2.7.3 Figured bass

[image of music]

Figured bass notation can be displayed.


Introduction to figured bass

LilyPond has support for figured bass, also called thorough bass or basso continuo:

<<
  \new Voice { \clef bass dis4 c d ais g fis}
  \new FiguredBass {
    \figuremode {
      < 6 >4 < 7\+ >8 < 6+ [_!] >
      < 6 >4 <6 5 [3+] >
      < _ >4 < 6 5/>4
    }
  }
>>

[image of music]

The support for figured bass consists of two parts: there is an input mode, introduced by \figuremode, that accepts entry of bass figures, and there is a context named FiguredBass that takes care of displaying BassFigure objects. Figured bass can also be displayed in Staff contexts.

\figures{ ... } is a shortcut notation for \new FiguredBass { \figuremode { ... } }.

Although the support for figured bass may superficially resemble chord support, it is much simpler. \figuremode mode simply stores the figures and the FiguredBass context prints them as entered. There is no conversion to pitches.

Vedi anche

Music Glossary: figured bass.

Snippets: Chords.


Entering figured bass

\figuremode is used to switch the input mode to figure mode. More information on different input modes can be found at Input modes.

In figure mode, a group of bass figures is delimited by < and >. The duration is entered after the >.

\new FiguredBass {
  \figuremode {
    <6 4>2
  }
}

[image of music]

Accidentals (including naturals) can be added to figures:

\figures {
  <7! 6+ 4-> <5++> <3-->
}

[image of music]

Augmented and diminished steps can be indicated:

\figures {
  <6\+ 5/> <7/>
}

[image of music]

A backward slash through a figure (typically used for raised sixth steps) can be created:

\figures {
  <6> <6\\>
}

[image of music]

Vertical spaces and brackets can be included in figures:

\figures {
  <[12 _!] 8 [6  4]>
}

[image of music]

Any text markup can be inserted as a figure:

\figures {
  <\markup { \tiny \number 6 \super (1) } 5>
}

[image of music]

Continuation lines can be used to indicate repeated figures:

<<
  {
    \clef bass
    e4 d c b,
    e4 d c b,
  }
  \figures {
    \bassFigureExtendersOn
    <6 4>4 <6 3> <7 3> <7 3>
    \bassFigureExtendersOff
    <6 4>4 <6 3> <7 3> <7 3>
  }
>>

[image of music]

In this case, the extender lines replace existing figures, unless the continuation lines have been explicitly terminated.

<<
  \figures {
    \bassFigureExtendersOn
    <6 4>4 <6 4> <6\! 4\!> <6 4>
  }
  {
    \clef bass
    d4 d c c
  }
>>

[image of music]

The table below summarizes the figure modifiers available.

ModifierPurposeExample
+, -, !Accidentals

[image of music]

\+, /Augmented and diminished steps

[image of music]

\\Raised sixth step

[image of music]

\!End of continuation line

[image of music]

Comandi predefiniti

\bassFigureExtendersOn, \bassFigureExtendersOff.

Frammenti di codice selezionati

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]

Vedi anche

Snippets: Chords.

Internals Reference: BassFigure, BassFigureAlignment, BassFigureLine, BassFigureBracket, BassFigureContinuation, FiguredBass.


Displaying figured bass

Figured bass can be displayed using the FiguredBass context, or in most staff contexts.

When displayed in a FiguredBass context, the vertical location of the figures is independent of the notes on the staff.

<<
  \relative c'' {
    c4 c'8 r8 c,4 c'
  }
  \new FiguredBass {
    \figuremode {
      <4>4 <10 6>8 s8
      <6 4>4 <6 4>
    }
  }
>>

[image of music]

In the example above, the FiguredBass context must be explicitly instantiated to avoid creating a second (empty) staff.

Figured bass can also be added to Staff contexts directly. In this case, the vertical position of the figures is adjusted automatically.

<<
  \new Staff = myStaff
  \figuremode {
    <4>4 <10 6>8 s8
    <6 4>4 <6 4>
  }
  %% Put notes on same Staff as figures
  \context Staff = myStaff
  {
    \clef bass
    c4 c'8 r8 c4 c'
  }
>>

[image of music]

When added in a Staff context, figured bass can be displayed above or below the staff.

<<
  \new Staff = myStaff
  \figuremode {
    <4>4 <10 6>8 s8
    \bassFigureStaffAlignmentDown
    <6 4>4 <6 4>
  }
  %% Put notes on same Staff as figures
  \context Staff = myStaff
  {
    \clef bass
    c4 c'8 r8 c4 c'
  }
>>

[image of music]

Comandi predefiniti

\bassFigureStaffAlignmentDown, \bassFigureStaffAlignmentUp, \bassFigureStaffAlignmentNeutral.

Vedi anche

Snippets: Chords.

Internals Reference: BassFigure, BassFigureAlignment, BassFigureLine, BassFigureBracket, BassFigureContinuation, FiguredBass.

Problemi noti e avvertimenti

To ensure that continuation lines work properly, it is safest to use the same rhythm in the figure line as in the bass line.

<<
  {
    \clef bass
    \repeat unfold 4 { f16. g32 } f8. es16 d8 es
  }
  \figures {
    \bassFigureExtendersOn
    % The extenders are correct here, with the same rhythm as the bass
    \repeat unfold 4 { <6 4->16. <6 4->32 }
    <5>8. r16 <6>8 <6\! 5->
  }
>>
<<
  {
    \clef bass
    \repeat unfold 4 { f16. g32 } f8. es16 d8 es
  }
  \figures {
    \bassFigureExtendersOn
    % The extenders are incorrect here, even though the timing is the same
    <6 4->4 <6 4->4
    <5>8. r16 <6>8 <6\! 5->
  }
>>

[image of music]

When using extender lines, adjacent figures with the same number in a different figure location can cause the figure positions to invert.

<<
  { fis4 g g, e' }
  \figures {
    \bassFigureExtendersOn
    <6 5>4 <5\! 4> < 5 _!> <6>
  }
>>

[image of music]

To avoid this problem, simply turn on extenders after the figure that begins the extender line and turn them off at the end of the extender line.

<<
  { fis4 g g, e' }
  \figures {
    <6 5>4 <5 4>
    \bassFigureExtendersOn
    < 5 _!>4 <6>
    \bassFigureExtendersOff
  }
>>

[image of music]


Other languages: English, deutsch, español, français, 日本語.
About automatic language selection.

LilyPond — Guida alla Notazione