
                                        'context-type 'MensuralStaff
                                        'element (make-music 'PropertySet
                                                   'symbol 'instrumentName
                                                   'value instrument-name))
                                      $incipit-music)))
              (score (ly:make-score music))
              (mm (ly:output-def-lookup layout 'mm))
              (indent (ly:output-def-lookup layout 'indent))
              (width (ly:output-def-lookup layout 'incipit-width))
              (incipit-width (if (number? width)
                                 (* width mm)
                                 (* indent 0.5))))
         (ly:output-def-set-variable! layout 'indent (- indent incipit-width))
         (ly:output-def-set-variable! layout 'line-width indent)
         (ly:output-def-set-variable! layout 'ragged-right #f)
         (ly:output-def-set-variable! layout 'ragged-last #f)
         (ly:output-def-set-variable! layout 'system-count 1)
         (ly:score-add-output-def! score layout)
         (ly:grob-set-property! grob 'long-text
               (markup #:score score))
         (ly:system-start-text::print grob)))
  #})

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

global = {
  \set Score.skipBars = ##t
  \key g \major
  \time 4/4

  % the actual music
  \skip 1*8

  % let finis bar go through all staves
  \override Staff.BarLine #'transparent = ##f

  % finis bar
  \bar "|."
}

discantusIncipit = <<
  \new MensuralVoice = "discantusIncipit" <<
    \repeat unfold 9 { s1 \noBreak }
    {
      \clef "neomensural-c1"
      \key f \major
      \time 2/2
      c''1.
    }
  >>
  \new Lyrics \lyricsto discantusIncipit { IV- }
>>

discantusNotes = {
  \transpose c' c'' {
    \clef "treble"
    d'2. d'4 |
    b e' d'2 |
    c'4 e'4.( d'8 c' b |
    a4) b a2 |
    b4.( c'8 d'4) c'4 |
    \once \override NoteHead #'transparent = ##t
    c'1 |
    b\breve |
  }
}

discantusLyrics = \lyricmode {
  Ju -- bi -- |
  la -- te De -- |
  o, om --
  nis ter -- |
  ra, __ om- |
  "..." |
  -us. |
}

altusIncipit = <<
  \new MensuralVoice = "altusIncipit" <<
    \repeat unfold 9 { s1 \noBreak }
    {
      \clef "neomensural-c3"
      \key f \major
      \time 2/2
      r1 f'1.
    }
  >>
  \new Lyrics \lyricsto altusIncipit { IV- }
>>

altusNotes = {
  \transpose c' c'' {
    \clef "treble"
    % two measures
    r2 g2. e4 fis g |
    a2 g4 e |
    fis g4.( fis16 e fis4) |
    g1 |
    \once \override NoteHead #'transparent = ##t
    g1 |
    g\breve |
  }
}

altusLyrics = \lyricmode {
  % two measures
  Ju -- bi -- la -- te |
  De -- o, om -- |
  nis ter -- ra, |
  "..." |
  -us. |
}

tenorIncipit = <<
  \new MensuralVoice = "tenorIncipit" <<
    \repeat unfold 9 { s1 \noBreak }
    {
      \clef "neomensural-c4"
      \key f \major
      \time 2/2
      r\longa
      r\breve
      r1 c'1.
    }
  >>
  \new Lyrics \lyricsto tenorIncipit { IV- }
>>

tenorNotes = {
  \transpose c' c' {
    \once \override Staff.VerticalAxisGroup #'minimum-Y-extent = #'(-6 . 3)
    \clef "treble_8"
    R1 |
    R1 |
    R1 |
    % two measures
    r2 d'2. d'4 b e' |
    \once \override NoteHead #'transparent = ##t
    e'1 |
    d'\breve |
  }
}

tenorLyrics = \lyricmode {
  % two measures
  Ju -- bi -- la -- te |
  "..." |
  -us. 
}

bassusIncipit = <<
  \new MensuralVoice = "bassusIncipit" <<
    \repeat unfold 9 { s1 \noBreak }
    {
      \clef "bass"
      \key f \major
      \time 2/2
      %% incipit
      r\maxima
      f1.
    }
  >>
  \new Lyrics \lyricsto bassusIncipit { IV- }
>>

bassusNotes = {
  \transpose c' c' {
    \clef "bass"
    R1 |
    R1 |
    R1 |
    R1 |
    g2. e4 |
    \once \override NoteHead #'transparent = ##t
    e1 |
    g\breve |
  }
}

bassusLyrics = \lyricmode {
  Ju -- bi- |
  "..." |
  -us.
}

\score {
  <<
    \new StaffGroup = choirStaff <<
      \new Voice = "discantusNotes" <<
        \global
        \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Discantus"
        \incipit \discantusIncipit
        \discantusNotes
      >>
      \new Lyrics = "discantusLyrics" \lyricsto discantusNotes { \discantusLyrics }
      \new Voice = "altusNotes" <<
        \global
        \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Altus"
        \incipit \altusIncipit
        \altusNotes
      >>
      \new Lyrics = "altusLyrics" \lyricsto altusNotes { \altusLyrics }
      \new Voice = "tenorNotes" <<
        \global
        \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Tenor"
        \incipit \tenorIncipit
        \tenorNotes
      >>
      \new Lyrics = "tenorLyrics" \lyricsto tenorNotes { \tenorLyrics }
      \new Voice = "bassusNotes" <<
        \global
        \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Bassus"
        \incipit \bassusIncipit
        \bassusNotes
      >>
      \new Lyrics = "bassusLyrics" \lyricsto bassusNotes { \bassusLyrics }
    >>
  >>
  \layout {
    \context {
      \Score
      %% no bar lines in staves or lyrics
      \override BarLine #'transparent = ##t
    }
    %% the next two instructions keep the lyrics between the bar lines
    \context {
      \Lyrics
      \consists "Bar_engraver"
      \consists "Separating_line_group_engraver"
    }
    \context {
      \Voice
      %% no slurs
      \override Slur #'transparent = ##t
      %% Comment in the below "\remove" command to allow line
      %% breaking also at those bar lines where a note overlaps
      %% into the next measure.  The command is commented out in this
      %% short example score, but especially for large scores, you
      %% will typically yield better line breaking and thus improve
      %% overall spacing if you comment in the following command.
      %%\remove "Forbid_line_break_engraver"
    }
    indent = 6\cm
    incipit-width = 4\cm
  }
}

[image of music]


Inserting score fragments above a staff, as markups

The \markup command is quite versatile. In this snippet, it contains a \score block instead of texts or marks.

tuning = \markup {
  \score {
    \new Staff \with { \remove "Time_signature_engraver" }
    {
      \clef bass  <c, g, d g>1
    }
    \layout { ragged-right = ##t }
  }
}

\header {
  title = "Solo Cello Suites"
  subtitle = "Suite IV"
  subsubtitle = \markup { Originalstimmung: \general-align #Y #CENTER \tuning }
}

\layout { ragged-right = ##f }

\relative c'' {
  \time 4/8
  \times 2/3 { c8 d e } \times 2/3 { c d e }
  \times 2/3 { c8 d e } \times 2/3 { c d e }
  g8 a g a
  g8 a g a
}

[image of music]


Letter tablature formatting

Tablature can be formatted using letters instead of numbers.

#(define (letter-tablature-format str context event)
  (let*
      ((tuning (ly:context-property context 'stringTunings))
       (pitch (ly:event-property event 'pitch)))
    (make-whiteout-markup
     (make-vcenter-markup
      (string (integer->char
         (+ (char->integer #\a)
            (- (ly:pitch-semitones pitch)
            (list-ref tuning (- str 1))))))))))

music = \relative c {
  c4 d e f
  g4 a b c
  d4 e f g
}

<<
  \new Staff {
    \clef "G_8"
    \music
  }
  \new TabStaff \with { 
    tablatureFormat = #letter-tablature-format
  }
  {
    \music
  }
>>

[image of music]


Making some staff lines thicker than the others

For pedagogical purposes, a staff line can be thickened (e.g., the middle line, or to emphasize the line of the G clef). This can be achieved by adding extra lines very close to the line that should be emphasized, using the line-positions property of the StaffSymbol object.

{
  \override Staff.StaffSymbol #'line-positions = #'(-4 -2 -0.2 0 0.2 2 4)
  d'4 e' f' g'
}

[image of music]


Measure counter

This snippet provides a workaround for emitting measure counters using transparent percent repeats.

<<
  \context Voice = "foo" {
    \clef bass
    c4 r g r
    c4 r g r
    c4 r g r
    c4 r g r
  }
  \context Voice = "foo" {
    \set countPercentRepeats = ##t
    \override PercentRepeat #'transparent = ##t
    \override PercentRepeatCounter #'staff-padding = #1
    \repeat percent 4 { s1 }
  }
>>

[image of music]


Mensurstriche layout (bar lines between the staves)

The mensurstriche-layout where the bar lines do not show on the staves but between staves can be achieved with a StaffGroup instead of a ChoirStaff. The bar line on staves is blanked out by setting the transparent property.

global = {
  \override Staff.BarLine #'transparent = ##t
  s1 s
  % the final bar line is not interrupted
  \revert Staff.BarLine #'transparent
  \bar "|."
}
\new StaffGroup \relative c'' {
  <<
    \new Staff { << \global { c1 c } >> }
    \new Staff { << \global { c c } >> }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Modern TAB text clef

Use a markup text to replace the (TAB) clef glyph with a modern font.

TAB = \markup {
  \raise #1.5
  \sans
  \bold
  \huge
  \override #'(baseline-skip . 2.5)
  \center-column {
    T
    A
    B
  }
}

\new TabStaff {
  \override Staff.Clef #'stencil = #(lambda (grob)
    ly:clef::print (grob-interpret-markup grob TAB))
  a
}

[image of music]


Nesting staves

The property systemStartDelimiterHierarchy can be used to make more complex nested staff groups. The command \set StaffGroup.systemStartDelimiterHierarchy takes an alphabetical list of the number of staves produced. Before each staff a system start delimiter can be given. It has to be enclosed in brackets and takes as much staves as the brackets enclose. Elements in the list can be omitted, but the first bracket takes always the complete number of staves. The possibilities are SystemStartBar, SystemStartBracket, SystemStartBrace, and SystemStartSquare.

\new StaffGroup
\relative c'' <<
  \set StaffGroup.systemStartDelimiterHierarchy
    = #'(SystemStartSquare (SystemStartBrace (SystemStartBracket a
                             (SystemStartSquare b)  ) c ) d)
  \new Staff { c1 }
  \new Staff { c1 }
  \new Staff { c1 }
  \new Staff { c1 }
  \new Staff { c1 }
>>

[image of music]


Non-traditional key signatures

The commonly used \key command sets the keySignature property, in the Staff context.

To create non-standard key signatures, set this property directly. The format of this command is a list:

\set Staff.keySignature = #`(((octave . step) . alter) ((octave . step) . alter) ...) where, for each element in the list, octave specifies the octave (0 being the octave from middle C to the B above), step specifies the note within the octave (0 means C and 6 means B), and alter is ,SHARP ,FLAT ,DOUBLE-SHARP etc. (Note the leading comma.) The accidentals in the key signature will appear in the reverse order to that in which they are specified.

Alternatively, for each item in the list, using the more concise format (step . alter) specifies that the same alteration should hold in all octaves.

For microtonal scales where a "sharp" is not 100 cents, alter refers to the alteration as a proportion of a 200-cent whole tone.

Here is an example of a possible key signature for generating a whole-tone scale:

\relative c' {
  \set Staff.keySignature = #`(((0 . 3) . ,SHARP)
                               ((0 . 5) . ,FLAT)
                               ((0 . 6) . ,FLAT))
  c4 d e fis
  aes4 bes c2
}

[image of music]


Printing metronome and rehearsal marks below the staff

By default, metronome and rehearsal marks are printed above the staff. To place them below the staff simply set the direction property of MetronomeMark or RehearsalMark appropriately.

\layout { ragged-right = ##f }

{
  % Metronome marks below the staff 
  \override Score.MetronomeMark #'direction = #DOWN
  \tempo 8. = 120
  c''1

  % Rehearsal marks below the staff
  \override Score.RehearsalMark #'direction = #DOWN
  \mark \default
  c''1
}

[image of music]


Quoting another voice with transposition

Quotations take into account the transposition of both source and target. In this example, all instruments play sounding middle C; the target is an instrument in F. The target part may be transposed using \transpose. In this case, all the pitches (including the quoted ones) are transposed.

\addQuote clarinet {
  \transposition bes
  \repeat unfold 8 { d'16 d' d'8 }
}

\addQuote sax {
  \transposition es'
  \repeat unfold 16 { a8 }
}

quoteTest = {
  % french horn
  \transposition f
  g'4
  << \quoteDuring #"clarinet" { \skip 4 } s4^"clar." >>
  << \quoteDuring #"sax" { \skip 4 } s4^"sax." >>
  g'4
}

{
  \set Staff.instrumentName =
    \markup {
      \center-column { Horn \line { in F } }
    }
  \quoteTest
  \transpose c' d' << \quoteTest s4_"up a tone" >>
}

[image of music]


Quoting another voice

The quotedEventTypes property determines the music event types that are quoted. The default value is (note-event rest-event), which means that only notes and rests of the quoted voice appear in the \quoteDuring expression. In the following example, a 16th rest is not quoted since rest-event is not in quotedEventTypes.

quoteMe = \relative c' {
  fis4 r16 a8.-> b4\ff c
}
\addQuote quoteMe \quoteMe

original = \relative c'' {
  c8 d s2
  \once \override NoteColumn #'ignore-collision = ##t
  es8 gis8
}

<<
  \new Staff {
    \set Staff.instrumentName = #"quoteMe"
    \quoteMe
  }
  \new Staff {
    \set Staff.instrumentName = #"orig"
    \original
  }
  \new Staff \relative c'' <<
    \set Staff.instrumentName = #"orig+quote"
    \set Staff.quotedEventTypes =
      #'(note-event articulation-event)
    \original
    \new Voice {
      s4
      \set fontSize = #-4
      \override Stem #'length-fraction = #(magstep -4)
      \quoteDuring #"quoteMe" { \skip 2. }
    }
  >>
>>

[image of music]


Removing the first empty line

The first empty staff can also be removed from the score by setting the VerticalAxisGroup property remove-first. This can be done globally inside the \layout block, or locally inside the specific staff that should be removed. In the latter case, you have to specify the context (Staff applies only to the current staff) in front of the property.

The lower staff of the second staff group is not removed, because the setting applies only to the specific staff inside of which it is written.

\layout {
  \context { 
    \RemoveEmptyStaffContext 
    % To use the setting globally, uncomment the following line:
    % \override VerticalAxisGroup #'remove-first = ##t
  }
}
\new StaffGroup <<
  \new Staff \relative c' {
    e4 f g a \break
    c1
  }
  \new Staff {
    % To use the setting globally, comment this line,
    % uncomment the line in the \layout block above
    \override Staff.VerticalAxisGroup #'remove-first = ##t
    R1 \break
    R
  }
>>
\new StaffGroup <<
  \new Staff \relative c' {
    e4 f g a \break
    c1
  }
  \new Staff {
    R1 \break
    R
  }
>>

[image of music]


Tick bar lines

’Tick’ bar lines are often used in music where the bar line is used only for coordination and is not meant to imply any rhythmic stress.

\relative c' {
  \set Score.defaultBarType = #"'"
  c4 d e f
  g4 f e d
  c4 d e f
  g4 f e d
  \bar "|."
}

[image of music]


Time signature in parentheses

The time signature can be enclosed within parentheses.

\relative c'' {
  \override Staff.TimeSignature #'stencil = #(lambda (grob)
    (bracketify-stencil (ly:time-signature::print grob) Y 0.1 0.2 0.1))
  \time 2/4
  a4 b8 c
}

[image of music]


Tweaking clef properties

The command \clef "treble_8" is equivalent to setting clefGlyph, clefPosition (which controls the vertical position of the clef), middleCPosition and clefOctavation. A clef is printed when any of the properties except middleCPosition are changed.

Note that changing the glyph, the position of the clef, or the octavation does not in itself change the position of subsequent notes on the staff: the position of middle C must also be specified to do this. The positional parameters are relative to the staff center line, positive numbers displacing upwards, counting one for each line and space. The clefOctavation value would normally be set to 7, -7, 15 or -15, but other values are valid.

When a clef change takes place at a line break the new clef symbol is printed at both the end of the previous line and the beginning of the new line by default. If the warning clef at the end of the previous line is not required it can be suppressed by setting the Staff property explicitClefVisibility to the value end-of-line-invisible. The default behavior can be recovered with \unset Staff.explicitClefVisibility.

The following examples show the possibilities when setting these properties manually. On the first line, the manual changes preserve the standard relative positioning of clefs and notes, whereas on the second line, they do not.

\layout { ragged-right = ##t }

{
  % The default treble clef
  c'1
  % The standard bass clef
  \set Staff.clefGlyph = #"clefs.F"
  \set Staff.clefPosition = #2
  \set Staff.middleCPosition = #6
  c'1
  % The baritone clef
  \set Staff.clefGlyph = #"clefs.C"
  \set Staff.clefPosition = #4
  \set Staff.middleCPosition = #4
  c'1
  % The standard choral tenor clef
  \set Staff.clefGlyph = #"clefs.G"
  \set Staff.clefPosition = #-2
  \set Staff.clefOctavation = #-7
  \set Staff.middleCPosition = #1
  c'1
  % A non-standard clef
  \set Staff.clefPosition = #0
  \set Staff.clefOctavation = #0
  \set Staff.middleCPosition = #-4
  c'1 \break

  % The following clef changes do not preserve
  % the normal relationship between notes and clefs:

  \set Staff.clefGlyph = #"clefs.F"
  \set Staff.clefPosition = #2
  c'1
  \set Staff.clefGlyph = #"clefs.G"
  c'1
  \set Staff.clefGlyph = #"clefs.C"
  c'1
  \set Staff.clefOctavation = #7
  c'1
  \set Staff.clefOctavation = #0
  \set Staff.clefPosition = #0
  c'1
  
  % Return to the normal clef:

  \set Staff.middleCPosition = #0
  c'1
}

[image of music]


Use square bracket at the start of a staff group

The system start delimiter SystemStartSquare can be used by setting it explicitly in a StaffGroup or ChoirStaffGroup context.

\score {
  \new StaffGroup { << 
  \set StaffGroup.systemStartDelimiter = #'SystemStartSquare
    \new Staff { c'4 d' e' f' }
    \new Staff { c'4 d' e' f' }
  >> }
}

[image of music]


Volta under chords

By adding the Volta_engraver to the relevant staff, volte can be put under chords.

\score {
  <<
    \chords {
      c1
      c1
    }
    \new Staff \with {
      \consists "Volta_engraver"
    }
    {
      \repeat volta 2 { c'1 }
      \alternative { c' }
    }
  >>
  \layout {
    \context {
      \Score
      \remove "Volta_engraver"
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Volta multi-staff

By adding the Volta_engraver to the relevant staff, volte can be put over staves other than the topmost one in a score.

voltaMusic = \relative c'' {
  \repeat volta 2 {
    c1
  }
  \alternative {
    d1
    e
  }
}

<<
  \new StaffGroup <<
    \new Staff \voltaMusic
    \new Staff \voltaMusic
  >>
  \new StaffGroup <<
    \new Staff \with { \consists "Volta_engraver" }
      \voltaMusic
    \new Staff \voltaMusic
  >>
>>

[image of music]


Editorial annotations

These snippets illustrate the Notation Reference, section Editorial annotations.


Adding fingerings to a score

Fingering instructions can be entered using a simple syntax.

\relative c'' {
  c4-1 d-2 f-4 e-3
}

[image of music]


Allowing fingerings to be printed inside the staff

By default, vertically oriented fingerings are positioned outside the staff. However, this behavior can be canceled.

\relative c' {
  <c-1 e-2 g-3 b-5>2
  \once \override Fingering #'staff-padding = #'()
  <c-1 e-2 g-3 b-5>2
}

[image of music]


Analysis brackets above the staff

Simple horizontal analysis brackets are added below the staff by default. The following example shows a way to place them above the staff instead.

\layout {
  \context {
    \Voice
    \consists "Horizontal_bracket_engraver"
  }
}
\relative c'' {
  \once \override HorizontalBracket #'direction = #UP
  c2\startGroup
  d2\stopGroup
}

[image of music]


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
}

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

    \break

    \relative c' {
      \set shapeNoteStyles  = #'#(cross triangle fa #f
                                  mensural xcircle diamond)
      \fragment
    }
  }
  \layout { ragged-right = ##t }
}

[image of music]


Avoiding collisions with chord fingerings

Fingerings and string numbers applied to individual notes will automatically avoid beams and stems, but this is not true by default for fingerings and string numbers applied to the individual notes of chords. The following example shows how this default behavior can be overridden.

\relative c' {
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(up)
  \set stringNumberOrientations = #'(up)
  \set strokeFingerOrientations = #'(up)
  
  % Default behavior
  r8
  <f c'-5>8
  <f c'\5>8
  <f c'-\rightHandFinger #2 >8
  
  % Corrected to avoid collisions
  r8
  \override Fingering #'add-stem-support = ##t
  <f c'-5>8
  \override StringNumber #'add-stem-support = ##t
  <f c'\5>8
  \override StrokeFinger #'add-stem-support = ##t
  <f c'-\rightHandFinger #2 >8
}

[image of music]


Blanking staff lines using the \whiteout command

The \whiteout command underlays a markup with a white box. Since staff lines are in a lower layer than most other grobs, this white box will not overlap any other grob.

\layout { ragged-right = ##f }
\relative c' {
  \override TextScript #'extra-offset = #'(2 . 4)
  c2-\markup { \whiteout \pad-markup #0.5 "middle C" } c
} 

[image of music]


Changing a single note’s size in a chord

Individual note heads in a chord can be modified with the \tweak command inside a chord, by altering the font-size property.

Inside the chord (within the brackets < >), before the note to be altered, place the \tweak command, followed by #'font-size and define the proper size like #-2 (a tiny notehead).

\layout { ragged-right = ##t }
\relative {
  <\tweak #'font-size #+2 c e g c \tweak #'font-size #-2 e>1^\markup { A tiny e }_\markup { A big c }
}

[image of music]


Changing the appearance of a slur from solid to dotted or dashed

The appearance of slurs may be changed from solid to dotted or dashed.

\relative c' {
  c4( d e c)
  \slurDotted
  c4( d e c)
  \slurSolid
  c4( d e c)
  \slurDashed
  c4( d e c)
  \slurSolid
  c4( d e c)
}

[image of music]


Coloring notes depending on their pitch

It is possible to color note heads depending on their pitch and/or their names: the function used in this example even makes it possible to distinguish enharmonics.

%Association list of pitches to colors.
#(define color-mapping
  (list
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 0 0) (x11-color 'red))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 0 1/2) (x11-color 'green))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 1 -1/2) (x11-color 'green))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 2 0) (x11-color 'red))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 2 1/2) (x11-color 'green))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 3 -1/2) (x11-color 'red))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 3 0) (x11-color 'green))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 4 1/2) (x11-color 'red))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 5 0) (x11-color 'green))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 5 -1/2) (x11-color 'red))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 6 1/2) (x11-color 'red))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 1 0) (x11-color 'blue))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 3 1/2) (x11-color 'blue))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 4 -1/2) (x11-color 'blue))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 5 1/2) (x11-color 'blue))
    (cons (ly:make-pitch 0 6 -1/2) (x11-color 'blue))
    ))

%Compare pitch and alteration (not octave).
#(define (pitch-equals? p1 p2)
  (and
    (= (ly:pitch-alteration p1) (ly:pitch-alteration p2))
    (= (ly:pitch-notename p1) (ly:pitch-notename p2))))

#(define (pitch-to-color pitch)
  (let ((color (assoc pitch color-mapping pitch-equals?)))
    (if color
      (cdr color))))

#(define (color-notehead grob)
  (pitch-to-color
    (ly:event-property (ly:grob-property grob 'cause) 'pitch)))

\score {
  \new Staff \relative c' {
    \override NoteHead #'color = #color-notehead
    c8 b d dis ees f g aes
  }
}

[image of music]


Controlling the placement of chord fingerings

The placement of fingering numbers can be controlled precisely.

\relative c' {
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(left)
  <c-1 e-3 a-5>4
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(down)
  <c-1 e-3 a-5>4
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(down right up)
  <c-1 e-3 a-5>4
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(up)
  <c-1 e-3 a-5>4
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(left)
  <c-1>2
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(down)
  <e-3>2
}

[image of music]


Creating a delayed turn

Creating a delayed turn, where the lower note of the turn uses the accidental, requires several overrides. The outside-staff-priority property must be set to #f, as otherwise this would take precedence over the avoid-slur property. The value of halign is used to position the turn horizontally.

\relative c'' {
  \once \override TextScript #'avoid-slur = #'inside
  \once \override TextScript #'outside-staff-priority = ##f
  c2(^\markup \tiny \override #'(baseline-skip . 1) {
    \halign #-4
    \center-column {
      \sharp
      \musicglyph #"scripts.turn"
    }
  }
  d4.) c8
}

[image of music]


Creating blank staves

To create blank staves, generate empty measures then remove the Bar_number_engraver from the Score context, and the Time_signature_engraver, Clef_engraver and Bar_engraver from the Staff context.

#(set-global-staff-size 20)

\score {
  { 
    \repeat unfold 12 { s1 \break } 
  }
  \layout {
    indent = 0\in
    \context {
      \Staff
      \remove "Time_signature_engraver"
      \remove "Clef_engraver"
      \remove "Bar_engraver"
    }
    \context {
      \Score
      \remove "Bar_number_engraver"
    }
  }
}

\paper {
  #(set-paper-size "letter")
  ragged-last-bottom = ##f
  line-width = 7.5\in
  left-margin = 0.5\in
  bottom-margin = 0.25\in
  top-margin = 0.25\in
}

[image of music]


Default direction of stems on the center line of the staff

The default direction of stems on the center line of the staff is set by the Stem property neutral-direction.

\relative c'' {
  a4 b c b
  \override Stem #'neutral-direction = #up
  a4 b c b
  \override Stem #'neutral-direction = #down
  a4 b c b
}

[image of music]


Embedding native PostScript in a \markup block

PostScript code can be directly inserted inside a \markup block.

% PostScript is a registered trademark of Adobe Systems Inc.

\relative c'' {
  a4-\markup { \postscript #"3 4 moveto 5 3 rlineto stroke" }
  -\markup { \postscript #"[ 0 1 ] 0 setdash 3 5 moveto 5 -3 rlineto stroke " }
  
  b4-\markup { \postscript #"3 4 moveto 0 0 1 2 8 4 20 3.5 rcurveto stroke" }
  s2
  a'1
}

[image of music]


Grid lines: changing their appearance

The appearance of grid lines can be changed by overriding some of their properties.

\score {
  \new ChoirStaff <<
    \new Staff {
      \relative c'' {
        \stemUp
        c'4. d8 e8 f g4
      }
    }
    \new Staff {
      \relative c {
        % this moves them up one staff space from the default position
        \override Score.GridLine #'extra-offset = #'(0.0 . 1.0)
        \stemDown
        \clef bass
        \once \override Score.GridLine #'thickness = #5.0
        c4
        \once \override Score.GridLine #'thickness = #1.0
        g'4
        \once \override Score.GridLine #'thickness = #3.0
        f4
        \once \override Score.GridLine #'thickness = #5.0
        e4
      }
    }
  >>
  \layout {
    \context {
      \Staff
      % set up grids
      \consists "Grid_point_engraver"
      % set the grid interval to one quarter note
      gridInterval = #(ly:make-moment 1 4)
    }
    \context {
      \Score
      \consists "Grid_line_span_engraver"
      % this moves them to the right half a staff space
      \override NoteColumn #'X-offset = #-0.5
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Grid lines: emphasizing rhythms and notes synchronization

Regular vertical lines can be drawn between staves to show note synchronization; however, in case of monophonic music, you may want to make the second stave invisible, and make the lines shorter like in this snippet.

\score {
  \new ChoirStaff {
    \relative c'' <<
      \new Staff {
        \time 12/8
        \stemUp
        c4. d8 e8 f g4 f8 e8. d16 c8
      }
      \new Staff {
        % hides staff and notes so that only the grid lines are visible
        \hideNotes
        \override Staff.BarLine #'transparent = ##t
        \override Staff.StaffSymbol #'line-count = #0
        \override Staff.TimeSignature #'transparent = ##t
        \override Staff.Clef #'transparent = ##t
        
        % dummy notes to force regular note spacing
        \once  \override Score.GridLine #'thickness = #4.0
        c8 c c
        \once  \override Score.GridLine #'thickness = #3.0
        c8 c c
        \once  \override Score.GridLine #'thickness = #4.0
        c8 c c
        \once  \override Score.GridLine #'thickness = #3.0
        c8 c c
      }
    >>
  }
  \layout {
    \context {
      \Score
      \consists "Grid_line_span_engraver"
      % center grid lines horizontally below note heads
      \override NoteColumn #'X-offset = #-0.5
    }
    \context {
      \Staff
      \consists "Grid_point_engraver"
      gridInterval = #(ly:make-moment 1 8)
      % set line length and positioning:
      % two staff spaces above center line on hidden staff
      % to four spaces below center line on visible staff
      \override GridPoint #'Y-extent = #'(2 . -4)
    }
    ragged-right = ##t
  }
}

[image of music]


Making some staff lines thicker than the others

For pedagogical purposes, a staff line can be thickened (e.g., the middle line, or to emphasize the line of the G clef). This can be achieved by adding extra lines very close to the line that should be emphasized, using the line-positions property of the StaffSymbol object.

{
  \override Staff.StaffSymbol #'line-positions = #'(-4 -2 -0.2 0 0.2 2 4)
  d'4 e' f' g'
}

[image of music]


Marking notes of spoken parts with a cross on the stem

This example shows how to put crosses on stems. Mark the beginning of a spoken section with the \speakOn keyword, and end it with the \speakOff keyword.

speakOn = {
  \override Stem #'stencil = #(lambda (grob)
    (let* ((x-parent (ly:grob-parent grob X))
           (is-rest? (ly:grob? (ly:grob-object x-parent 'rest))))
      (if is-rest?
        empty-stencil
        (ly:stencil-combine-at-edge
          (ly:stem::print grob)
          Y
          (- (ly:grob-property grob 'direction))
          (grob-interpret-markup grob
            (markup #:hspace -1.025 #:fontsize -4
              #:musicglyph "noteheads.s2cross"))
          -2.3 0))))
}

speakOff = {
  \revert Stem #'stencil
}

\score {
  \new Staff {
    \relative c'' {
      a4 b a c
      \speakOn
      g4 f r g
      b4 r d e
      \speakOff
      c4 a g f
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Measure counter

This snippet provides a workaround for emitting measure counters using transparent percent repeats.

<<
  \context Voice = "foo" {
    \clef bass
    c4 r g r
    c4 r g r
    c4 r g r
    c4 r g r
  }
  \context Voice = "foo" {
    \set countPercentRepeats = ##t
    \override PercentRepeat #'transparent = ##t
    \override PercentRepeatCounter #'staff-padding = #1
    \repeat percent 4 { s1 }
  }
>>

[image of music]


Positioning text markups inside slurs

Text markups need to have the outside-staff-priority property set to false in order to be printed inside slurs.

\relative c'' {
  \override TextScript #'avoid-slur = #'inside
  \override TextScript #'outside-staff-priority = ##f
  c2(^\markup { \halign #-10 \natural } d4.) c8
}

[image of music]


Using PostScript to generate special note head shapes

When a note head with a special shape cannot easily be generated with graphic markup, PostScript code can be used to generate the shape. This example shows how a parallelogram-shaped note head is generated.

parallelogram =
  #(ly:make-stencil (list 'embedded-ps
    "gsave
      currentpoint translate
      newpath
      0 0.25 moveto
      1.3125 0.75 lineto
      1.3125 -0.25 lineto
      0 -0.75 lineto
      closepath
      fill
      grestore" )
    (cons 0 1.3125)
    (cons 0 0))

myNoteHeads = \override NoteHead #'stencil = \parallelogram
normalNoteHeads = \revert NoteHead #'stencil

\relative c'' {
  \myNoteHeads
  g4 d'
  \normalNoteHeads
  <f, \tweak #'stencil \parallelogram b e>4 d
}

[image of music]


Text

These snippets illustrate the Notation Reference, section Text.


Adjusting lyrics vertical spacing

This snippet shows how to bring the lyrics line closer to the staff.

% Default layout:
<<
  \new Staff \new Voice = melody \relative c' {
    c4 d e f
    g4 f e d
    c1
  }
  \new Lyrics \lyricsto melody { aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa }

% Reducing the minimum space below the staff and above the lyrics:
  \new Staff \with {
    \override VerticalAxisGroup #'minimum-Y-extent = #'(-1 . 4)
  }
  \new Voice = melody \relative c' {
    c4 d e f
    g4 f e d
    c1
  }
  \new Lyrics \with {
    \override VerticalAxisGroup #'minimum-Y-extent = #'(-1.2 . 1)
  }
  \lyricsto melody { aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa }
>>

[image of music]


Aligning and centering instrument names

The horizontal alignment of instrument names is tweaked by changing the Staff.InstrumentName #'self-alignment-X property. The \layout variables indent and short-indent define the space in which the instrument names are aligned before the first and the following systems, respectively.

\paper {
  left-margin = 3\cm
}

\score {
  \new StaffGroup <<
    \new Staff {
      \override Staff.InstrumentName #'self-alignment-X = #LEFT
      \set Staff.instrumentName = \markup \left-column {
        "Left aligned"
        "instrument name"
      }
      \set Staff.shortInstrumentName = #"Left"
      c''1
      \break
      c''1
    }
    \new Staff {
      \override Staff.InstrumentName #'self-alignment-X = #CENTER
      \set Staff.instrumentName = \markup \center-column {
        Centered
        "instrument name"
      }
      \set Staff.shortInstrumentName = #"Centered"
      g'1
      g'1
    }
    \new Staff {
      \override Staff.InstrumentName #'self-alignment-X = #RIGHT
      \set Staff.instrumentName = \markup \right-column {
        "Right aligned"
        "instrument name"
      }
      \set Staff.shortInstrumentName = #"Right"
      e'1
      e'1
    }
  >>
  \layout {
    ragged-right = ##t
    indent = 4\cm
    short-indent = 2\cm
  }
}

[image of music]


Aligning marks with various notation objects

If specified, text marks may be aligned with notation objects other than bar lines. These objects include ambitus, breathing-sign, clef, custos, staff-bar, left-edge, key-cancellation, key-signature, and time-signature.

In such cases, text marks will be horizontally centered above the object. However this can be changed, as demonstrated on the second line of this example (in a score with multiple staves, this setting should be done for all the staves).

\relative c' {
  e1
  
  % the RehearsalMark will be centered above the Clef
  \override Score.RehearsalMark #'break-align-symbols = #'(clef)
  \key a \major
  \clef treble
  \mark "↓"
  e1
  
  % the RehearsalMark will be centered above the TimeSignature
  \override Score.RehearsalMark #'break-align-symbols = #'(time-signature)
  \key a \major
  \clef treble
  \time 3/4
  \mark "↓"
  e2.
  
  % the RehearsalMark will be centered above the KeySignature
  \override Score.RehearsalMark #'break-align-symbols = #'(key-signature)
  \key a \major
  \clef treble
  \time 4/4
  \mark "↓"
  e1

  \break
  e1
  
  % the RehearsalMark will be aligned with the left edge of the KeySignature
  \once \override Score.KeySignature #'break-align-anchor-alignment = #LEFT
  \mark "↓"
  \key a \major
  e1
  
  % the RehearsalMark will be aligned with the right edge of the KeySignature
  \once \override Score.KeySignature #'break-align-anchor-alignment = #RIGHT
  \key a \major
  \mark "↓"
  e1
  
  % the RehearsalMark will be aligned with the left edge of the KeySignature
  % and then shifted right by one unit.
  \once \override Score.KeySignature #'break-align-anchor = #1
  \key a \major
  \mark "↓"
  e1
}

[image of music]


Blanking staff lines using the \whiteout command

The \whiteout command underlays a markup with a white box. Since staff lines are in a lower layer than most other grobs, this white box will not overlap any other grob.

\layout { ragged-right = ##f }
\relative c' {
  \override TextScript #'extra-offset = #'(2 . 4)
  c2-\markup { \whiteout \pad-markup #0.5 "middle C" } c
} 

[image of music]


Center text below hairpin dynamics

This example provides a function to typeset a hairpin (de)crescendo with some additional text below it, such as "molto" or "poco". The example also illustrates how to modify the way an object is normally printed, using some Scheme code.

hairpinWithCenteredText =
#(define-music-function (parser location text) (markup?)
#{
  \override Voice.Hairpin #'stencil = #(lambda (grob)
    (ly:stencil-aligned-to
     (ly:stencil-combine-at-edge
      (ly:stencil-aligned-to (ly:hairpin::print grob) X CENTER)
      Y DOWN
      (ly:stencil-aligned-to (grob-interpret-markup grob $text) X CENTER))
     X LEFT))
#})

hairpinMolto = \hairpinWithCenteredText \markup { \italic molto }
hairpinMore = \hairpinWithCenteredText \markup { \larger moltissimo }

\layout { ragged-right = ##f }

{
  \hairpinMolto c'2\< c'\f
  \hairpinMore  c'2\< c'\f
}

[image of music]


Changing the default text font family

The default font families for text can be overridden with make-pango-font-tree.

\paper {
  % change for other default global staff size. 
  myStaffSize = #20
  %{
     run
         lilypond -dshow-available-fonts blabla
     to show all fonts available in the process log.  
  %}

  #(define fonts
    (make-pango-font-tree "Times New Roman"
                          "Nimbus Sans"
                          "Luxi Mono"
;;                        "Helvetica"
;;                        "Courier"
     (/ myStaffSize 20)))
}

\relative c'' {
  c4^\markup {
    roman: foo \bold bla \italic bar \italic \bold baz 
  }
  c'4_\markup {
    \override #'(font-family . sans)
    {
      sans: foo \bold bla \italic bar \italic \bold baz
    }
  }
  c'2^\markup {
    \override #'(font-family . typewriter)
    {
      mono: foo \bold bla \italic bar \italic \bold baz
    }
  }
}  

[image of music]


Combining dynamics with markup texts

Some dynamics may involve text indications (such as "più forte" or "piano subito"). They can be produced using a \markup block.

piuF = \markup { \italic più \dynamic f }
\layout { ragged-right = ##f }
\relative c'' {
  c2\f c-\piuF
}

[image of music]


Combining two parts on the same staff

The part combiner tool ( \partcombine command ) allows the combination of several different parts on the same staff. Text directions such as "solo" or "a2" are added by default; to remove them, simply set the property printPartCombineTexts to "false". For vocal scores (hymns), there is no need to add "solo"/"a2" texts, so they should be switched off. However, it might be better not to use it if there are any solos, as they won’t be indicated. In such cases, standard polyphonic notation may be preferable.

This snippet presents the three ways two parts can be printed on a same staff: standard polyphony, \partcombine without texts, and \partcombine with texts.

musicUp = \relative c'' {
  \time 4/4
  a4 c4.( g8) a4 |
  g4 e' g,( a8 b) |
  c b a2.
}

musicDown = \relative c'' {
  g4 e4.( d8) c4 |
  r2 g'4( f8 e) |
  d2 \stemDown a
}

\score {
  <<
    <<
    \new Staff {
      \set Staff.instrumentName = "Standard polyphony  "
      << \musicUp \\ \musicDown >>
    }
    \new Staff \with { printPartCombineTexts = ##f } {
      \set Staff.instrumentName = "PartCombine without texts  "
      \partcombine \musicUp \musicDown
    }
    \new Staff {
      \set Staff.instrumentName = "PartCombine with texts  "
      \partcombine \musicUp \musicDown
    }
    >>
  >>
  \layout {
    indent = 6.0\cm
    \context {
      \Score
      \override SystemStartBar #'collapse-height = #30
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Creating "real" parenthesized dynamics

Although the easiest way to add parentheses to a dynamic mark is to use a \markup block, this method has a downside: the created objects will behave like text markups, and not like dynamics.

However, it is possible to create a similar object using the equivalent Scheme code (as described in "Markup programmer interface"), combined with the make-dynamic-script function. This way, the markup will be regarded as a dynamic, and therefore will remain compatible with commands such as \dynamicUp or \dynamicDown.

\paper { ragged-right = ##t }

parenF = #(make-dynamic-script (markup #:line (#:normal-text #:italic
           #:fontsize 2 "(" #:hspace -0.8 #:dynamic "f" #:normal-text
           #:italic #:fontsize 2 ")"
          )))
\relative c'' {
  c4\parenF c c \dynamicUp c\parenF
}

[image of music]


Creating simultaneous rehearsal marks

Unlike text scripts, rehearsal marks cannot be stacked at a particular point in a score: only one RehearsalMark object is created. Using an invisible measure and bar line, an extra rehearsal mark can be added, giving the appearance of two marks in the same column.

This method may also prove useful for placing rehearsal marks at both the end of one system and the start of the following system.

{
  \key a \major
  \set Score.markFormatter = #format-mark-box-letters
  \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'outside-staff-priority = #5000
  \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'self-alignment-X = #LEFT
  \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'break-align-symbols = #'(key-signature)
  \mark \markup { \bold { Senza denti } }
  
  % the hidden measure and bar line
  \once \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f
  \time 1/16
  s16 \bar ""
  
  \time 4/4
  \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'self-alignment-X = #LEFT
  \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'break-align-symbols = #'(bar-line)
  \mark \markup { \box \bold Intro }
  d'1
  \mark \default
  d'1
}

[image of music]


Creating text spanners

The \startTextSpan and \stopTextSpan commands allow the creation of text spanners as easily as pedal indications or octavations. Override some properties of the TextSpanner object to modify its output.

\paper { ragged-right = ##f }

\relative c'' {
  \override TextSpanner #'(bound-details left text) = #"bla"
  \override TextSpanner #'(bound-details right text) = #"blu"
  a4 \startTextSpan
  b4 c
  a4 \stopTextSpan
  
  \override TextSpanner #'style = #'line
  \once \override TextSpanner
    #'(bound-details left stencil-align-dir-y) = #CENTER
  a4 \startTextSpan
  b4 c
  a4 \stopTextSpan
  
  \override TextSpanner #'style = #'dashed-line
  \override TextSpanner #'(bound-details left text) =
    \markup { \draw-line #'(0 . 1) }
  \override TextSpanner #'(bound-details right text) =
    \markup { \draw-line #'(0 . -2) }
  \once \override TextSpanner #'(bound-details right padding) = #-2

  a4 \startTextSpan
  b4 c
  a4 \stopTextSpan
  
  \set Staff.middleCPosition = #-13
  \override TextSpanner #'dash-period = #10
  \override TextSpanner #'dash-fraction = #0.5
  \override TextSpanner #'thickness = #10
  a4 \startTextSpan
  b4 c
  a4 \stopTextSpan
}

[image of music]


Demonstrating all headers

All header fields with special meanings.

\header {
  copyright = "copyright"
  title = "title"
  subtitle = "subtitle"
  composer = "composer"
  arranger = "arranger"
  instrument = "instrument"
  metre = "metre"
  opus = "opus"
  piece = "piece"
  poet = "poet"
  texidoc = "All header fields with special meanings."
  copyright = "public domain"
  enteredby = "jcn"
  source = "urtext"
}

\layout {
  ragged-right = ##f
}

\score {
  \relative c'' { c1 | c | c | c }
}

\score {
   \relative c'' { c1 | c | c | c }
   \header {
     title = "localtitle"
     subtitle = "localsubtitle"
     composer = "localcomposer"
     arranger = "localarranger"
     instrument = "localinstrument"
     metre = "localmetre"
     opus = "localopus"
     piece = "localpiece"
     poet = "localpoet"
     copyright = "localcopyright"
   }
}

[image of music]


Embedding native PostScript in a \markup block

PostScript code can be directly inserted inside a \markup block.

% PostScript is a registered trademark of Adobe Systems Inc.

\relative c'' {
  a4-\markup { \postscript #"3 4 moveto 5 3 rlineto stroke" }
  -\markup { \postscript #"[ 0 1 ] 0 setdash 3 5 moveto 5 -3 rlineto stroke " }
  
  b4-\markup { \postscript #"3 4 moveto 0 0 1 2 8 4 20 3.5 rcurveto stroke" }
  s2
  a'1
}

[image of music]


Formatting lyrics syllables

To format individual syllables in lyrics, use \markup { .... } on these lyrics.

% Tip taken from http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/lilypond-user/2007-12/msg00215.html
\header {
  title = "Markup can be used inside lyrics!"
}

mel = \relative c'' { c4 c c c }
lyr = \lyricmode {
  Lyrics \markup { \italic "can" } \markup {\with-color #red "contain" }
  \markup {\fontsize #8 \bold "Markup!" }
}

<<
  \context Voice = melody \mel
  \context Lyrics \lyricsto melody \lyr
>>

[image of music]


How to put ties between syllables in lyrics

This can be achieved by separating those syllables by tildes.

\lyrics {
  wa~o~a 
}

[image of music]


Lyrics alignment

Horizontal alignment for lyrics cam be set by overriding the self-alignment-X property of the LyricText object. #-1 is left, #0 is center and #1 is right; however, you can use #LEFT, #CENTER and #RIGHT as well.

\layout { ragged-right = ##f }
\relative c'' {
  c1
  c1
  c1
}
\addlyrics {
  \once \override LyricText #'self-alignment-X = #LEFT
  "This is left-aligned"
  \once \override LyricText #'self-alignment-X = #CENTER
  "This is centered" 
  \once \override LyricText #'self-alignment-X = #1
  "This is right-aligned"
}

[image of music]


Markup lines

Text that can spread over pages is entered with the \markuplines command.

#(set-default-paper-size "a6")

#(define-markup-list-command (paragraph layout props args) (markup-list?)
  (interpret-markup-list layout props
   (make-justified-lines-markup-list (cons (make-hspace-markup 2) args))))

% Candide, Voltaire
\markuplines {
  \override-lines #'(baseline-skip . 2.5) {
    \paragraph {
      Il y avait en Westphalie, dans le château de M. le baron de
      Thunder-ten-tronckh, un jeune garçon à qui la nature avait donné
      les mœurs les plus douces.  Sa physionomie annonçait son âme.
      Il avait le jugement assez droit, avec l'esprit le plus simple ;
      c'est, je crois, pour cette raison qu'on le nommait Candide.  Les
      anciens domestiques de la maison soupçonnaient qu'il était fils
      de la sœur de monsieur le baron et d'un bon et honnête
      gentilhomme du voisinage, que cette demoiselle ne voulut jamais
      épouser parce qu'il n'avait pu prouver que soixante et onze
      quartiers, et que le reste de son arbre généalogique avait été
      perdu par l'injure du temps.
    }
    \paragraph {
      Monsieur le baron était un des plus puissants seigneurs de la
      Westphalie, car son château avait une porte et des fenêtres.  Sa
      grande salle même était ornée d'une tapisserie.  Tous les chiens
      de ses basses-cours composaient une meute dans le besoin ; ses
      palefreniers étaient ses piqueurs; le vicaire du village était
      son grand-aumônier.  Ils l'appelaient tous monseigneur, et ils
      riaient quand il faisait des contes.
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Multi-measure rest markup

Markups attached to a multi-measure rest will be centered above or below it. Long markups attached to multi-measure rests do not cause the measure to expand. To expand a multi-measure rest to fit the markup, use a spacer rest with an attached markup before the multi-measure rest.

Note that the spacer rest causes a bar line to be inserted. Text attached to a spacer rest in this way is left-aligned to the position where the note would be placed in the measure, but if the measure length is determined by the length of the text, the text will appear to be centered.

\relative c' {
  \compressFullBarRests
  \textLengthOn
  s1*0^\markup { [MAJOR GENERAL] }
  R1*19
  s1*0_\markup { \italic { Cue: ... it is yours } }
  s1*0^\markup { A }
  R1*30^\markup { [MABEL] }
  \textLengthOff
  c4^\markup { CHORUS } d f c
}

[image of music]


Ottava text

Internally, \ottava sets the properties ottavation (for example, to "8va" or "8vb") and middleCPosition. To override the text of the bracket, set ottavation after invoking \ottava.

{
  \ottava #1
  \set Staff.ottavation = #"8"
  c''1
  \ottava #0
  c'1
  \ottava #1
  \set Staff.ottavation = #"Text"
  c''1
}

[image of music]


Outputting the version number

By putting the output of lilypond-version into lyrics or a text markup, it is possible to print the version number of LilyPond in a score, or in a document generated with lilypond-book.

\score {
  \new Lyrics {
    \override Score.RehearsalMark #'self-alignment-X = #LEFT
    \mark #(ly:export (string-append "Processed with LilyPond version "
                       (lilypond-version)))
    s2
  }
}

[image of music]


Piano template with centered lyrics

Instead of having a full staff for the melody and lyrics, lyrics can be centered between the staves of a piano staff.

upper = \relative c'' {
  \clef treble
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
  
  a4 b c d  
}

lower = \relative c {
  \clef bass
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
  
  a2 c  
}

text = \lyricmode {
  Aaa Bee Cee Dee
}

\score {
  \new GrandStaff <<
    \new Staff = upper { \new Voice = "singer" \upper }
    \new Lyrics \lyricsto "singer" \text
    \new Staff = lower { \lower }
  >>
  \layout {
    \context {
      \GrandStaff
      \accepts "Lyrics"
    }
    \context {
      \Lyrics
      \consists "Bar_engraver"
    }
  }
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


Printing marks at the end of a line or a score

Marks can be printed at the end of the current line, instead of the beginning of the following line. This is particularly useful when a mark has to be added at the end of a score – when there is no next line.

In such cases, the right end of the mark has to be aligned with the final bar line, as demonstrated on the second line of this example.

\relative c'' {  
  \override Score.RehearsalMark #'break-visibility = #begin-of-line-invisible
  g2 c
  d,2 a'
  \mark \default
  \break
  g2 b,
  c1 \bar "||"
  \override Score.RehearsalMark #'self-alignment-X = #RIGHT  
  \mark "D.C. al Fine"
}

[image of music]


Printing marks on every staff

Although text marks are normally only printed above the topmost staff, they may also be printed on every staff.

\score {
  <<
    \new Staff { c''1 \mark "molto" c'' }
    \new Staff { c'1 \mark "molto" c' }
  >>
  \layout {
    \context {
      \Score
      \remove "Mark_engraver"
      \remove "Staff_collecting_engraver"
    }
    \context {
      \Staff
      \consists "Mark_engraver"
      \consists "Staff_collecting_engraver"
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Stand-alone two-column markup

Stand-alone text may be arranged in several columns using \markup commands:

\markup {
 \fill-line {
  \hspace #1.0
  \column {
   \line {"O sacrum convivium" }
   \line {"in quo Christus sumitur," }
   \line {"recolitur memoria passionis ejus," }
   \line {"mens impletur gratia," }
   \line {"futurae gloriae nobis pignus datur." }
   \line {"Amen."}
  }
  \hspace #2
  \column {
   \line { \italic {"O sacred feast"} }
   \line { \italic {"in which Christ is received,"} }
   \line { \italic {"the memory of His Passion is renewed,"} }
   \line { \italic {"the mind is filled with grace," } }
   \line { \italic {"and a pledge of future glory is given to us." }}
   \line { \italic {"Amen."}}
  }
  \hspace #1.0
 }
}

[image of music]


Three-sided box

This example shows how to add a markup command to get a three sided box around some text (or other markup).

% New command to add a three sided box, with sides north, west and south
% Based on the box-stencil command defined in scm/stencil.scm
% Note that ";" is used to comment a line in Scheme
#(define-public (NWS-box-stencil stencil thickness padding)
  "Add a box around STENCIL, producing a new stencil."
  (let* ((x-ext (interval-widen (ly:stencil-extent stencil 0) padding))
         (y-ext (interval-widen (ly:stencil-extent stencil 1) padding))
         (y-rule (make-filled-box-stencil (cons 0 thickness) y-ext))
         (x-rule (make-filled-box-stencil
                  (interval-widen x-ext thickness) (cons 0 thickness))))
;    (set! stencil (ly:stencil-combine-at-edge stencil X 1 y-rule padding))
    (set! stencil (ly:stencil-combine-at-edge stencil X -1 y-rule padding))
    (set! stencil (ly:stencil-combine-at-edge stencil Y 1 x-rule 0.0))
    (set! stencil (ly:stencil-combine-at-edge stencil Y -1 x-rule 0.0))
    stencil))

% The corresponding markup command, based on the \box command defined 
% in scm/define-markup-commands.scm
#(define-markup-command (NWS-box layout props arg) (markup?)
  "Draw a box round @var{arg}.  Looks at @code{thickness},
@code{box-padding} and @code{font-size} properties to determine line
thickness and padding around the markup."  
  (let* ((th (chain-assoc-get 'thickness props  0.1))
         (size (chain-assoc-get 'font-size props 0))
         (pad (* (magstep size)
                 (chain-assoc-get 'box-padding props 0.2)))
         (m (interpret-markup layout props arg)))
    (NWS-box-stencil m th pad)))

% Test it:

\layout { ragged-right = ##f }
\relative c' {
  c2^\markup { \NWS-box ABCD }
  c2^\markup { \NWS-box \note #"4" #1.0 }
}

[image of music]


UTF-8

Various scripts may be used for texts (like titles and lyrics) by entering them in UTF-8 encoding, and using a Pango based backend. Depending on the fonts installed, this fragment will render Bulgarian (Cyrillic), Hebrew, Japanese and Portuguese.

% end verbatim - this comment is a hack to prevent texinfo.tex
% from choking on non-European UTF-8 subsets
% Cyrillic font
bulgarian = \lyricmode {
  Жълтата дюля беше щастлива, че пухът, който цъфна, замръзна като гьон.
}

hebrew = \lyricmode {
  זה כיף סתם לשמוע איך תנצח קרפד עץ טוב בגן.
}

japanese = \lyricmode {
  いろはにほへど ちりぬるを
  わがよたれぞ  つねならむ
  うゐのおくや  まけふこえて
  あさきゆめみじ ゑひもせず
}

% "a legal song to you"
portuguese = \lyricmode {
  à vo -- cê uma can -- ção legal
}

\relative c' {
  c2 d
  e2 f
  g2 f
  e1
}
\addlyrics { \bulgarian }
\addlyrics { \hebrew }
\addlyrics { \japanese }
\addlyrics { \portuguese }

[image of music]


Vocal ensemble template with lyrics aligned below and above the staves

This template is basically the same as the simple "Vocal ensemble" template, with the exception that here all the lyrics lines are placed using alignAboveContext and alignBelowContext.

global = {
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
}

sopMusic = \relative c'' {
  c4 c c8[( b)] c4
}
sopWords = \lyricmode {
  hi hi hi hi
}

altoMusic = \relative c' {
  e4 f d e
}
altoWords = \lyricmode {
  ha ha ha ha
}

tenorMusic = \relative c' {
  g4 a f g
}
tenorWords = \lyricmode {
  hu hu hu hu
}

bassMusic = \relative c {
  c4 c g c
}
bassWords = \lyricmode {
  ho ho ho ho
}

\score {
  \new ChoirStaff <<
    \new Staff = women <<
      \new Voice = "sopranos" { \voiceOne << \global \sopMusic >> }
      \new Voice = "altos" { \voiceTwo << \global \altoMusic >> }
    >>
    \new Lyrics \with { alignAboveContext = women } \lyricsto sopranos \sopWords
    \new Lyrics \with { alignBelowContext = women } \lyricsto altos \altoWords
    % we could remove the line about this with the line below, since we want
    % the alto lyrics to be below the alto Voice anyway.
    % \new Lyrics \lyricsto altos \altoWords
    
    \new Staff = men <<
      \clef bass
      \new Voice = "tenors" { \voiceOne << \global \tenorMusic >> }
      \new Voice = "basses" { \voiceTwo << \global \bassMusic >> }
    >>
    \new Lyrics \with { alignAboveContext = men } \lyricsto tenors \tenorWords
    \new Lyrics \with { alignBelowContext = men } \lyricsto basses \bassWords
    % again, we could replace the line above this with the line below.
    % \new Lyrics \lyricsto basses \bassWords
  >>
  \layout {
    \context {
      % a little smaller so lyrics
      % can be closer to the staff
      \Staff
      \override VerticalAxisGroup #'minimum-Y-extent = #'(-3 . 3)
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Vocal music

These snippets illustrate the Notation Reference, section Vocal music.


Adding ambitus per voice

Ambitus can be added per voice. In this case, the ambitus must be moved manually to prevent collisions.

\new Staff <<
  \new Voice \with {
    \consists "Ambitus_engraver"
  } \relative c'' {
    \override Ambitus #'X-offset = #2.0
    \voiceOne
    c4 a d e
    f1
  }
  \new Voice \with {
    \consists "Ambitus_engraver"
  } \relative c' {
    \voiceTwo
    es4 f g as
    b1
  }
>>

[image of music]


Adjusting lyrics vertical spacing

This snippet shows how to bring the lyrics line closer to the staff.

% Default layout:
<<
  \new Staff \new Voice = melody \relative c' {
    c4 d e f
    g4 f e d
    c1
  }
  \new Lyrics \lyricsto melody { aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa }

% Reducing the minimum space below the staff and above the lyrics:
  \new Staff \with {
    \override VerticalAxisGroup #'minimum-Y-extent = #'(-1 . 4)
  }
  \new Voice = melody \relative c' {
    c4 d e f
    g4 f e d
    c1
  }
  \new Lyrics \with {
    \override VerticalAxisGroup #'minimum-Y-extent = #'(-1.2 . 1)
  }
  \lyricsto melody { aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa }
>>

[image of music]


Ambitus with multiple voices

Adding the Ambitus_engraver to the Staff context creates a single ambitus per staff, even in the case of staves with multiple voices.

\new Staff \with {
  \consists "Ambitus_engraver"
  }
<<
  \new Voice \relative c'' {
    \voiceOne
    c4 a d e
    f1
  }
  \new Voice \relative c' {
    \voiceTwo
    es4 f g as
    b1
  }
>>

[image of music]


Ambitus

Ambitus indicate pitch ranges for voices.

Accidentals only show up if they are not part of the key signature. AmbitusNoteHead grobs also have ledger lines.

\layout {
  \context {
    \Voice
    \consists "Ambitus_engraver"
  }
}

<<
  \new Staff {
    \relative c' {
      \time 2/4
      c4 f'
    }
  }
  \new Staff {
    \relative c' {
      \time  2/4
      \key d \major
      cis4 as'
    }
  }
>>

[image of music]


Changing stanza fonts

Fonts can be changed independently for each stanza, including the font used for printing the stanza number.

\new Voice {
  \time 3/4
  g2 e4
  a2 f4
  g2.
}
\addlyrics {
  \set stanza = #"1. "
  Hi, my name is Bert.
}
\addlyrics {
  \override StanzaNumber #'font-name = #"DejaVu"
  \set stanza = #"2. "
  \override LyricText #'font-family = #'typewriter
  Oh, ché -- ri, je t'aime
}

[image of music]


Chant or psalms notation

This form of notation is used for the chant of the Psalms, where verses aren’t always the same length.

stemOn = { \revert Staff.Stem #'transparent }
stemOff = { \override Staff.Stem #'transparent = ##t }

\score {
  \new Staff \with { \remove "Time_signature_engraver" }
  {
    \key g \minor
    \cadenzaOn
    \stemOff a'\breve bes'4 g'4
    \stemOn a'2 \bar "||"
    \stemOff a'\breve g'4 a'4
    \stemOn f'2 \bar "||"
    \stemOff a'\breve^\markup { \italic flexe }
    \stemOn g'2 \bar "||"
  }
}

[image of music]


Formatting lyrics syllables

To format individual syllables in lyrics, use \markup { .... } on these lyrics.

% Tip taken from http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/lilypond-user/2007-12/msg00215.html
\header {
  title = "Markup can be used inside lyrics!"
}

mel = \relative c'' { c4 c c c }
lyr = \lyricmode {
  Lyrics \markup { \italic "can" } \markup {\with-color #red "contain" }
  \markup {\fontsize #8 \bold "Markup!" }
}

<<
  \context Voice = melody \mel
  \context Lyrics \lyricsto melody \lyr
>>

[image of music]


How to put ties between syllables in lyrics

This can be achieved by separating those syllables by tildes.

\lyrics {
  wa~o~a 
}

[image of music]


Lyrics alignment

Horizontal alignment for lyrics cam be set by overriding the self-alignment-X property of the LyricText object. #-1 is left, #0 is center and #1 is right; however, you can use #LEFT, #CENTER and #RIGHT as well.

\layout { ragged-right = ##f }
\relative c'' {
  c1
  c1
  c1
}
\addlyrics {
  \once \override LyricText #'self-alignment-X = #LEFT
  "This is left-aligned"
  \once \override LyricText #'self-alignment-X = #CENTER
  "This is centered" 
  \once \override LyricText #'self-alignment-X = #1
  "This is right-aligned"
}

[image of music]


Marking notes of spoken parts with a cross on the stem

This example shows how to put crosses on stems. Mark the beginning of a spoken section with the \speakOn keyword, and end it with the \speakOff keyword.

speakOn = {
  \override Stem #'stencil = #(lambda (grob)
    (let* ((x-parent (ly:grob-parent grob X))
           (is-rest? (ly:grob? (ly:grob-object x-parent 'rest))))
      (if is-rest?
        empty-stencil
        (ly:stencil-combine-at-edge
          (ly:stem::print grob)
          Y
          (- (ly:grob-property grob 'direction))
          (grob-interpret-markup grob
            (markup #:hspace -1.025 #:fontsize -4
              #:musicglyph "noteheads.s2cross"))
          -2.3 0))))
}

speakOff = {
  \revert Stem #'stencil
}

\score {
  \new Staff {
    \relative c'' {
      a4 b a c
      \speakOn
      g4 f r g
      b4 r d e
      \speakOff
      c4 a g f
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Piano template with melody and lyrics

Here is a typical song format: one staff with the melody and lyrics, with piano accompaniment underneath.

melody = \relative c'' {
  \clef treble
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
  
  a b c d  
}

text = \lyricmode {
  Aaa Bee Cee Dee
}

upper = \relative c'' {
  \clef treble
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
  
  a4 b c d  
}

lower = \relative c {
  \clef bass
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
  
  a2 c  
}

\score {
  <<
    \new Voice = "mel" { \autoBeamOff \melody }
    \new Lyrics \lyricsto mel \text    
    \new PianoStaff <<
      \new Staff = "upper" \upper
      \new Staff = "lower" \lower
    >>
  >>
  \layout {
    \context { \RemoveEmptyStaffContext }
  }
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


Single staff template with notes, lyrics, and chords

This template allows the preparation of a song with melody, words, and chords.

melody = \relative c' {
  \clef treble
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
  
  a4 b c d
}

text = \lyricmode {
  Aaa Bee Cee Dee
}

harmonies = \chordmode {
  a2 c
}

\score {
  <<
    \new ChordNames {
      \set chordChanges = ##t
      \harmonies
    }
    \new Voice = "one" { \autoBeamOff \melody }
    \new Lyrics \lyricsto "one" \text
  >>
  \layout { }
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


Single staff template with notes, lyrics, chords and frets

Here is a simple lead sheet template with melody, lyrics, chords and fret diagrams.

% Define the fret diagrams to be used
cFretDiagram = \markup {
  \fret-diagram #"6-x;5-3-3;4-2-2;3-o;2-1-1;1-o;"
}

gFretDiagram = \markup {
  \fret-diagram #"6-3-2;5-2-1;4-o;3-o;2-o;1-3-3;"
}

verseI = \lyricmode {
  \set stanza = #"1."
  This is the first verse
}

verseII = \lyricmode {
  \set stanza = #"2."
  This is the second verse.
}

theChords = \new ChordNames {
  \chordmode {
    % insert the chords for chordnames here
    c2 g4 c
  }
}

staffMelody = \new Staff  {
 \context Voice = "voiceMelody" {
   \key c \major
   \clef treble
   \relative c' {
     % Type notes and fret diagram markups here
     c4^\cFretDiagram d8 e f4^\gFretDiagram g^\cFretDiagram
     \bar "|."
   }
 }
}

\score {
  <<
    \theChords
    \staffMelody
    \new Lyrics = "lyricsI" \lyricmode {
      \lyricsto "voiceMelody" \verseI
    }
    \new Lyrics = "lyricsII" \lyricmode {
      \lyricsto "voiceMelody" \verseII
    }
  >>
  \layout { }
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


Single staff template with notes and lyrics

This small template demonstrates a simple melody with lyrics. Cut and paste, add notes, then words for the lyrics. This example turns off automatic beaming, which is common for vocal parts. To use automatic beaming, change or comment out the relevant line.

melody = \relative c' {
  \clef treble
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
  
  a4 b c d
}

text = \lyricmode {
  Aaa Bee Cee Dee
}

\score{
  <<
    \new Voice = "one" {
      \autoBeamOff
      \melody
    }
    \new Lyrics \lyricsto "one" \text
  >>
  \layout { }
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


Skips in lyric mode (2)

Although s skips cannot be used in \lyricmode (it is taken to be a literal "s", not a space), double quotes ("") or underscores (_) are available.So for example:

<<
  \relative c'' { a4 b c d }
  \new Lyrics \lyricmode { a4 "" _ gap }
>>

[image of music]


Skips in lyric mode

The s syntax for skips is only available in note mode and chord mode. In other situations, for example, when entering lyrics, using the \skip command is recommended.

<<
  \relative { a'1 a }
  \new Lyrics \lyricmode { \skip 1 bla1 }
>>

[image of music]


Vertically aligning ossias and lyrics

This snippet demonstrates the use of the context properties alignBelowContext and alignAboveContext to control the positioning of lyrics and ossias.

\paper {
  ragged-right = ##t
}

\relative c' <<
  \new Staff = "1" { c4 c s2 }
  \new Staff = "2" { c4 c s2 }
  \new Staff = "3" { c4 c s2 }
  { \skip 2
    <<
      \lyrics {
        \set alignBelowContext = #"1"
        lyrics4 below
      }
      \new Staff \with {
        alignAboveContext = #"3"
        fontSize = #-2
        \override StaffSymbol #'staff-space = #(magstep -2)
        \remove "Time_signature_engraver"
      } {
        \times 4/6 {
          \override TextScript #'padding = #3
          c8[^"ossia above" d e d e f]
        }
      }
    >>
  }
>>

[image of music]


Vertically centered common lyrics

In a vocal piece where there are several (two,four or more) lines of lyrics, and common lyrics for all voices at some point, these common lyrics may be vertically centered regardingly, as shown in the following example:

\include "english.ly"
leftbrace = \markup { \override #'(font-encoding . fetaBraces) \lookup #"brace240" }
rightbrace = \markup { \rotate #180 \leftbrace }

dropLyrics =
{
    \override LyricText #'extra-offset = #'(0 . -5)
    \override LyricHyphen #'extra-offset = #'(0 . -5)
    \override LyricExtender #'extra-offset = #'(0 . -5)
}

raiseLyrics =
{
    \revert LyricText #'extra-offset
    \revert LyricHyphen #'extra-offset
    \revert LyricExtender #'extra-offset
}

skipFour = \repeat unfold 4 { \skip 8 }

lyricsA = \lyricmode { The first verse has \dropLyrics the com -- mon
__ words \raiseLyrics used in all four. }
lyricsB = \lyricmode { In stan -- za two, \skipFour al -- so ap -- pear. }
lyricsC = \lyricmode { By the third verse, \skipFour are get -- ting dull. }
lyricsD = \lyricmode { Last stan -- za, and \skipFour get used once more. }

melody = \relative c' { c4 d e f g f e8( e f) d4 c e d c }

\score
{
        <<
                \new Voice = m \melody
                \new Lyrics \lyricsto m \lyricsA
                \new Lyrics \lyricsto m \lyricsB
                \new Lyrics \lyricsto m \lyricsC
                \new Lyrics \lyricsto m \lyricsD
        >>
}

[image of music]


Vocal ensemble template with automatic piano reduction

This template adds an automatic piano reduction to the standard SATB vocal score demonstrated in "Vocal ensemble template". This demonstrates one of the strengths of LilyPond – you can use a music definition more than once. If any changes are made to the vocal notes (say, tenorMusic), then the changes will also apply to the piano reduction.

global = {
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
}

sopMusic = \relative c'' {
  c4 c c8[( b)] c4
}
sopWords = \lyricmode {
  hi hi hi hi
}

altoMusic = \relative c' {
  e4 f d e
}
altoWords =\lyricmode {
  ha ha ha ha
}

tenorMusic = \relative c' {
  g4 a f g
}
tenorWords = \lyricmode {
  hu hu hu hu
}

bassMusic = \relative c {
  c4 c g c
}
bassWords = \lyricmode {
  ho ho ho ho
}

\score {
  <<
    \new ChoirStaff <<
      \new Lyrics = sopranos { s1 }
      \new Staff = women <<
        \new Voice = sopranos { \voiceOne << \global \sopMusic >> }
        \new Voice = altos { \voiceTwo << \global \altoMusic >> }
      >>
      \new Lyrics = altos { s1 }
      \new Lyrics = tenors { s1 }
      \new Staff = men <<
        \clef bass
        \new Voice = tenors { \voiceOne <<\global \tenorMusic >> }
        \new Voice = basses { \voiceTwo <<\global \bassMusic >> }
      >>
      \new Lyrics = basses { s1 }
      \context Lyrics = sopranos \lyricsto sopranos \sopWords
      \context Lyrics = altos \lyricsto altos \altoWords
      \context Lyrics = tenors \lyricsto tenors \tenorWords
      \context Lyrics = basses \lyricsto basses \bassWords
    >>
    \new PianoStaff <<
      \new Staff <<
        \set Staff.printPartCombineTexts = ##f
        \partcombine
        << \global \sopMusic >>
        << \global \altoMusic >>
      >>
      \new Staff <<
        \clef bass
        \set Staff.printPartCombineTexts = ##f
        \partcombine
        << \global \tenorMusic >>
        << \global \bassMusic >>
      >>
    >>
  >>
  \layout {
    \context {
      % a little smaller so lyrics
      % can be closer to the staff
      \Staff
      \override VerticalAxisGroup #'minimum-Y-extent = #'(-3 . 3)
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Vocal ensemble template with lyrics aligned below and above the staves

This template is basically the same as the simple "Vocal ensemble" template, with the exception that here all the lyrics lines are placed using alignAboveContext and alignBelowContext.

global = {
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
}

sopMusic = \relative c'' {
  c4 c c8[( b)] c4
}
sopWords = \lyricmode {
  hi hi hi hi
}

altoMusic = \relative c' {
  e4 f d e
}
altoWords = \lyricmode {
  ha ha ha ha
}

tenorMusic = \relative c' {
  g4 a f g
}
tenorWords = \lyricmode {
  hu hu hu hu
}

bassMusic = \relative c {
  c4 c g c
}
bassWords = \lyricmode {
  ho ho ho ho
}

\score {
  \new ChoirStaff <<
    \new Staff = women <<
      \new Voice = "sopranos" { \voiceOne << \global \sopMusic >> }
      \new Voice = "altos" { \voiceTwo << \global \altoMusic >> }
    >>
    \new Lyrics \with { alignAboveContext = women } \lyricsto sopranos \sopWords
    \new Lyrics \with { alignBelowContext = women } \lyricsto altos \altoWords
    % we could remove the line about this with the line below, since we want
    % the alto lyrics to be below the alto Voice anyway.
    % \new Lyrics \lyricsto altos \altoWords
    
    \new Staff = men <<
      \clef bass
      \new Voice = "tenors" { \voiceOne << \global \tenorMusic >> }
      \new Voice = "basses" { \voiceTwo << \global \bassMusic >> }
    >>
    \new Lyrics \with { alignAboveContext = men } \lyricsto tenors \tenorWords
    \new Lyrics \with { alignBelowContext = men } \lyricsto basses \bassWords
    % again, we could replace the line above this with the line below.
    % \new Lyrics \lyricsto basses \bassWords
  >>
  \layout {
    \context {
      % a little smaller so lyrics
      % can be closer to the staff
      \Staff
      \override VerticalAxisGroup #'minimum-Y-extent = #'(-3 . 3)
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Vocal ensemble template

Here is a standard four-part SATB vocal score. With larger ensembles, it is often useful to include a section which is included in all parts. For example, the time signature and key signature are almost always the same for all parts. Like in the "Hymn" template, the four voices are regrouped on only two staves.

global = {
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
}

sopMusic = \relative c'' {
  c4 c c8[( b)] c4
}
sopWords = \lyricmode {
  hi hi hi hi
}

altoMusic = \relative c' {
  e4 f d e
}
altoWords = \lyricmode {
  ha ha ha ha
}

tenorMusic = \relative c' {
  g4 a f g
}
tenorWords = \lyricmode {
  hu hu hu hu
}

bassMusic = \relative c {
  c4 c g c
}
bassWords = \lyricmode {
  ho ho ho ho
}

\score {
  \new ChoirStaff <<
    \new Lyrics = sopranos { s1 }
    \new Staff = women <<
      \new Voice = "sopranos" {
        \voiceOne
        << \global \sopMusic >>
      }
      \new Voice = "altos" {
        \voiceTwo
        << \global \altoMusic >>
      }
    >>
    \new Lyrics = "altos" { s1 }
    \new Lyrics = "tenors" { s1 }
    \new Staff = men <<
      \clef bass
      \new Voice = "tenors" {
        \voiceOne
        << \global \tenorMusic >>
      }
      \new Voice = "basses" {
        \voiceTwo << \global \bassMusic >>
      }
    >>
    \new Lyrics = basses { s1 }    
    \context Lyrics = sopranos \lyricsto sopranos \sopWords
    \context Lyrics = altos \lyricsto altos \altoWords
    \context Lyrics = tenors \lyricsto tenors \tenorWords
    \context Lyrics = basses \lyricsto basses \bassWords
  >>  
  \layout {
    \context {
      % a little smaller so lyrics
      % can be closer to the staff
      \Staff
      \override VerticalAxisGroup #'minimum-Y-extent = #'(-3 . 3)
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Chords

These snippets illustrate the Notation Reference, section Chord notation.


Adding a figured bass above or below the notes

When writing a figured bass, here’s a way to specify if you want your figures to be placed above or below the bass notes, by defining the BassFigureAlignmentPositioning #'direction property (exclusively in a Staff context). Choices are #UP (or #1), #CENTER (or #0) and #DOWN (or #-1).

As you can see here, this property can be changed as many times as you wish. Use \once \override if you don’t want the tweak to apply to the whole score.

bass = { \clef bass g4 b, c d e d8 c d2}
continuo = \figuremode {
         < _ >4 < 6 >8   
   \once \override Staff.BassFigureAlignmentPositioning #'direction = #CENTER
         <5/>  < _ >4 
   \override Staff.BassFigureAlignmentPositioning #'direction = #UP
         < _+ > < 6 >
   \set Staff.useBassFigureExtenders = ##t
   \override Staff.BassFigureAlignmentPositioning #'direction = #DOWN
         < 4 >4. < 4 >8 < _+ >4
       } 
\score {
    << \new Staff = bassStaff \bass 
    \context Staff = bassStaff \continuo >>
}

[image of music]


Adding bar lines to ChordNames context

To add bar line indications in the ChordNames context, add the Bar_engraver.

\new ChordNames \with {
  \override BarLine #'bar-size = #4
  \consists "Bar_engraver"
}
\chordmode {
  f1:maj7 f:7 bes:7 
}

[image of music]


Avoiding collisions with chord fingerings

Fingerings and string numbers applied to individual notes will automatically avoid beams and stems, but this is not true by default for fingerings and string numbers applied to the individual notes of chords. The following example shows how this default behavior can be overridden.

\relative c' {
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(up)
  \set stringNumberOrientations = #'(up)
  \set strokeFingerOrientations = #'(up)
  
  % Default behavior
  r8
  <f c'-5>8
  <f c'\5>8
  <f c'-\rightHandFinger #2 >8
  
  % Corrected to avoid collisions
  r8
  \override Fingering #'add-stem-support = ##t
  <f c'-5>8
  \override StringNumber #'add-stem-support = ##t
  <f c'\5>8
  \override StrokeFinger #'add-stem-support = ##t
  <f c'-\rightHandFinger #2 >8
}

[image of music]


Changing chord separator

The separator between different parts of a chord name can be set to any markup.

\chords {
  c:7sus4
  \set chordNameSeparator
    = \markup { \typewriter | }
  c:7sus4
}

[image of music]


Changing the chord names to German or semi-German notation

The english naming of chords (default) can be changed to german (\germanChords replaces B and Bes to H and B) or semi-german (\semiGermanChords replaces B and Bes to H and Bb).

music = \chordmode {
  c1/c cis/cis
  b/b bis/bis bes/bes
} 

%% The following is only here to print the names of the
%% chords styles; it can be removed if you do not need to
%% print them.

\layout {
  \context {\ChordNames \consists Instrument_name_engraver }
}

<<
  \new ChordNames {
    \set ChordNames.instrumentName = #"default"
    \music
  }
  \new ChordNames {
    \set ChordNames.instrumentName = #"german"
    \germanChords \music }
  \new ChordNames {
    \set ChordNames.instrumentName = #"semi-german"
    \semiGermanChords \music }
  \context Voice { \music }
>>

[image of music]


Changing the positions of figured bass alterations

Accidentals and plus signs can appear before or after the numbers, depending on the figuredBassAlterationDirection and figuredBassPlusDirection properties.

\figures {
  <6\+> <5+> <6 4-> r
  \set figuredBassAlterationDirection = #RIGHT
  <6\+> <5+> <6 4-> r
  \set figuredBassPlusDirection = #RIGHT
  <6\+> <5+> <6 4-> r
  \set figuredBassAlterationDirection = #LEFT
  <6\+> <5+> <6 4-> r
}

[image of music]


Chord name exceptions

The property chordNameExceptions can be used to store a list of special notations for specific chords.

% modify maj9 and 6(add9)
% Exception music is chords with markups
chExceptionMusic = {
  <c e g b d'>1-\markup { \super "maj9" }
  <c e g a d'>1-\markup { \super "6(add9)" }
}

% Convert music to list and prepend to existing exceptions.
chExceptions = #( append
  ( sequential-music-to-chord-exceptions chExceptionMusic #t)
  ignatzekExceptions)

theMusic = \chordmode {
  g1:maj9 g1:6.9
  \set chordNameExceptions = #chExceptions
  g1:maj9 g1:6.9
}

\layout {
  ragged-right = ##t 
}

<< \context ChordNames \theMusic
   \context Voice \theMusic
>>  

[image of music]


chord name major7

The layout of the major 7 can be tuned with majorSevenSymbol.

\chords {
  c:7+
  \set majorSevenSymbol = \markup { j7 }
  c:7+
}

[image of music]


Clusters

Clusters are a device to denote that a complete range of notes is to be played.

\layout {
  ragged-right = ##t 
}

fragment = \relative c' {
  c4 f <e d'>4
  <g a>8 <e a> a4 c2 <d b>4
  e2 c
}

<<
  \new Staff \fragment
  \new Staff \makeClusters \fragment
>>

[image of music]


Controlling the placement of chord fingerings

The placement of fingering numbers can be controlled precisely.

\relative c' {
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(left)
  <c-1 e-3 a-5>4
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(down)
  <c-1 e-3 a-5>4
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(down right up)
  <c-1 e-3 a-5>4
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(up)
  <c-1 e-3 a-5>4
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(left)
  <c-1>2
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(down)
  <e-3>2
}

[image of music]


Displaying complex chords

Here is a way to display a chord where the same note is played twice with different accidentals.

fixA = {
  \once \override Stem #'length = #9
  \once \override Accidental #'extra-offset = #'(0.3 . 0)
}
fixB = {
  \once \override NoteHead #'extra-offset = #'(1.7 . 0)
  \once \override Stem #'rotation = #'(45 0 0)
  \once \override Stem #'extra-offset = #'(-0.2 . -0.2)
  \once \override Stem #'flag-style = #'no-flag
  \once \override Accidental #'extra-offset = #'(3.1 . 0)
}

\relative c' {
  << { \fixA <b d!>8 } \\ { \voiceThree \fixB dis } >> s
}

[image of music]


Manually break figured bass extenders for only some numbers

Figured bass often uses extenders to indicate continuation of the corresponding step. However, in this case lilypond is in greedy-mode and uses extenders whenever possible. To break individual extenders, one can simply use a modifier \! to a number, which breaks any extender attributed to that number right before the number.

bassfigures = \figuremode { 
  \set useBassFigureExtenders = ##t
  <6 4>4 <6 4\!> <6 4\!> <6 4\!> |  <6\! 4\!>  <6 4> <6 4\!> <6 4>
}

<<
  \new Staff \relative c'' { c1 c1 }
  \new FiguredBass \bassfigures
>>


[image of music]


Showing chords at changes

Chord names can be displayed only at the start of lines and when the chord changes.

harmonies = \chordmode {
  c1:m c:m \break c:m c:m d
}
<<
  \new ChordNames {
    \set chordChanges = ##t
    \harmonies
  }
  \new Staff {
    \relative c' { \harmonies }
  }
>>

[image of music]


Simple lead sheet

When put together, chord names, a melody, and lyrics form a lead sheet:

<<
  \chords { c2 g:sus4 f e }
  \relative c'' {
    a4 e c8 e r4
    b2 c4( d)
  }
  \addlyrics { One day this shall be free __ }
>>

[image of music]


Single staff template with notes, lyrics, and chords

This template allows the preparation of a song with melody, words, and chords.

melody = \relative c' {
  \clef treble
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
  
  a4 b c d
}

text = \lyricmode {
  Aaa Bee Cee Dee
}

harmonies = \chordmode {
  a2 c
}

\score {
  <<
    \new ChordNames {
      \set chordChanges = ##t
      \harmonies
    }
    \new Voice = "one" { \autoBeamOff \melody }
    \new Lyrics \lyricsto "one" \text
  >>
  \layout { }
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


Single staff template with notes, lyrics, chords and frets

Here is a simple lead sheet template with melody, lyrics, chords and fret diagrams.

% Define the fret diagrams to be used
cFretDiagram = \markup {
  \fret-diagram #"6-x;5-3-3;4-2-2;3-o;2-1-1;1-o;"
}

gFretDiagram = \markup {
  \fret-diagram #"6-3-2;5-2-1;4-o;3-o;2-o;1-3-3;"
}

verseI = \lyricmode {
  \set stanza = #"1."
  This is the first verse
}

verseII = \lyricmode {
  \set stanza = #"2."
  This is the second verse.
}

theChords = \new ChordNames {
  \chordmode {
    % insert the chords for chordnames here
    c2 g4 c
  }
}

staffMelody = \new Staff  {
 \context Voice = "voiceMelody" {
   \key c \major
   \clef treble
   \relative c' {
     % Type notes and fret diagram markups here
     c4^\cFretDiagram d8 e f4^\gFretDiagram g^\cFretDiagram
     \bar "|."
   }
 }
}

\score {
  <<
    \theChords
    \staffMelody
    \new Lyrics = "lyricsI" \lyricmode {
      \lyricsto "voiceMelody" \verseI
    }
    \new Lyrics = "lyricsII" \lyricmode {
      \lyricsto "voiceMelody" \verseII
    }
  >>
  \layout { }
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


Single staff template with notes and chords

Want to prepare a lead sheet with a melody and chords? Look no further!

melody = \relative c' {
  \clef treble
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
  
  f4 e8[ c] d4 g
  a2 ~ a
}

harmonies = \chordmode {
  c4:m f:min7 g:maj c:aug
  d2:dim b:sus
}

\score {
  <<
    \new ChordNames {
      \set chordChanges = ##t
      \harmonies
    }
    \new Staff \melody
  >>  
  \layout{ }
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


Volta under chords

By adding the Volta_engraver to the relevant staff, volte can be put under chords.

\score {
  <<
    \chords {
      c1
      c1
    }
    \new Staff \with {
      \consists "Volta_engraver"
    }
    {
      \repeat volta 2 { c'1 }
      \alternative { c' }
    }
  >>
  \layout {
    \context {
      \Score
      \remove "Volta_engraver"
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Keyboards

These snippets illustrate the Notation Reference, section Keyboard and other multi-staff instruments.


Accordion-discant symbols

Accordion discant-specific symbols are added using \markup. The vertical placement of the symbols can be tweaked by changing the \raise arguments.

discant = \markup {
  \musicglyph #"accordion.accDiscant"
}
dot = \markup {
  \musicglyph #"accordion.accDot"
}

\layout { ragged-right = ##t }

% 16 voets register
accBasson = ^\markup {
  \combine
  \discant
  \raise #0.5 \dot
}

% een korig 8 en 16 voets register
accBandon = ^\markup {
  \combine
    \discant
    \combine
      \raise #0.5 \dot
      \raise #1.5 \dot
}

accVCello = ^\markup {
  \combine
    \discant
    \combine
      \raise #0.5 \dot
      \combine
        \raise #1.5 \dot
        \translate #'(1 . 0) \raise #1.5 \dot
}

% 4-8-16 voets register
accHarmon = ^\markup {
  \combine
    \discant
    \combine
      \raise #0.5 \dot
      \combine
        \raise #1.5 \dot
        \raise #2.5 \dot
}

accTrombon = ^\markup {
  \combine
    \discant
    \combine
      \raise #0.5 \dot
      \combine
        \raise #1.5 \dot
        \combine
          \translate #'(1 . 0) \raise #1.5 \dot
          \translate #'(-1 . 0) \raise #1.5 \dot
}

% eenkorig 4 en 16 voets register
accOrgan = ^\markup {
  \combine
    \discant
    \combine
      \raise #0.5 \dot
      \raise #2.5 \dot
}

accMaster = ^\markup {
  \combine
    \discant
    \combine
      \raise #0.5 \dot
      \combine
        \raise #1.5 \dot
        \combine
          \translate #'(1 . 0) \raise #1.5 \dot
          \combine
            \translate #'(-1 . 0) \raise #1.5 \dot
            \raise #2.5 \dot
}

accAccord = ^\markup {
  \combine
    \discant
    \combine
      \raise #1.5 \dot
      \combine
        \translate #'(1 . 0) \raise #1.5 \dot
        \combine
          \translate #'(-1 . 0) \raise #1.5 \dot
          \raise #2.5 \dot
}

accMusette = ^\markup {
  \combine
    \discant
    \combine
      \raise #1.5 \dot
      \combine
        \translate #'(1 . 0) \raise #1.5 \dot
        \translate #'(-1 . 0) \raise #1.5 \dot
}

accCeleste = ^\markup {
  \combine
    \discant
    \combine
      \raise #1.5 \dot
      \translate #'(-1 . 0) \raise #1.5 \dot
}

accOboe = ^\markup {
  \combine
    \discant
    \combine
      \raise #1.5 \dot
      \raise #2.5 \dot
}

accClarin = ^\markup {
  \combine
    \discant
    \raise #1.5 \dot
}

accPiccolo = ^\markup {
    \combine
       \discant 
       \raise #2.5 \dot
}

accViolin = ^\markup {
  \combine
    \discant
    \combine
      \raise #1.5 \dot
      \combine
        \translate #'(1 . 0) \raise #1.5 \dot
        \raise #2.5 \dot
}

\relative c'' {
  c4 d\accBasson e f
  c4 d\accBandon e f
  c4 d\accVCello e f
  c4 d\accHarmon e f
  c4 d\accTrombon e f
  \break
  c4 d\accOrgan e f
  c4 d\accMaster e f
  c4 d\accAccord e f
  c4 d\accMusette e f
  c4 d\accCeleste e f
  \break
  c4 d\accOboe e f
  c4 d\accClarin e f
  c4 d\accPiccolo e f
  c4 d\accViolin e f
}

[image of music]


Clusters

Clusters are a device to denote that a complete range of notes is to be played.

\layout {
  ragged-right = ##t 
}

fragment = \relative c' {
  c4 f <e d'>4
  <g a>8 <e a> a4 c2 <d b>4
  e2 c
}

<<
  \new Staff \fragment
  \new Staff \makeClusters \fragment
>>

[image of music]


Controlling the placement of chord fingerings

The placement of fingering numbers can be controlled precisely.

\relative c' {
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(left)
  <c-1 e-3 a-5>4
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(down)
  <c-1 e-3 a-5>4
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(down right up)
  <c-1 e-3 a-5>4
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(up)
  <c-1 e-3 a-5>4
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(left)
  <c-1>2
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(down)
  <e-3>2
}

[image of music]


Creating slurs across voices

In some situations, it may be necessary to create slurs between notes from different voices.

The solution is to add invisible notes to one of the voices, using \hideNotes.

This example is measure 235 of the Ciaconna from Bach’s 2nd Partita for solo violin, BWV 1004.

\relative c' {
  <<
    {
      d16( a') s a s a[ s a] s a[ s a]
    }
    \\
    {
      \slurUp
      bes,16[ s e](
      \hideNotes a)
      \unHideNotes f[(
      \hideNotes a)
      \unHideNotes fis](
      \hideNotes a)
      \unHideNotes g[(
      \hideNotes a)
      \unHideNotes gis](
      \hideNotes a)
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Fine-tuning pedal brackets

The appearance of pedal brackets may be altered in different ways.

\paper { ragged-right = ##f }
\relative c'' {
  c2\sostenutoOn c
  c2\sostenutoOff c
  \once \override Staff.PianoPedalBracket #'shorten-pair = #'(-7 . -2)
  c2\sostenutoOn c
  c2\sostenutoOff c
  \once \override Staff.PianoPedalBracket #'edge-height = #'(0 . 3)
  c2\sostenutoOn c
  c2\sostenutoOff c
}

[image of music]


Indicating cross-staff chords with arpeggio bracket

An arpeggio bracket can indicate that notes on two different staves are to be played with the same hand. In order to do this, the PianoStaff must be set to accept cross-staff arpeggios and the arpeggios must be set to the bracket shape in the PianoStaff context.

(Debussy, Les collines d’Anacapri, m. 65)

\paper { ragged-right = ##t }

\new PianoStaff <<
  \set PianoStaff.connectArpeggios = ##t
  \override PianoStaff.Arpeggio #'stencil = #ly:arpeggio::brew-chord-bracket
  \new Staff {
    \relative c' {
      \key b \major
      \time 6/8
      b8-.(\arpeggio fis'-.\> cis-. e-. gis-. b-.)\!\fermata^\laissezVibrer
      \bar "||"
    }
  }
  \new Staff {
    \relative c' {
      \clef bass
      \key b \major
      <<
        {
          <a e cis>2.\arpeggio
        }
        \\
        {
          <a, e a,>2.
        }
      >>
    }
  }
>>

[image of music]


Jazz combo template

This is quite an advanced template, for a jazz ensemble. Note that all instruments are notated in \key c \major. This refers to the key in concert pitch; the key will be automatically transposed if the music is within a \transpose section.

\header {
  title = "Song"
  subtitle = "(tune)"
  composer = "Me"
  meter = "moderato"
  piece = "Swing"
  tagline = \markup {
    \column {
      "LilyPond example file by Amelie Zapf,"
      "Berlin 07/07/2003"
    }
  }
}

%#(set-global-staff-size 16)
\include "english.ly"

%%%%%%%%%%%% Some macros %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

sl = {
  \override NoteHead #'style = #'slash
  \override Stem #'transparent = ##t
}
nsl = {
  \revert NoteHead #'style
  \revert Stem #'transparent
}
crOn = \override NoteHead #'style = #'cross
crOff = \revert NoteHead #'style

%% insert chord name style stuff here.

jazzChords = { }

%%%%%%%%%%%% Keys'n'thangs %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

global = { \time 4/4 }

Key = { \key c \major }

% ############ Horns ############

% ------ Trumpet ------
trpt = \transpose c d \relative c'' {
  \Key
  c1 | c | c |
}
trpHarmony = \transpose c' d {
  \jazzChords
}
trumpet = {
  \global
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Trumpet"
  \clef treble
  <<
    \trpt
  >>
}

% ------ Alto Saxophone ------
alto = \transpose c a \relative c' {
  \Key
  c1 | c | c |
}
altoHarmony = \transpose c' a {
  \jazzChords
}
altoSax = {
  \global
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Alto Sax"
  \clef treble
  <<
    \alto
  >>
}

% ------ Baritone Saxophone ------
bari = \transpose c a' \relative c {
  \Key
  c1
  c1
  \sl
  d4^"Solo" d d d
  \nsl
}
bariHarmony = \transpose c' a \chordmode {
  \jazzChords s1 s d2:maj e:m7
}
bariSax = {
  \global
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Bari Sax"
  \clef treble
  <<
    \bari
  >>
}

% ------ Trombone ------
tbone = \relative c {
  \Key
  c1 | c | c
}
tboneHarmony = \chordmode {
  \jazzChords
}
trombone = {
  \global
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Trombone"
  \clef bass
  <<
    \tbone
  >>
}

% ############ Rhythm Section #############

% ------ Guitar ------
gtr = \relative c'' {
  \Key
  c1
  \sl
  b4 b b b
  \nsl
  c1
}
gtrHarmony = \chordmode {
  \jazzChords
  s1 c2:min7+ d2:maj9
}
guitar = {
  \global
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Guitar"
  \clef treble
  <<
    \gtr
  >>
}

%% ------ Piano ------
rhUpper = \relative c'' {
  \voiceOne
  \Key
  c1 | c | c
}
rhLower = \relative c' {
  \voiceTwo
  \Key
  e1 | e | e
}

lhUpper = \relative c' {
  \voiceOne
  \Key
  g1 | g | g
}
lhLower = \relative c {
  \voiceTwo
  \Key
  c1 | c | c
}

PianoRH = {
  \clef treble
  \global
  \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"acoustic grand"
  <<
    \new Voice = "one" \rhUpper
    \new Voice = "two" \rhLower
  >>
}
PianoLH = {
  \clef bass
  \global
  \set Staff.midiInstrument = "acoustic grand"
  <<
    \new Voice = "one" \lhUpper
    \new Voice = "two" \lhLower
  >>
}

piano = {
  <<
    \set PianoStaff.instrumentName = #"Piano"
    \new Staff = "upper" \PianoRH
    \new Staff = "lower" \PianoLH
  >>
}

% ------ Bass Guitar ------
Bass = \relative c {
  \Key
  c1 | c | c
}
bass = {
  \global
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Bass"
  \clef bass
  <<
    \Bass
  >>
}

% ------ Drums ------
up = \drummode {
  \voiceOne
  hh4 <hh sn> hh <hh sn>
  hh4 <hh sn> hh <hh sn>
  hh4 <hh sn> hh <hh sn>
}
down = \drummode {
  \voiceTwo
  bd4 s bd s
  bd4 s bd s
  bd4 s bd s
}

drumContents = {
  \global
  <<
    \set DrumStaff.instrumentName = #"Drums"
    \new DrumVoice \up
    \new DrumVoice \down
  >>
}

%%%%%%%%% It All Goes Together Here %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

\score {
  <<
    \new StaffGroup = "horns" <<
      \new Staff = "trumpet" \trumpet
      \new Staff = "altosax" \altoSax
      \new ChordNames = "barichords" \bariHarmony
      \new Staff = "barisax" \bariSax
      \new Staff = "trombone" \trombone
    >>
    
    \new StaffGroup = "rhythm" <<
      \new ChordNames = "chords" \gtrHarmony
      \new Staff = "guitar" \guitar
      \new PianoStaff = "piano" \piano
      \new Staff = "bass" \bass
      \new DrumStaff \drumContents
    >>
  >>
  
  \layout {
    \context { \RemoveEmptyStaffContext }
    \context {
      \Score
      \override BarNumber #'padding = #3
      \override RehearsalMark #'padding = #2
      skipBars = ##t
    }
  }
  
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


Laissez vibrer ties

Laissez vibrer ties have a fixed size. Their formatting can be tuned using 'tie-configuration.

\relative c' {
  <c e g>4\laissezVibrer r <c f g>\laissezVibrer r
  <c d f g>4\laissezVibrer r <c d f g>4.\laissezVibrer r8

  <c d e f>4\laissezVibrer r
  \override LaissezVibrerTieColumn #'tie-configuration
     = #`((-7 . ,DOWN)
          (-5 . ,DOWN)
          (-3 . ,UP)
          (-1 . ,UP))
  <c d e f>4\laissezVibrer r
}

[image of music]


Piano template (simple)

Here is a simple piano staff with some notes.

upper = \relative c'' {
  \clef treble
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
  
  a4 b c d  
}

lower = \relative c {
  \clef bass
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
  
  a2 c  
}

\score {
  \new PianoStaff <<
    \set PianoStaff.instrumentName = #"Piano  "
    \new Staff = "upper" \upper
    \new Staff = "lower" \lower
  >>
  \layout { }
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


Piano template with centered dynamics

Many piano scores have the dynamics centered between the two staves. This requires a bit of tweaking to implement, but since the template is right here, you don’t have to do the tweaking yourself.

global = {
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
}

upper = \relative c'' {
  \clef treble
  a4 b c d
}

lower = \relative c {
  \clef bass
  a2 c
}

dynamics = {
  s2\fff\> s4 s\!\pp
}

pedal = {
  s2\sustainOn s\sustainOff
}

\score {
  \new PianoStaff = "PianoStaff_pf" <<
    \new Staff = "Staff_pfUpper" \upper
    \new Dynamics = "Dynamics_pf" \dynamics
    \new Staff = "Staff_pfLower" << \lower >>
    \new Dynamics = "pedal" \pedal
  >>

  \layout {
    % define Dynamics context
    \context {
      \type "Engraver_group"
      \name Dynamics
      \alias Voice
      \consists "Output_property_engraver"
      \consists "Piano_pedal_engraver"
      \consists "Script_engraver"
      \consists "New_dynamic_engraver"
      \consists "Dynamic_align_engraver"
      \consists "Text_engraver"
      \consists "Skip_event_swallow_translator"
      \consists "Axis_group_engraver"

      pedalSustainStrings = #'("Ped." "*Ped." "*")
      pedalUnaCordaStrings = #'("una corda" "" "tre corde")
      \override DynamicLineSpanner #'Y-offset = #0
      \override TextScript #'font-size = #2
      \override TextScript #'font-shape = #'italic
      \override VerticalAxisGroup #'minimum-Y-extent = #'(-1 . 1)
    }
    % modify PianoStaff context to accept Dynamics context
    \context {
      \PianoStaff
      \accepts Dynamics
    }
  }
}

\score {
  \new PianoStaff = "PianoStaff_pf" <<
    \new Staff = "Staff_pfUpper" << \global \upper \dynamics \pedal >>
    \new Staff = "Staff_pfLower" << \global \lower \dynamics \pedal >>
  >>
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


Piano template with centered lyrics

Instead of having a full staff for the melody and lyrics, lyrics can be centered between the staves of a piano staff.

upper = \relative c'' {
  \clef treble
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
  
  a4 b c d  
}

lower = \relative c {
  \clef bass
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
  
  a2 c  
}

text = \lyricmode {
  Aaa Bee Cee Dee
}

\score {
  \new GrandStaff <<
    \new Staff = upper { \new Voice = "singer" \upper }
    \new Lyrics \lyricsto "singer" \text
    \new Staff = lower { \lower }
  >>
  \layout {
    \context {
      \GrandStaff
      \accepts "Lyrics"
    }
    \context {
      \Lyrics
      \consists "Bar_engraver"
    }
  }
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


Piano template with melody and lyrics

Here is a typical song format: one staff with the melody and lyrics, with piano accompaniment underneath.

melody = \relative c'' {
  \clef treble
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
  
  a b c d  
}

text = \lyricmode {
  Aaa Bee Cee Dee
}

upper = \relative c'' {
  \clef treble
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
  
  a4 b c d  
}

lower = \relative c {
  \clef bass
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
  
  a2 c  
}

\score {
  <<
    \new Voice = "mel" { \autoBeamOff \melody }
    \new Lyrics \lyricsto mel \text    
    \new PianoStaff <<
      \new Staff = "upper" \upper
      \new Staff = "lower" \lower
    >>
  >>
  \layout {
    \context { \RemoveEmptyStaffContext }
  }
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


Vocal ensemble template with automatic piano reduction

This template adds an automatic piano reduction to the standard SATB vocal score demonstrated in "Vocal ensemble template". This demonstrates one of the strengths of LilyPond – you can use a music definition more than once. If any changes are made to the vocal notes (say, tenorMusic), then the changes will also apply to the piano reduction.

global = {
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
}

sopMusic = \relative c'' {
  c4 c c8[( b)] c4
}
sopWords = \lyricmode {
  hi hi hi hi
}

altoMusic = \relative c' {
  e4 f d e
}
altoWords =\lyricmode {
  ha ha ha ha
}

tenorMusic = \relative c' {
  g4 a f g
}
tenorWords = \lyricmode {
  hu hu hu hu
}

bassMusic = \relative c {
  c4 c g c
}
bassWords = \lyricmode {
  ho ho ho ho
}

\score {
  <<
    \new ChoirStaff <<
      \new Lyrics = sopranos { s1 }
      \new Staff = women <<
        \new Voice = sopranos { \voiceOne << \global \sopMusic >> }
        \new Voice = altos { \voiceTwo << \global \altoMusic >> }
      >>
      \new Lyrics = altos { s1 }
      \new Lyrics = tenors { s1 }
      \new Staff = men <<
        \clef bass
        \new Voice = tenors { \voiceOne <<\global \tenorMusic >> }
        \new Voice = basses { \voiceTwo <<\global \bassMusic >> }
      >>
      \new Lyrics = basses { s1 }
      \context Lyrics = sopranos \lyricsto sopranos \sopWords
      \context Lyrics = altos \lyricsto altos \altoWords
      \context Lyrics = tenors \lyricsto tenors \tenorWords
      \context Lyrics = basses \lyricsto basses \bassWords
    >>
    \new PianoStaff <<
      \new Staff <<
        \set Staff.printPartCombineTexts = ##f
        \partcombine
        << \global \sopMusic >>
        << \global \altoMusic >>
      >>
      \new Staff <<
        \clef bass
        \set Staff.printPartCombineTexts = ##f
        \partcombine
        << \global \tenorMusic >>
        << \global \bassMusic >>
      >>
    >>
  >>
  \layout {
    \context {
      % a little smaller so lyrics
      % can be closer to the staff
      \Staff
      \override VerticalAxisGroup #'minimum-Y-extent = #'(-3 . 3)
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Percussion

These snippets illustrate the Notation Reference, section Percussion.


Adding drum parts

Using the powerful pre-configured tools such as the \drummode function and the DrumStaff context, inputting drum parts is quite easy: drums are placed at their own staff positions (with a special clef symbol) and have note heads according to the drum. Attaching an extra symbol to the drum or restricting the number of lines is possible.

drh = \drummode { cymc4.^"crash" hhc16^"h.h." hh hhc8 hho hhc8 hh16 hh hhc4 r4 r2 }
drl = \drummode { bd4 sn8 bd bd4 << bd ss >>  bd8 tommh tommh bd toml toml bd tomfh16 tomfh }
timb = \drummode { timh4 ssh timl8 ssh r timh r4 ssh8 timl r4 cb8 cb }

\score {
  <<
    \new DrumStaff \with {
      drumStyleTable = #timbales-style
      \override StaffSymbol #'line-count = #2
      \override BarLine #'bar-size = #2
    } <<
      \set Staff.instrumentName = #"timbales"
      \timb
    >>
    \new DrumStaff <<
      \set Staff.instrumentName = #"drums"
      \new DrumVoice { \stemUp \drh }
      \new DrumVoice { \stemDown \drl }
    >>
  >>
  \layout { }
  \midi {
    \context {
      \Score
      tempoWholesPerMinute = #(ly:make-moment 120 4)
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Heavily customized polymetric time signatures

Though the polymetric time signature shown was not the most essential item here, it has been included to show the beat of this piece (which is the template of a real Balkan song!).

#(define plus (markup #:vcenter "+"))
#(define ((custom-time-signature one two three four five six
           seven eight nine ten eleven num) grob)
            (grob-interpret-markup grob
              (markup #:override '(baseline-skip . 0) #:number
                (#:line (
                    (#:column (one num)) plus
                    (#:column (two num)) plus
                    (#:column (three num)) plus
                    (#:column (four num)) plus
                    (#:column (five num)) plus
                    (#:column (six num)) plus
                    (#:column (seven num)) plus
                    (#:column (eight num)) plus
                    (#:column (nine num)) plus
                    (#:column (ten num)) plus
                    (#:column (eleven num))))
                )))

melody = \relative c'' {
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Bb Sop."
  \key g \major
  #(set-time-signature 25 8 '(3 2 2 3 2 2 2 2 3 2 2))
  \override Staff.TimeSignature #'stencil =
    #(custom-time-signature "3" "2" "2" "3" "2" "2"
      "2" "2" "3" "2" "2" "8")
  c8 c c d4 c8 c b c b a4 g fis8 e d c b' c d e4-^ fis8 g \break
  c,4. d4 c4 d4. c4 d c2 d4. e4-^ d4
  c4. d4 c4 d4. c4 d c2 d4. e4-^ d4 \break
  c4. d4 c4 d4. c4 d c2 d4. e4-^ d4
  c4. d4 c4 d4. c4 d c2 d4. e4-^ d4 \break
}

drum = \new DrumStaff \drummode {
  \bar "|:" bd4.^\markup { "Drums" } sn4 bd \bar ":" sn4.
  bd4 sn \bar ":" bd sn bd4. sn4 bd \bar ":|"
}

{
  \melody
  \drum
}

[image of music]


Jazz combo template

This is quite an advanced template, for a jazz ensemble. Note that all instruments are notated in \key c \major. This refers to the key in concert pitch; the key will be automatically transposed if the music is within a \transpose section.

\header {
  title = "Song"
  subtitle = "(tune)"
  composer = "Me"
  meter = "moderato"
  piece = "Swing"
  tagline = \markup {
    \column {
      "LilyPond example file by Amelie Zapf,"
      "Berlin 07/07/2003"
    }
  }
}

%#(set-global-staff-size 16)
\include "english.ly"

%%%%%%%%%%%% Some macros %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

sl = {
  \override NoteHead #'style = #'slash
  \override Stem #'transparent = ##t
}
nsl = {
  \revert NoteHead #'style
  \revert Stem #'transparent
}
crOn = \override NoteHead #'style = #'cross
crOff = \revert NoteHead #'style

%% insert chord name style stuff here.

jazzChords = { }

%%%%%%%%%%%% Keys'n'thangs %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

global = { \time 4/4 }

Key = { \key c \major }

% ############ Horns ############

% ------ Trumpet ------
trpt = \transpose c d \relative c'' {
  \Key
  c1 | c | c |
}
trpHarmony = \transpose c' d {
  \jazzChords
}
trumpet = {
  \global
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Trumpet"
  \clef treble
  <<
    \trpt
  >>
}

% ------ Alto Saxophone ------
alto = \transpose c a \relative c' {
  \Key
  c1 | c | c |
}
altoHarmony = \transpose c' a {
  \jazzChords
}
altoSax = {
  \global
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Alto Sax"
  \clef treble
  <<
    \alto
  >>
}

% ------ Baritone Saxophone ------
bari = \transpose c a' \relative c {
  \Key
  c1
  c1
  \sl
  d4^"Solo" d d d
  \nsl
}
bariHarmony = \transpose c' a \chordmode {
  \jazzChords s1 s d2:maj e:m7
}
bariSax = {
  \global
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Bari Sax"
  \clef treble
  <<
    \bari
  >>
}

% ------ Trombone ------
tbone = \relative c {
  \Key
  c1 | c | c
}
tboneHarmony = \chordmode {
  \jazzChords
}
trombone = {
  \global
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Trombone"
  \clef bass
  <<
    \tbone
  >>
}

% ############ Rhythm Section #############

% ------ Guitar ------
gtr = \relative c'' {
  \Key
  c1
  \sl
  b4 b b b
  \nsl
  c1
}
gtrHarmony = \chordmode {
  \jazzChords
  s1 c2:min7+ d2:maj9
}
guitar = {
  \global
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Guitar"
  \clef treble
  <<
    \gtr
  >>
}

%% ------ Piano ------
rhUpper = \relative c'' {
  \voiceOne
  \Key
  c1 | c | c
}
rhLower = \relative c' {
  \voiceTwo
  \Key
  e1 | e | e
}

lhUpper = \relative c' {
  \voiceOne
  \Key
  g1 | g | g
}
lhLower = \relative c {
  \voiceTwo
  \Key
  c1 | c | c
}

PianoRH = {
  \clef treble
  \global
  \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"acoustic grand"
  <<
    \new Voice = "one" \rhUpper
    \new Voice = "two" \rhLower
  >>
}
PianoLH = {
  \clef bass
  \global
  \set Staff.midiInstrument = "acoustic grand"
  <<
    \new Voice = "one" \lhUpper
    \new Voice = "two" \lhLower
  >>
}

piano = {
  <<
    \set PianoStaff.instrumentName = #"Piano"
    \new Staff = "upper" \PianoRH
    \new Staff = "lower" \PianoLH
  >>
}

% ------ Bass Guitar ------
Bass = \relative c {
  \Key
  c1 | c | c
}
bass = {
  \global
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Bass"
  \clef bass
  <<
    \Bass
  >>
}

% ------ Drums ------
up = \drummode {
  \voiceOne
  hh4 <hh sn> hh <hh sn>
  hh4 <hh sn> hh <hh sn>
  hh4 <hh sn> hh <hh sn>
}
down = \drummode {
  \voiceTwo
  bd4 s bd s
  bd4 s bd s
  bd4 s bd s
}

drumContents = {
  \global
  <<
    \set DrumStaff.instrumentName = #"Drums"
    \new DrumVoice \up
    \new DrumVoice \down
  >>
}

%%%%%%%%% It All Goes Together Here %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

\score {
  <<
    \new StaffGroup = "horns" <<
      \new Staff = "trumpet" \trumpet
      \new Staff = "altosax" \altoSax
      \new ChordNames = "barichords" \bariHarmony
      \new Staff = "barisax" \bariSax
      \new Staff = "trombone" \trombone
    >>
    
    \new StaffGroup = "rhythm" <<
      \new ChordNames = "chords" \gtrHarmony
      \new Staff = "guitar" \guitar
      \new PianoStaff = "piano" \piano
      \new Staff = "bass" \bass
      \new DrumStaff \drumContents
    >>
  >>
  
  \layout {
    \context { \RemoveEmptyStaffContext }
    \context {
      \Score
      \override BarNumber #'padding = #3
      \override RehearsalMark #'padding = #2
      skipBars = ##t
    }
  }
  
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


Percussion beaters

Graphic symbols for percussion instruments are not natively supported; however it is possible to include such symbols, either as an external EPS file or as embedded PostScript code inside a markup, as demonstrated in this example.

stick = \markup { 
  \with-dimensions #'(0 . 5) #'(0 . 5) 
  \postscript #"
    0 6 translate
    0.8 -0.8 scale
    0 0 0 setrgbcolor
    [] 0 setdash
    1 setlinewidth
    0 setlinejoin
    0 setlinecap
    gsave [1 0 0 1 0 0] concat
    gsave [1 0 0 1 -3.5406095 -199.29342] concat
    gsave
    0 0 0 setrgbcolor
    newpath
    7.1434065 200.94354 moveto
    7.2109628 200.90454 7.2785188 200.86554 7.3460747 200.82654 curveto
    8.2056347 202.31535 9.0651946 203.80414 9.9247546 205.29295 curveto
    9.8571989 205.33195 9.7896429 205.37095 9.7220864 205.40996 curveto
    8.8625264 203.92115 8.0029664 202.43233 7.1434065 200.94354 curveto
    closepath
    eofill
    grestore
    gsave
    0 0 0 setrgbcolor
    newpath
    4.9646672 203.10444 moveto
    5.0036707 203.03688 5.0426744 202.96933 5.0816777 202.90176 curveto
    6.5704792 203.76133 8.0592809 204.6209 9.5480824 205.48045 curveto
    9.5090791 205.54801 9.4700754 205.61556 9.4310717 205.68311 curveto
    7.94227 204.82356 6.4534687 203.96399 4.9646672 203.10444 curveto
    closepath
    eofill
    grestore
    gsave
    <<
    /ShadingType 3
    /ColorSpace /DeviceRGB
    /Coords [113.13708 207.87465 0 113.13708 207.87465 16.162441]
    /Extend [true true]
    /Domain [0 1]
    /Function <<
    /FunctionType 3
    /Functions
    [
    <<
    /FunctionType 2
    /Domain [0 1]
    /C0 [1 1 1]
    /C1 [0.72941178 0.72941178 0.72941178]
    /N 1
    >>
    ]
    /Domain [0 1]
    /Bounds [ ]
    /Encode [ 0 1 ]
    >>
    >>
    newpath
    7.6422017 200.76488 moveto
    7.6505696 201.02554 7.3905363 201.24867 7.1341335 201.20075 curveto
    6.8759501 201.16916 6.6949602 200.87978 6.7801462 200.63381 curveto
    6.8480773 200.39155 7.1438307 200.25377 7.3728389 200.35861 curveto
    7.5332399 200.42458 7.6444521 200.59122 7.6422017 200.76488 curveto
    closepath
    clip
    gsave [0.052859054 0.063089841 -0.020912282 0.017521108 5.7334261 189.76443] concat
    shfill
    grestore
    grestore
    0 0 0 setrgbcolor
    [] 0 setdash
    0.027282091 setlinewidth
    0 setlinejoin
    0 setlinecap
    newpath
    7.6422017 200.76488 moveto
    7.6505696 201.02554 7.3905363 201.24867 7.1341335 201.20075 curveto
    6.8759501 201.16916 6.6949602 200.87978 6.7801462 200.63381 curveto
    6.8480773 200.39155 7.1438307 200.25377 7.3728389 200.35861 curveto
    7.5332399 200.42458 7.6444521 200.59122 7.6422017 200.76488 curveto
    closepath
    stroke
    gsave
    <<
    /ShadingType 3
    /ColorSpace /DeviceRGB
    /Coords [113.13708 207.87465 0 113.13708 207.87465 16.162441]
    /Extend [true true]
    /Domain [0 1]
    /Function <<
    /FunctionType 3
    /Functions
    [
    <<
    /FunctionType 2
    /Domain [0 1]
    /C0 [1 1 1]
    /C1 [0.72941178 0.72941178 0.72941178]
    /N 1
    >>
    ]
    /Domain [0 1]
    /Bounds [ ]
    /Encode [ 0 1 ]
    >>
    >>
    newpath
    5.2721217 202.83181 moveto
    5.2804896 203.09247 5.0204563 203.3156 4.7640539 203.26768 curveto
    4.5058701 203.23609 4.3248803 202.94671 4.4100662 202.70074 curveto
    4.4779975 202.45848 4.7737511 202.3207 5.0027593 202.42554 curveto
    5.1631598 202.49149 5.2743721 202.65813 5.2721217 202.83181 curveto
    closepath
    clip
    gsave [0.052859054 0.063089841 -0.020912282 0.017521108 3.363346 191.83136] concat
    shfill
    grestore
    grestore
    0 0 0 setrgbcolor
    [] 0 setdash
    0.027282091 setlinewidth
    0 setlinejoin
    0 setlinecap
    newpath
    5.2721217 202.83181 moveto
    5.2804896 203.09247 5.0204563 203.3156 4.7640539 203.26768 curveto
    4.5058701 203.23609 4.3248803 202.94671 4.4100662 202.70074 curveto
    4.4779975 202.45848 4.7737511 202.3207 5.0027593 202.42554 curveto
    5.1631598 202.49149 5.2743721 202.65813 5.2721217 202.83181 curveto
    closepath
    stroke
    grestore
    grestore
  "
}

\score {
  b1^\stick
}

[image of music]


Printing music with different time signatures

In the following snippet, two parts have a completely different time signature, yet remain synchronized. The bar lines can no longer be printed at the Score level; to allow independent bar lines in each part, the Default_barline_engraver and Timing_translator are moved from the Score context to the Staff context.

\paper {
  indent = #0
  ragged-right = ##t
}

global = { \time 3/4 { s2.*3 } \bar "" \break { s2.*3 } }

\layout {
  \context {
    \Score
    \remove "Timing_translator"
    \remove "Time_signature_engraver"
    \remove "Default_bar_line_engraver"
    \override SpacingSpanner #'uniform-stretching = ##t
    \override SpacingSpanner #'strict-note-spacing = ##t
    proportionalNotationDuration = #(ly:make-moment 1 64)
  }
  \context {
    \Staff
    \consists "Timing_translator"
    \consists "Default_bar_line_engraver"
    \consists "Time_signature_engraver"
  }
  \context {
    \Voice
    \remove "Forbid_line_break_engraver"
    tupletFullLength = ##t
  }
}

Bassklarinette = \new Staff <<
  \global {
    \bar "|"
    \clef treble
    \time 3/8
    d''4.
    
    \bar "|"
    \time 3/4
    r8 des''2( c''8)
    
    \bar "|"
    \time 7/8
    r4. ees''2 ~
    
    \bar "|"
    \time 2/4
    \tupletUp
    \times 2/3 { ees''4 r4 d''4 ~ }
    
    \bar "|"
    \time 3/8
    \tupletUp
    \times 3/4 { d''4 r4 }
    
    \bar "|"
    \time 2/4
    e''2
    
    \bar "|"
    \time 3/8
    es''4.
    
    \bar "|"
    \time 3/4
    r8 d''2 r8
    \bar "|"
  }
>>

Perkussion = \new StaffGroup <<
  \new Staff <<
    \global {
      \bar "|"
      \clef percussion
      \time 3/4
      r4 c'2 ~
      
      \bar "|"
      c'2.
      
      \bar "|"
      R2.
      
      \bar "|"
      r2 g'4 ~
      
      \bar "|"
      g'2. ~
      
      \bar "|"
      g'2.
    }
  >>
  \new Staff <<
    \global {
      \bar "|"
      \clef percussion
      \time 3/4
      R2.
      
      \bar "|"
      g'2. ~
      
      \bar "|"
      g'2.
      
      \bar "|"
      r4 g'2 ~
      
      \bar "|"
      g'2 r4
      
      \bar "|"
      g'2.
    }
  >>
>>

\score {
  <<
    \Bassklarinette
    \Perkussion
  >>
}

[image of music]


Fretted strings

These snippets illustrate the Notation Reference, section Fretted string instruments.


Adding fingerings to a score

Fingering instructions can be entered using a simple syntax.

\relative c'' {
  c4-1 d-2 f-4 e-3
}

[image of music]


Adding fingerings to tablatures

To add fingerings to tablatures, use a combination of \markup and \finger.

one = \markup { \finger 1 }
two = \markup { \finger 2 }
threeTwo = \markup {
  \override #'(baseline-skip . 2)
  \column {
    \finger 3
    \finger 2
  }
}
threeFour = \markup {
  \override #'(baseline-skip . 2)
  \column {
    \finger 3
    \finger 4
  }
}

\score {
  \new TabStaff {
    \stemUp
    e8\4^\one b\2 <e, g\3 e'\1>^>[ b\2 e\4]
    <a\3 fis'\1>^>^\threeTwo[ b\2 e\4]
  }
}

[image of music]


Allowing fingerings to be printed inside the staff

By default, vertically oriented fingerings are positioned outside the staff. However, this behavior can be canceled.

\relative c' {
  <c-1 e-2 g-3 b-5>2
  \once \override Fingering #'staff-padding = #'()
  <c-1 e-2 g-3 b-5>2
}

[image of music]


Controlling the placement of chord fingerings

The placement of fingering numbers can be controlled precisely.

\relative c' {
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(left)
  <c-1 e-3 a-5>4
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(down)
  <c-1 e-3 a-5>4
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(down right up)
  <c-1 e-3 a-5>4
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(up)
  <c-1 e-3 a-5>4
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(left)
  <c-1>2
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(down)
  <e-3>2
}

[image of music]


Customizing fretboard fret diagrams

Fret diagram properties can be set through 'fret-diagram-details. For FretBoard fret diagrams, overrides are applied to the FretBoards.FretBoard object. Like Voice, FretBoards is a bottom level context, therefore can be omitted in property overrides.

\include "predefined-guitar-fretboards.ly"
\storePredefinedDiagram \chordmode { c' }
                        #guitar-tuning
                        #"x;1-1-(;3-2;3-3;3-4;1-1-);"
<<
  \new ChordNames {
    \chordmode { c1 c c d }
  }
  \new FretBoards {
    % Set global properties of fret diagram
    \override FretBoards.FretBoard #'size = #'1.2
    \override FretBoard
      #'(fret-diagram-details finger-code) = #'in-dot
    \override FretBoard
      #'(fret-diagram-details dot-color) = #'white
    \chordmode {
      c
      \once \override FretBoard #'size = #'1.0
      \once \override FretBoard
        #'(fret-diagram-details barre-type) = #'straight
      \once \override FretBoard
        #'(fret-diagram-details dot-color) = #'black
      \once \override FretBoard
        #'(fret-diagram-details finger-code) = #'below-string
      c'
      \once \override FretBoard
        #'(fret-diagram-details barre-type) = #'none
      \once \override FretBoard
        #'(fret-diagram-details number-type) = #'arabic
      \once \override FretBoard
        #'(fret-diagram-details orientation) = #'landscape
      \once \override FretBoard
        #'(fret-diagram-details mute-string) = #"M"
      \once \override FretBoard
        #'(fret-diagram-details label-dir) = #LEFT
      \once \override FretBoard
        #'(fret-diagram-details dot-color) = #'black
      c'
      \once \override FretBoard
        #'(fret-diagram-details finger-code) = #'below-string
      \once \override FretBoard
        #'(fret-diagram-details dot-radius) = #0.35
      \once \override FretBoard
        #'(fret-diagram-details dot-position) = #0.5
      \once \override FretBoard
        #'(fret-diagram-details fret-count) = #3
      d
    }
  }
  \new Voice {
    c'1 c' c' d'
  }
>>

[image of music]


Customizing markup fret diagrams

Fret diagram properties can be set through 'fret-diagram-details. For markup fret diagrams, overrides can be applied to the Voice.TextScript object or directly to the markup.

<<
  \chords { c1 c c d }
  
  \new Voice = "mel" {
    \textLengthOn
    % Set global properties of fret diagram
    \override TextScript #'size = #'1.2
    \override TextScript
      #'(fret-diagram-details finger-code) = #'in-dot
    \override TextScript
      #'(fret-diagram-details dot-color) = #'white

    %% C major for guitar, no barre, using defaults
       % terse style
    c'1^\markup { \fret-diagram-terse #"x;3-3;2-2;o;1-1;o;" }

    %% C major for guitar, barred on third fret
       % verbose style
       % size 1.0
       % roman fret label, finger labels below string, straight barre
    c'1^\markup {
      % standard size
      \override #'(size . 1.0) {
        \override #'(fret-diagram-details . (
                     (number-type . roman-lower)
                     (finger-code . in-dot)
                     (barre-type . straight))) {
          \fret-diagram-verbose #'((mute 6)
                                   (place-fret 5 3 1)
                                   (place-fret 4 5 2)
                                   (place-fret 3 5 3)
                                   (place-fret 2 5 4)
                                   (place-fret 1 3 1)
                                   (barre 5 1 3))
        }
      }
    }

    %% C major for guitar, barred on third fret
       % verbose style
       % landscape orientation, arabic numbers, M for mute string
       % no barre, fret label down or left, small mute label font
    c'1^\markup {
      \override #'(fret-diagram-details . (
                   (finger-code . below-string)
                   (number-type . arabic)
                   (label-dir . -1)
                   (mute-string . "M")
                   (orientation . landscape)
                   (barre-type . none)
                   (xo-font-magnification . 0.4)
                   (xo-padding . 0.3))) {
        \fret-diagram-verbose #'((mute 6)
                                 (place-fret 5 3 1)
                                 (place-fret 4 5 2)
                                 (place-fret 3 5 3)
                                 (place-fret 2 5 4)
                                 (place-fret 1 3 1)
                                 (barre 5 1 3))
      }
    }

    %% simple D chord
       % terse style
       % larger dots, centered dots, fewer frets
       % label below string
    d'1^\markup {
      \override #'(fret-diagram-details . (
                   (finger-code . below-string)
                   (dot-radius . 0.35)
                   (dot-position . 0.5)
                   (fret-count . 3))) {
        \fret-diagram-terse #"x;x;o;2-1;3-2;2-3;"
      }
    }
  }
>>

[image of music]


Defining predefined fretboards for other instruments

Predefined fret diagrams can be added for new instruments in addition to the standards used for guitar. This file shows how this is done by defining a new string-tuning and a few predefined fretboards for the Venezuelan cuatro.

This file also shows how fingerings can be included in the chords used as reference points for the chord lookup, and displayed in the fret diagram and the TabStaff, but not the music.

These fretboards are not transposable because they contain string information. This is planned to be corrected in the future.

% add FretBoards for the Cuatro
%   Note: This section could be put into a separate file
%      predefined-cuatro-fretboards.ly
%      and \included into each of your compositions

cuatroTuning = #'(11 18 14 9)

dSix = { <a\4 b\1 d\3 fis\2> }
dMajor = { <a\4 d\1 d\3 fis \2> }
aMajSeven = { <a\4 cis\1 e\3 g\2> }
dMajSeven = { <a\4 c\1 d\3 fis\2> }
gMajor = { <b\4 b\1 d\3 g\2> }

\storePredefinedDiagram \dSix
                        #cuatroTuning
                        #"o;o;o;o;"
\storePredefinedDiagram \dMajor
                        #cuatroTuning
                        #"o;o;o;3-3;"
\storePredefinedDiagram \aMajSeven
                        #cuatroTuning
                        #"o;2-2;1-1;2-3;"
\storePredefinedDiagram \dMajSeven
                        #cuatroTuning
                        #"o;o;o;1-1;"
\storePredefinedDiagram \gMajor
                        #cuatroTuning
                        #"2-2;o;1-1;o;"

% end of potential include file /predefined-cuatro-fretboards.ly


#(set-global-staff-size 16)

primerosNames = \chordmode {
  d:6 d a:maj7 d:maj7 
  g
}
primeros = {
  \dSix \dMajor \aMajSeven \dMajSeven
  \gMajor
}

\score {
  <<
    \new ChordNames {
      \set chordChanges = ##t
      \primerosNames
    }

    \new Staff {
      \new Voice \with {
        \remove "New_fingering_engraver"
      } 
      \relative c'' {
        \primeros
      }
    }

    \new FretBoards {
      \set stringTunings = #cuatroTuning
      \override FretBoard
        #'(fret-diagram-details string-count) = #'4
      \override FretBoard
        #'(fret-diagram-details finger-code) = #'in-dot
      \primeros
    }

    \new TabStaff \relative c'' {
      \set TabStaff.stringTunings = #cuatroTuning
      \primeros
    }
    
  >>

  \layout { 
    \context {
      \Score
      \override SpacingSpanner
        #'base-shortest-duration = #(ly:make-moment 1 16)
    }
  }
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


Faking a hammer in tablatures

A hammer in tablature can be faked with slurs.

\score {
  \new TabStaff {
    \relative c'' {
      c4( d) d( d)
      d2( c)
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Fingerings, string indications, and right-hand fingerings

This example combines left-hand fingering, string indications, and right-hand fingering.

#(define RH rightHandFinger)

\relative c {
  \clef "treble_8"
  <c-3\5-\RH #1 >4
  <e-2\4-\RH #2 >4
  <g-0\3-\RH #3 >4
  <c-1\2-\RH #4 >4
}

[image of music]


Flamenco notation

For flamenco guitar, special notation is used:

* a golpe symbol to indicate a slap on the guitar body with the nail of the ring finger

* an arrow to indicate (the direction of) strokes

* different letters for fingering ("p": thumb, "i": index finger, "m": middle finger, "a": ring finger and "x": little finger)

* 3- and 4-finger rasgueados; stroke upwards with all fingers, ending with an up- and down using the index finger

* abanicos: strokes (in tuples) with thumb (down), little and index finger (both up). There’s also an abanico 2 where middle and ring finger are used instead of the little finger.

* alza pua: fast playing with the thumb

Most figures use arrows in combination with fingering; with abanicos and rasgueados, noteheads are printed only for the first chord.

This snippet contains some header-like code that can be copied as ‘flamenco.ly’ and included in source files.

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
%%%%%%%  Cut here ----- Start 'flamenco.ly' 

% Text indicators
abanico   = \markup { \italic Abanico }
rasgueaso = \markup { \italic Ras. }
alzapua   = \markup { \italic Alzapua }

% Finger stroke symbols
strokeUp = \markup { \postscript #"
  0.1     setlinewidth
  0.5 0   moveto
  0.5 2   lineto
  0.2 1.4 lineto
  0.5 2   moveto
  0.8 1.4 lineto
  stroke
"}

strokeDown = \markup { \postscript #"
  0.1     setlinewidth
  0.5 2   moveto
  0.5 0   lineto
  0.2 0.6 lineto
  0.5 0   moveto
  0.8 0.6 lineto
  stroke
"}

% Golpe symbol
golpe = \markup { \postscript #"
  0.2 setlinewidth
  0 0 moveto
  1 0 lineto
  1 1 lineto
  stroke
  "\postscript #"
  0.1       setlinewidth
  -0.6 -0.1  moveto
  -0.6  1.0 lineto
  0.5  1.0 lineto
  stroke
"}  

strokeUpGolpe = \markup { \column { \golpe \line { \strokeUp }}}
iUpGolpe = \markup { \column { \golpe \line { \small i } \line { \strokeUp }}}

% Strokes for all fingers
pUp   = \markup { \column { \small p \line { \strokeUp }}}
pDown = \markup { \column { \small p \line { \strokeDown }}}
iUp   = \markup { \column { \small i \line { \strokeUp }}}
iDown = \markup { \column { \small i \line { \strokeDown }}}
mUp   = \markup { \column { \small m \line { \strokeUp }}}
mDown = \markup { \column { \small m \line { \strokeDown }}}
aUp   = \markup { \column { \small a \line { \strokeUp }}}
aDown = \markup { \column { \small a \line { \strokeDown }}}
xUp   = \markup { \column { \small x \line { \strokeUp }}}
xDown = \markup { \column { \small x \line { \strokeDown }}}


% Just handy :)
tupletOff = {
  \once \override TupletNumber #'stencil = ##f
  \once \override TupletBracket #'stencil = ##f
}

tupletsOff = {
  \override TupletNumber #'stencil = ##f
  \override TupletBracket #'bracket-visibility = #'if-no-beam
}

tupletsOn = {
  \override TupletBracket #'bracket-visibility = #'default
  \revert TupletNumber #'stencil
}

headsOff = {
  \override TabNoteHead #'transparent = ##t
  \override NoteHead #'transparent = ##t
  \override NoteHead #'no-ledgers = ##t
}

headsOn = {
  \override TabNoteHead #'transparent = ##f
  \override NoteHead #'transparent = ##f
  \override NoteHead #'no-ledgers = ##f
}

%%%%%%%  Cut here ----- End 'flamenco.ly' 
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

part = \relative c' {
  <a, e' a cis e>8^\iUp
  <a e' a cis e>8^\iDown
  r4
  r2^\golpe
    
  <a e' a cis e>8^\iUp
  <a e' a cis e>8^\iDown
  <a e' a cis e>8^\iUpGolpe
  <a e' a cis e>8^\iDown
  r2
      
  <a e' a cis e>16^\aUp
  \headsOff 
  <a e' a cis e>^\mUp
  <a e' a cis e>^\iUp
  <a e' a cis e>^\iDown~
  \headsOn
  <a e' a cis e>2
  r4

  \tupletOff
  \times 4/5 {
    <a e' a cis e>16^\xUp
    \headsOff
    <a e' a cis e>^\aUp
    <a e' a cis e>^\mUp
    <a e' a cis e>^\iUp
    <a e' a cis e>^\iDown~
    \headsOn
  }
  <a e' a cis e>2
  r4
    
  \tupletsOff
  \times 2/3 {
    <a e' a cis e>8^\pDown
    \headsOff
    <a e' a cis e>^\xUp
    <a e' a cis e>^\iUp
    \headsOn
  }
  
  \times 2/3 {
    <a e' a cis e>8^\pDown
    \headsOff
    <a e' a cis e>^\xUp
    <a e' a cis e>^\iUp
    \headsOn
  }
    
  \times 2/3 {
    <a e' a cis e>8^\pDown
    \headsOff
    <a e' a cis e>^\xUp
    <a e' a cis e>^\iUp
    \headsOn
  }
  \times 2/3 {
    <a e' a cis e>8^\pDown
    \headsOff
    <a e' a cis e>^\xUp
    <a e' a cis e>^\iUp
    \headsOn
  }
  
  \tupletsOff
  \override Beam #'positions = #'(2 . 2)
  \times 2/3 {
    a8^\markup{ \small p }
    <e' a>^\strokeUpGolpe
    <e a>^\strokeDown
  }
  \times 2/3 {
    a,8^\markup{ \small p }
    <e' a>^\strokeUpGolpe
    <e a>^\strokeDown
  }
  \times 2/3 {
    a,8^\markup{ \small p }
    <e' a>^\strokeUpGolpe
    <e a>^\strokeDown
  }
  \times 2/3 {
    a,8^\markup{ \small p }
    <e' a>^\strokeUpGolpe
    <e a>^\strokeDown
  }
  \tupletsOn
    
  \once \override TextScript #'extra-offset = #'(0 . -1)
  <g, b f'>1_\golpe^\mUp
  \bar "|."
}

\score {
  \new StaffGroup <<
    \context Staff = "part" <<
      \clef G
      \transpose c c'
      {
        \part
      }
    >>
    \context TabStaff {
      \part
    }
  >>
  \layout {
    ragged-right = ##t
  }
}

[image of music]


Fret diagrams explained and developed

This snippet shows many possibilities for obtaining and tweaking fret diagrams.

<<
  \chords {
    a2 a
    c2 c
    d1
  }
  
  \new Voice = "mel" {
    \textLengthOn
    % Set global properties of fret diagram
    \override TextScript #'size = #1.2
    \override TextScript #'fret-diagram-details #'finger-code = #'below-string
    \override TextScript #'fret-diagram-details #'dot-color = #'black
    
    %% A chord for ukelele
    a'2^\markup {
      \override #'(fret-diagram-details . (
                   (string-count . 4)
                   (dot-color . white)
                   (finger-code . in-dot))) {
        \fret-diagram #"4-2-2;3-1-1;2-o;1-o;"
      }
    }
    
    %% A chord for ukelele, with formatting defined in definition string
    %  1.2 * size, 4 strings, 4 frets, fingerings below string
    %  dot radius .35 of fret spacing, dot position 0.55 of fret spacing
    a'2^\markup {
      \override #'(fret-diagram-details . (
                   (dot-color . white)
                   (open-string . "o"))) {
        \fret-diagram #"s:1.2;w:4;h:3;f:2;d:0.35;p:0.55;4-2-2;3-1-1;2-o;1-o;"
      }
    }
    
    %% C major for guitar, barred on third fret
    %  verbose style
    %  roman fret label, finger labels below string, straight barre
    c'2^\markup {
      % 110% of default size
      \override #'(size . 1.1) {
        \override #'(fret-diagram-details . (
                     (number-type . roman-lower)
                     (finger-code . below-string)
                     (barre-type . straight))) {
          \fret-diagram-verbose #'((mute 6)
                                   (place-fret 5 3 1)
                                   (place-fret 4 5 2)
                                   (place-fret 3 5 3)
                                   (place-fret 2 5 4)
                                   (place-fret 1 3 1)
                                   (barre 5 1 3))
        }
      }
    }
    
    %% C major for guitar, barred on third fret
    %  verbose style
    c'2^\markup {
      % 110% of default size
      \override #'(size . 1.1) {
        \override #'(fret-diagram-details . (
                     (number-type . arabic)
                     (dot-label-font-mag . 0.9)
                     (finger-code . in-dot)
                     (fret-label-font-mag . 0.6)
                     (fret-label-vertical-offset . 0)
                     (label-dir . -1)
                     (mute-string . "M")
                     (orientation . landscape)
                     (xo-font-magnification . 0.4)
                     (xo-padding . 0.3))) {
          \fret-diagram-verbose #'((mute 6)
                                   (place-fret 5 3 1)
                                   (place-fret 4 5 2)
                                   (place-fret 3 5 3)
                                   (place-fret 2 5 4)
                                   (place-fret 1 3 1)
                                   (barre 5 1 3))
        }
      }
    }
    
    %% simple D chord
    d'1^\markup {
      \override #'(fret-diagram-details . (
                   (finger-code . below-string)
                   (dot-radius . 0.35)
                   (dot-position . 0.5)
                   (fret-count . 3))) {
        \fret-diagram-terse #"x;x;o;2-1;3-2;2-3;"
      }
    }
  }
>>

[image of music]


Guitar strum rhythms

For guitar music, it is possible to show strum rhythms, along with melody notes, chord names, and fret diagrams.

\include "predefined-guitar-fretboards.ly"
<<
  \new ChordNames {
    \chordmode {
      c1 f g c
    }
  }
  \new FretBoards {
    \chordmode {
      c1 f g c
    }
  }
  \new Voice \with {
    \consists "Pitch_squash_engraver"
  } {
    \relative c'' {
      \improvisationOn
      c4 c8 c c4 c8 c
      f4 f8 f f4 f8 f
      g4 g8 g g4 g8 g
      c4 c8 c c4 c8 c
    }
  }
  \new Voice = "melody" {
    \relative c'' {
      c2 e4 e4
      f2. r4
      g2. a4
      e4 c2.
    }
  }
  \new Lyrics {
    \lyricsto "melody" {
      This is my song.
      I like to sing.
    }
  }
>>

[image of music]


How to change fret diagram position

If you want to move the position of a fret diagram, for example, to avoid collision, or to place it between two notes, you have various possibilities:

1) modify #’padding or #’extra-offset values (as shown in the first snippet)

2) you can add an invisible voice and attach the fret diagrams to the invisible notes in that voice (as shown in the second example).

If you need to move the fret according with a rythmic position inside the bar (in the example, the third beat of the measure) the second example is better, because the fret is aligned with the third beat itself.

harmonies = \chordmode
{
  a8:13
% THE FOLLOWING IS THE COMMAND TO MOVE THE CHORD NAME
  \once \override ChordNames.ChordName #'extra-offset = #'(10 . 0)
  b8:13 s2.
% THIS LINE IS THE SECOND METHOD
    s4 s4  b4:13
}

\score
{
  <<
    \context ChordNames \harmonies
    \context Staff
    {a8^\markup { \fret-diagram  #"6-x;5-0;4-2;3-0;2-0;1-2;"  }
% THE FOLLOWING IS THE COMMAND TO MOVE THE FRET DIAGRAM
     \once \override TextScript #'extra-offset = #'(10 . 0)
     b4.~^\markup { \fret-diagram  #"6-x;5-2;4-4;3-2;2-2;1-4;"  } b4. a8\break
% HERE IS THE SECOND METHOD
     <<
       { a8 b4.~ b4. a8} 
       { s4 s4 s4^\markup { \fret-diagram  #"6-x;5-2;4-4;3-2;2-2;1-4;"  }
       }
     >>
   }
  >>
}


[image of music]


Jazz combo template

This is quite an advanced template, for a jazz ensemble. Note that all instruments are notated in \key c \major. This refers to the key in concert pitch; the key will be automatically transposed if the music is within a \transpose section.

\header {
  title = "Song"
  subtitle = "(tune)"
  composer = "Me"
  meter = "moderato"
  piece = "Swing"
  tagline = \markup {
    \column {
      "LilyPond example file by Amelie Zapf,"
      "Berlin 07/07/2003"
    }
  }
}

%#(set-global-staff-size 16)
\include "english.ly"

%%%%%%%%%%%% Some macros %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

sl = {
  \override NoteHead #'style = #'slash
  \override Stem #'transparent = ##t
}
nsl = {
  \revert NoteHead #'style
  \revert Stem #'transparent
}
crOn = \override NoteHead #'style = #'cross
crOff = \revert NoteHead #'style

%% insert chord name style stuff here.

jazzChords = { }

%%%%%%%%%%%% Keys'n'thangs %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

global = { \time 4/4 }

Key = { \key c \major }

% ############ Horns ############

% ------ Trumpet ------
trpt = \transpose c d \relative c'' {
  \Key
  c1 | c | c |
}
trpHarmony = \transpose c' d {
  \jazzChords
}
trumpet = {
  \global
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Trumpet"
  \clef treble
  <<
    \trpt
  >>
}

% ------ Alto Saxophone ------
alto = \transpose c a \relative c' {
  \Key
  c1 | c | c |
}
altoHarmony = \transpose c' a {
  \jazzChords
}
altoSax = {
  \global
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Alto Sax"
  \clef treble
  <<
    \alto
  >>
}

% ------ Baritone Saxophone ------
bari = \transpose c a' \relative c {
  \Key
  c1
  c1
  \sl
  d4^"Solo" d d d
  \nsl
}
bariHarmony = \transpose c' a \chordmode {
  \jazzChords s1 s d2:maj e:m7
}
bariSax = {
  \global
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Bari Sax"
  \clef treble
  <<
    \bari
  >>
}

% ------ Trombone ------
tbone = \relative c {
  \Key
  c1 | c | c
}
tboneHarmony = \chordmode {
  \jazzChords
}
trombone = {
  \global
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Trombone"
  \clef bass
  <<
    \tbone
  >>
}

% ############ Rhythm Section #############

% ------ Guitar ------
gtr = \relative c'' {
  \Key
  c1
  \sl
  b4 b b b
  \nsl
  c1
}
gtrHarmony = \chordmode {
  \jazzChords
  s1 c2:min7+ d2:maj9
}
guitar = {
  \global
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Guitar"
  \clef treble
  <<
    \gtr
  >>
}

%% ------ Piano ------
rhUpper = \relative c'' {
  \voiceOne
  \Key
  c1 | c | c
}
rhLower = \relative c' {
  \voiceTwo
  \Key
  e1 | e | e
}

lhUpper = \relative c' {
  \voiceOne
  \Key
  g1 | g | g
}
lhLower = \relative c {
  \voiceTwo
  \Key
  c1 | c | c
}

PianoRH = {
  \clef treble
  \global
  \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"acoustic grand"
  <<
    \new Voice = "one" \rhUpper
    \new Voice = "two" \rhLower
  >>
}
PianoLH = {
  \clef bass
  \global
  \set Staff.midiInstrument = "acoustic grand"
  <<
    \new Voice = "one" \lhUpper
    \new Voice = "two" \lhLower
  >>
}

piano = {
  <<
    \set PianoStaff.instrumentName = #"Piano"
    \new Staff = "upper" \PianoRH
    \new Staff = "lower" \PianoLH
  >>
}

% ------ Bass Guitar ------
Bass = \relative c {
  \Key
  c1 | c | c
}
bass = {
  \global
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Bass"
  \clef bass
  <<
    \Bass
  >>
}

% ------ Drums ------
up = \drummode {
  \voiceOne
  hh4 <hh sn> hh <hh sn>
  hh4 <hh sn> hh <hh sn>
  hh4 <hh sn> hh <hh sn>
}
down = \drummode {
  \voiceTwo
  bd4 s bd s
  bd4 s bd s
  bd4 s bd s
}

drumContents = {
  \global
  <<
    \set DrumStaff.instrumentName = #"Drums"
    \new DrumVoice \up
    \new DrumVoice \down
  >>
}

%%%%%%%%% It All Goes Together Here %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

\score {
  <<
    \new StaffGroup = "horns" <<
      \new Staff = "trumpet" \trumpet
      \new Staff = "altosax" \altoSax
      \new ChordNames = "barichords" \bariHarmony
      \new Staff = "barisax" \bariSax
      \new Staff = "trombone" \trombone
    >>
    
    \new StaffGroup = "rhythm" <<
      \new ChordNames = "chords" \gtrHarmony
      \new Staff = "guitar" \guitar
      \new PianoStaff = "piano" \piano
      \new Staff = "bass" \bass
      \new DrumStaff \drumContents
    >>
  >>
  
  \layout {
    \context { \RemoveEmptyStaffContext }
    \context {
      \Score
      \override BarNumber #'padding = #3
      \override RehearsalMark #'padding = #2
      skipBars = ##t
    }
  }
  
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


Laissez vibrer ties

Laissez vibrer ties have a fixed size. Their formatting can be tuned using 'tie-configuration.

\relative c' {
  <c e g>4\laissezVibrer r <c f g>\laissezVibrer r
  <c d f g>4\laissezVibrer r <c d f g>4.\laissezVibrer r8

  <c d e f>4\laissezVibrer r
  \override LaissezVibrerTieColumn #'tie-configuration
     = #`((-7 . ,DOWN)
          (-5 . ,DOWN)
          (-3 . ,UP)
          (-1 . ,UP))
  <c d e f>4\laissezVibrer r
}

[image of music]


Letter tablature formatting

Tablature can be formatted using letters instead of numbers.

#(define (letter-tablature-format str context event)
  (let*
      ((tuning (ly:context-property context 'stringTunings))
       (pitch (ly:event-property event 'pitch)))
    (make-whiteout-markup
     (make-vcenter-markup
      (string (integer->char
         (+ (char->integer #\a)
            (- (ly:pitch-semitones pitch)
            (list-ref tuning (- str 1))))))))))

music = \relative c {
  c4 d e f
  g4 a b c
  d4 e f g
}

<<
  \new Staff {
    \clef "G_8"
    \music
  }
  \new TabStaff \with { 
    tablatureFormat = #letter-tablature-format
  }
  {
    \music
  }
>>

[image of music]


Modern TAB text clef

Use a markup text to replace the (TAB) clef glyph with a modern font.

TAB = \markup {
  \raise #1.5
  \sans
  \bold
  \huge
  \override #'(baseline-skip . 2.5)
  \center-column {
    T
    A
    B
  }
}

\new TabStaff {
  \override Staff.Clef #'stencil = #(lambda (grob)
    ly:clef::print (grob-interpret-markup grob TAB))
  a
}

[image of music]


Placement of right-hand fingerings

It is possible to exercise greater control over the placement of right-hand fingerings by setting a specific property, as demonstrated in the following example.

#(define RH rightHandFinger)

\relative c {
  \clef "treble_8"
  
  \set strokeFingerOrientations = #'(up down)
  <c-\RH #1 e-\RH #2 g-\RH #3 c-\RH #4 >4
  
  \set strokeFingerOrientations = #'(up right down)
  <c-\RH #1 e-\RH #2 g-\RH #3 c-\RH #4 >4
  
  \set strokeFingerOrientations = #'(left)
  <c-\RH #1 e-\RH #2 g-\RH #3 c-\RH #4 >2
}

[image of music]


Polyphony in tablature

Polyphony is created the same way in a TabStaff as in a regular staff.

upper = \relative c' {
  \time 12/8
  \key e \minor
  \voiceOne
  r4. r8 e, fis g16 b g e e' b c b a g fis e
}

lower = \relative c {
  \key e \minor
  \voiceTwo
  r16 e d c b a g4 fis8 e fis g a b c
}

\score {
  <<
    \new StaffGroup = "tab with traditional" <<
      \new Staff = "guitar traditional" <<
        \clef "treble_8"
        \context Voice = "upper" \upper
        \context Voice = "lower" \lower
      >>
      \new TabStaff = "guitar tab" <<
        \context TabVoice = "upper" \upper
        \context TabVoice = "lower" \lower
      >>
    >>
  >>
}

[image of music]


Stem and beam behavior in tablature

The direction of stems is controlled the same way in tablature as in traditional notation. Beams can be made horizontal, as shown in this example.

\new TabStaff {
  \relative c {
    g16 b d g b d g b
    \stemDown
    \override Beam #'damping = #+inf.0
    g,,16 b d g b d g b
  }
}

[image of music]


Unfretted strings

These snippets illustrate the Notation Reference, section Unfretted string instruments.


Changing \flageolet mark size

To make the \flageolet circle smaller use the following Scheme function.

smallFlageolet =
#(let ((m (make-music 'ArticulationEvent
                      'articulation-type "flageolet")))
   (ly:music-set-property! m 'tweaks
     (acons 'font-size -3
       (ly:music-property m 'tweaks)))
  m)

\layout { ragged-right = ##f }

\relative c'' {
  d4^\flageolet_\markup { default size } d_\flageolet
  c4^\smallFlageolet_\markup { smaller } c_\smallFlageolet
}

[image of music]


Creating slurs across voices

In some situations, it may be necessary to create slurs between notes from different voices.

The solution is to add invisible notes to one of the voices, using \hideNotes.

This example is measure 235 of the Ciaconna from Bach’s 2nd Partita for solo violin, BWV 1004.

\relative c' {
  <<
    {
      d16( a') s a s a[ s a] s a[ s a]
    }
    \\
    {
      \slurUp
      bes,16[ s e](
      \hideNotes a)
      \unHideNotes f[(
      \hideNotes a)
      \unHideNotes fis](
      \hideNotes a)
      \unHideNotes g[(
      \hideNotes a)
      \unHideNotes gis](
      \hideNotes a)
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Dotted harmonics

Artificial harmonics using \harmonic do not show dots. To override this behavior, set the context property harmonicDots.

\relative c''' {
  \time 3/4
  \key f \major
  \set harmonicDots = ##t
  <bes f'\harmonic>2. ~
  <bes f'\harmonic>4. <a e'\harmonic>8( <gis dis'\harmonic> <g d'\harmonic>)
  <fis cis'\harmonic>2.
  <bes f'\harmonic>2.
}

[image of music]


Snap-pizzicato markup ("Bartok pizzicato")

A snap-pizzicato (also known as "Bartok pizzicato") is a "strong pizzicato where the string is plucked vertically by snapping and rebounds off the fingerboard of the instrument" (Wikipedia). It is denoted by a cicle with a vertical line going from the center upwards outside the circle. While Lilypond does not have a pre-defined command to created this markup, it is easy to create a definition and place it directly into the lilypond file.

#(define-markup-command (snappizz layout props) ()
  (interpret-markup layout props
    (markup #:stencil
      (ly:stencil-translate-axis
        (ly:stencil-add
          (make-circle-stencil 0.7 0.1 #f)
          (ly:make-stencil
            (list 'draw-line 0.1 0 0.1 0 1)
            '(-0.1 . 0.1) '(0.1 . 1)))
        0.7 X))))

snapPizzicato = \markup \snappizz

% now it can be used as \snappizzicato after the note/chord
% Note that a direction (-, ^ or _) is required.
\relative c' {
  c4^\snapPizzicato
  % This does NOT work:
  %<c e g>\snapPizzicato
  <c' e g>-\snapPizzicato
  <c' e g>^\snapPizzicato
  <c, e g>_\snapPizzicato
}

[image of music]


String quartet template (simple)

This template demonstrates a simple string quartet. It also uses a \global section for time and key signatures

global= {
  \time 4/4
  \key c \major
}

violinOne = \new Voice \relative c'' {
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Violin 1 "
  
  c2 d
  e1
  
  \bar "|."
}
 
violinTwo = \new Voice \relative c'' {
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Violin 2 "
  
  g2 f
  e1
  
  \bar "|."
}

viola = \new Voice \relative c' {
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Viola "  
  \clef alto
  
  e2 d
  c1
  
  \bar "|."
}

cello = \new Voice \relative c' {
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Cello "
  \clef bass
  
  c2 b
  a1
  
  \bar "|."
}

\score {
  \new StaffGroup <<
    \new Staff << \global \violinOne >>
    \new Staff << \global \violinTwo >>
    \new Staff << \global \viola >>
    \new Staff << \global \cello >>
  >>
  \layout { }
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


String quartet template with separate parts

The "String quartet template" snippet produces a nice string quartet, but what if you needed to print parts? This new template demonstrates how to use the \tag feature to easily split a piece into individual parts.

You need to split this template into separate files; the filenames are contained in comments at the beginning of each file. piece.ly contains all the music definitions. The other files – score.ly, vn1.ly, vn2.ly, vla.ly, and vlc.ly – produce the appropriate part.

Do not forget to remove specified comments when using separate files!

%%%%% piece.ly
%%%%% (This is the global definitions file)

global= {
  \time 4/4
  \key c \major
}

Violinone = \new Voice { \relative c''{
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Violin 1 "

  c2 d e1

\bar "|." }}   %*********************************
Violintwo = \new Voice { \relative c''{
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Violin 2 "

  g2 f e1

\bar "|." }}   %*********************************
Viola = \new Voice { \relative c' {
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Viola "
  \clef alto

  e2 d c1

\bar "|." }}   %*********************************
Cello = \new Voice { \relative c' {
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Cello "
  \clef bass

  c2 b a1

\bar "|."}}   %**********************************

music = {
  <<
    \tag #'score \tag #'vn1 \new Staff { << \global \Violinone >> }
    \tag #'score \tag #'vn2 \new Staff { << \global \Violintwo>> }
    \tag #'score \tag #'vla \new Staff { << \global \Viola>> }
    \tag #'score \tag #'vlc \new Staff { << \global \Cello>> }
  >>
}

%%% These are the other files you need to save on your computer

%%%%% score.ly
%%%%% (This is the main file)


%\include "piece.ly"             %%% uncomment this line when using a separate file
#(set-global-staff-size 14)
\score {
  \new StaffGroup \keepWithTag #'score \music
  \layout { }
  \midi { }
}


%{ Uncomment this block when using separate files

%%%%% vn1.ly
%%%%% (This is the Violin 1 part file)

\include "piece.ly"
\score {
  \keepWithTag #'vn1 \music
  \layout { }
}


%%%%% vn2.ly
%%%%% (This is the Violin 2 part file)

\include "piece.ly"
\score {
  \keepWithTag #'vn2 \music
  \layout { }
}


%%%%% vla.ly
%%%%% (This is the Viola part file)

\include "piece.ly"
\score {
  \keepWithTag #'vla \music
  \layout { }
}


%%%%% vlc.ly
%%%%% (This is the Cello part file)

\include "piece.ly"
\score {
  \keepWithTag #'vlc \music
  \layout { }
}

%}

[image of music]


Winds

These snippets illustrate the Notation Reference, section Wind instruments.


Flute slap notation

It is possible to indicate special articulation techniques such as flute’s "tongue slap", by replacing the note head with the appropriate glyph.

slap =
#(define-music-function (parser location music) (ly:music?)
#{
  \override NoteHead #'stencil = #(lambda (grob)
    (grob-interpret-markup grob
      (markup #:musicglyph "scripts.sforzato")))
  \override NoteHead #'extra-offset = #'(0.1 . 0.0)
  $music
  \revert NoteHead #'stencil
  \revert NoteHead #'extra-offset
#})

\relative c' {
  c4 \slap c d r \slap { g a } b r
}

[image of music]


Ancient notation

These snippets illustrate the Notation Reference, section Ancient notation.


Adding a figured bass above or below the notes

When writing a figured bass, here’s a way to specify if you want your figures to be placed above or below the bass notes, by defining the BassFigureAlignmentPositioning #'direction property (exclusively in a Staff context). Choices are #UP (or #1), #CENTER (or #0) and #DOWN (or #-1).

As you can see here, this property can be changed as many times as you wish. Use \once \override if you don’t want the tweak to apply to the whole score.

bass = { \clef bass g4 b, c d e d8 c d2}
continuo = \figuremode {
         < _ >4 < 6 >8   
   \once \override Staff.BassFigureAlignmentPositioning #'direction = #CENTER
         <5/>  < _ >4 
   \override Staff.BassFigureAlignmentPositioning #'direction = #UP
         < _+ > < 6 >
   \set Staff.useBassFigureExtenders = ##t
   \override Staff.BassFigureAlignmentPositioning #'direction = #DOWN
         < 4 >4. < 4 >8 < _+ >4
       } 
\score {
    << \new Staff = bassStaff \bass 
    \context Staff = bassStaff \continuo >>
}

[image of music]


Ancient fonts

Shown here are many (all?) of the symbols that are included in LilyPond’s support for ancient notation.

upperStaff = \new VaticanaStaff = "upperStaff" <<
  \context VaticanaVoice <<
    \transpose c c {
      
      \override NoteHead #'style = #'vaticana.punctum
      \key es \major
      \clef "vaticana-fa2"
      c1 des e f ges
      
      \override NoteHead #'style = #'vaticana.inclinatum
      a! b ces'
      \bar "|"
      % \break % 1 (8*1)
      
      \override NoteHead #'style = #'vaticana.quilisma
      b! des'! ges! fes!
      \breathe
      \clef "vaticana-fa1"
      \override NoteHead #'style = #'vaticana.plica
      es d
      \override NoteHead #'style = #'vaticana.reverse.plica
      c d
      \bar "|"
      % \break %2 (8*1)
      
      \override NoteHead #'style = #'vaticana.punctum.cavum
      es f
      \override NoteHead #'style = #'vaticana.lpes
      g as
      \override NoteHead #'style = #'vaticana.upes
      bes as
      \override NoteHead #'style = #'vaticana.vupes
      g f
      \override NoteHead #'style = #'vaticana.linea.punctum
      \once \override Staff.BarLine #'bar-size = #2.0 \bar "|"
      % \break % 3 (8*1)
      
      es d
      \override NoteHead #'style = #'vaticana.epiphonus
      c d
      \override NoteHead #'style = #'vaticana.cephalicus
      es f
      
      \override Staff.KeySignature #'glyph-name-alist = #alteration-medicaea-glyph-name-alist
      \override Staff.Accidental #'glyph-name-alist = #alteration-medicaea-glyph-name-alist
      \override Staff.Custos #'style = #'medicaea
      \override NoteHead #'style = #'medicaea.punctum
      \clef "medicaea-fa2"
      ces des
      \bar "|"
      % \break % 4 (8*1)
      
      e! f! ges
      \clef "medicaea-do2"
      \override NoteHead #'style = #'medicaea.inclinatum
      a! b! ces'
      \override NoteHead #'style = #'medicaea.virga
      b! a!
      \bar "|"
      % \break % 5 (8*1)
      
      ges fes
      \clef "medicaea-fa1"
      \override NoteHead #'style = #'medicaea.rvirga
      e des ces
      
      \override Staff.KeySignature #'glyph-name-alist = #alteration-hufnagel-glyph-name-alist
      \override Staff.Accidental #'glyph-name-alist = #alteration-hufnagel-glyph-name-alist
      \override Staff.Custos #'style = #'hufnagel
      \override NoteHead #'style = #'hufnagel.punctum
      \clef "hufnagel-fa2"
      ces des es
      \bar "|"
      % \break % 6 (8*1)
      
      fes ges
      \clef "hufnagel-do2"
      \override NoteHead #'style = #'hufnagel.lpes
      as! bes! ces'
      \override NoteHead #'style = #'hufnagel.virga
      bes! as!
      \bar "|"
      % \break % 7 (8*1)
      
      ges! fes!
      \clef "hufnagel-do-fa"
      \override NoteHead #'style = #'hufnagel.punctum
      es! des ces des! es! fes!
      \bar "||"
      % \break % 8 (8*1)
      
      s32*1
      % \break % 12 (32*1)
    }
  >>
>>

lowerStaff = \new MensuralStaff = "lowerStaff" <<
  \context MensuralVoice <<
    \transpose c c {
      
      \key a \major
      cis'1 d'\breve gis'\breve e'\breve \[ e'\longa fis'\longa \]
      \set Staff.forceClef = ##t
      \clef "neomensural-c2"
      cis1
      \bar "|"
      % \break % 2 (16*1)
      
      \[ g\breve dis''\longa \]
      b\breve \[ a\longa d\longa \]
      \clef "petrucci-c2"
      % \break % 4 (16*1)
      
      fis1 ces1
      \clef "petrucci-c2"
      r\longa
      \set Staff.forceClef = ##t
      \clef "mensural-c2"
      r\breve
      \bar "|"
      % \break % 5 (8*1)
      
      r2
      \clef "mensural-g"
      r4 r8 r16 r16
      \override NoteHead #'style = #'mensural
      \override Rest #'style = #'mensural
      \clef "petrucci-f"
      c8 b, c16 b, c32 b, c64 b, c64 b,
      d8 e d16 e d32 e d64 e d64 e
      r\longa
      \set Staff.forceClef = ##t
      \clef "petrucci-f"
      r\breve
      \bar "|"
      % \break % 6 (8*1)
      
      r\breve 
      \clef "mensural-f"
      r2 r4 r8 r16 r16
      
      \set Staff.forceClef = ##t
      \clef "mensural-f"
      e\breve f g a1
      \clef "mensural-g"
      % \break % 7 (8*1)
      
      \[ bes'!\longa a'!\longa c''!\longa \]
      e'1 d' c' d' \bar "|"
      \bar "|"
      % \break % 9 (16*1)
      
      bes'!\longa fis'!1 as'!1 ges'!\longa % lig
      \set Staff.forceClef = ##t
      \clef "mensural-g"
      e'2 d' c' \bar "|"
      % \break % 11 (16*1)
      
      \set Staff.forceClef = ##t
      \clef "petrucci-g"
      c'2 d' e' f'
      \clef "petrucci-g"
      g' as'! bes'! cis''!
      bes'! as'! gis'! fis'!
      \set Staff.forceClef = ##t
      \clef "mensural-g"
      es'! des'! cis'!1 \bar "||"
      % \break % 12 (8*1)
    }
  >>
>>

\paper {
  line-thickness = #(/ staff-space 5.0)
}

\score {
  <<
    \upperStaff
    \lowerStaff
  >>
  \layout {
    indent = 0.0
    line-width = 17.25\cm
    \context {
      \Score
      timing = ##f
    }
    \context {
      \MensuralVoice
      \override NoteHead #'style = #'neomensural
      \override Rest #'style = #'neomensural
      \override Stem #'flag-style = #'mensural
      \override Stem #'thickness = #1.0
    }
    \context {
      \MensuralStaff
      \revert  BarLine #'transparent
      \override KeySignature #'glyph-name-alist = #alteration-mensural-glyph-name-alist
      clefGlyph = #"clefs.petrucci.c2"
    }
    \context {
      \VaticanaStaff
      \revert  BarLine #'transparent
      \override StaffSymbol #'thickness = #2.0
      \override KeySignature #'glyph-name-alist = #alteration-vaticana-glyph-name-alist
      \override Custos #'neutral-position = #4
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Ancient notation template – modern transcription of gregorian music

This example demonstrates how to do modern transcription of Gregorian music. Gregorian music has no measure, no stems; it uses only half and quarter note heads, and special marks, indicating rests of different length.

\include "gregorian.ly"

chant = \relative c' {
  \set Score.timing = ##f
  f4 a2 \divisioMinima
  g4 b a2 f2 \divisioMaior
  g4( f) f( g) a2 \finalis
}

verba = \lyricmode {
  Lo -- rem ip -- sum do -- lor sit a -- met
}

\score {
  \new Staff <<
    \new Voice = "melody" \chant
    \new Lyrics = "one" \lyricsto melody \verba
  >>
  \layout {
    \context {
      \Staff
      \remove "Time_signature_engraver"
      \remove "Bar_engraver"
      \override Stem #'transparent = ##t
    }
    \context {
      \Voice
      \override Stem #'length = #0
    }
    \context {
      \Score
      barAlways = ##t
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Ancient notation template – modern transcription of mensural music

When transcribing mensural music, an incipit at the beginning of the piece is useful to indicate the original key and tempo. While today musicians are used to bar lines in order to faster recognize rhythmic patterns, bar lines were not yet invented during the period of mensural music; in fact, the meter often changed after every few notes. As a compromise, bar lines are often printed between the staves rather than on the staves.

global = {
  \set Score.skipBars = ##t

  % incipit
  \once \override Score.SystemStartBracket #'transparent = ##t
  \override Score.SpacingSpanner #'spacing-increment = #1.0 % tight spacing
  \key f \major
  \time 2/2
  \once \override Staff.TimeSignature #'style = #'neomensural
  \override Voice.NoteHead #'style = #'neomensural
  \override Voice.Rest #'style = #'neomensural
  \set Staff.printKeyCancellation = ##f
  \cadenzaOn % turn off bar lines
  \skip 1*10
  \once \override Staff.BarLine #'transparent = ##f
  \bar "||"
  \skip 1*1 % need this extra \skip such that clef change comes
            % after bar line
  \bar ""

  % main
  \revert Score.SpacingSpanner #'spacing-increment % CHECK: no effect?
  \cadenzaOff % turn bar lines on again
  \once \override Staff.Clef #'full-size-change = ##t
  \set Staff.forceClef = ##t
  \key g \major
  \time 4/4
  \override Voice.NoteHead #'style = #'default
  \override Voice.Rest #'style = #'default

  % FIXME: setting printKeyCancellation back to #t must not
  % occur in the first bar after the incipit.  Dto. for forceClef.
  % Therefore, we need an extra \skip.
  \skip 1*1
  \set Staff.printKeyCancellation = ##t
  \set Staff.forceClef = ##f

  \skip 1*7 % the actual music

  % let finis bar go through all staves
  \override Staff.BarLine #'transparent = ##f

  % finis bar
  \bar "|."
}

discantusNotes = {
  \transpose c' c'' {
    \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Discantus  "

    % incipit
    \clef "neomensural-c1"
    c'1. s2   % two bars
    \skip 1*8 % eight bars
    \skip 1*1 % one bar

    % main
    \clef "treble"
    d'2. d'4 |
    b e' d'2 |
    c'4 e'4.( d'8 c' b |
    a4) b a2 |
    b4.( c'8 d'4) c'4 |
    \once \override NoteHead #'transparent = ##t c'1 |
    b\breve |
  }
}

discantusLyrics = \lyricmode {
  % incipit
  IV-

  % main
  Ju -- bi -- |
  la -- te De -- |
  o, om --
  nis ter -- |
  ra, __ om- |
  "..." |
  -us. |
}

altusNotes = {
  \transpose c' c'' {
    \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Altus  "

    % incipit
    \clef "neomensural-c3"
    r1        % one bar
    f1. s2    % two bars
    \skip 1*7 % seven bars
    \skip 1*1 % one bar

    % main
    \clef "treble"
    r2 g2. e4 fis g | % two bars
    a2 g4 e |
    fis g4.( fis16 e fis4) |
    g1 |
    \once \override NoteHead #'transparent = ##t g1 |
    g\breve |
  }
}

altusLyrics = \lyricmode {
  % incipit
  IV-

  % main
  Ju -- bi -- la -- te | % two bars
  De -- o, om -- |
  nis ter -- ra, |
  "..." |
  -us. |
}

tenorNotes = {
  \transpose c' c' {
    \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Tenor  "

    % incipit
    \clef "neomensural-c4"
    r\longa   % four bars
    r\breve   % two bars
    r1        % one bar
    c'1. s2   % two bars
    \skip 1*1 % one bar
    \skip 1*1 % one bar

    % main
    \clef "treble_8"
    R1 |
    R1 |
    R1 |
    r2 d'2. d'4 b e' | % two bars
    \once \override NoteHead #'transparent = ##t e'1 |
    d'\breve |
  }
}

tenorLyrics = \lyricmode {
  % incipit
  IV-

  % main
  Ju -- bi -- la -- te | % two bars
  "..." |
  -us. |
}

bassusNotes = {
  \transpose c' c' {
    \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Bassus  "

    % incipit
    \clef "bass"
    r\maxima  % eight bars
    f1. s2    % two bars
    \skip 1*1 % one bar

    % main
    \clef "bass"
    R1 |
    R1 |
    R1 |
    R1 |
    g2. e4 |
    \once \override NoteHead #'transparent = ##t e1 |
    g\breve |
  }
}

bassusLyrics = \lyricmode {
  % incipit
  IV-

  % main
  Ju -- bi- |
  "..." |
  -us. |
}

\score {
  \new StaffGroup = choirStaff <<
    \new Voice =
      "discantusNotes" << \global \discantusNotes >>
    \new Lyrics =
      "discantusLyrics" \lyricsto discantusNotes { \discantusLyrics }
    \new Voice =
      "altusNotes" << \global \altusNotes >>
    \new Lyrics =
      "altusLyrics" \lyricsto altusNotes { \altusLyrics }
    \new Voice =
      "tenorNotes" << \global \tenorNotes >>
    \new Lyrics =
      "tenorLyrics" \lyricsto tenorNotes { \tenorLyrics }
    \new Voice =
      "bassusNotes" << \global \bassusNotes >>
    \new Lyrics =
      "bassusLyrics" \lyricsto bassusNotes { \bassusLyrics }
  >>
  \layout {
    \context {
      \Score

      % no bars in staves
      \override BarLine #'transparent = ##t

      % incipit should not start with a start delimiter
      \remove "System_start_delimiter_engraver"
    }
    \context {
      \Voice

      % no slurs
      \override Slur #'transparent = ##t

      % Comment in the below "\remove" command to allow line
      % breaking also at those barlines where a note overlaps
      % into the next bar.  The command is commented out in this
      % short example score, but especially for large scores, you
      % will typically yield better line breaking and thus improve
      % overall spacing if you comment in the following command.
      %\remove "Forbid_line_break_engraver"
    }
  }
}



[image of music]


Ancient time signatures

Time signatures may also be engraved in an old style.

{
  \override Staff.TimeSignature #'style = #'neomensural
  s1
}

[image of music]


Chant or psalms notation

This form of notation is used for the chant of the Psalms, where verses aren’t always the same length.

stemOn = { \revert Staff.Stem #'transparent }
stemOff = { \override Staff.Stem #'transparent = ##t }

\score {
  \new Staff \with { \remove "Time_signature_engraver" }
  {
    \key g \minor
    \cadenzaOn
    \stemOff a'\breve bes'4 g'4
    \stemOn a'2 \bar "||"
    \stemOff a'\breve g'4 a'4
    \stemOn f'2 \bar "||"
    \stemOff a'\breve^\markup { \italic flexe }
    \stemOn g'2 \bar "||"
  }
}

[image of music]


Custodes

Custodes may be engraved in various styles.

\layout { ragged-right = ##t }

\new Staff \with { \consists "Custos_engraver" } \relative c' {
  \override Staff.Custos #'neutral-position = #4
  
  \override Staff.Custos #'style = #'hufnagel
  c1^"hufnagel" \break
  <d a' f'>1
  
  \override Staff.Custos #'style = #'medicaea
  c1^"medicaea" \break
  <d a' f'>1
  
  \override Staff.Custos #'style = #'vaticana
  c1^"vaticana" \break
  <d a' f'>1
  
  \override Staff.Custos #'style = #'mensural
  c1^"mensural" \break
  <d a' f'>1
}

[image of music]


Incipit

Incipits can be added using the instrument name grob, but keeping separate the instrument name definition and the incipit definition.

incipit =
#(define-music-function (parser location incipit-music) (ly:music?)
  #{
    \once \override Staff.InstrumentName #'self-alignment-X = #RIGHT
    \once \override Staff.InstrumentName #'self-alignment-Y = #UP
    \once \override Staff.InstrumentName #'Y-offset = #4
    \once \override Staff.InstrumentName #'padding = #0.3
    \once \override Staff.InstrumentName #'stencil =
    #(lambda (grob)
       (let* ((instrument-name (ly:grob-property grob 'long-text))
              (layout (ly:output-def-clone (ly:grob-layout grob)))
              (music (make-music 'SequentialMusic
                      'elements (list (make-music 'ContextSpeccedMusic
                                        'context-type 'MensuralStaff
                                        'element (make-music 'PropertySet
                                                   'symbol 'instrumentName
                                                   'value instrument-name))
                                      $incipit-music)))
              (score (ly:make-score music))
              (mm (ly:output-def-lookup layout 'mm))
              (indent (ly:output-def-lookup layout 'indent))
              (width (ly:output-def-lookup layout 'incipit-width))
              (incipit-width (if (number? width)
                                 (* width mm)
                                 (* indent 0.5))))
         (ly:output-def-set-variable! layout 'indent (- indent incipit-width))
         (ly:output-def-set-variable! layout 'line-width indent)
         (ly:output-def-set-variable! layout 'ragged-right #f)
         (ly:output-def-set-variable! layout 'ragged-last #f)
         (ly:output-def-set-variable! layout 'system-count 1)
         (ly:score-add-output-def! score layout)
         (ly:grob-set-property! grob 'long-text
               (markup #:score score))
         (ly:system-start-text::print grob)))
  #})

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

global = {
  \set Score.skipBars = ##t
  \key g \major
  \time 4/4

  % the actual music
  \skip 1*8

  % let finis bar go through all staves
  \override Staff.BarLine #'transparent = ##f

  % finis bar
  \bar "|."
}

discantusIncipit = <<
  \new MensuralVoice = "discantusIncipit" <<
    \repeat unfold 9 { s1 \noBreak }
    {
      \clef "neomensural-c1"
      \key f \major
      \time 2/2
      c''1.
    }
  >>
  \new Lyrics \lyricsto discantusIncipit { IV- }
>>

discantusNotes = {
  \transpose c' c'' {
    \clef "treble"
    d'2. d'4 |
    b e' d'2 |
    c'4 e'4.( d'8 c' b |
    a4) b a2 |
    b4.( c'8 d'4) c'4 |
    \once \override NoteHead #'transparent = ##t
    c'1 |
    b\breve |
  }
}

discantusLyrics = \lyricmode {
  Ju -- bi -- |
  la -- te De -- |
  o, om --
  nis ter -- |
  ra, __ om- |
  "..." |
  -us. |
}

altusIncipit = <<
  \new MensuralVoice = "altusIncipit" <<
    \repeat unfold 9 { s1 \noBreak }
    {
      \clef "neomensural-c3"
      \key f \major
      \time 2/2
      r1 f'1.
    }
  >>
  \new Lyrics \lyricsto altusIncipit { IV- }
>>

altusNotes = {
  \transpose c' c'' {
    \clef "treble"
    % two measures
    r2 g2. e4 fis g |
    a2 g4 e |
    fis g4.( fis16 e fis4) |
    g1 |
    \once \override NoteHead #'transparent = ##t
    g1 |
    g\breve |
  }
}

altusLyrics = \lyricmode {
  % two measures
  Ju -- bi -- la -- te |
  De -- o, om -- |
  nis ter -- ra, |
  "..." |
  -us. |
}

tenorIncipit = <<
  \new MensuralVoice = "tenorIncipit" <<
    \repeat unfold 9 { s1 \noBreak }
    {
      \clef "neomensural-c4"
      \key f \major
      \time 2/2
      r\longa
      r\breve
      r1 c'1.
    }
  >>
  \new Lyrics \lyricsto tenorIncipit { IV- }
>>

tenorNotes = {
  \transpose c' c' {
    \once \override Staff.VerticalAxisGroup #'minimum-Y-extent = #'(-6 . 3)
    \clef "treble_8"
    R1 |
    R1 |
    R1 |
    % two measures
    r2 d'2. d'4 b e' |
    \once \override NoteHead #'transparent = ##t
    e'1 |
    d'\breve |
  }
}

tenorLyrics = \lyricmode {
  % two measures
  Ju -- bi -- la -- te |
  "..." |
  -us. 
}

bassusIncipit = <<
  \new MensuralVoice = "bassusIncipit" <<
    \repeat unfold 9 { s1 \noBreak }
    {
      \clef "bass"
      \key f \major
      \time 2/2
      %% incipit
      r\maxima
      f1.
    }
  >>
  \new Lyrics \lyricsto bassusIncipit { IV- }
>>

bassusNotes = {
  \transpose c' c' {
    \clef "bass"
    R1 |
    R1 |
    R1 |
    R1 |
    g2. e4 |
    \once \override NoteHead #'transparent = ##t
    e1 |
    g\breve |
  }
}

bassusLyrics = \lyricmode {
  Ju -- bi- |
  "..." |
  -us.
}

\score {
  <<
    \new StaffGroup = choirStaff <<
      \new Voice = "discantusNotes" <<
        \global
        \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Discantus"
        \incipit \discantusIncipit
        \discantusNotes
      >>
      \new Lyrics = "discantusLyrics" \lyricsto discantusNotes { \discantusLyrics }
      \new Voice = "altusNotes" <<
        \global
        \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Altus"
        \incipit \altusIncipit
        \altusNotes
      >>
      \new Lyrics = "altusLyrics" \lyricsto altusNotes { \altusLyrics }
      \new Voice = "tenorNotes" <<
        \global
        \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Tenor"
        \incipit \tenorIncipit
        \tenorNotes
      >>
      \new Lyrics = "tenorLyrics" \lyricsto tenorNotes { \tenorLyrics }
      \new Voice = "bassusNotes" <<
        \global
        \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Bassus"
        \incipit \bassusIncipit
        \bassusNotes
      >>
      \new Lyrics = "bassusLyrics" \lyricsto bassusNotes { \bassusLyrics }
    >>
  >>
  \layout {
    \context {
      \Score
      %% no bar lines in staves or lyrics
      \override BarLine #'transparent = ##t
    }
    %% the next two instructions keep the lyrics between the bar lines
    \context {
      \Lyrics
      \consists "Bar_engraver"
      \consists "Separating_line_group_engraver"
    }
    \context {
      \Voice
      %% no slurs
      \override Slur #'transparent = ##t
      %% Comment in the below "\remove" command to allow line
      %% breaking also at those bar lines where a note overlaps
      %% into the next measure.  The command is commented out in this
      %% short example score, but especially for large scores, you
      %% will typically yield better line breaking and thus improve
      %% overall spacing if you comment in the following command.
      %%\remove "Forbid_line_break_engraver"
    }
    indent = 6\cm
    incipit-width = 4\cm
  }
}

[image of music]


Mensurstriche layout (bar lines between the staves)

The mensurstriche-layout where the bar lines do not show on the staves but between staves can be achieved with a StaffGroup instead of a ChoirStaff. The bar line on staves is blanked out by setting the transparent property.

global = {
  \override Staff.BarLine #'transparent = ##t
  s1 s
  % the final bar line is not interrupted
  \revert Staff.BarLine #'transparent
  \bar "|."
}
\new StaffGroup \relative c'' {
  <<
    \new Staff { << \global { c1 c } >> }
    \new Staff { << \global { c c } >> }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Rest styles

Rests may be used in various styles.

\layout {
  indent = 0.0
  \context {
    \Staff
    \remove "Time_signature_engraver"
  }
}

\new Staff \relative c {
  \cadenzaOn
  \override Staff.Rest #'style = #'mensural
  r\maxima^\markup \typewriter { mensural }
  r\longa r\breve r1 r2 r4 r8 r16 s32 s64 s128 s128
  \bar ""
  
  \override Staff.Rest #'style = #'neomensural
  r\maxima^\markup \typewriter { neomensural }
  r\longa r\breve r1 r2 r4 r8 r16 s32 s64 s128 s128
  \bar ""
  
  \override Staff.Rest #'style = #'classical
  r\maxima^\markup \typewriter { classical }
  r\longa r\breve r1 r2 r4 r8 r16 r32 r64 r128 s128
  \bar ""
  
  \override Staff.Rest  #'style = #'default
  r\maxima^\markup \typewriter { default }
  r\longa r\breve r1 r2 r4 r8 r16 r32 r64 r128 s128
}

[image of music]


Transcription of Ancient music with incipit

As a workaround to get real incipits which are independent from the main score these are included as a markup into the field normally used for the instrument name. As for now lyrics can only be added as a direct markup. It doesn’t unfortunately conform with the spacing of the main lyrics.

global = {
  \set Score.skipBars = ##t
  \key g \major
  \time 4/4
  
  %make the staff lines invisible on staves
  \override Staff.BarLine #'transparent = ##t
  \skip 1*8 % the actual music

  % let finis bar go through all staves
  \override Staff.BarLine #'transparent = ##f

  % finis bar
  \bar "|."
}

  
discantusNotes = {
  \transpose c' c'' {
    \clef "treble"
    d'2. d'4 |
    b e' d'2 |
    c'4 e'4.( d'8 c' b |
    a4) b a2 |
    b4.( c'8 d'4) c'4 |
    \once \override NoteHead #'transparent = ##t c'1 |
    b\breve |
  }
}

discantusLyrics = \lyricmode {
  Ju -- bi -- |
  la -- te De -- |
  o, om --
  nis ter -- |
  ra, __ om- |
  "..." |
  -us. |
}

altusNotes = {
  \transpose c' c'' {
    \clef "treble"
    r2 g2. e4 fis g | % two bars
    a2 g4 e |
    fis g4.( fis16 e fis4) |
    g1 |
    \once \override NoteHead #'transparent = ##t g1 |
    g\breve |
  }
}

altusLyrics = \lyricmode {
  Ju -- bi -- la -- te | % two bars
  De -- o, om -- |
  nis ter -- ra, |
  "..." |
  -us. |
}

tenorNotes = {
  \transpose c' c' {
    \clef "treble_8"
    R1 |
    R1 |
    R1 |
    r2 d'2. d'4 b e' | % two bars
    \once \override NoteHead #'transparent = ##t e'1 |
    d'\breve |
  }
}

tenorLyrics = \lyricmode {
  Ju -- bi -- la -- te | % two bars
  "..." |
  -us. 
}

bassusNotes = {
  \transpose c' c' {
    \clef "bass"
    R1 |
    R1 |
    R1 |
    R1 |
    g2. e4 |
    \once \override NoteHead #'transparent = ##t e1 |
    g\breve |
  }
}

bassusLyrics = \lyricmode {
  Ju -- bi- |
  "..." |
  -us. 
}

incipitDiscantus = \markup{
	\score{
		{
		\set Staff.instrumentName="Discantus "
		\override NoteHead   #'style = #'neomensural
		\override Rest #'style = #'neomensural
		\override Staff.TimeSignature #'style = #'neomensural
		\cadenzaOn 
		\clef "neomensural-c1"
		\key f \major
		\time 2/2
	  	c''1._"IV-" s2  %two bars
	  	\skip 1*8 % eight bars
    	}
	\layout {
		\context {\Voice
			\remove Ligature_bracket_engraver
			\consists Mensural_ligature_engraver
		}
		line-width=4.5\cm 
	}
	}
}

incipitAltus = \markup{
	\score{
		{ 
		\set Staff.instrumentName="Altus "
		\override NoteHead   #'style = #'neomensural
		\override Rest #'style = #'neomensural
		\override Staff.TimeSignature #'style = #'neomensural
		\cadenzaOn 
		\clef "neomensural-c3"
		\key f \major
		\time 2/2
	  	r1        % one bar
        f'1._"IV-" s2   % two bars
        \skip 1*7 % seven bars
		}
	\layout {
		\context {\Voice
			\remove Ligature_bracket_engraver
			\consists Mensural_ligature_engraver
		}
		line-width=4.5\cm 
	}
	}
}

incipitTenor = \markup{
    \score{ {
    \set Staff.instrumentName = "Tenor  "
    \override NoteHead   #'style = #'neomensural
	\override Rest #'style = #'neomensural
	\override Staff.TimeSignature #'style = #'neomensural
	\cadenzaOn 
	\clef "neomensural-c4"
	\key f \major
	\time 2/2
    r\longa   % four bars
    r\breve   % two bars
    r1        % one bar
    c'1._"IV-" s2   % two bars
    \skip 1   % one bar
    }
    \layout {
		\context {\Voice
			\remove Ligature_bracket_engraver
			\consists Mensural_ligature_engraver
		}
		line-width=4.5\cm 
}
}
}

incipitBassus = \markup{
    \score{ {
    \set Staff.instrumentName = "Bassus  "
    \override NoteHead   #'style = #'neomensural
	\override Rest #'style = #'neomensural
	\override Staff.TimeSignature #'style = #'neomensural
	\cadenzaOn 
	\clef "bass"
	\key f \major
	\time 2/2
    % incipit
    r\maxima  % eight bars
    f1._"IV-" s2    % two bars
    }
    \layout {
		\context {\Voice
			\remove Ligature_bracket_engraver
			\consists Mensural_ligature_engraver
		}
		line-width=4.5\cm 
            }
     }
}

%StaffGroup is used instead of ChoirStaff to get bar lines between systems
\score {
  <<
  \new StaffGroup = choirStaff <<
    \new Voice =
      "discantusNotes" << \global 
      \set Staff.instrumentName=\incipitDiscantus   
      \discantusNotes >>
    \new Lyrics =
      "discantusLyrics" \lyricsto discantusNotes { \discantusLyrics }
      
    \new Voice =
      "altusNotes" << \global 
      \set Staff.instrumentName=\incipitAltus 
      \altusNotes >>
    \new Lyrics =
      "altusLyrics" \lyricsto altusNotes { \altusLyrics }
     
    \new Voice =
      "tenorNotes" << \global 
      \set Staff.instrumentName=\incipitTenor 
      \tenorNotes >>
    \new Lyrics =
      "tenorLyrics" \lyricsto tenorNotes { \tenorLyrics }
     
    \new Voice =
      "bassusNotes" << \global 
      \set Staff.instrumentName=\incipitBassus
      \bassusNotes >>
      >>
    \new Lyrics =
      "bassusLyrics" \lyricsto bassusNotes { \bassusLyrics } 
    %Keep the bass lyrics outside of the staff group to avoid bar lines
    %between the lyrics.
  >>
  
  \layout {
    \context {
      \Score

      % no bars in staves
      \override BarLine #'transparent = ##t
    }
    % the next three instructions keep the lyrics between the barlines
	\context { \Lyrics 
	   \consists "Bar_engraver" 
	   \override BarLine #'transparent = ##t } 
	\context { \StaffGroup \consists "Separating_line_group_engraver" }
    \context {
      \Voice

      % no slurs
      \override Slur #'transparent = ##t

      % Comment in the below "\remove" command to allow line
      % breaking also at those barlines where a note overlaps
      % into the next bar.  The command is commented out in this
      % short example score, but especially for large scores, you
      % will typically yield better line breaking and thus improve
      % overall spacing if you comment in the following command.
      %\remove "Forbid_line_break_engraver"
    }
    	indent=5\cm
  }
}

[image of music]


World music

These snippets illustrate the Notation Reference, section World music.


Arabic improvisation

For improvisations or taqasim which are temporarily free, the time signature can be omitted and \cadenzaOn can be used. Adjusting the accidental style might be required, since the absence of bar lines will cause the accidental to be marked only once. Here is an example of what could be the start of a hijaz improvisation:

\include "arabic.ly"

\relative sol' {
  \key re \kurd
  #(set-accidental-style 'forget)
  \cadenzaOn
  sol4 sol sol sol fad mib sol1 fad8 mib re4. r8 mib1 fad sol
}

[image of music]


Makam example

Makam is a type of melody from Turkey using 1/9th-tone microtonal alterations. Consult the initialization file makam.ly (see the ‘Learning Manual 2.12.2, 4.6.3 Other sources of information’ for the location of this file) for details of pitch names and alterations.

% Initialize makam settings
\include "makam.ly"

\relative c' {
  \set Staff.keySignature = #`((3 . ,BAKIYE) (6 . ,(- KOMA)))
  c4 cc db fk
  gbm4 gfc gfb efk
  fk4 db cc c
}

[image of music]


Contexts and engravers

These snippets illustrate the Notation Reference, section Changing defaults.

See also Learning Manual, section Contexts and engravers.


Adding a figured bass above or below the notes

When writing a figured bass, here’s a way to specify if you want your figures to be placed above or below the bass notes, by defining the BassFigureAlignmentPositioning #'direction property (exclusively in a Staff context). Choices are #UP (or #1), #CENTER (or #0) and #DOWN (or #-1).

As you can see here, this property can be changed as many times as you wish. Use \once \override if you don’t want the tweak to apply to the whole score.

bass = { \clef bass g4 b, c d e d8 c d2}
continuo = \figuremode {
         < _ >4 < 6 >8   
   \once \override Staff.BassFigureAlignmentPositioning #'direction = #CENTER
         <5/>  < _ >4 
   \override Staff.BassFigureAlignmentPositioning #'direction = #UP
         < _+ > < 6 >
   \set Staff.useBassFigureExtenders = ##t
   \override Staff.BassFigureAlignmentPositioning #'direction = #DOWN
         < 4 >4. < 4 >8 < _+ >4
       } 
\score {
    << \new Staff = bassStaff \bass 
    \context Staff = bassStaff \continuo >>
}

[image of music]


Adding an extra staff at a line break

When adding a new staff at a line break, some extra space is unfortunately added at the end of the line before the break (to fit in a key signature change, which will never be printed anyway). The workaround is to add a setting of Staff.explicitKeySignatureVisibility as is shown in the example. In versions 2.10 and earlier, a similar setting for the time signatures is also required (see the example).

\score {
  \new StaffGroup \relative c'' {
    \new Staff
    \key f \major
    c1 c^"Unwanted extra space" \break
    << { c1 c }
       \new Staff {
         \key f \major
         \once \override Staff.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f
         c1 c 
       } 
    >>
    c1 c^"Fixed here" \break
    << { c1 c }
       \new Staff {
         \once \set Staff.explicitKeySignatureVisibility = #end-of-line-invisible
         % The next line is not needed in 2.11.x or later:
         \once \override Staff.TimeSignature #'break-visibility = #end-of-line-invisible
         \key f \major
         \once \override Staff.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f
         c1 c
       }
    >>
  }
}

[image of music]


Adding an extra staff

An extra staff can be added (possibly temporarily) after the start of a piece.

\score {
  <<
    \new Staff \relative c'' { c1 c c c c }
    \new StaffGroup \relative c'' {
      \new Staff {
        c1 c
        << c1 \new Staff { \once \override Staff.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f c1 } >>
        c
      }
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Changing MIDI output to one channel per voice

When outputting MIDI, the default behavior is for each staff to represent one MIDI channel, with all the voices on a staff amalgamated. This minimizes the risk of running out of MIDI channels, since there are only 16 available per track.

However, by moving the Staff_performer to the Voice context, each voice on a staff can have its own MIDI channel, as is demonstrated by the following example: despite being on the same staff, two MIDI channels are created, each with a different midiInstrument.

\score {
  \new Staff <<
    \new Voice \relative c''' {
      \set midiInstrument = #"flute"
      \voiceOne
      \key g \major
      \time 2/2
      r2 g-"Flute" ~
      g fis ~
      fis4 g8 fis e2 ~
      e4 d8 cis d2
    }
    \new Voice \relative c'' {
      \set midiInstrument = #"clarinet"
      \voiceTwo
      b1-"Clarinet"
      a2. b8 a
      g2. fis8 e
      fis2 r
    }
  >>
  \layout { }
  \midi {
    \context {
      \Staff
      \remove "Staff_performer"
    }
    \context {
      \Voice
      \consists "Staff_performer"      
    }
    \context {
      \Score
      tempoWholesPerMinute = #(ly:make-moment 72 2)
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Changing time signatures inside a polymetric section using \scaleDurations

The measureLength property, together with measurePosition, determines when a bar line is needed. However, when using \scaleDurations, the scaling of durations makes it difficult to change time signatures. In this case, measureLength should be set manually, using the ly:make-moment callback. The second argument must be the same as the second argument of \scaleDurations.

\layout {
  \context {
    \Score
    \remove "Timing_translator"
    \remove "Default_bar_line_engraver"
  }
  \context {
    \Staff
    \consists "Timing_translator"
    \consists "Default_bar_line_engraver"
  }
}

<<
  \new Staff {
    \scaleDurations #'(8 . 5) {
      \time 6/8
      \set Timing.measureLength = #(ly:make-moment 6 5)
      b8 b b b b b
      \time 2/4
      \set Timing.measureLength = #(ly:make-moment 4 5)
      b4 b
    }
  }
  \new Staff {
    \clef bass
    \time 2/4
    c2 d e f
  }
>>

[image of music]


Chant or psalms notation

This form of notation is used for the chant of the Psalms, where verses aren’t always the same length.

stemOn = { \revert Staff.Stem #'transparent }
stemOff = { \override Staff.Stem #'transparent = ##t }

\score {
  \new Staff \with { \remove "Time_signature_engraver" }
  {
    \key g \minor
    \cadenzaOn
    \stemOff a'\breve bes'4 g'4
    \stemOn a'2 \bar "||"
    \stemOff a'\breve g'4 a'4
    \stemOn f'2 \bar "||"
    \stemOff a'\breve^\markup { \italic flexe }
    \stemOn g'2 \bar "||"
  }
}

[image of music]


Creating blank staves

To create blank staves, generate empty measures then remove the Bar_number_engraver from the Score context, and the Time_signature_engraver, Clef_engraver and Bar_engraver from the Staff context.

#(set-global-staff-size 20)

\score {
  { 
    \repeat unfold 12 { s1 \break } 
  }
  \layout {
    indent = 0\in
    \context {
      \Staff
      \remove "Time_signature_engraver"
      \remove "Clef_engraver"
      \remove "Bar_engraver"
    }
    \context {
      \Score
      \remove "Bar_number_engraver"
    }
  }
}

\paper {
  #(set-paper-size "letter")
  ragged-last-bottom = ##f
  line-width = 7.5\in
  left-margin = 0.5\in
  bottom-margin = 0.25\in
  top-margin = 0.25\in
}

[image of music]


Engravers one-by-one

The notation problem, creating a certain symbol, is handled by plugins. Each plugin is called an Engraver. In this example, engravers are switched on one by one, in the following order:

- note heads

- staff symbol,

- clef,

- stem,

- beams, slurs, accents,

- accidentals, bar lines, time signature, and key signature.

Engravers are grouped. For example, note heads, slurs, beams etc. form a Voice context. Engravers for key, accidental, bar, etc. form a Staff context.

You may only see the first example in this document; please download this snippet and run it from your own computer.

%% sample music
topVoice =  \relative c' {
  \key d\major
  es8([ g] a[ fis])
  b4
  b16[-. b-. b-. cis-.]
  d4->
}

botVoice =  \relative c' {
  \key d\major
  c8[( f] b[ a)]
  es4
  es16[-. es-. es-. fis-.]
  b4->
}

hoom =  \relative c {
  \key d \major
  \clef bass
  g8-. r
  r4 
  fis8-.
  r8
  r4
  b'4->
}

pah =  \relative c' {
  r8 b-.
  r4
  r8 g8-.
  r16 g-. r8
  \clef treble
  fis'4->
}

%
% setup for Request->Element conversion. Guru-only
%

MyStaff =\context {
  \type "Engraver_group"
  \name Staff

  \description "Handles clefs, bar lines, keys, accidentals.  It can contain
@code{Voice} contexts."

  
  \consists "Output_property_engraver"	
  
  \consists "Font_size_engraver"

  \consists "Volta_engraver"
  \consists "Separating_line_group_engraver"	
  \consists "Dot_column_engraver"

  \consists "Ottava_spanner_engraver"
  \consists "Rest_collision_engraver"
  \consists "Piano_pedal_engraver"
  \consists "Piano_pedal_align_engraver"
  \consists "Instrument_name_engraver"
  \consists "Grob_pq_engraver"
  \consists "Forbid_line_break_engraver"
  \consists "Axis_group_engraver"

  \consists "Pitch_squash_engraver"

  \override VerticalAxisGroup #'minimum-Y-extent = #'(-6 . 6)
  extraVerticalExtent = ##f
  verticalExtent = ##f 
  localKeySignature = #'()

				% explicitly set instrument, so we don't get 
				% weird effects when doing instrument names for
				% piano staves

  instrumentName = #'()
  shortInstrumentName = #'()
  
  \accepts "Voice"
}


MyVoice = \context {
  \type "Engraver_group"
  \name Voice

  \description "
    Corresponds to a voice on a staff.  This context handles the
    conversion of dynamic signs, stems, beams, super- and subscripts,
    slurs, ties, and rests.

    You have to instantiate this explicitly if you want to have
    multiple voices on the same staff."

  localKeySignature = #'()
  \consists "Font_size_engraver"
  
				% must come before all
  \consists "Output_property_engraver"	
  \consists "Arpeggio_engraver"
  \consists "Multi_measure_rest_engraver"
  \consists "Text_spanner_engraver"
  \consists "Grob_pq_engraver"
  \consists "Note_head_line_engraver"
  \consists "Glissando_engraver"
  \consists "Ligature_bracket_engraver"
  \consists "Breathing_sign_engraver"
				% \consists "Rest_engraver"
  \consists "Grace_beam_engraver"
  \consists "New_fingering_engraver"
  \consists "Chord_tremolo_engraver"
  \consists "Percent_repeat_engraver"
  \consists "Slash_repeat_engraver"

%{
  Must come before text_engraver, but after note_column engraver.

%}
  \consists "Text_engraver"
  \consists "Dynamic_engraver"
  \consists "Fingering_engraver"

  \consists "Script_column_engraver"
  \consists "Rhythmic_column_engraver"
  \consists "Cluster_spanner_engraver"
  \consists "Tie_engraver"
  \consists "Tie_engraver"
  \consists "Tuplet_engraver"
  \consists "Note_heads_engraver"
  \consists "Rest_engraver"

  \consists "Skip_event_swallow_translator"
}


\score {
  \topVoice
  \layout {
    \context { \MyStaff }
    \context { \MyVoice }
  }
}


MyStaff = \context {
    \MyStaff
    \consists "Staff_symbol_engraver"
}

\score {
  \topVoice
  \layout {
      \context { \MyStaff }
      \context { \MyVoice }
            }
}

MyStaff = \context {
    \MyStaff
    \consists "Clef_engraver"
    \remove "Pitch_squash_engraver"
}

\score {
  \topVoice
  \layout {
    \context { \MyStaff }
    \context { \MyVoice }
  }
}

MyVoice = \context {
  \MyVoice
  \consists "Stem_engraver"
}

\score {
  \topVoice
  \layout {
    \context { \MyStaff }
    \context { \MyVoice }
  }
}

MyVoice = \context {
  \MyVoice
  \consists "Beam_engraver"
}

\score {
  \topVoice
  \layout {
    \context { \MyStaff }
    \context { \MyVoice }
  }
}

MyVoice= \context {
  \MyVoice
  \consists "Phrasing_slur_engraver"
  \consists "Slur_engraver"
  \consists "Script_engraver"
}


\score {
  \topVoice
  \layout {
    \context { \MyStaff }
    \context { \MyVoice }
  }
}

MyStaff = \context {
  \MyStaff
  \consists "Bar_engraver"
  \consists "Time_signature_engraver"
}

\score {
  \topVoice
  \layout {
    \context { \MyStaff }
    \context { \MyVoice }
  }
}

MyStaff = \context {
  \MyStaff
  \consists "Accidental_engraver"    
  \consists "Key_engraver"
}
\score {
  \topVoice
  \layout {
    \context { \MyStaff }
    \context { \MyVoice }
  }
}

[image of music]


Mensurstriche layout (bar lines between the staves)

The mensurstriche-layout where the bar lines do not show on the staves but between staves can be achieved with a StaffGroup instead of a ChoirStaff. The bar line on staves is blanked out by setting the transparent property.

global = {
  \override Staff.BarLine #'transparent = ##t
  s1 s
  % the final bar line is not interrupted
  \revert Staff.BarLine #'transparent
  \bar "|."
}
\new StaffGroup \relative c'' {
  <<
    \new Staff { << \global { c1 c } >> }
    \new Staff { << \global { c c } >> }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Nesting staves

The property systemStartDelimiterHierarchy can be used to make more complex nested staff groups. The command \set StaffGroup.systemStartDelimiterHierarchy takes an alphabetical list of the number of staves produced. Before each staff a system start delimiter can be given. It has to be enclosed in brackets and takes as much staves as the brackets enclose. Elements in the list can be omitted, but the first bracket takes always the complete number of staves. The possibilities are SystemStartBar, SystemStartBracket, SystemStartBrace, and SystemStartSquare.

\new StaffGroup
\relative c'' <<
  \set StaffGroup.systemStartDelimiterHierarchy
    = #'(SystemStartSquare (SystemStartBrace (SystemStartBracket a
                             (SystemStartSquare b)  ) c ) d)
  \new Staff { c1 }
  \new Staff { c1 }
  \new Staff { c1 }
  \new Staff { c1 }
  \new Staff { c1 }
>>

[image of music]


Use square bracket at the start of a staff group

The system start delimiter SystemStartSquare can be used by setting it explicitly in a StaffGroup or ChoirStaffGroup context.

\score {
  \new StaffGroup { << 
  \set StaffGroup.systemStartDelimiter = #'SystemStartSquare
    \new Staff { c'4 d' e' f' }
    \new Staff { c'4 d' e' f' }
  >> }
}

[image of music]


Vocal ensemble template with lyrics aligned below and above the staves

This template is basically the same as the simple "Vocal ensemble" template, with the exception that here all the lyrics lines are placed using alignAboveContext and alignBelowContext.

global = {
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
}

sopMusic = \relative c'' {
  c4 c c8[( b)] c4
}
sopWords = \lyricmode {
  hi hi hi hi
}

altoMusic = \relative c' {
  e4 f d e
}
altoWords = \lyricmode {
  ha ha ha ha
}

tenorMusic = \relative c' {
  g4 a f g
}
tenorWords = \lyricmode {
  hu hu hu hu
}

bassMusic = \relative c {
  c4 c g c
}
bassWords = \lyricmode {
  ho ho ho ho
}

\score {
  \new ChoirStaff <<
    \new Staff = women <<
      \new Voice = "sopranos" { \voiceOne << \global \sopMusic >> }
      \new Voice = "altos" { \voiceTwo << \global \altoMusic >> }
    >>
    \new Lyrics \with { alignAboveContext = women } \lyricsto sopranos \sopWords
    \new Lyrics \with { alignBelowContext = women } \lyricsto altos \altoWords
    % we could remove the line about this with the line below, since we want
    % the alto lyrics to be below the alto Voice anyway.
    % \new Lyrics \lyricsto altos \altoWords
    
    \new Staff = men <<
      \clef bass
      \new Voice = "tenors" { \voiceOne << \global \tenorMusic >> }
      \new Voice = "basses" { \voiceTwo << \global \bassMusic >> }
    >>
    \new Lyrics \with { alignAboveContext = men } \lyricsto tenors \tenorWords
    \new Lyrics \with { alignBelowContext = men } \lyricsto basses \bassWords
    % again, we could replace the line above this with the line below.
    % \new Lyrics \lyricsto basses \bassWords
  >>
  \layout {
    \context {
      % a little smaller so lyrics
      % can be closer to the staff
      \Staff
      \override VerticalAxisGroup #'minimum-Y-extent = #'(-3 . 3)
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Tweaks and overrides

These snippets illustrate the Notation Reference, section Changing defaults.

See also Learning Manual, section Tweaking output.


Analysis brackets above the staff

Simple horizontal analysis brackets are added below the staff by default. The following example shows a way to place them above the staff instead.

\layout {
  \context {
    \Voice
    \consists "Horizontal_bracket_engraver"
  }
}
\relative c'' {
  \once \override HorizontalBracket #'direction = #UP
  c2\startGroup
  d2\stopGroup
}

[image of music]


Avoiding collisions with chord fingerings

Fingerings and string numbers applied to individual notes will automatically avoid beams and stems, but this is not true by default for fingerings and string numbers applied to the individual notes of chords. The following example shows how this default behavior can be overridden.

\relative c' {
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(up)
  \set stringNumberOrientations = #'(up)
  \set strokeFingerOrientations = #'(up)
  
  % Default behavior
  r8
  <f c'-5>8
  <f c'\5>8
  <f c'-\rightHandFinger #2 >8
  
  % Corrected to avoid collisions
  r8
  \override Fingering #'add-stem-support = ##t
  <f c'-5>8
  \override StringNumber #'add-stem-support = ##t
  <f c'\5>8
  \override StrokeFinger #'add-stem-support = ##t
  <f c'-\rightHandFinger #2 >8
}

[image of music]


Caesura ("railtracks") with fermata

A caesura is sometimes denoted by a double "railtracks" breath mark with a fermata sign positioned above. This snippet should present an optically pleasing combination of railtracks and fermata.

\relative c'' {
  c2.
  % construct the symbol
  \override BreathingSign #'text = \markup {
    \line {
      \musicglyph #"scripts.caesura.curved"
      \translate #'(-1.75 . 1.6)
      \musicglyph #"scripts.ufermata"
    }
  }
  \breathe c4
  % set the breathe mark back to normal
  \revert BreathingSign #'text
  c2. \breathe c4
  \bar "|."
}

[image of music]


Changing a single note’s size in a chord

Individual note heads in a chord can be modified with the \tweak command inside a chord, by altering the font-size property.

Inside the chord (within the brackets < >), before the note to be altered, place the \tweak command, followed by #'font-size and define the proper size like #-2 (a tiny notehead).

\layout { ragged-right = ##t }
\relative {
  <\tweak #'font-size #+2 c e g c \tweak #'font-size #-2 e>1^\markup { A tiny e }_\markup { A big c }
}

[image of music]


Changing form of multi-measure rests

If there are ten or fewer measures of rests, a series of longa and breve rests (called in German "Kirchenpausen" - church rests) is printed within the staff; otherwise a simple line is shown. This default number of ten may be changed by overriding the expand-limit property:

\relative c'' {
  \compressFullBarRests
  R1*2 | R1*5 | R1*9
  \override MultiMeasureRest #'expand-limit = #3
  R1*2 | R1*5 | R1*9
}

[image of music]


Changing properties for individual grobs

The \applyOutput command allows the tuning of any layout object, in any context. It requires a Scheme function with three arguments.

#(define (mc-squared grob grob-origin context)
  (let*
    (
      (ifs (ly:grob-interfaces grob))
      (sp (ly:grob-property grob 'staff-position))
    )
    (if (memq 'note-head-interface ifs)
      (begin
        (ly:grob-set-property! grob 'stencil
          (grob-interpret-markup grob
            (make-lower-markup 0.5
              (case sp
                ((-5) "m")
                ((-3) "c ")
                ((-2) (make-smaller-markup (make-bold-markup "2")))
                (else "bla")
                ))))
        ))))

\relative c' {
  <d f g b>2
  \applyOutput #'Voice #mc-squared
  <d f g b>2
}

[image of music]


Changing text and spanner styles for text dynamics

The text used for crescendos and decrescendos can be changed by modifying the context properties crescendoText and decrescendoText. The style of the spanner line can be changed by modifying the 'style property of DynamicTextSpanner. The default value is 'hairpin, and other possible values include 'line, 'dashed-line and 'dotted-line:

\relative c'' {
  \set crescendoText = \markup { \italic { cresc. poco } }
  \set crescendoSpanner = #'text
  \override DynamicTextSpanner #'style = #'dotted-line
  a2\< a
  a2 a
  a2 a
  a2 a\mf
}

[image of music]


Changing the default text font family

The default font families for text can be overridden with make-pango-font-tree.

\paper {
  % change for other default global staff size. 
  myStaffSize = #20
  %{
     run
         lilypond -dshow-available-fonts blabla
     to show all fonts available in the process log.  
  %}

  #(define fonts
    (make-pango-font-tree "Times New Roman"
                          "Nimbus Sans"
                          "Luxi Mono"
;;                        "Helvetica"
;;                        "Courier"
     (/ myStaffSize 20)))
}

\relative c'' {
  c4^\markup {
    roman: foo \bold bla \italic bar \italic \bold baz 
  }
  c'4_\markup {
    \override #'(font-family . sans)
    {
      sans: foo \bold bla \italic bar \italic \bold baz
    }
  }
  c'2^\markup {
    \override #'(font-family . typewriter)
    {
      mono: foo \bold bla \italic bar \italic \bold baz
    }
  }
}  

[image of music]


Changing the staff size

Though the simplest way to resize staves is to use #(set-global-staff-size xx), an individual staff’s size can be changed by scaling the properties 'staff-space and fontSize.

<<
  \new Staff {
    \relative c'' {
      \dynamicDown
      c8\ff c c c c c c c
    }
  }
  \new Staff \with {
    fontSize = #-3
    \override StaffSymbol #'staff-space = #(magstep -3)
  } {
    \clef bass
    c8 c c c c\f c c c
  }
>>

[image of music]


Controlling the vertical ordering of scripts

The vertical ordering of scripts is controlled with the 'script-priority property. The lower this number, the closer it will be put to the note. In this example, the TextScript (the sharp symbol) first has the lowest priority, so it is put lowest in the first example. In the second, the prall trill (the Script) has the lowest, so it is on the inside. When two objects have the same priority, the order in which they are entered determines which one comes first.

\relative c''' {
  \once \override TextScript #'script-priority = #-100
  a2^\prall^\markup { \sharp }
  
  \once \override Script #'script-priority = #-100
  a2^\prall^\markup { \sharp }
}

[image of music]


Controlling tuplet bracket visibility

The default behavior of tuplet-bracket visibility is to print a bracket unless there is a beam of the same length as the tuplet. To control the visibility of tuplet brackets, set the property 'bracket-visibility to either #t (always print a bracket), #f (never print a bracket) or #'if-no-beam (only print a bracket if there is no beam).

music = \relative c'' {
  \times 2/3 { c16[ d e } f8]
  \times 2/3 { c8 d e }
  \times 2/3 { c4 d e }
}

\new Voice {
  \relative c' {
    << \music s4^"default" >>
    \override TupletBracket #'bracket-visibility = #'if-no-beam
    << \music s4^"'if-no-beam" >>
    \override TupletBracket #'bracket-visibility = ##t
    << \music s4^"#t" >>
    \override TupletBracket #'bracket-visibility = ##f
    << \music s4^"#f" >>
  }
} 

[image of music]


Creating a delayed turn

Creating a delayed turn, where the lower note of the turn uses the accidental, requires several overrides. The outside-staff-priority property must be set to #f, as otherwise this would take precedence over the avoid-slur property. The value of halign is used to position the turn horizontally.

\relative c'' {
  \once \override TextScript #'avoid-slur = #'inside
  \once \override TextScript #'outside-staff-priority = ##f
  c2(^\markup \tiny \override #'(baseline-skip . 1) {
    \halign #-4
    \center-column {
      \sharp
      \musicglyph #"scripts.turn"
    }
  }
  d4.) c8
}

[image of music]


Creating simultaneous rehearsal marks

Unlike text scripts, rehearsal marks cannot be stacked at a particular point in a score: only one RehearsalMark object is created. Using an invisible measure and bar line, an extra rehearsal mark can be added, giving the appearance of two marks in the same column.

This method may also prove useful for placing rehearsal marks at both the end of one system and the start of the following system.

{
  \key a \major
  \set Score.markFormatter = #format-mark-box-letters
  \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'outside-staff-priority = #5000
  \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'self-alignment-X = #LEFT
  \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'break-align-symbols = #'(key-signature)
  \mark \markup { \bold { Senza denti } }
  
  % the hidden measure and bar line
  \once \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f
  \time 1/16
  s16 \bar ""
  
  \time 4/4
  \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'self-alignment-X = #LEFT
  \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'break-align-symbols = #'(bar-line)
  \mark \markup { \box \bold Intro }
  d'1
  \mark \default
  d'1
}

[image of music]


Creating text spanners

The \startTextSpan and \stopTextSpan commands allow the creation of text spanners as easily as pedal indications or octavations. Override some properties of the TextSpanner object to modify its output.

\paper { ragged-right = ##f }

\relative c'' {
  \override TextSpanner #'(bound-details left text) = #"bla"
  \override TextSpanner #'(bound-details right text) = #"blu"
  a4 \startTextSpan
  b4 c
  a4 \stopTextSpan
  
  \override TextSpanner #'style = #'line
  \once \override TextSpanner
    #'(bound-details left stencil-align-dir-y) = #CENTER
  a4 \startTextSpan
  b4 c
  a4 \stopTextSpan
  
  \override TextSpanner #'style = #'dashed-line
  \override TextSpanner #'(bound-details left text) =
    \markup { \draw-line #'(0 . 1) }
  \override TextSpanner #'(bound-details right text) =
    \markup { \draw-line #'(0 . -2) }
  \once \override TextSpanner #'(bound-details right padding) = #-2

  a4 \startTextSpan
  b4 c
  a4 \stopTextSpan
  
  \set Staff.middleCPosition = #-13
  \override TextSpanner #'dash-period = #10
  \override TextSpanner #'dash-fraction = #0.5
  \override TextSpanner #'thickness = #10
  a4 \startTextSpan
  b4 c
  a4 \stopTextSpan
}

[image of music]


Custodes

Custodes may be engraved in various styles.

\layout { ragged-right = ##t }

\new Staff \with { \consists "Custos_engraver" } \relative c' {
  \override Staff.Custos #'neutral-position = #4
  
  \override Staff.Custos #'style = #'hufnagel
  c1^"hufnagel" \break
  <d a' f'>1
  
  \override Staff.Custos #'style = #'medicaea
  c1^"medicaea" \break
  <d a' f'>1
  
  \override Staff.Custos #'style = #'vaticana
  c1^"vaticana" \break
  <d a' f'>1
  
  \override Staff.Custos #'style = #'mensural
  c1^"mensural" \break
  <d a' f'>1
}

[image of music]


Customizing fretboard fret diagrams

Fret diagram properties can be set through 'fret-diagram-details. For FretBoard fret diagrams, overrides are applied to the FretBoards.FretBoard object. Like Voice, FretBoards is a bottom level context, therefore can be omitted in property overrides.

\include "predefined-guitar-fretboards.ly"
\storePredefinedDiagram \chordmode { c' }
                        #guitar-tuning
                        #"x;1-1-(;3-2;3-3;3-4;1-1-);"
<<
  \new ChordNames {
    \chordmode { c1 c c d }
  }
  \new FretBoards {
    % Set global properties of fret diagram
    \override FretBoards.FretBoard #'size = #'1.2
    \override FretBoard
      #'(fret-diagram-details finger-code) = #'in-dot
    \override FretBoard
      #'(fret-diagram-details dot-color) = #'white
    \chordmode {
      c
      \once \override FretBoard #'size = #'1.0
      \once \override FretBoard
        #'(fret-diagram-details barre-type) = #'straight
      \once \override FretBoard
        #'(fret-diagram-details dot-color) = #'black
      \once \override FretBoard
        #'(fret-diagram-details finger-code) = #'below-string
      c'
      \once \override FretBoard
        #'(fret-diagram-details barre-type) = #'none
      \once \override FretBoard
        #'(fret-diagram-details number-type) = #'arabic
      \once \override FretBoard
        #'(fret-diagram-details orientation) = #'landscape
      \once \override FretBoard
        #'(fret-diagram-details mute-string) = #"M"
      \once \override FretBoard
        #'(fret-diagram-details label-dir) = #LEFT
      \once \override FretBoard
        #'(fret-diagram-details dot-color) = #'black
      c'
      \once \override FretBoard
        #'(fret-diagram-details finger-code) = #'below-string
      \once \override FretBoard
        #'(fret-diagram-details dot-radius) = #0.35
      \once \override FretBoard
        #'(fret-diagram-details dot-position) = #0.5
      \once \override FretBoard
        #'(fret-diagram-details fret-count) = #3
      d
    }
  }
  \new Voice {
    c'1 c' c' d'
  }
>>

[image of music]


Customizing markup fret diagrams

Fret diagram properties can be set through 'fret-diagram-details. For markup fret diagrams, overrides can be applied to the Voice.TextScript object or directly to the markup.

<<
  \chords { c1 c c d }
  
  \new Voice = "mel" {
    \textLengthOn
    % Set global properties of fret diagram
    \override TextScript #'size = #'1.2
    \override TextScript
      #'(fret-diagram-details finger-code) = #'in-dot
    \override TextScript
      #'(fret-diagram-details dot-color) = #'white

    %% C major for guitar, no barre, using defaults
       % terse style
    c'1^\markup { \fret-diagram-terse #"x;3-3;2-2;o;1-1;o;" }

    %% C major for guitar, barred on third fret
       % verbose style
       % size 1.0
       % roman fret label, finger labels below string, straight barre
    c'1^\markup {
      % standard size
      \override #'(size . 1.0) {
        \override #'(fret-diagram-details . (
                     (number-type . roman-lower)
                     (finger-code . in-dot)
                     (barre-type . straight))) {
          \fret-diagram-verbose #'((mute 6)
                                   (place-fret 5 3 1)
                                   (place-fret 4 5 2)
                                   (place-fret 3 5 3)
                                   (place-fret 2 5 4)
                                   (place-fret 1 3 1)
                                   (barre 5 1 3))
        }
      }
    }

    %% C major for guitar, barred on third fret
       % verbose style
       % landscape orientation, arabic numbers, M for mute string
       % no barre, fret label down or left, small mute label font
    c'1^\markup {
      \override #'(fret-diagram-details . (
                   (finger-code . below-string)
                   (number-type . arabic)
                   (label-dir . -1)
                   (mute-string . "M")
                   (orientation . landscape)
                   (barre-type . none)
                   (xo-font-magnification . 0.4)
                   (xo-padding . 0.3))) {
        \fret-diagram-verbose #'((mute 6)
                                 (place-fret 5 3 1)
                                 (place-fret 4 5 2)
                                 (place-fret 3 5 3)
                                 (place-fret 2 5 4)
                                 (place-fret 1 3 1)
                                 (barre 5 1 3))
      }
    }

    %% simple D chord
       % terse style
       % larger dots, centered dots, fewer frets
       % label below string
    d'1^\markup {
      \override #'(fret-diagram-details . (
                   (finger-code . below-string)
                   (dot-radius . 0.35)
                   (dot-position . 0.5)
                   (fret-count . 3))) {
        \fret-diagram-terse #"x;x;o;2-1;3-2;2-3;"
      }
    }
  }
>>

[image of music]


Display bracket with only one staff in a system

If there is only one staff in one of the staff types ChoirStaff or StaffGroup, the bracket and the starting bar line will not be displayed as standard behavior. This can be changed by overriding the relevant properties.

Note that in contexts such as PianoStaff and GrandStaff where the systems begin with a brace instead of a bracket, another property has to be set, as shown on the second system in the example.

\markup \left-column {
  \score {
    \new StaffGroup <<
      % Must be lower than the actual number of staff lines
      \override StaffGroup.SystemStartBracket #'collapse-height = #1
      \override Score.SystemStartBar #'collapse-height = #1
      \new Staff {
        c'1
      }
    >>
    \layout { }
  }
  \score {
    \new PianoStaff <<
      \override PianoStaff.SystemStartBrace #'collapse-height = #1
      \override Score.SystemStartBar #'collapse-height = #1
      \new Staff {
        c'1
      }
    >>
    \layout { }
  }
}

[image of music]


Dotted harmonics

Artificial harmonics using \harmonic do not show dots. To override this behavior, set the context property harmonicDots.

\relative c''' {
  \time 3/4
  \key f \major
  \set harmonicDots = ##t
  <bes f'\harmonic>2. ~
  <bes f'\harmonic>4. <a e'\harmonic>8( <gis dis'\harmonic> <g d'\harmonic>)
  <fis cis'\harmonic>2.
  <bes f'\harmonic>2.
}

[image of music]


Drawing boxes around grobs

The print-function can be overridden to draw a box around an arbitrary grob.

\relative c'' {
  \override TextScript #'stencil =
    #(make-stencil-boxer 0.1 0.3 ly:text-interface::print)
  c'4^"foo"

  \override Stem #'stencil =
    #(make-stencil-boxer 0.05 0.25 ly:stem::print)
  \override Score.RehearsalMark  #'stencil =
    #(make-stencil-boxer 0.15 0.3 ly:text-interface::print)
  b8
  
  \revert Stem #'stencil
  c4. c4
  \mark "F"
  c1
}

[image of music]


Drawing circles around various objects

The \circle markup command draws circles around various objects, for example fingering indications. For other objects, specific tweaks may be required: this example demonstrates two strategies for rehearsal marks and measure numbers.

\relative c' {
  c1
  \set Score.markFormatter =
    #(lambda (mark context)
             (make-circle-markup (format-mark-numbers mark context)))
  \mark \default
  c2 d^\markup {
    \override #'(thickness . 3) {
      \circle \finger 2
    }
  }
  \override Score.BarNumber #'break-visibility = #all-visible
  \override Score.BarNumber #'stencil =
    #(make-stencil-circler 0.1 0.25 ly:text-interface::print)
}

[image of music]


Fine-tuning pedal brackets

The appearance of pedal brackets may be altered in different ways.

\paper { ragged-right = ##f }
\relative c'' {
  c2\sostenutoOn c
  c2\sostenutoOff c
  \once \override Staff.PianoPedalBracket #'shorten-pair = #'(-7 . -2)
  c2\sostenutoOn c
  c2\sostenutoOff c
  \once \override Staff.PianoPedalBracket #'edge-height = #'(0 . 3)
  c2\sostenutoOn c
  c2\sostenutoOff c
}

[image of music]


Forcing horizontal shift of notes

When the typesetting engine cannot cope, the following syntax can be used to override typesetting decisions. The units of measure used here are staff spaces.

\relative c' <<
  {
    <d g>2 <d g>
  }
  \\
  {
    <b f'>2
    \once \override NoteColumn #'force-hshift = #1.7
    <b f'>2
  }
>>

[image of music]


Fret diagrams explained and developed

This snippet shows many possibilities for obtaining and tweaking fret diagrams.

<<
  \chords {
    a2 a
    c2 c
    d1
  }
  
  \new Voice = "mel" {
    \textLengthOn
    % Set global properties of fret diagram
    \override TextScript #'size = #1.2
    \override TextScript #'fret-diagram-details #'finger-code = #'below-string
    \override TextScript #'fret-diagram-details #'dot-color = #'black
    
    %% A chord for ukelele
    a'2^\markup {
      \override #'(fret-diagram-details . (
                   (string-count . 4)
                   (dot-color . white)
                   (finger-code . in-dot))) {
        \fret-diagram #"4-2-2;3-1-1;2-o;1-o;"
      }
    }
    
    %% A chord for ukelele, with formatting defined in definition string
    %  1.2 * size, 4 strings, 4 frets, fingerings below string
    %  dot radius .35 of fret spacing, dot position 0.55 of fret spacing
    a'2^\markup {
      \override #'(fret-diagram-details . (
                   (dot-color . white)
                   (open-string . "o"))) {
        \fret-diagram #"s:1.2;w:4;h:3;f:2;d:0.35;p:0.55;4-2-2;3-1-1;2-o;1-o;"
      }
    }
    
    %% C major for guitar, barred on third fret
    %  verbose style
    %  roman fret label, finger labels below string, straight barre
    c'2^\markup {
      % 110% of default size
      \override #'(size . 1.1) {
        \override #'(fret-diagram-details . (
                     (number-type . roman-lower)
                     (finger-code . below-string)
                     (barre-type . straight))) {
          \fret-diagram-verbose #'((mute 6)
                                   (place-fret 5 3 1)
                                   (place-fret 4 5 2)
                                   (place-fret 3 5 3)
                                   (place-fret 2 5 4)
                                   (place-fret 1 3 1)
                                   (barre 5 1 3))
        }
      }
    }
    
    %% C major for guitar, barred on third fret
    %  verbose style
    c'2^\markup {
      % 110% of default size
      \override #'(size . 1.1) {
        \override #'(fret-diagram-details . (
                     (number-type . arabic)
                     (dot-label-font-mag . 0.9)
                     (finger-code . in-dot)
                     (fret-label-font-mag . 0.6)
                     (fret-label-vertical-offset . 0)
                     (label-dir . -1)
                     (mute-string . "M")
                     (orientation . landscape)
                     (xo-font-magnification . 0.4)
                     (xo-padding . 0.3))) {
          \fret-diagram-verbose #'((mute 6)
                                   (place-fret 5 3 1)
                                   (place-fret 4 5 2)
                                   (place-fret 3 5 3)
                                   (place-fret 2 5 4)
                                   (place-fret 1 3 1)
                                   (barre 5 1 3))
        }
      }
    }
    
    %% simple D chord
    d'1^\markup {
      \override #'(fret-diagram-details . (
                   (finger-code . below-string)
                   (dot-radius . 0.35)
                   (dot-position . 0.5)
                   (fret-count . 3))) {
        \fret-diagram-terse #"x;x;o;2-1;3-2;2-3;"
      }
    }
  }
>>

[image of music]


Horizontally aligning custom dynamics (e.g. "sempre pp", "piu f", "subito p")

Some dynamic expressions involve additional text, like "sempre pp". Since lilypond aligns all dynamics centered on the note, the \pp would be displayed way after the note it applies to.

To correctly align the "sempre \pp" horizontally, so that it is aligned as if it were only the \pp, there are several approaches:

* Simply use \once\override DynamicText #'X-offset = #-9.2 before the note with the dynamics to manually shift it to the correct position. Drawback: This has to be done manually each time you use that dynamic markup... * Add some padding (#:hspace 7.1) into the definition of your custom dynamic mark, so that after lilypond center-aligns it, it is already correctly aligned. Drawback: The padding really takes up that space and does not allow any other markup or dynamics to be shown in that position.

* Shift the dynamic script \once\override ... #'X-offset = ... Drawback: \once\override is needed for every invocation!

* Set the dimensions of the additional text to 0 (using #:with-dimensions '(0 . 0) '(0 . 0)). Drawback: To lilypond "sempre" has no extent, so it might put other stuff there and create collisions (which are not detected by the collision dection!). Also, there seems to be some spacing, so it’s not exactly the same alignment as without the additional text

* Add an explicit shifting directly inside the scheme function for the dynamic-script.

* Set an explicit alignment inside the dynamic-script. By default, this won’t have any effect, only if one sets X-offset! Drawback: One needs to set DynamicText #'X-offset, which will apply to all dynamic texts! Also, it is aligned at the right edge of the additional text, not at the center of pp.

\header { title = "Horizontally aligning custom dynamics" }
\layout { ragged-right = ##t }

% Solution 1: Using a simple markup with a particular halign value
% Drawback: It's a markup, not a dynamic command, so \dynamicDown etc. will have no effect
semppMarkup = \markup { \halign #1.4 \italic "sempre" \dynamic "pp" }

% Solution 2: Using a dynamic script and shifting with \once\override ... #'X-offset = ..
% Drawback: \once\override needed for every invocation
semppK = #(make-dynamic-script (markup #:line( #:normal-text #:italic "sempre" #:dynamic "pp")))

% Solution 3: Padding the dynamic script so the center-alignment puts it to the correct position
% Drawback: the padding really reserves the space, nothing else can be there
semppT = #(
  make-dynamic-script (
    markup #:line (
      #:normal-text #:italic "sempre" #:dynamic "pp" #:hspace 7.1
    )
  )
)

% Solution 4: Dynamic, setting the dimensions of the additional text to 0
% Drawback: To lilypond "sempre" has no extent, so it might put other stuff there => collisions
% Drawback: Also, there seems to be some spacing, so it's not exactly the 
%           same alignment as without the additional text
semppM = #(make-dynamic-script (markup #:line( #:with-dimensions '(0 . 0) '(0 . 0) #:right-align #:normal-text #:italic "sempre" #:dynamic "pp")))

% Solution 5: Dynamic with explicit shifting inside the scheme function
semppG = #(make-dynamic-script
  (markup
    #:hspace 0 #:translate (cons -18.85 0 )
    #:line( #:normal-text #:italic "sempre" #:dynamic "pp"))
)

% Solution 6: Dynamic with explicit alignment. This has only effect, if one sets X-offset!
% Drawback: One needs to set DynamicText #'X-offset!
% Drawback: Aligned at the right edge of the additional text, not at the center of pp
semppMII = #(make-dynamic-script (markup #:line(#:right-align #:normal-text #:italic "sempre" #:dynamic "pp")))


\context StaffGroup <<
  \context Staff="s" << \set Staff.instrumentName = "Normal"
       \relative c'' { \key es \major c4\pp c\p c c | c\ff c c\pp c } 
  >>
  \context Staff="sMarkup" << \set Staff.instrumentName = \markup\column{"Normal" "Markup"}
       \relative c'' { \key es \major c4-\semppMarkup c\p c c | c\ff c c-\semppMarkup c} 
  >>
  \context Staff="sK" << \set Staff.instrumentName = \markup\column{"Explicit" "shifting"}
       \relative c'' { \key es \major 
           \once \override DynamicText #'X-offset = #-9.2 c4\semppK c\p c c | 
           c\ff c \once \override DynamicText #'X-offset = #-9.2  c\semppK c } 
  >>
  \context Staff="sT" << \set Staff.instrumentName = \markup\column{"Right" "padding"}
       \relative c'' { \key es \major c4\semppT c\p c c | c\ff c c\semppT c } 
  >>
  \context Staff="sM" << \set Staff.instrumentName = \markup\column{"Setting" "dimension" "to zero"}
       \relative c'' { \key es \major c4\semppM c\p c c | c\ff c c\semppM c } 
  >>
  \context Staff="sG" << \set Staff.instrumentName = \markup\column{"Shifting" "inside" "dynamics"}
       \relative c'' { \key es \major c4\semppG c\p c c | c\ff c c\semppG c} 
  >>
  \context Staff="sMII" << \set Staff.instrumentName = \markup\column{"Alignment" "inside" "dynamics"}
    \relative c'' { \key es \major 
      \override DynamicText #'X-offset = #0  % Setting to ##f (false) gives the same resul
      c4\semppMII c\p c c | c\ff c c\semppMII c } 
    >>
>>

[image of music]


How to change fret diagram position

If you want to move the position of a fret diagram, for example, to avoid collision, or to place it between two notes, you have various possibilities:

1) modify #’padding or #’extra-offset values (as shown in the first snippet)

2) you can add an invisible voice and attach the fret diagrams to the invisible notes in that voice (as shown in the second example).

If you need to move the fret according with a rythmic position inside the bar (in the example, the third beat of the measure) the second example is better, because the fret is aligned with the third beat itself.

harmonies = \chordmode
{
  a8:13
% THE FOLLOWING IS THE COMMAND TO MOVE THE CHORD NAME
  \once \override ChordNames.ChordName #'extra-offset = #'(10 . 0)
  b8:13 s2.
% THIS LINE IS THE SECOND METHOD
    s4 s4  b4:13
}

\score
{
  <<
    \context ChordNames \harmonies
    \context Staff
    {a8^\markup { \fret-diagram  #"6-x;5-0;4-2;3-0;2-0;1-2;"  }
% THE FOLLOWING IS THE COMMAND TO MOVE THE FRET DIAGRAM
     \once \override TextScript #'extra-offset = #'(10 . 0)
     b4.~^\markup { \fret-diagram  #"6-x;5-2;4-4;3-2;2-2;1-4;"  } b4. a8\break
% HERE IS THE SECOND METHOD
     <<
       { a8 b4.~ b4. a8} 
       { s4 s4 s4^\markup { \fret-diagram  #"6-x;5-2;4-4;3-2;2-2;1-4;"  }
       }
     >>
   }
  >>
}


[image of music]


Inserting a caesura

Caesura marks can be created by overriding the 'text property of the BreathingSign object. A curved caesura mark is also available.

\relative c'' {
  \override BreathingSign #'text = \markup {
    \musicglyph #"scripts.caesura.straight"
  }
  c8 e4. \breathe g8. e16 c4

  \override BreathingSign #'text = \markup {
    \musicglyph #"scripts.caesura.curved"
  }
  g8 e'4. \breathe g8. e16 c4
}

[image of music]


Making an object invisible with the transparent property

Setting the 'transparent property will cause an object to be printed in "invisible ink": the object is not printed, but all its other behavior is retained. The object still takes up space, it takes part in collisions, and slurs, ties and beams can be attached to it.

This snippet demonstrates how to connect different voices using ties. Normally, ties only connect two notes in the same voice. By introducing a tie in a different voice, and blanking the first up-stem in that voice, the tie appears to cross voices. To prevent the blanked stem’s flag from interfering with tie positioning, the stem is extended.

\relative c'' {
  \time 2/4
  <<
    {
      \once \override Stem #'transparent = ##t
      \once \override Stem #'length = #8
      b8 ~ b\noBeam
      \once \override Stem #'transparent = ##t
      \once \override Stem #'length = #8
      g8 ~ g\noBeam
    }
    \\
    {
      b8 g g e
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Manually controlling beam positions

Beam positions may be controlled manually, by overriding the positions setting of the Beam grob.

\relative c' {
  \time 2/4
  % from upper staff-line (position 2) to center (position 0)
  \override Beam #'positions = #'(2 . 0)
  c8 c
  % from center to one above center (position 1)
  \override Beam #'positions = #'(0 . 1)
  c8 c
}

[image of music]


Mensurstriche layout (bar lines between the staves)

The mensurstriche-layout where the bar lines do not show on the staves but between staves can be achieved with a StaffGroup instead of a ChoirStaff. The bar line on staves is blanked out by setting the transparent property.

global = {
  \override Staff.BarLine #'transparent = ##t
  s1 s
  % the final bar line is not interrupted
  \revert Staff.BarLine #'transparent
  \bar "|."
}
\new StaffGroup \relative c'' {
  <<
    \new Staff { << \global { c1 c } >> }
    \new Staff { << \global { c c } >> }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Nesting staves

The property systemStartDelimiterHierarchy can be used to make more complex nested staff groups. The command \set StaffGroup.systemStartDelimiterHierarchy takes an alphabetical list of the number of staves produced. Before each staff a system start delimiter can be given. It has to be enclosed in brackets and takes as much staves as the brackets enclose. Elements in the list can be omitted, but the first bracket takes always the complete number of staves. The possibilities are SystemStartBar, SystemStartBracket, SystemStartBrace, and SystemStartSquare.

\new StaffGroup
\relative c'' <<
  \set StaffGroup.systemStartDelimiterHierarchy
    = #'(SystemStartSquare (SystemStartBrace (SystemStartBracket a
                             (SystemStartSquare b)  ) c ) d)
  \new Staff { c1 }
  \new Staff { c1 }
  \new Staff { c1 }
  \new Staff { c1 }
  \new Staff { c1 }
>>

[image of music]


Percent repeat count visibility

Percent repeat counters can be shown at regular intervals by setting the context property repeatCountVisibility.

\relative c'' {
  \set countPercentRepeats = ##t
  \set repeatCountVisibility = #(every-nth-repeat-count-visible 5)
  \repeat percent 10 { c1 } \break
  \set repeatCountVisibility = #(every-nth-repeat-count-visible 2)
  \repeat percent 6 { c1 d1 }
}

[image of music]


Positioning multi-measure rests

Unlike ordinary rests, there is no predefined command to change the staff position of a multi-measure rest symbol of either form by attaching it to a note. However, in polyphonic music multi-measure rests in odd-numbered and even-numbered voices are vertically separated. The positioning of multi-measure rests can be controlled as follows:

\relative c'' {
  % Multi-measure rests by default are set under the second line
  R1
  % They can be moved with an override
  \override MultiMeasureRest #'staff-position = #-2
  R1
  % A value of 0 is the default position;
  % the following trick moves the rest to the center line
  \override MultiMeasureRest #'staff-position = #-0.01
  R1
  % Multi-measure rests in odd-numbered voices are under the top line
  << { R1 } \\ { a1 } >>
  % Multi-measure rests in even-numbered voices are under the bottom line
  << { c1 } \\ { R1 } >>
  % They remain separated even in empty measures
  << { R1 } \\ { R1 } >>
  % This brings them together even though there are two voices
  \compressFullBarRests
  <<
    \revert MultiMeasureRest #'staff-position
    { R1*3 }
    \\
    \revert MultiMeasureRest #'staff-position
    { R1*3 }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Positioning text markups inside slurs

Text markups need to have the outside-staff-priority property set to false in order to be printed inside slurs.

\relative c'' {
  \override TextScript #'avoid-slur = #'inside
  \override TextScript #'outside-staff-priority = ##f
  c2(^\markup { \halign #-10 \natural } d4.) c8
}

[image of music]


Printing a repeat sign at the beginning of a piece

A |: bar line can be printed at the beginning of a piece, by overriding the relevant property:

\relative c'' {
  \once \override Score.BreakAlignment #'break-align-orders =
        #(make-vector 3 '(instrument-name
                          left-edge
                          ambitus
                          span-bar
                          breathing-sign
                          clef
                          key-signature
                          time-signature
                          staff-bar
                          custos
                          span-bar))
  \bar "|:"
  c1
  d1
  d4 e f g
}

[image of music]


Printing metronome and rehearsal marks below the staff

By default, metronome and rehearsal marks are printed above the staff. To place them below the staff simply set the direction property of MetronomeMark or RehearsalMark appropriately.

\layout { ragged-right = ##f }

{
  % Metronome marks below the staff 
  \override Score.MetronomeMark #'direction = #DOWN
  \tempo 8. = 120
  c''1

  % Rehearsal marks below the staff
  \override Score.RehearsalMark #'direction = #DOWN
  \mark \default
  c''1
}

[image of music]


Proportional strict notespacing

If strict-note-spacing is set spacing of notes is not influenced by bars or clefs within a system. Rather, they are placed just before the note that occurs at the same time. This may cause collisions.

\paper {
  ragged-right = ##t
}

\relative c'' <<
  \override Score.SpacingSpanner #'strict-note-spacing = ##t 
  \set Score.proportionalNotationDuration = #(ly:make-moment 1 16)
  \new Staff {
    c8[ c \clef alto c c \grace { d16 } c8 c] c4
    c2 \grace { c16[ c16] } c2
  }
  \new Staff {
    c2 \times 2/3 { c8 \clef bass cis,, c } c4
    c1
  }
>>

[image of music]


Removing the first empty line

The first empty staff can also be removed from the score by setting the VerticalAxisGroup property remove-first. This can be done globally inside the \layout block, or locally inside the specific staff that should be removed. In the latter case, you have to specify the context (Staff applies only to the current staff) in front of the property.

The lower staff of the second staff group is not removed, because the setting applies only to the specific staff inside of which it is written.

\layout {
  \context { 
    \RemoveEmptyStaffContext 
    % To use the setting globally, uncomment the following line:
    % \override VerticalAxisGroup #'remove-first = ##t
  }
}
\new StaffGroup <<
  \new Staff \relative c' {
    e4 f g a \break
    c1
  }
  \new Staff {
    % To use the setting globally, comment this line,
    % uncomment the line in the \layout block above
    \override Staff.VerticalAxisGroup #'remove-first = ##t
    R1 \break
    R
  }
>>
\new StaffGroup <<
  \new Staff \relative c' {
    e4 f g a \break
    c1
  }
  \new Staff {
    R1 \break
    R
  }
>>

[image of music]


Rest styles

Rests may be used in various styles.

\layout {
  indent = 0.0
  \context {
    \Staff
    \remove "Time_signature_engraver"
  }
}

\new Staff \relative c {
  \cadenzaOn
  \override Staff.Rest #'style = #'mensural
  r\maxima^\markup \typewriter { mensural }
  r\longa r\breve r1 r2 r4 r8 r16 s32 s64 s128 s128
  \bar ""
  
  \override Staff.Rest #'style = #'neomensural
  r\maxima^\markup \typewriter { neomensural }
  r\longa r\breve r1 r2 r4 r8 r16 s32 s64 s128 s128
  \bar ""
  
  \override Staff.Rest #'style = #'classical
  r\maxima^\markup \typewriter { classical }
  r\longa r\breve r1 r2 r4 r8 r16 r32 r64 r128 s128
  \bar ""
  
  \override Staff.Rest  #'style = #'default
  r\maxima^\markup \typewriter { default }
  r\longa r\breve r1 r2 r4 r8 r16 r32 r64 r128 s128
}

[image of music]


Rhythmic slashes

In "simple" lead-sheets, sometimes no actual notes are written, instead only "rhythmic patterns" and chords above the measures are notated giving the structure of a song. Such a feature is for example useful while creating/transcribing the structure of a song and also when sharing lead sheets with guitarists or jazz musicians. The standard support for this using \repeat percent is unsuitable here since the first beat has to be an ordinary note or rest. This example shows two solutions to this problem, by redefining ordinary rests to be printed as slashes. (If the duration of each beat is not a quarter note, replace the r4 in the definitions with a rest of the appropriate duration).

% Macro to print single slash
rs = {
  \once \override Rest #'stencil = #ly:percent-repeat-item-interface::beat-slash
  \once \override Rest #'thickness = #0.48
  \once \override Rest #'slope = #1.7
  r4
}

% Function to print a specified number of slashes
comp = #(define-music-function (parser location count) ( integer?)
  #{
    \override Rest #'stencil = #ly:percent-repeat-item-interface::beat-slash
    \override Rest #'thickness = #0.48
    \override Rest #'slope = #1.7
    \repeat unfold $count { r4 }
    \revert Rest #'stencil
  #}
)

\score {
  \relative c' {
    c4 d e f |
    \rs \rs \rs \rs |
    \comp #4 |
  }
}

[image of music]


Suppressing warnings for clashing note columns

If notes from two voices with stems in the same direction are placed at the same position, and both voices have no shift or the same shift specified, the error message "warning: ignoring too many clashing note columns" will appear when compiling the LilyPond file. This message can be suppressed by setting the 'ignore-collision property of the NoteColumn object to #t.

ignore = \override NoteColumn #'ignore-collision = ##t

\relative c' {
  <<
    \ignore
    { \stemDown f2 g }
    \\
    { c2 c, }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Time signature in parentheses

The time signature can be enclosed within parentheses.

\relative c'' {
  \override Staff.TimeSignature #'stencil = #(lambda (grob)
    (bracketify-stencil (ly:time-signature::print grob) Y 0.1 0.2 0.1))
  \time 2/4
  a4 b8 c
}

[image of music]


Transcription of Ancient music with incipit

As a workaround to get real incipits which are independent from the main score these are included as a markup into the field normally used for the instrument name. As for now lyrics can only be added as a direct markup. It doesn’t unfortunately conform with the spacing of the main lyrics.

global = {
  \set Score.skipBars = ##t
  \key g \major
  \time 4/4
  
  %make the staff lines invisible on staves
  \override Staff.BarLine #'transparent = ##t
  \skip 1*8 % the actual music

  % let finis bar go through all staves
  \override Staff.BarLine #'transparent = ##f

  % finis bar
  \bar "|."
}

  
discantusNotes = {
  \transpose c' c'' {
    \clef "treble"
    d'2. d'4 |
    b e' d'2 |
    c'4 e'4.( d'8 c' b |
    a4) b a2 |
    b4.( c'8 d'4) c'4 |
    \once \override NoteHead #'transparent = ##t c'1 |
    b\breve |
  }
}

discantusLyrics = \lyricmode {
  Ju -- bi -- |
  la -- te De -- |
  o, om --
  nis ter -- |
  ra, __ om- |
  "..." |
  -us. |
}

altusNotes = {
  \transpose c' c'' {
    \clef "treble"
    r2 g2. e4 fis g | % two bars
    a2 g4 e |
    fis g4.( fis16 e fis4) |
    g1 |
    \once \override NoteHead #'transparent = ##t g1 |
    g\breve |
  }
}

altusLyrics = \lyricmode {
  Ju -- bi -- la -- te | % two bars
  De -- o, om -- |
  nis ter -- ra, |
  "..." |
  -us. |
}

tenorNotes = {
  \transpose c' c' {
    \clef "treble_8"
    R1 |
    R1 |
    R1 |
    r2 d'2. d'4 b e' | % two bars
    \once \override NoteHead #'transparent = ##t e'1 |
    d'\breve |
  }
}

tenorLyrics = \lyricmode {
  Ju -- bi -- la -- te | % two bars
  "..." |
  -us. 
}

bassusNotes = {
  \transpose c' c' {
    \clef "bass"
    R1 |
    R1 |
    R1 |
    R1 |
    g2. e4 |
    \once \override NoteHead #'transparent = ##t e1 |
    g\breve |
  }
}

bassusLyrics = \lyricmode {
  Ju -- bi- |
  "..." |
  -us. 
}

incipitDiscantus = \markup{
	\score{
		{
		\set Staff.instrumentName="Discantus "
		\override NoteHead   #'style = #'neomensural
		\override Rest #'style = #'neomensural
		\override Staff.TimeSignature #'style = #'neomensural
		\cadenzaOn 
		\clef "neomensural-c1"
		\key f \major
		\time 2/2
	  	c''1._"IV-" s2  %two bars
	  	\skip 1*8 % eight bars
    	}
	\layout {
		\context {\Voice
			\remove Ligature_bracket_engraver
			\consists Mensural_ligature_engraver
		}
		line-width=4.5\cm 
	}
	}
}

incipitAltus = \markup{
	\score{
		{ 
		\set Staff.instrumentName="Altus "
		\override NoteHead   #'style = #'neomensural
		\override Rest #'style = #'neomensural
		\override Staff.TimeSignature #'style = #'neomensural
		\cadenzaOn 
		\clef "neomensural-c3"
		\key f \major
		\time 2/2
	  	r1        % one bar
        f'1._"IV-" s2   % two bars
        \skip 1*7 % seven bars
		}
	\layout {
		\context {\Voice
			\remove Ligature_bracket_engraver
			\consists Mensural_ligature_engraver
		}
		line-width=4.5\cm 
	}
	}
}

incipitTenor = \markup{
    \score{ {
    \set Staff.instrumentName = "Tenor  "
    \override NoteHead   #'style = #'neomensural
	\override Rest #'style = #'neomensural
	\override Staff.TimeSignature #'style = #'neomensural
	\cadenzaOn 
	\clef "neomensural-c4"
	\key f \major
	\time 2/2
    r\longa   % four bars
    r\breve   % two bars
    r1        % one bar
    c'1._"IV-" s2   % two bars
    \skip 1   % one bar
    }
    \layout {
		\context {\Voice
			\remove Ligature_bracket_engraver
			\consists Mensural_ligature_engraver
		}
		line-width=4.5\cm 
}
}
}

incipitBassus = \markup{
    \score{ {
    \set Staff.instrumentName = "Bassus  "
    \override NoteHead   #'style = #'neomensural
	\override Rest #'style = #'neomensural
	\override Staff.TimeSignature #'style = #'neomensural
	\cadenzaOn 
	\clef "bass"
	\key f \major
	\time 2/2
    % incipit
    r\maxima  % eight bars
    f1._"IV-" s2    % two bars
    }
    \layout {
		\context {\Voice
			\remove Ligature_bracket_engraver
			\consists Mensural_ligature_engraver
		}
		line-width=4.5\cm 
            }
     }
}

%StaffGroup is used instead of ChoirStaff to get bar lines between systems
\score {
  <<
  \new StaffGroup = choirStaff <<
    \new Voice =
      "discantusNotes" << \global 
      \set Staff.instrumentName=\incipitDiscantus   
      \discantusNotes >>
    \new Lyrics =
      "discantusLyrics" \lyricsto discantusNotes { \discantusLyrics }
      
    \new Voice =
      "altusNotes" << \global 
      \set Staff.instrumentName=\incipitAltus 
      \altusNotes >>
    \new Lyrics =
      "altusLyrics" \lyricsto altusNotes { \altusLyrics }
     
    \new Voice =
      "tenorNotes" << \global 
      \set Staff.instrumentName=\incipitTenor 
      \tenorNotes >>
    \new Lyrics =
      "tenorLyrics" \lyricsto tenorNotes { \tenorLyrics }
     
    \new Voice =
      "bassusNotes" << \global 
      \set Staff.instrumentName=\incipitBassus
      \bassusNotes >>
      >>
    \new Lyrics =
      "bassusLyrics" \lyricsto bassusNotes { \bassusLyrics } 
    %Keep the bass lyrics outside of the staff group to avoid bar lines
    %between the lyrics.
  >>
  
  \layout {
    \context {
      \Score

      % no bars in staves
      \override BarLine #'transparent = ##t
    }
    % the next three instructions keep the lyrics between the barlines
	\context { \Lyrics 
	   \consists "Bar_engraver" 
	   \override BarLine #'transparent = ##t } 
	\context { \StaffGroup \consists "Separating_line_group_engraver" }
    \context {
      \Voice

      % no slurs
      \override Slur #'transparent = ##t

      % Comment in the below "\remove" command to allow line
      % breaking also at those barlines where a note overlaps
      % into the next bar.  The command is commented out in this
      % short example score, but especially for large scores, you
      % will typically yield better line breaking and thus improve
      % overall spacing if you comment in the following command.
      %\remove "Forbid_line_break_engraver"
    }
    	indent=5\cm
  }
}

[image of music]


Tweaking clef properties

The command \clef "treble_8" is equivalent to setting clefGlyph, clefPosition (which controls the vertical position of the clef), middleCPosition and clefOctavation. A clef is printed when any of the properties except middleCPosition are changed.

Note that changing the glyph, the position of the clef, or the octavation does not in itself change the position of subsequent notes on the staff: the position of middle C must also be specified to do this. The positional parameters are relative to the staff center line, positive numbers displacing upwards, counting one for each line and space. The clefOctavation value would normally be set to 7, -7, 15 or -15, but other values are valid.

When a clef change takes place at a line break the new clef symbol is printed at both the end of the previous line and the beginning of the new line by default. If the warning clef at the end of the previous line is not required it can be suppressed by setting the Staff property explicitClefVisibility to the value end-of-line-invisible. The default behavior can be recovered with \unset Staff.explicitClefVisibility.

The following examples show the possibilities when setting these properties manually. On the first line, the manual changes preserve the standard relative positioning of clefs and notes, whereas on the second line, they do not.

\layout { ragged-right = ##t }

{
  % The default treble clef
  c'1
  % The standard bass clef
  \set Staff.clefGlyph = #"clefs.F"
  \set Staff.clefPosition = #2
  \set Staff.middleCPosition = #6
  c'1
  % The baritone clef
  \set Staff.clefGlyph = #"clefs.C"
  \set Staff.clefPosition = #4
  \set Staff.middleCPosition = #4
  c'1
  % The standard choral tenor clef
  \set Staff.clefGlyph = #"clefs.G"
  \set Staff.clefPosition = #-2
  \set Staff.clefOctavation = #-7
  \set Staff.middleCPosition = #1
  c'1
  % A non-standard clef
  \set Staff.clefPosition = #0
  \set Staff.clefOctavation = #0
  \set Staff.middleCPosition = #-4
  c'1 \break

  % The following clef changes do not preserve
  % the normal relationship between notes and clefs:

  \set Staff.clefGlyph = #"clefs.F"
  \set Staff.clefPosition = #2
  c'1
  \set Staff.clefGlyph = #"clefs.G"
  c'1
  \set Staff.clefGlyph = #"clefs.C"
  c'1
  \set Staff.clefOctavation = #7
  c'1
  \set Staff.clefOctavation = #0
  \set Staff.clefPosition = #0
  c'1
  
  % Return to the normal clef:

  \set Staff.middleCPosition = #0
  c'1
}

[image of music]


Using PostScript to generate special note head shapes

When a note head with a special shape cannot easily be generated with graphic markup, PostScript code can be used to generate the shape. This example shows how a parallelogram-shaped note head is generated.

parallelogram =
  #(ly:make-stencil (list 'embedded-ps
    "gsave
      currentpoint translate
      newpath
      0 0.25 moveto
      1.3125 0.75 lineto
      1.3125 -0.25 lineto
      0 -0.75 lineto
      closepath
      fill
      grestore" )
    (cons 0 1.3125)
    (cons 0 0))

myNoteHeads = \override NoteHead #'stencil = \parallelogram
normalNoteHeads = \revert NoteHead #'stencil

\relative c'' {
  \myNoteHeads
  g4 d'
  \normalNoteHeads
  <f, \tweak #'stencil \parallelogram b e>4 d
}

[image of music]


Using the \tweak command to tweak individual grobs

With the \tweak command, every grob can be tuned directly. Here are some examples of available tweaks.

\relative c' {
  \time 2/4
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(right)
  <
    \tweak #'font-size #3 c
    \tweak #'color #red d-\tweak #'font-size #8 -4
    \tweak #'style #'cross g
    \tweak #'duration-log #2 a
  >2
}

[image of music]


Vertically aligned dynamics and textscripts

By setting the 'Y-extent property to a suitable value, all DynamicLineSpanner objects (hairpins and dynamic texts) can be aligned to a common reference point, regardless of their actual extent. This way, every element will be vertically aligned, thus producing a more pleasing output.

The same idea is used to align the text scripts along their baseline.

music = \relative c'' {
  c2\p^\markup { gorgeous } c\f^\markup { fantastic }
  c4\p c\f\> c c\!\p
}

{
  \music \break
  \override DynamicLineSpanner #'staff-padding = #2.0
  \override DynamicLineSpanner #'Y-extent = #'(-1.5 . 1.5)
  \override TextScript #'Y-extent = #'(-1.5 . 1.5)
  \music
}

[image of music]


Vertically aligning ossias and lyrics

This snippet demonstrates the use of the context properties alignBelowContext and alignAboveContext to control the positioning of lyrics and ossias.

\paper {
  ragged-right = ##t
}

\relative c' <<
  \new Staff = "1" { c4 c s2 }
  \new Staff = "2" { c4 c s2 }
  \new Staff = "3" { c4 c s2 }
  { \skip 2
    <<
      \lyrics {
        \set alignBelowContext = #"1"
        lyrics4 below
      }
      \new Staff \with {
        alignAboveContext = #"3"
        fontSize = #-2
        \override StaffSymbol #'staff-space = #(magstep -2)
        \remove "Time_signature_engraver"
      } {
        \times 4/6 {
          \override TextScript #'padding = #3
          c8[^"ossia above" d e d e f]
        }
      }
    >>
  }
>>

[image of music]


Paper and layout

These snippets illustrate the Notation Reference, section Spacing issues.


Aligning and centering instrument names

The horizontal alignment of instrument names is tweaked by changing the Staff.InstrumentName #'self-alignment-X property. The \layout variables indent and short-indent define the space in which the instrument names are aligned before the first and the following systems, respectively.

\paper {
  left-margin = 3\cm
}

\score {
  \new StaffGroup <<
    \new Staff {
      \override Staff.InstrumentName #'self-alignment-X = #LEFT
      \set Staff.instrumentName = \markup \left-column {
        "Left aligned"
        "instrument name"
      }
      \set Staff.shortInstrumentName = #"Left"
      c''1
      \break
      c''1
    }
    \new Staff {
      \override Staff.InstrumentName #'self-alignment-X = #CENTER
      \set Staff.instrumentName = \markup \center-column {
        Centered
        "instrument name"
      }
      \set Staff.shortInstrumentName = #"Centered"
      g'1
      g'1
    }
    \new Staff {
      \override Staff.InstrumentName #'self-alignment-X = #RIGHT
      \set Staff.instrumentName = \markup \right-column {
        "Right aligned"
        "instrument name"
      }
      \set Staff.shortInstrumentName = #"Right"
      e'1
      e'1
    }
  >>
  \layout {
    ragged-right = ##t
    indent = 4\cm
    short-indent = 2\cm
  }
}

[image of music]


Book parts

\bookpart can be used to split a book into several parts. Each part last page can be affected by ragged-bottom-last. Header and footer markups can detect a part last page, and make the difference with the book last page.

#(set-default-paper-size "a6")

\book {

  %% book paper, which is inherited by all children bookparts
  \paper {
    ragged-last-bottom = ##t
    %% Page footer: add a different part-tagline at part last page
    oddFooterMarkup = \markup {
      \column {
        \fill-line {
          %% Copyright header field only on book first page.
          \on-the-fly #first-page \fromproperty #'header:copyright
        }
        \fill-line {
          %% Part tagline header field only on each part last page.
          \on-the-fly #part-last-page \fromproperty #'header:parttagline
        }
        \fill-line {
          %% Tagline header field only on book last page.
          \on-the-fly #last-page \fromproperty #'header:tagline
        }
      }
    }
  }

  %% book header, which is inherited by the first bookpart
  \header {
    title = "Book title"
    copyright = "Copyright line on book first page"
    parttagline = "Part tagline"
    tagline = "Book tagline"
  }
  
  \bookpart {
    %% a different page breaking function may be used on each part
    \paper { #(define page-breaking optimal-page-breaks) }
    \header { subtitle = "First part" }
    \markup { The first book part }
    \markup { a page break }
    \pageBreak
    \markup { first part last page }
    \markup \wordwrap { with ragged-last-bottom (see the space below this text) }
  }

  \bookpart {
    \header { subtitle = "Second part" }
    { c' }
  }

}

[image of music]


Changing the staff size

Though the simplest way to resize staves is to use #(set-global-staff-size xx), an individual staff’s size can be changed by scaling the properties 'staff-space and fontSize.

<<
  \new Staff {
    \relative c'' {
      \dynamicDown
      c8\ff c c c c c c c
    }
  }
  \new Staff \with {
    fontSize = #-3
    \override StaffSymbol #'staff-space = #(magstep -3)
  } {
    \clef bass
    c8 c c c c\f c c c
  }
>>

[image of music]


Clip systems

This code shows how to clip (extract) snippets from a full score.

This file needs to be run separately with -dclip-systems; the snippets page may not adequately show the results.

The result will be files named ‘base-from-start-to-end[-count].eps’.

#(ly:set-option 'clip-systems)
#(set! output-count 1)

origScore = \score {
  \relative c' {
    \set Staff.instrumentName = #"bla"
    c1
    d1
    \grace c16 e1
    \key d \major
    f1 \break
    \clef bass
    g,1
    fis1
  }
}

\book {
  \score {
    \origScore
    \layout {
      % Each clip-region is a (START . END) pair
      % where both are rhythmic-locations.
      
      % (make-rhythmic-locations BAR-NUMBER NUM DEN)
      % means NUM/DEN whole-notes into bar numbered BAR-NUMBER

      clip-regions = #(list
      (cons
       (make-rhythmic-location 2 0 1)
       (make-rhythmic-location 4 0 1))
      
      (cons
       (make-rhythmic-location 0 0 1)
       (make-rhythmic-location 4 0 1))

      (cons
       (make-rhythmic-location 0 0 1)
       (make-rhythmic-location 6 0 1))
      )
    }
  }
}

#(set! output-count 0)
#(ly:set-option 'clip-systems #f)

\book {
  \score { \origScore }
  \markup { \bold \fontsize #6 clips }
  \score {
    \lyrics {
      \markup { from-2.0.1-to-4.0.1-clip.eps }
      \markup {
        \epsfile #X #30.0 #(format #f "~a-1-from-2.0.1-to-4.0.1-clip.eps"
                            (ly:parser-output-name parser)) }
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Creating blank staves

To create blank staves, generate empty measures then remove the Bar_number_engraver from the Score context, and the Time_signature_engraver, Clef_engraver and Bar_engraver from the Staff context.

#(set-global-staff-size 20)

\score {
  { 
    \repeat unfold 12 { s1 \break } 
  }
  \layout {
    indent = 0\in
    \context {
      \Staff
      \remove "Time_signature_engraver"
      \remove "Clef_engraver"
      \remove "Bar_engraver"
    }
    \context {
      \Score
      \remove "Bar_number_engraver"
    }
  }
}

\paper {
  #(set-paper-size "letter")
  ragged-last-bottom = ##f
  line-width = 7.5\in
  left-margin = 0.5\in
  bottom-margin = 0.25\in
  top-margin = 0.25\in
}

[image of music]


Demonstrating all headers

All header fields with special meanings.

\header {
  copyright = "copyright"
  title = "title"
  subtitle = "subtitle"
  composer = "composer"
  arranger = "arranger"
  instrument = "instrument"
  metre = "metre"
  opus = "opus"
  piece = "piece"
  poet = "poet"
  texidoc = "All header fields with special meanings."
  copyright = "public domain"
  enteredby = "jcn"
  source = "urtext"
}

\layout {
  ragged-right = ##f
}

\score {
  \relative c'' { c1 | c | c | c }
}

\score {
   \relative c'' { c1 | c | c | c }
   \header {
     title = "localtitle"
     subtitle = "localsubtitle"
     composer = "localcomposer"
     arranger = "localarranger"
     instrument = "localinstrument"
     metre = "localmetre"
     opus = "localopus"
     piece = "localpiece"
     poet = "localpoet"
     copyright = "localcopyright"
   }
}

[image of music]


Table of contents

A table of contents is included using \markuplines \table-of-contents. The TOC items are added with the \tocItem command.

#(set-default-paper-size "a6")

\book {
  \markuplines \table-of-contents
  \pageBreak
  \tocItem \markup { The first score }
  \score {
    {
      c'1 \pageBreak
      \mark "A" \tocItem \markup { Mark A }
      d'1
    }
  }
  \pageBreak
  \tocItem \markup { The second score }
  \score {
    { e'1 }
    \header { piece = "Second score" }
  }
}

[image of music]


Titles

These snippets illustrate the Notation Reference, section Titles and headers.


Adding the current date to a score

With a little Scheme code, the current date can easily be added to a score.

% first, define a variable to hold the formatted date:
date = #(strftime "%d-%m-%Y" (localtime (current-time)))

% use it in the title block:
\header {
  title = "Including the date!"
  subtitle = \date
}

\score {
  \relative c'' {
    c4 c c c
  }
}
% and use it in a \markup block:
\markup {
  \date
}

[image of music]


Aligning and centering instrument names

The horizontal alignment of instrument names is tweaked by changing the Staff.InstrumentName #'self-alignment-X property. The \layout variables indent and short-indent define the space in which the instrument names are aligned before the first and the following systems, respectively.

\paper {
  left-margin = 3\cm
}

\score {
  \new StaffGroup <<
    \new Staff {
      \override Staff.InstrumentName #'self-alignment-X = #LEFT
      \set Staff.instrumentName = \markup \left-column {
        "Left aligned"
        "instrument name"
      }
      \set Staff.shortInstrumentName = #"Left"
      c''1
      \break
      c''1
    }
    \new Staff {
      \override Staff.InstrumentName #'self-alignment-X = #CENTER
      \set Staff.instrumentName = \markup \center-column {
        Centered
        "instrument name"
      }
      \set Staff.shortInstrumentName = #"Centered"
      g'1
      g'1
    }
    \new Staff {
      \override Staff.InstrumentName #'self-alignment-X = #RIGHT
      \set Staff.instrumentName = \markup \right-column {
        "Right aligned"
        "instrument name"
      }
      \set Staff.shortInstrumentName = #"Right"
      e'1
      e'1
    }
  >>
  \layout {
    ragged-right = ##t
    indent = 4\cm
    short-indent = 2\cm
  }
}

[image of music]


Demonstrating all headers

All header fields with special meanings.

\header {
  copyright = "copyright"
  title = "title"
  subtitle = "subtitle"
  composer = "composer"
  arranger = "arranger"
  instrument = "instrument"
  metre = "metre"
  opus = "opus"
  piece = "piece"
  poet = "poet"
  texidoc = "All header fields with special meanings."
  copyright = "public domain"
  enteredby = "jcn"
  source = "urtext"
}

\layout {
  ragged-right = ##f
}

\score {
  \relative c'' { c1 | c | c | c }
}

\score {
   \relative c'' { c1 | c | c | c }
   \header {
     title = "localtitle"
     subtitle = "localsubtitle"
     composer = "localcomposer"
     arranger = "localarranger"
     instrument = "localinstrument"
     metre = "localmetre"
     opus = "localopus"
     piece = "localpiece"
     poet = "localpoet"
     copyright = "localcopyright"
   }
}

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Spacing

These snippets illustrate the Notation Reference, section Spacing issues.


Adjusting lyrics vertical spacing

This snippet shows how to bring the lyrics line closer to the staff.

% Default layout:
<<
  \new Staff \new Voice = melody \relative c' {
    c4 d e f
    g4 f e d
    c1
  }
  \new Lyrics \lyricsto melody { aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa }

% Reducing the minimum space below the staff and above the lyrics:
  \new Staff \with {
    \override VerticalAxisGroup #'minimum-Y-extent = #'(-1 . 4)
  }
  \new Voice = melody \relative c' {
    c4 d e f
    g4 f e d
    c1
  }
  \new Lyrics \with {
    \override VerticalAxisGroup #'minimum-Y-extent = #'(-1.2 . 1)
  }
  \lyricsto melody { aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa aa }
>>

[image of music]


Allowing fingerings to be printed inside the staff

By default, vertically oriented fingerings are positioned outside the staff. However, this behavior can be canceled.

\relative c' {
  <c-1 e-2 g-3 b-5>2
  \once \override Fingering #'staff-padding = #'()
  <c-1 e-2 g-3 b-5>2
}

[image of music]


Page label

Page labels may be placed inside music or at top-level, and referred to in markups.

#(set-default-paper-size "a6")

#(define-markup-command (toc-line layout props label text)
  (symbol? markup?)
  (interpret-markup layout props
   (markup #:fill-line (text #:page-ref label "8" "?"))))

\book {
  \markup \huge \fill-line { \null Title Page \null }

  \pageBreak

  \label #'toc
  \markup \column {
    \large \fill-line { \null Table of contents \null }
    \toc-line #'toc "Table of contents"
    \toc-line #'firstScore "First Score"
    \toc-line #'markA "Mark A"
    \toc-line #'markB "Mark B"
    \toc-line #'markC "Mark C"
    \toc-line #'unknown "Unknown label"
  }

  \pageBreak

  \label #'firstScore
  \score {
    \new Staff \relative c' {
      c2 c
      \mark \markup {
        A (page \concat { \page-ref #'markA "0" "?" ) }
      } \label #'markA
      c2 c
      \pageBreak
      \mark "B" \label #'markB
      d2 d
      d2 d
      \once \override Score.RehearsalMark #'break-visibility =
        #begin-of-line-invisible
      \mark "C" \label #'markC
    }
    \header { piece = "First score" }
  }
}

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Proportional strict notespacing

If strict-note-spacing is set spacing of notes is not influenced by bars or clefs within a system. Rather, they are placed just before the note that occurs at the same time. This may cause collisions.

\paper {
  ragged-right = ##t
}

\relative c'' <<
  \override Score.SpacingSpanner #'strict-note-spacing = ##t 
  \set Score.proportionalNotationDuration = #(ly:make-moment 1 16)
  \new Staff {
    c8[ c \clef alto c c \grace { d16 } c8 c] c4
    c2 \grace { c16[ c16] } c2
  }
  \new Staff {
    c2 \times 2/3 { c8 \clef bass cis,, c } c4
    c1
  }
>>

[image of music]


Vertically aligned dynamics and textscripts

By setting the 'Y-extent property to a suitable value, all DynamicLineSpanner objects (hairpins and dynamic texts) can be aligned to a common reference point, regardless of their actual extent. This way, every element will be vertically aligned, thus producing a more pleasing output.

The same idea is used to align the text scripts along their baseline.

music = \relative c'' {
  c2\p^\markup { gorgeous } c\f^\markup { fantastic }
  c4\p c\f\> c c\!\p
}

{
  \music \break
  \override DynamicLineSpanner #'staff-padding = #2.0
  \override DynamicLineSpanner #'Y-extent = #'(-1.5 . 1.5)
  \override TextScript #'Y-extent = #'(-1.5 . 1.5)
  \music
}

[image of music]


Vertically aligning ossias and lyrics

This snippet demonstrates the use of the context properties alignBelowContext and alignAboveContext to control the positioning of lyrics and ossias.

\paper {
  ragged-right = ##t
}

\relative c' <<
  \new Staff = "1" { c4 c s2 }
  \new Staff = "2" { c4 c s2 }
  \new Staff = "3" { c4 c s2 }
  { \skip 2
    <<
      \lyrics {
        \set alignBelowContext = #"1"
        lyrics4 below
      }
      \new Staff \with {
        alignAboveContext = #"3"
        fontSize = #-2
        \override StaffSymbol #'staff-space = #(magstep -2)
        \remove "Time_signature_engraver"
      } {
        \times 4/6 {
          \override TextScript #'padding = #3
          c8[^"ossia above" d e d e f]
        }
      }
    >>
  }
>>

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MIDI

These snippets illustrate the Notation Reference, section MIDI output.


Changing MIDI output to one channel per voice

When outputting MIDI, the default behavior is for each staff to represent one MIDI channel, with all the voices on a staff amalgamated. This minimizes the risk of running out of MIDI channels, since there are only 16 available per track.

However, by moving the Staff_performer to the Voice context, each voice on a staff can have its own MIDI channel, as is demonstrated by the following example: despite being on the same staff, two MIDI channels are created, each with a different midiInstrument.

\score {
  \new Staff <<
    \new Voice \relative c''' {
      \set midiInstrument = #"flute"
      \voiceOne
      \key g \major
      \time 2/2
      r2 g-"Flute" ~
      g fis ~
      fis4 g8 fis e2 ~
      e4 d8 cis d2
    }
    \new Voice \relative c'' {
      \set midiInstrument = #"clarinet"
      \voiceTwo
      b1-"Clarinet"
      a2. b8 a
      g2. fis8 e
      fis2 r
    }
  >>
  \layout { }
  \midi {
    \context {
      \Staff
      \remove "Staff_performer"
    }
    \context {
      \Voice
      \consists "Staff_performer"      
    }
    \context {
      \Score
      tempoWholesPerMinute = #(ly:make-moment 72 2)
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Demo MidiInstruments

Problem: How to know which midiInstrument would be best for your composition? Solution: A LilyPond demo file.

\header {
  title = "Demo of all midi sounds"
  arranger = "Myself "
}

baseMelody = \relative c' {
  c4.\mf g c16 b' c d
  e16 d e f g4 g'4 r
  R1
}
melody = {
  \tempo 4 = 150
  \baseMelody
}

\score {
  \new Staff <<
    \new Voice \melody
  >>
  \layout { }
}

\score { 
  \new Staff <<
    \new Voice {
      r\mf
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"acoustic grand" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"bright acoustic" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"electric grand" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"honky-tonk" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"electric piano 1" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"electric piano 2" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"harpsichord" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"clav" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"celesta" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"glockenspiel" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"music box" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"vibraphone" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"marimba" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"xylophone" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"tubular bells" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"dulcimer" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"drawbar organ" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"percussive organ" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"rock organ" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"church organ" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"reed organ" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"accordion" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"harmonica" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"concertina" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"acoustic guitar (nylon)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"acoustic guitar (steel)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"electric guitar (jazz)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"electric guitar (clean)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"electric guitar (muted)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"overdriven guitar" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"distorted guitar" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"acoustic bass" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"electric bass (finger)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"electric bass (pick)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"fretless bass" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"slap bass 1" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"slap bass 2" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"synth bass 1" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"synth bass 2" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"violin" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"viola" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"cello" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"contrabass" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"tremolo strings" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"pizzicato strings" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"orchestral strings" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"timpani" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"string ensemble 1" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"string ensemble 2" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"synthstrings 1" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"synthstrings 2" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"choir aahs" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"voice oohs" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"synth voice" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"orchestra hit" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"trumpet" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"trombone" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"tuba" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"muted trumpet" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"french horn" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"brass section" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"synthbrass 1" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"synthbrass 2" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"soprano sax" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"alto sax" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"tenor sax" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"baritone sax" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"oboe" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"english horn" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"bassoon" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"clarinet" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"piccolo" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"flute" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"recorder" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"pan flute" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"blown bottle" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"shakuhachi" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"whistle" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"ocarina" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"lead 1 (square)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"lead 2 (sawtooth)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"lead 3 (calliope)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"lead 4 (chiff)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"lead 5 (charang)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"lead 6 (voice)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"lead 7 (fifths)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"lead 8 (bass+lead)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"pad 1 (new age)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"pad 2 (warm)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"pad 3 (polysynth)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"pad 4 (choir)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"pad 5 (bowed)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"pad 6 (metallic)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"pad 7 (halo)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"pad 8 (sweep)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"fx 1 (rain)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"fx 2 (soundtrack)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"fx 3 (crystal)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"fx 4 (atmosphere)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"fx 5 (brightness)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"fx 6 (goblins)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"fx 7 (echoes)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"fx 8 (sci-fi)" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"sitar" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"banjo" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"shamisen" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"koto" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"kalimba" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"bagpipe" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"fiddle" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"shanai" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"tinkle bell" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"agogo" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"steel drums" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"woodblock" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"taiko drum" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"melodic tom" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"synth drum" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"reverse cymbal" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"guitar fret noise" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"breath noise" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"seashore" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"bird tweet" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"telephone ring" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"helicopter" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"applause" \melody
      \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"gunshot" \melody
    }
  >>
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


Templates


Ancient notation template – modern transcription of gregorian music

This example demonstrates how to do modern transcription of Gregorian music. Gregorian music has no measure, no stems; it uses only half and quarter note heads, and special marks, indicating rests of different length.

\include "gregorian.ly"

chant = \relative c' {
  \set Score.timing = ##f
  f4 a2 \divisioMinima
  g4 b a2 f2 \divisioMaior
  g4( f) f( g) a2 \finalis
}

verba = \lyricmode {
  Lo -- rem ip -- sum do -- lor sit a -- met
}

\score {
  \new Staff <<
    \new Voice = "melody" \chant
    \new Lyrics = "one" \lyricsto melody \verba
  >>
  \layout {
    \context {
      \Staff
      \remove "Time_signature_engraver"
      \remove "Bar_engraver"
      \override Stem #'transparent = ##t
    }
    \context {
      \Voice
      \override Stem #'length = #0
    }
    \context {
      \Score
      barAlways = ##t
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Ancient notation template – modern transcription of mensural music

When transcribing mensural music, an incipit at the beginning of the piece is useful to indicate the original key and tempo. While today musicians are used to bar lines in order to faster recognize rhythmic patterns, bar lines were not yet invented during the period of mensural music; in fact, the meter often changed after every few notes. As a compromise, bar lines are often printed between the staves rather than on the staves.

global = {
  \set Score.skipBars = ##t

  % incipit
  \once \override Score.SystemStartBracket #'transparent = ##t
  \override Score.SpacingSpanner #'spacing-increment = #1.0 % tight spacing
  \key f \major
  \time 2/2
  \once \override Staff.TimeSignature #'style = #'neomensural
  \override Voice.NoteHead #'style = #'neomensural
  \override Voice.Rest #'style = #'neomensural
  \set Staff.printKeyCancellation = ##f
  \cadenzaOn % turn off bar lines
  \skip 1*10
  \once \override Staff.BarLine #'transparent = ##f
  \bar "||"
  \skip 1*1 % need this extra \skip such that clef change comes
            % after bar line
  \bar ""

  % main
  \revert Score.SpacingSpanner #'spacing-increment % CHECK: no effect?
  \cadenzaOff % turn bar lines on again
  \once \override Staff.Clef #'full-size-change = ##t
  \set Staff.forceClef = ##t
  \key g \major
  \time 4/4
  \override Voice.NoteHead #'style = #'default
  \override Voice.Rest #'style = #'default

  % FIXME: setting printKeyCancellation back to #t must not
  % occur in the first bar after the incipit.  Dto. for forceClef.
  % Therefore, we need an extra \skip.
  \skip 1*1
  \set Staff.printKeyCancellation = ##t
  \set Staff.forceClef = ##f

  \skip 1*7 % the actual music

  % let finis bar go through all staves
  \override Staff.BarLine #'transparent = ##f

  % finis bar
  \bar "|."
}

discantusNotes = {
  \transpose c' c'' {
    \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Discantus  "

    % incipit
    \clef "neomensural-c1"
    c'1. s2   % two bars
    \skip 1*8 % eight bars
    \skip 1*1 % one bar

    % main
    \clef "treble"
    d'2. d'4 |
    b e' d'2 |
    c'4 e'4.( d'8 c' b |
    a4) b a2 |
    b4.( c'8 d'4) c'4 |
    \once \override NoteHead #'transparent = ##t c'1 |
    b\breve |
  }
}

discantusLyrics = \lyricmode {
  % incipit
  IV-

  % main
  Ju -- bi -- |
  la -- te De -- |
  o, om --
  nis ter -- |
  ra, __ om- |
  "..." |
  -us. |
}

altusNotes = {
  \transpose c' c'' {
    \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Altus  "

    % incipit
    \clef "neomensural-c3"
    r1        % one bar
    f1. s2    % two bars
    \skip 1*7 % seven bars
    \skip 1*1 % one bar

    % main
    \clef "treble"
    r2 g2. e4 fis g | % two bars
    a2 g4 e |
    fis g4.( fis16 e fis4) |
    g1 |
    \once \override NoteHead #'transparent = ##t g1 |
    g\breve |
  }
}

altusLyrics = \lyricmode {
  % incipit
  IV-

  % main
  Ju -- bi -- la -- te | % two bars
  De -- o, om -- |
  nis ter -- ra, |
  "..." |
  -us. |
}

tenorNotes = {
  \transpose c' c' {
    \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Tenor  "

    % incipit
    \clef "neomensural-c4"
    r\longa   % four bars
    r\breve   % two bars
    r1        % one bar
    c'1. s2   % two bars
    \skip 1*1 % one bar
    \skip 1*1 % one bar

    % main
    \clef "treble_8"
    R1 |
    R1 |
    R1 |
    r2 d'2. d'4 b e' | % two bars
    \once \override NoteHead #'transparent = ##t e'1 |
    d'\breve |
  }
}

tenorLyrics = \lyricmode {
  % incipit
  IV-

  % main
  Ju -- bi -- la -- te | % two bars
  "..." |
  -us. |
}

bassusNotes = {
  \transpose c' c' {
    \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Bassus  "

    % incipit
    \clef "bass"
    r\maxima  % eight bars
    f1. s2    % two bars
    \skip 1*1 % one bar

    % main
    \clef "bass"
    R1 |
    R1 |
    R1 |
    R1 |
    g2. e4 |
    \once \override NoteHead #'transparent = ##t e1 |
    g\breve |
  }
}

bassusLyrics = \lyricmode {
  % incipit
  IV-

  % main
  Ju -- bi- |
  "..." |
  -us. |
}

\score {
  \new StaffGroup = choirStaff <<
    \new Voice =
      "discantusNotes" << \global \discantusNotes >>
    \new Lyrics =
      "discantusLyrics" \lyricsto discantusNotes { \discantusLyrics }
    \new Voice =
      "altusNotes" << \global \altusNotes >>
    \new Lyrics =
      "altusLyrics" \lyricsto altusNotes { \altusLyrics }
    \new Voice =
      "tenorNotes" << \global \tenorNotes >>
    \new Lyrics =
      "tenorLyrics" \lyricsto tenorNotes { \tenorLyrics }
    \new Voice =
      "bassusNotes" << \global \bassusNotes >>
    \new Lyrics =
      "bassusLyrics" \lyricsto bassusNotes { \bassusLyrics }
  >>
  \layout {
    \context {
      \Score

      % no bars in staves
      \override BarLine #'transparent = ##t

      % incipit should not start with a start delimiter
      \remove "System_start_delimiter_engraver"
    }
    \context {
      \Voice

      % no slurs
      \override Slur #'transparent = ##t

      % Comment in the below "\remove" command to allow line
      % breaking also at those barlines where a note overlaps
      % into the next bar.  The command is commented out in this
      % short example score, but especially for large scores, you
      % will typically yield better line breaking and thus improve
      % overall spacing if you comment in the following command.
      %\remove "Forbid_line_break_engraver"
    }
  }
}



[image of music]


Jazz combo template

This is quite an advanced template, for a jazz ensemble. Note that all instruments are notated in \key c \major. This refers to the key in concert pitch; the key will be automatically transposed if the music is within a \transpose section.

\header {
  title = "Song"
  subtitle = "(tune)"
  composer = "Me"
  meter = "moderato"
  piece = "Swing"
  tagline = \markup {
    \column {
      "LilyPond example file by Amelie Zapf,"
      "Berlin 07/07/2003"
    }
  }
}

%#(set-global-staff-size 16)
\include "english.ly"

%%%%%%%%%%%% Some macros %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

sl = {
  \override NoteHead #'style = #'slash
  \override Stem #'transparent = ##t
}
nsl = {
  \revert NoteHead #'style
  \revert Stem #'transparent
}
crOn = \override NoteHead #'style = #'cross
crOff = \revert NoteHead #'style

%% insert chord name style stuff here.

jazzChords = { }

%%%%%%%%%%%% Keys'n'thangs %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

global = { \time 4/4 }

Key = { \key c \major }

% ############ Horns ############

% ------ Trumpet ------
trpt = \transpose c d \relative c'' {
  \Key
  c1 | c | c |
}
trpHarmony = \transpose c' d {
  \jazzChords
}
trumpet = {
  \global
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Trumpet"
  \clef treble
  <<
    \trpt
  >>
}

% ------ Alto Saxophone ------
alto = \transpose c a \relative c' {
  \Key
  c1 | c | c |
}
altoHarmony = \transpose c' a {
  \jazzChords
}
altoSax = {
  \global
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Alto Sax"
  \clef treble
  <<
    \alto
  >>
}

% ------ Baritone Saxophone ------
bari = \transpose c a' \relative c {
  \Key
  c1
  c1
  \sl
  d4^"Solo" d d d
  \nsl
}
bariHarmony = \transpose c' a \chordmode {
  \jazzChords s1 s d2:maj e:m7
}
bariSax = {
  \global
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Bari Sax"
  \clef treble
  <<
    \bari
  >>
}

% ------ Trombone ------
tbone = \relative c {
  \Key
  c1 | c | c
}
tboneHarmony = \chordmode {
  \jazzChords
}
trombone = {
  \global
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Trombone"
  \clef bass
  <<
    \tbone
  >>
}

% ############ Rhythm Section #############

% ------ Guitar ------
gtr = \relative c'' {
  \Key
  c1
  \sl
  b4 b b b
  \nsl
  c1
}
gtrHarmony = \chordmode {
  \jazzChords
  s1 c2:min7+ d2:maj9
}
guitar = {
  \global
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Guitar"
  \clef treble
  <<
    \gtr
  >>
}

%% ------ Piano ------
rhUpper = \relative c'' {
  \voiceOne
  \Key
  c1 | c | c
}
rhLower = \relative c' {
  \voiceTwo
  \Key
  e1 | e | e
}

lhUpper = \relative c' {
  \voiceOne
  \Key
  g1 | g | g
}
lhLower = \relative c {
  \voiceTwo
  \Key
  c1 | c | c
}

PianoRH = {
  \clef treble
  \global
  \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"acoustic grand"
  <<
    \new Voice = "one" \rhUpper
    \new Voice = "two" \rhLower
  >>
}
PianoLH = {
  \clef bass
  \global
  \set Staff.midiInstrument = "acoustic grand"
  <<
    \new Voice = "one" \lhUpper
    \new Voice = "two" \lhLower
  >>
}

piano = {
  <<
    \set PianoStaff.instrumentName = #"Piano"
    \new Staff = "upper" \PianoRH
    \new Staff = "lower" \PianoLH
  >>
}

% ------ Bass Guitar ------
Bass = \relative c {
  \Key
  c1 | c | c
}
bass = {
  \global
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Bass"
  \clef bass
  <<
    \Bass
  >>
}

% ------ Drums ------
up = \drummode {
  \voiceOne
  hh4 <hh sn> hh <hh sn>
  hh4 <hh sn> hh <hh sn>
  hh4 <hh sn> hh <hh sn>
}
down = \drummode {
  \voiceTwo
  bd4 s bd s
  bd4 s bd s
  bd4 s bd s
}

drumContents = {
  \global
  <<
    \set DrumStaff.instrumentName = #"Drums"
    \new DrumVoice \up
    \new DrumVoice \down
  >>
}

%%%%%%%%% It All Goes Together Here %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

\score {
  <<
    \new StaffGroup = "horns" <<
      \new Staff = "trumpet" \trumpet
      \new Staff = "altosax" \altoSax
      \new ChordNames = "barichords" \bariHarmony
      \new Staff = "barisax" \bariSax
      \new Staff = "trombone" \trombone
    >>
    
    \new StaffGroup = "rhythm" <<
      \new ChordNames = "chords" \gtrHarmony
      \new Staff = "guitar" \guitar
      \new PianoStaff = "piano" \piano
      \new Staff = "bass" \bass
      \new DrumStaff \drumContents
    >>
  >>
  
  \layout {
    \context { \RemoveEmptyStaffContext }
    \context {
      \Score
      \override BarNumber #'padding = #3
      \override RehearsalMark #'padding = #2
      skipBars = ##t
    }
  }
  
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


Piano template (simple)

Here is a simple piano staff with some notes.

upper = \relative c'' {
  \clef treble
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
  
  a4 b c d  
}

lower = \relative c {
  \clef bass
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
  
  a2 c  
}

\score {
  \new PianoStaff <<
    \set PianoStaff.instrumentName = #"Piano  "
    \new Staff = "upper" \upper
    \new Staff = "lower" \lower
  >>
  \layout { }
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


Piano template with centered dynamics

Many piano scores have the dynamics centered between the two staves. This requires a bit of tweaking to implement, but since the template is right here, you don’t have to do the tweaking yourself.

global = {
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
}

upper = \relative c'' {
  \clef treble
  a4 b c d
}

lower = \relative c {
  \clef bass
  a2 c
}

dynamics = {
  s2\fff\> s4 s\!\pp
}

pedal = {
  s2\sustainOn s\sustainOff
}

\score {
  \new PianoStaff = "PianoStaff_pf" <<
    \new Staff = "Staff_pfUpper" \upper
    \new Dynamics = "Dynamics_pf" \dynamics
    \new Staff = "Staff_pfLower" << \lower >>
    \new Dynamics = "pedal" \pedal
  >>

  \layout {
    % define Dynamics context
    \context {
      \type "Engraver_group"
      \name Dynamics
      \alias Voice
      \consists "Output_property_engraver"
      \consists "Piano_pedal_engraver"
      \consists "Script_engraver"
      \consists "New_dynamic_engraver"
      \consists "Dynamic_align_engraver"
      \consists "Text_engraver"
      \consists "Skip_event_swallow_translator"
      \consists "Axis_group_engraver"

      pedalSustainStrings = #'("Ped." "*Ped." "*")
      pedalUnaCordaStrings = #'("una corda" "" "tre corde")
      \override DynamicLineSpanner #'Y-offset = #0
      \override TextScript #'font-size = #2
      \override TextScript #'font-shape = #'italic
      \override VerticalAxisGroup #'minimum-Y-extent = #'(-1 . 1)
    }
    % modify PianoStaff context to accept Dynamics context
    \context {
      \PianoStaff
      \accepts Dynamics
    }
  }
}

\score {
  \new PianoStaff = "PianoStaff_pf" <<
    \new Staff = "Staff_pfUpper" << \global \upper \dynamics \pedal >>
    \new Staff = "Staff_pfLower" << \global \lower \dynamics \pedal >>
  >>
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


Piano template with centered lyrics

Instead of having a full staff for the melody and lyrics, lyrics can be centered between the staves of a piano staff.

upper = \relative c'' {
  \clef treble
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
  
  a4 b c d  
}

lower = \relative c {
  \clef bass
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
  
  a2 c  
}

text = \lyricmode {
  Aaa Bee Cee Dee
}

\score {
  \new GrandStaff <<
    \new Staff = upper { \new Voice = "singer" \upper }
    \new Lyrics \lyricsto "singer" \text
    \new Staff = lower { \lower }
  >>
  \layout {
    \context {
      \GrandStaff
      \accepts "Lyrics"
    }
    \context {
      \Lyrics
      \consists "Bar_engraver"
    }
  }
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


Piano template with melody and lyrics

Here is a typical song format: one staff with the melody and lyrics, with piano accompaniment underneath.

melody = \relative c'' {
  \clef treble
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
  
  a b c d  
}

text = \lyricmode {
  Aaa Bee Cee Dee
}

upper = \relative c'' {
  \clef treble
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
  
  a4 b c d  
}

lower = \relative c {
  \clef bass
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
  
  a2 c  
}

\score {
  <<
    \new Voice = "mel" { \autoBeamOff \melody }
    \new Lyrics \lyricsto mel \text    
    \new PianoStaff <<
      \new Staff = "upper" \upper
      \new Staff = "lower" \lower
    >>
  >>
  \layout {
    \context { \RemoveEmptyStaffContext }
  }
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


Score for diatonic accordion

A template to write a score for a diatonic accordion.

- There is a horizontal staff indicating if the accordion must be pushed (thick line) or pulled (thin line)

- There is a small rhythmic staff with lyrics that describes the bass buttons to press. The bar lines are made from gridlines

- The tabulator staff for diatonic accordions shows the geographic position of the buttons and not (as for every other instrument) the pitch of the notes; the keys on the melody-side of the accordion are placed in three columns and about 12 rows

In the tabulator staff notation the outermost column is described with notes between lines, the innermost column is described with notes between lines and a cross as accidental, and the middle column is described with notes on a line, whereby the row in the middle is represented on the middle line in the staff.

Some words to transpose piano notes to the diatonic accordion:

1. Every diatonic accordion is built for some keys only (for example, for the keys of C major and F major), so it is important to transpose a piano melody to match one of these keys. Transpose the source code, not only the output because this code is required later on to translate it once more to the tabulator staff. This can be done with the command displayLilyMusic.

2. You have to alternate the push- and pull-direction of the accordion regularly. If the player has a too long part to pull the accordion gets broken. On the other hand, some harmonies are only available in one direction. Considering this, decide which parts of the melody are the push-parts and which the pull-parts.

3. For each pull- or push-part translate the piano notes to the according tabulature representation.

This snippet comes with a useful optional macro for the jEdit text editor.

verse = \lyricmode { Wie gross bist du! Wie gross bist du! }

harmonies = \new ChordNames \chordmode {
  \germanChords
  \set chordChanges = ##t
	bes8 bes8 bes8
  es2 f
  bes1
}

NoStem = \override Stem #'transparent = ##t
NoNoteHead = \override NoteHead #'transparent = ##t
ZeroBeam = \override Beam  #'positions = #'(0 . 0)

staffTabLine = \new Staff \with {
  \remove "Time_signature_engraver"
  \remove "Clef_engraver"
} {
  \override Staff.StaffSymbol #'line-positions = #'(0)
% Shows one horizontal line. The vertical line (simulating a bar-line) is simulated with a gridline
	\set Staff.midiInstrument = #"choir aahs"
	\key c \major
	\relative c''
		{  
			% disable the following line to see the the noteheads while writing the song 
			\NoNoteHead  
			\override NoteHead #'no-ledgers = ##t

			% The beam between 8th-notes is used to draw the push-line
			%How to fast write the push-lines: 
			%	 1. write repeatedly 'c c c c c c c c |' for the whole length of the song 
			%	 2. uncomment the line \NoNoteHead
			%	 3. compile
			%	 4. Mark the positions on which push/pull changes. 
			%	    In the score-picture click on the position the push- or pull-part starts 
                        %           (on the noteHead, the cursor will change to a hand-icon).
			%	    The cursor in the source code will jump just at this position.
			%	  a) If a push-part starts there, replace the 'c' by an 'e['
			%	  b) If a pull-part starts there, replace the 'c' by an 's'
			%	 5. Switch into 'overwrite-mode' by pressing the 'ins' key. 
			%	 6. For the pull-parts overwrite the 'c' with 's' 
			%	 7. For every push-part replace the last 'c' with 'e]' 
			%        8. Switch into 'insert-mode' again 
			%	 9. At last it should look lik e.g. (s s e[ c | c c c c c c c c | c c c c c c e] s s)
			%	10. re-enable the line \NoNoteHead
			\autoBeamOff
			\ZeroBeam 
			 s8 s s e[ c c c c c c e] | s s s s s 
		}
}

%{
%}

% Accordion melody in tabulator score		
% 1. Place a copy of the piano melody below
% 2. Separate piano melody into pull- and push-parts according to the staffTabLine you've already made      
% 3. For each line: Double the line. Remark the 1st one (Keeps unchanged as reference) and then change the second line using the transformation paper
%    or the macros 'conv2diaton push.bsh' and 'conv2diaton pull.bsh' 
% Tips:
% - In jEdit Search & Replace mark the Option 'Keep Dialog'

AccordionTabTwoCBesDur = {
 % pull 1
 %<f' bes'>8 <f' a'>8 <d' bes'>8 | 
<g'' a''>8 <g'' b''>8 <e'' a''>8 | 
 % push 2
 %<g' c''>4 <f' d''> <g' ees''> <f' a'> | 
<g'' a''>4 <d'' eisis''> <g'' bisis''> <d'' f''> | 
 % pull 3
% <f' bes'>2 r8 }
 <g'' a''>2 r8 }

  AccordionTab= { \dynamicUp		
% 1. Place a copy of the piano melody above
% 2. Separate piano melody into pull- and push-parts according to the staffTabLine you've already made      
% 3. For each line: Double the line. Remark the 1st one (Keeps unchanged as reference) and then 
%    change the second line using the transformation paper
% Tips:
% - In jEdit Search & Replace mark the Option 'Keep Dialog'
% - 
\AccordionTabTwoCBesDur
 }


 
 \layout {   
 \context {
   \Staff    	  
   \consists "Grid_point_engraver"

   gridInterval = #(ly:make-moment 4 4) % 4/4 - tact. How many beats per bar

   % The following line has to be adjusted O-F-T-E-N.
   \override GridPoint #'Y-extent = #'(-2 . -21)   
 }
 \context {
    \ChoirStaff
    \remove "System_start_delimiter_engraver" 
 }
}

staffVoice = \new Staff=astaffvoice  {
	\time 4/4
	\set Staff.instrumentName="Voice"
	\set Staff.midiInstrument="voice oohs"
	\key bes \major
	\partial 8*3 
	\clef treble
	{ 	
		\context Voice = "melodyVoi" 
		{ <f' bes'>8 <f' a'>8 <d' bes'>8 | <g' c''>4 <f' d''> <g' es''> <f' a'> | <f' bes'>2 r8 }
	\bar "|."
	}
}

staffAccordionMel = \new Staff  \with { \remove "Clef_engraver" } {
	#(set-accidental-style 'forget) %Set the accidentals (Vorzeichen) for each note, 
					%do not remember them for the rest of the measure.  
	\time 4/4
	\set Staff.instrumentName="Accordion"
	\set Staff.midiInstrument="voice oohs"
	\key c \major
	\clef treble
	{ \AccordionTab \bar "|." }
}

	AltOn = #(define-music-function (parser location mag) (number?)
        	#{ \override Stem #'length = #$(* 7.0 mag)
		\override NoteHead #'font-size =
		#$(inexact->exact (* (/ 6.0 (log 2.0)) (log mag))) #})
     
	AltOff = {
		\revert Stem #'length
		\revert NoteHead #'font-size
		}

BassRhytm = {s4 s8 | c2 c2 | c2 s8 }
LyricBassRhythmI=  \lyricmode { c b | c }

staffBassRhytm = \new Staff=staffbass  \with { \remove "Clef_engraver" } {
	% This is not a RhythmicStaff  because it must be possible to append lyrics.
		
	\override Score.GridLine #'extra-offset = #'( 13.0 . 0.0 ) % x.y
	\override Staff.StaffSymbol #'line-positions = #'( 0 ) 
        % Shows one horizontal line. The vertical line (simulating a bar-line) is simulated by a grid
        % Search for 'grid' in this page to find all related functions 
	\time 4/4
	{ 	
		\context Voice = "VoiceBassRhytm" 
		\stemDown \AltOn #0.6
		\relative c''
		{   
		\BassRhytm
		}
		\AltOff
	\bar "|."
	}
}

\new Score 
\with {
 \consists "Grid_line_span_engraver" %The vertical line (simulating a bar-line) in the staffBassRhytm is a gridline 
}
\new ChoirStaff 
	<<
		\harmonies 
		\staffVoice
		\context Lyrics = "lmelodyVoi" \with {alignBelowContext=astaffvoice} { \lyricsto "melodyVoi" \verse }
		\staffAccordionMel
		\staffTabLine
		\staffBassRhytm
	\context Lyrics = "lBassRhytmAboveI" \with {alignAboveContext=staffbass} \lyricsto VoiceBassRhytm \LyricBassRhythmI
	>>
%}

[image of music]


Single staff template with notes, lyrics, and chords

This template allows the preparation of a song with melody, words, and chords.

melody = \relative c' {
  \clef treble
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
  
  a4 b c d
}

text = \lyricmode {
  Aaa Bee Cee Dee
}

harmonies = \chordmode {
  a2 c
}

\score {
  <<
    \new ChordNames {
      \set chordChanges = ##t
      \harmonies
    }
    \new Voice = "one" { \autoBeamOff \melody }
    \new Lyrics \lyricsto "one" \text
  >>
  \layout { }
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


Single staff template with notes, lyrics, chords and frets

Here is a simple lead sheet template with melody, lyrics, chords and fret diagrams.

% Define the fret diagrams to be used
cFretDiagram = \markup {
  \fret-diagram #"6-x;5-3-3;4-2-2;3-o;2-1-1;1-o;"
}

gFretDiagram = \markup {
  \fret-diagram #"6-3-2;5-2-1;4-o;3-o;2-o;1-3-3;"
}

verseI = \lyricmode {
  \set stanza = #"1."
  This is the first verse
}

verseII = \lyricmode {
  \set stanza = #"2."
  This is the second verse.
}

theChords = \new ChordNames {
  \chordmode {
    % insert the chords for chordnames here
    c2 g4 c
  }
}

staffMelody = \new Staff  {
 \context Voice = "voiceMelody" {
   \key c \major
   \clef treble
   \relative c' {
     % Type notes and fret diagram markups here
     c4^\cFretDiagram d8 e f4^\gFretDiagram g^\cFretDiagram
     \bar "|."
   }
 }
}

\score {
  <<
    \theChords
    \staffMelody
    \new Lyrics = "lyricsI" \lyricmode {
      \lyricsto "voiceMelody" \verseI
    }
    \new Lyrics = "lyricsII" \lyricmode {
      \lyricsto "voiceMelody" \verseII
    }
  >>
  \layout { }
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


Single staff template with notes and chords

Want to prepare a lead sheet with a melody and chords? Look no further!

melody = \relative c' {
  \clef treble
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
  
  f4 e8[ c] d4 g
  a2 ~ a
}

harmonies = \chordmode {
  c4:m f:min7 g:maj c:aug
  d2:dim b:sus
}

\score {
  <<
    \new ChordNames {
      \set chordChanges = ##t
      \harmonies
    }
    \new Staff \melody
  >>  
  \layout{ }
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


Single staff template with notes and lyrics

This small template demonstrates a simple melody with lyrics. Cut and paste, add notes, then words for the lyrics. This example turns off automatic beaming, which is common for vocal parts. To use automatic beaming, change or comment out the relevant line.

melody = \relative c' {
  \clef treble
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
  
  a4 b c d
}

text = \lyricmode {
  Aaa Bee Cee Dee
}

\score{
  <<
    \new Voice = "one" {
      \autoBeamOff
      \melody
    }
    \new Lyrics \lyricsto "one" \text
  >>
  \layout { }
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


Single staff template with only notes

This very simple template gives you a staff with notes, suitable for a solo instrument or a melodic fragment. Cut and paste this into a file, add notes, and you’re finished!

melody = \relative c' {
  \clef treble
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
  
  a4 b c d
}

\score {
  \new Staff \melody
  \layout { }
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


String quartet template (simple)

This template demonstrates a simple string quartet. It also uses a \global section for time and key signatures

global= {
  \time 4/4
  \key c \major
}

violinOne = \new Voice \relative c'' {
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Violin 1 "
  
  c2 d
  e1
  
  \bar "|."
}
 
violinTwo = \new Voice \relative c'' {
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Violin 2 "
  
  g2 f
  e1
  
  \bar "|."
}

viola = \new Voice \relative c' {
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Viola "  
  \clef alto
  
  e2 d
  c1
  
  \bar "|."
}

cello = \new Voice \relative c' {
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Cello "
  \clef bass
  
  c2 b
  a1
  
  \bar "|."
}

\score {
  \new StaffGroup <<
    \new Staff << \global \violinOne >>
    \new Staff << \global \violinTwo >>
    \new Staff << \global \viola >>
    \new Staff << \global \cello >>
  >>
  \layout { }
  \midi { }
}

[image of music]


String quartet template with separate parts

The "String quartet template" snippet produces a nice string quartet, but what if you needed to print parts? This new template demonstrates how to use the \tag feature to easily split a piece into individual parts.

You need to split this template into separate files; the filenames are contained in comments at the beginning of each file. piece.ly contains all the music definitions. The other files – score.ly, vn1.ly, vn2.ly, vla.ly, and vlc.ly – produce the appropriate part.

Do not forget to remove specified comments when using separate files!

%%%%% piece.ly
%%%%% (This is the global definitions file)

global= {
  \time 4/4
  \key c \major
}

Violinone = \new Voice { \relative c''{
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Violin 1 "

  c2 d e1

\bar "|." }}   %*********************************
Violintwo = \new Voice { \relative c''{
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Violin 2 "

  g2 f e1

\bar "|." }}   %*********************************
Viola = \new Voice { \relative c' {
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Viola "
  \clef alto

  e2 d c1

\bar "|." }}   %*********************************
Cello = \new Voice { \relative c' {
  \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Cello "
  \clef bass

  c2 b a1

\bar "|."}}   %**********************************

music = {
  <<
    \tag #'score \tag #'vn1 \new Staff { << \global \Violinone >> }
    \tag #'score \tag #'vn2 \new Staff { << \global \Violintwo>> }
    \tag #'score \tag #'vla \new Staff { << \global \Viola>> }
    \tag #'score \tag #'vlc \new Staff { << \global \Cello>> }
  >>
}

%%% These are the other files you need to save on your computer

%%%%% score.ly
%%%%% (This is the main file)


%\include "piece.ly"             %%% uncomment this line when using a separate file
#(set-global-staff-size 14)
\score {
  \new StaffGroup \keepWithTag #'score \music
  \layout { }
  \midi { }
}


%{ Uncomment this block when using separate files

%%%%% vn1.ly
%%%%% (This is the Violin 1 part file)

\include "piece.ly"
\score {
  \keepWithTag #'vn1 \music
  \layout { }
}


%%%%% vn2.ly
%%%%% (This is the Violin 2 part file)

\include "piece.ly"
\score {
  \keepWithTag #'vn2 \music
  \layout { }
}


%%%%% vla.ly
%%%%% (This is the Viola part file)

\include "piece.ly"
\score {
  \keepWithTag #'vla \music
  \layout { }
}


%%%%% vlc.ly
%%%%% (This is the Cello part file)

\include "piece.ly"
\score {
  \keepWithTag #'vlc \music
  \layout { }
}

%}

[image of music]


Vocal ensemble template with automatic piano reduction

This template adds an automatic piano reduction to the standard SATB vocal score demonstrated in "Vocal ensemble template". This demonstrates one of the strengths of LilyPond – you can use a music definition more than once. If any changes are made to the vocal notes (say, tenorMusic), then the changes will also apply to the piano reduction.

global = {
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
}

sopMusic = \relative c'' {
  c4 c c8[( b)] c4
}
sopWords = \lyricmode {
  hi hi hi hi
}

altoMusic = \relative c' {
  e4 f d e
}
altoWords =\lyricmode {
  ha ha ha ha
}

tenorMusic = \relative c' {
  g4 a f g
}
tenorWords = \lyricmode {
  hu hu hu hu
}

bassMusic = \relative c {
  c4 c g c
}
bassWords = \lyricmode {
  ho ho ho ho
}

\score {
  <<
    \new ChoirStaff <<
      \new Lyrics = sopranos { s1 }
      \new Staff = women <<
        \new Voice = sopranos { \voiceOne << \global \sopMusic >> }
        \new Voice = altos { \voiceTwo << \global \altoMusic >> }
      >>
      \new Lyrics = altos { s1 }
      \new Lyrics = tenors { s1 }
      \new Staff = men <<
        \clef bass
        \new Voice = tenors { \voiceOne <<\global \tenorMusic >> }
        \new Voice = basses { \voiceTwo <<\global \bassMusic >> }
      >>
      \new Lyrics = basses { s1 }
      \context Lyrics = sopranos \lyricsto sopranos \sopWords
      \context Lyrics = altos \lyricsto altos \altoWords
      \context Lyrics = tenors \lyricsto tenors \tenorWords
      \context Lyrics = basses \lyricsto basses \bassWords
    >>
    \new PianoStaff <<
      \new Staff <<
        \set Staff.printPartCombineTexts = ##f
        \partcombine
        << \global \sopMusic >>
        << \global \altoMusic >>
      >>
      \new Staff <<
        \clef bass
        \set Staff.printPartCombineTexts = ##f
        \partcombine
        << \global \tenorMusic >>
        << \global \bassMusic >>
      >>
    >>
  >>
  \layout {
    \context {
      % a little smaller so lyrics
      % can be closer to the staff
      \Staff
      \override VerticalAxisGroup #'minimum-Y-extent = #'(-3 . 3)
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Vocal ensemble template with lyrics aligned below and above the staves

This template is basically the same as the simple "Vocal ensemble" template, with the exception that here all the lyrics lines are placed using alignAboveContext and alignBelowContext.

global = {
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
}

sopMusic = \relative c'' {
  c4 c c8[( b)] c4
}
sopWords = \lyricmode {
  hi hi hi hi
}

altoMusic = \relative c' {
  e4 f d e
}
altoWords = \lyricmode {
  ha ha ha ha
}

tenorMusic = \relative c' {
  g4 a f g
}
tenorWords = \lyricmode {
  hu hu hu hu
}

bassMusic = \relative c {
  c4 c g c
}
bassWords = \lyricmode {
  ho ho ho ho
}

\score {
  \new ChoirStaff <<
    \new Staff = women <<
      \new Voice = "sopranos" { \voiceOne << \global \sopMusic >> }
      \new Voice = "altos" { \voiceTwo << \global \altoMusic >> }
    >>
    \new Lyrics \with { alignAboveContext = women } \lyricsto sopranos \sopWords
    \new Lyrics \with { alignBelowContext = women } \lyricsto altos \altoWords
    % we could remove the line about this with the line below, since we want
    % the alto lyrics to be below the alto Voice anyway.
    % \new Lyrics \lyricsto altos \altoWords
    
    \new Staff = men <<
      \clef bass
      \new Voice = "tenors" { \voiceOne << \global \tenorMusic >> }
      \new Voice = "basses" { \voiceTwo << \global \bassMusic >> }
    >>
    \new Lyrics \with { alignAboveContext = men } \lyricsto tenors \tenorWords
    \new Lyrics \with { alignBelowContext = men } \lyricsto basses \bassWords
    % again, we could replace the line above this with the line below.
    % \new Lyrics \lyricsto basses \bassWords
  >>
  \layout {
    \context {
      % a little smaller so lyrics
      % can be closer to the staff
      \Staff
      \override VerticalAxisGroup #'minimum-Y-extent = #'(-3 . 3)
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Vocal ensemble template

Here is a standard four-part SATB vocal score. With larger ensembles, it is often useful to include a section which is included in all parts. For example, the time signature and key signature are almost always the same for all parts. Like in the "Hymn" template, the four voices are regrouped on only two staves.

global = {
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
}

sopMusic = \relative c'' {
  c4 c c8[( b)] c4
}
sopWords = \lyricmode {
  hi hi hi hi
}

altoMusic = \relative c' {
  e4 f d e
}
altoWords = \lyricmode {
  ha ha ha ha
}

tenorMusic = \relative c' {
  g4 a f g
}
tenorWords = \lyricmode {
  hu hu hu hu
}

bassMusic = \relative c {
  c4 c g c
}
bassWords = \lyricmode {
  ho ho ho ho
}

\score {
  \new ChoirStaff <<
    \new Lyrics = sopranos { s1 }
    \new Staff = women <<
      \new Voice = "sopranos" {
        \voiceOne
        << \global \sopMusic >>
      }
      \new Voice = "altos" {
        \voiceTwo
        << \global \altoMusic >>
      }
    >>
    \new Lyrics = "altos" { s1 }
    \new Lyrics = "tenors" { s1 }
    \new Staff = men <<
      \clef bass
      \new Voice = "tenors" {
        \voiceOne
        << \global \tenorMusic >>
      }
      \new Voice = "basses" {
        \voiceTwo << \global \bassMusic >>
      }
    >>
    \new Lyrics = basses { s1 }    
    \context Lyrics = sopranos \lyricsto sopranos \sopWords
    \context Lyrics = altos \lyricsto altos \altoWords
    \context Lyrics = tenors \lyricsto tenors \tenorWords
    \context Lyrics = basses \lyricsto basses \bassWords
  >>  
  \layout {
    \context {
      % a little smaller so lyrics
      % can be closer to the staff
      \Staff
      \override VerticalAxisGroup #'minimum-Y-extent = #'(-3 . 3)
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


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