Rhythms

Rhythms


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

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-extent = #'(-1 . 1)
    } <<
      \set Staff.instrumentName = #"timbales"
      \timb
    >>
    \new DrumStaff <<
      \set Staff.instrumentName = #"drums"
      \new DrumVoice { \stemUp \drh }
      \new DrumVoice { \stemDown \drl }
    >>
  >>
  \layout { }
  \midi {
    \tempo 4 = 120
  }
}

[image of music]


Adjusting grace note spacing

The space given to grace notes can be adjusted using the spacing-increment property of Score.GraceSpacing.

graceNotes = {
  \grace { c4 c8 c16 c32 }
  c8
}

\relative c'' {
  c8
  \graceNotes
  \override Score.GraceSpacing #'spacing-increment = #2.0
  \graceNotes
  \revert Score.GraceSpacing #'spacing-increment
  \graceNotes
}

[image of music]


Aligning bar numbers

Bar numbers by default are right-aligned to their parent object. This is usually the left edge of a line or, if numbers are printed within a line, the left hand side of a bar line. The numbers may also be positioned directly over the bar line or left-aligned to the bar line.

\relative c' {
  \set Score.currentBarNumber = #111
  \override Score.BarNumber #'break-visibility = #all-visible
  % Increase the size of the bar number by 2
  \override Score.BarNumber #'font-size = #2
  % Print a bar number every second measure
  \set Score.barNumberVisibility = #(every-nth-bar-number-visible 2)
  c1 | c1
  % Center-align bar numbers
  \override Score.BarNumber #'self-alignment-X = #CENTER
  c1 | c1
  % Left-align bar numbers
  \override Score.BarNumber #'self-alignment-X = #LEFT
  c1 | c1
}

[image of music]


Alternative breve note

This code demonstrates how to use the alternative breve note with two vertical lines on each side of the notehead instead of one line.

\relative c'' {
  \time 4/2
  c\breve |
  \override Staff.NoteHead #'style = #'altdefault
  b\breve
  \revert Staff.NoteHead #'style
  a\breve
}

[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 baseMoment).

\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 baseMoment = #(ly:make-moment 1 8)
    \set beatStructure = #'(2 2 2 2)
    b32^"baseMoment 1 8"[ a g f c' b a g]
    \set baseMoment = #(ly:make-moment 1 16)
    \set beatStructure = #'(4 4 4 4)
    b32^"baseMoment 1 16"[ a g f c' b a g]
  }
}

[image of music]


Automatically change durations

<code>shiftDurations</code> can be used to change the note lengths of a piece of music. It takes two arguments - the scaling factor as a power of two, and the number of dots to be added as a positive integer.

\paper { indent = 0 }

music = \relative c'' { a1 b2 c4 d8 r }

\score {
  \new Voice {
    \time 4/2
    \music
    \time 4/4
    \shiftDurations #1 #0 { \music }
    \time 2/4
    \shiftDurations #2 #0 { \music }
    \time 4/1
    \shiftDurations #-1 #0 { \music }
    \time 8/1
    \shiftDurations #-2 #0 { \music }
    \time 6/2
    \shiftDurations #0 #1 { \music }
    \time 7/2
    \shiftDurations #0 #2 { \music }
  }
}

[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
  \set Score.baseMoment = #(ly:make-moment 1 8)
  \set Score.beatStructure = #'(3 4 3)
  <<
    \new Staff {
      c8 c c c c c c c c c
    }
    \new Staff {
      % Modify beaming for just this staff
      \set Staff.beatStructure = #'(6 4)
      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
          \set Voice.beatStructure = #'(6 4)
          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 using <code>beatStructure</code>. 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
  \set Score.beatStructure = #'(2 3 2)
  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 the number of augmentation dots per note

This code demonstrates how to change the number of augmentation dots on a single note.

\relative c' {
  c4.. a16 r2 |
  \override Dots #'dot-count = #4
  c4.. a16 r2 |
  \override Dots #'dot-count = #0
  c4.. a16 r2 |
  \revert Dots #'dot-count
  c4.. a16 r2 |
}

[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]


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

\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
  \revert Staff.Flag #'transparent
}

stemOff = {
  \override Staff.Stem #'transparent = ##t
  \override Staff.Flag #'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.

#(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
  \set Staff.beatStructure = #'(2 3)
  c8 d e fis gis
  c8 fis, gis e d
  c8 d e4 gis8
}

[image of music]


Conducting signs measure grouping signs

Beat grouping within a measure is controlled by the context property beatStructure. Values of beatStructure are established for many time signatures in ‘scm/time-signature-settings.scm’. Values of beatStructure can be changed or set with \set. Alternatively, \time can be used to both set the time signature and establish the beat structure. For this, you specify the internal grouping of beats in a measure as a list of numbers (in Scheme syntax) before the time signature.

\time applies to the Timing context, so it will not reset values of beatStructure or baseMoment that are set in other lower-level contexts, such as Voice.

If the Measure_grouping_engraver is included in one of the display contexts, measure grouping signs will be created. Such signs ease reading rhythmically complex modern music. In the example, the 9/8 measure is grouped in two different patterns using the two different methods, while the 5/8 measure is grouped according to the default setting in ‘scm/time-signature-settings.scm’:

\score {
  \new Voice \relative c'' {
    \time 9/8
    g8 g d d g g a( bes g) |
    \set Timing.beatStructure = #'(2 2 2 3)
    g8 g d d g g a( bes g) |
    \time #'(4 5) 9/8
    g8 g d d g g a( bes g) |
    \time 5/8
    a4. g4 |
  }
  \layout {
    \context {
      \Staff
      \consists "Measure_grouping_engraver"
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Consistently left aligned bar numbers

When left aligning bar numbers, overlapping problems may occur with Staves brackets. The snippet solves this by keeping right aligned the first bar number following line breaks.

consistentlyLeftAlignedBarNumbers = {
  \override Score.BarNumber #'break-visibility = #end-of-line-invisible
  \override Score.BarNumber #'self-alignment-X =
    #(lambda (grob)
       (let ((break-dir (ly:item-break-dir grob)))
         (if (= break-dir RIGHT) RIGHT LEFT)))
}

\new ChoirStaff <<
  \new Staff {
    \relative c' {
      \set Score.barNumberVisibility = #(every-nth-bar-number-visible 3)
      \bar ""
      \consistentlyLeftAlignedBarNumbers

      \set Score.currentBarNumber = #112
      \repeat unfold 8 { R1 }
      \break
      \repeat unfold 9 { R1 }
      \break
      \repeat unfold 7 { R1 }
    }
  }
  \new Staff {
    \relative c' {
      \repeat unfold 24 { R1 }
    }
  }
>>

\layout {
  indent = #0
  ragged-right = ##t
  ragged-last = ##t
}

[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 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]


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 half 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>2~ <c e g>
}

[image of music]


Engraving tremolos with floating beams

If a tremolo’s total duration is less than a quarter-note, or exactly a half-note, or between a half-note and a whole-note, it is normally typeset with all beams touching the stems. Certain engraving styles typeset some of these beams as centered floating beams that do not touch the stems. The number of floating beams in this type of tremolo is controlled with the 'gap-count property of the Beam object, and the size of the gaps between beams and stems is set with the 'gap property.

\relative c'' {
  \repeat tremolo 8 { a32 f }
  \override Beam #'gap-count = #1
  \repeat tremolo 8 { a32 f }
  \override Beam #'gap-count = #2
  \repeat tremolo 8 { a32 f }
  \override Beam #'gap-count = #3
  \repeat tremolo 8 { a32 f }

  \override Beam #'gap-count = #3
  \override Beam #'gap = #1.33
  \repeat tremolo 8 { a32 f }
  \override Beam #'gap = #1
  \repeat tremolo 8 { a32 f }
  \override Beam #'gap = #0.67
  \repeat tremolo 8 { a32 f }
  \override Beam #'gap = #0.33
  \repeat tremolo 8 { a32 f }
}

[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.

Read the relevant sections of the Notation Reference for more information about ly:make-moment.

\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]


Generating custom flags

The stencil property of the Flag grob can be set to a custom scheme function to generate the glyph for the flag.

#(define-public (weight-flag grob)
   (let* ((stem-grob (ly:grob-parent grob X))
          (log (- (ly:grob-property stem-grob 'duration-log) 2))
          (is-up? (eqv? (ly:grob-property stem-grob 'direction) UP))
          (yext (if is-up? (cons (* log -0.8) 0) (cons 0 (* log 0.8))))
          (flag-stencil (make-filled-box-stencil '(-0.4 . 0.4) yext))
          (stroke-style (ly:grob-property grob 'stroke-style))
          (stroke-stencil (if (equal? stroke-style "grace")
                              (make-line-stencil 0.2 -0.9 -0.4 0.9 -0.4)
                              empty-stencil)))
     (ly:stencil-add flag-stencil stroke-stencil)))


% Create a flag stencil by looking up the glyph from the font
#(define (inverted-flag grob)
   (let* ((stem-grob (ly:grob-parent grob X))
          (dir (if (eqv? (ly:grob-property stem-grob 'direction) UP) "d" "u"))
          (flag (retrieve-glyph-flag "" dir "" grob))
          (line-thickness (ly:staff-symbol-line-thickness grob))
          (stem-thickness (ly:grob-property stem-grob 'thickness))
          (stem-width (* line-thickness stem-thickness))
          (stroke-style (ly:grob-property grob 'stroke-style))
          (stencil (if (null? stroke-style)
                       flag
                       (add-stroke-glyph flag stem-grob dir stroke-style "")))
          (rotated-flag (ly:stencil-rotate-absolute stencil 180 0 0)))
     (ly:stencil-translate rotated-flag (cons (- (/ stem-width 2)) 0))))

snippetexamplenotes = { \autoBeamOff c'8 d'16 c'32 d'64 \acciaccatura {c'8} d'64 }

{
  \override Score.RehearsalMark #'self-alignment-X = #LEFT
  \time 1/4
  \mark "Normal flags"
  \snippetexamplenotes

  \mark "Custom flag: inverted"
  \override Flag #'stencil = #inverted-flag
  \snippetexamplenotes

  \mark "Custom flag: weight"
  \override Flag #'stencil = #weight-flag
  \snippetexamplenotes

  \mark "Revert to normal"
  \revert Flag #'stencil
  \snippetexamplenotes
}

[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
  \time #'(3 2 2 3 2 2 2 2 3 2 2) 25/8
  \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.

\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]


Making slurs with complex dash structure

Slurs can be made with complex dash patterns by defining the dash-definition property. dash-definition is a list of dash-elements. A dash-element is a list of parameters defining the dash behavior for a segment of the slur.

The slur is defined in terms of the bezier parameter t which ranges from 0 at the left end of the slur to 1 at the right end of the slur. dash-element is a list (start-t stop-t dash-fraction dash-period). The region of the slur from start-t to stop-t will have a fraction dash-fraction of each dash-period black. dash-period is defined in terms of staff spaces. dash-fraction is set to 1 for a solid slur.

\relative c' {
  \once \override
    Slur #'dash-definition = #'((0 0.3 0.1 0.75)
                                (0.3 0.6 1 1)
                                (0.65 1.0 0.4 0.75))
  c4( d e f)
  \once \override
    Slur #'dash-definition = #'((0 0.25 1 1)
                                (0.3 0.7 0.4 0.75)
                                (0.75 1.0 1 1))
  c4( d e f)
}

[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]


Moving dotted notes in polyphony

When a dotted note in the upper voice is moved to avoid a collision with a note in another voice, the default is to move the upper note to the right. This behaviour can be over-ridden by using the prefer-dotted-right property of NoteCollision.

\new Staff \relative c' <<
  { f2. f4
    \override Staff.NoteCollision #'prefer-dotted-right = ##f
    f2. f4
    \override Staff.NoteCollision #'prefer-dotted-right = ##t
    f2. f4
  }
  \\
  { e4 e e e e e e e e e e e}
>>

[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]


Non-default tuplet numbers

LilyPond also provides formatting functions to print tuplet numbers different than the actual fraction, as well as to append a note value to the tuplet number or tuplet fraction.

\relative c'' {
  \once \override TupletNumber #'text =
    #(tuplet-number::non-default-tuplet-denominator-text 7)
  \times 2/3  { c4. c4. c4. c4. }
  \once \override TupletNumber #'text =
    #(tuplet-number::non-default-tuplet-fraction-text 12 7)
  \times 2/3  { c4. c4. c4. c4. }
  \once \override TupletNumber #'text =
    #(tuplet-number::append-note-wrapper
      (tuplet-number::non-default-tuplet-fraction-text 12 7) "8")
  \times 2/3  { c4. c4. c4. c4. }

  \once \override TupletNumber #'text =
    #(tuplet-number::append-note-wrapper
      tuplet-number::calc-denominator-text "4")
  \times 2/3  { c8 c8 c8 c8 c8 c8 }
  \once \override TupletNumber #'text =
    #(tuplet-number::append-note-wrapper
      tuplet-number::calc-fraction-text "4")
  \times 2/3  { c8 c8 c8 c8 c8 c8 }

  \once \override TupletNumber #'text =
    #(tuplet-number::fraction-with-notes "4." "8")
  \times 2/3  { c4. c4. c4. c4. }
  \once \override TupletNumber #'text =
    #(tuplet-number::non-default-fraction-with-notes 12 "8" 4 "4")
  \times 2/3  { c4. c4. c4. c4. }
}

[image of music]


Partcombine and autoBeamOff

The function of \autoBeamOff when used with \partcombine can be difficult to understand.

It may be preferable to use

\set Staff.autoBeaming = ##f

instead, to ensure that autobeaming will be turned off for the entire staff.

\partcombine apparently works with 3 voices – stem up single, stem down single, stem up combined.

An \autoBeamOff call in the first argument to partcombine will apply to the voice that is active at the time the call is processed, either stem up single or stem up combined. An \autoBeamOff call in the second argument will apply to the voice that is stem down single.

In order to use \autoBeamOff to stop all autobeaming when used with \partcombine, it will be necessary to use three calls to \autoBeamOff.

{
  %\set Staff.autoBeaming = ##f % turns off all autobeaming
  \partcombine
  {
    \autoBeamOff % applies to split up stems
    \repeat unfold 4 a'16
    %\autoBeamOff % applies to combined up stems
    \repeat unfold 4 a'8
    \repeat unfold 4 a'16
  }
  {
    \autoBeamOff % applies to down stems
    \repeat unfold 4 f'8
    \repeat unfold 8 f'16 |
  }
}

[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 grace note beams at the height of normal note beams

When notes are placed on ledger lines, their beams are usually centred on the stave. Grace notes beams are shorter and grace notes on ledger lines may well have beams outside the stave. You can override this beaming for grace notes.

\relative c {
  f8[ e]
  \grace {
    f8[ e]
    \override Stem  #'no-stem-extend = ##f
    f8[ e]
    \revert Stem #'no-stem-extend
  }
  f8[ e]
}

[image of music]


Positioning grace notes with floating space

Setting the property 'strict-grace-spacing makes the musical columns for grace notes ’floating’, i.e., decoupled from the non-grace notes: first the normal notes are spaced, then the (musical columns of the) graces are put left of the musical columns for the main notes.

\relative c'' {
  <<
    \override Score.SpacingSpanner #'strict-grace-spacing = ##t
    \new Staff \new Voice {
      \afterGrace c4 { c16[ c8 c16] }
      c8[ \grace { b16[ d] } c8]
      c4 r
    }
    \new Staff {
      c16 c c c c c c c c4 r
    }
  >>
}

[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 fourth line
  R1
  % They can be moved using an override
  \override MultiMeasureRest #'staff-position = #-2
  R1
  \override MultiMeasureRest #'staff-position = #0
  R1
  \override MultiMeasureRest #'staff-position = #2
  R1
  \override MultiMeasureRest #'staff-position = #3
  R1
  \override MultiMeasureRest #'staff-position = #6
  R1
  \revert MultiMeasureRest #'staff-position
  \break

  % In two Voices, odd-numbered voices are under the top line
  << { R1 } \\ { a1 } >>
  % Even-numbered voices are under the bottom line
  << { a1 } \\ { R1 } >>
  % Multi-measure rests in both voices remain separate
  << { R1 } \\ { R1 } >>

  % Separating multi-measure rests in more than two voices
  % requires an override
  << { R1 } \\ { R1 } \\
     \once \override MultiMeasureRest #'staff-position = #0
     { R1 }
  >>

  % Using compressed bars in multiple voices requires another override
  % in all voices to avoid multiple instances being printed
  \compressFullBarRests
  <<
   \revert MultiMeasureRest #'staff-position
    { R1*3 }
    \\
   \revert MultiMeasureRest #'staff-position
    { R1*3 }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Preventing final mark from removing final tuplet

The addition of a final mark can result in the loss of a final tuplet marking. This can be overcome by setting TupletBracket #'full-length-to-extent to false.

\new Staff {
   \set tupletFullLength = ##t
   \time 1/8
   \times 2/3 { c'16 c'16 c'16 }
   \times 2/3 { c'16 c'16 c'16 }
   \times 2/3 { c'16 c'16 c'16 }
   \override Score.RehearsalMark #'break-visibility = #'#(#t #t #t)
   \override Score.RehearsalMark #'direction = #DOWN
   \override Score.RehearsalMark #'self-alignment-X = #RIGHT
% due to issue 2362 the following line is commented
%   \mark "Composed Feb 2007 - Feb 2008"
% and a shorter mark is used.
   \mark "1234"
}

\new Staff {
  \set tupletFullLength = ##t

  \override TupletBracket #'full-length-to-extent = ##f

  \time 1/8
  \times 2/3 { c'16 c'16 c'16 }
  \times 2/3 { c'16 c'16 c'16 }
  \times 2/3 { c'16 c'16 c'16 }
  \override Score.RehearsalMark #'break-visibility = #'#(#t #t #t)
  \override Score.RehearsalMark #'direction = #DOWN
  \override Score.RehearsalMark #'self-alignment-X = #RIGHT
% due to issue 2362 the following line is commented
%   \mark "Composed Feb 2007 - Feb 2008"
% and a shorter mark is used.
   \mark "1234"
}

[image of music]


Printing bar numbers at regular intervals

Bar numbers can be printed at regular intervals by setting the property barNumberVisibility. Here the bar numbers are printed every two measures except at the end of the line.

\relative c' {
  \override Score.BarNumber #'break-visibility = #end-of-line-invisible
  \set Score.currentBarNumber = #11
  % Permit first bar number to be printed
  \bar ""
  % Print a bar number every second measure
  \set Score.barNumberVisibility = #(every-nth-bar-number-visible 2)
  c1 | c | c | c | c
  \break
  c1 | c | c | c | c
}

[image of music]


Printing bar numbers inside boxes or circles

Bar numbers can also be printed inside boxes or circles.

\relative c' {
  % Prevent bar numbers at the end of a line and permit them elsewhere
  \override Score.BarNumber #'break-visibility = #end-of-line-invisible
  \set Score.barNumberVisibility = #(every-nth-bar-number-visible 4)

  % Increase the size of the bar number by 2
  \override Score.BarNumber #'font-size = #2

  % Draw a box round the following bar number(s)
  \override Score.BarNumber #'stencil
    = #(make-stencil-boxer 0.1 0.25 ly:text-interface::print)
  \repeat unfold 5 { c1 }

  % Draw a circle round the following bar number(s)
  \override Score.BarNumber #'stencil
    = #(make-stencil-circler 0.1 0.25 ly:text-interface::print)
  \repeat unfold 4 { c1 } \bar "|."
}

[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.

If bar numbers are required, the Bar_number_engraver should also be moved, since it relies on properties set by the Timing_translator; a \with block can be used to add bar numbers to the relevant staff.

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

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

\layout {
  \context {
    \Score
    \remove "Timing_translator"
    \remove "Default_bar_line_engraver"
    \remove "Bar_number_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"
  }
  \context {
    \Voice
    \remove "Forbid_line_break_engraver"
    tupletFullLength = ##t
  }
}

Bassklarinette = \new Staff \with {
  \consists "Bar_number_engraver"
  barNumberVisibility = #(every-nth-bar-number-visible 2)
  \override BarNumber #'break-visibility = #end-of-line-invisible
} <<
  \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]


Printing the bar number for the first measure

By default, the first bar number in a score is suppressed if it is less than or equal to ‘1’. By setting barNumberVisibility to all-bar-numbers-visible, any bar number can be printed for the first measure and all subsequent measures. Note that an empty bar line must be inserted before the first note for this to work.

\relative c' {
  \set Score.barNumberVisibility = #all-bar-numbers-visible
  \bar ""
  c1 | d | e | f \break
  g1 | e | d | c
}

[image of music]


Redefining grace note global defaults

The global defaults for grace notes are stored in the identifiers startGraceMusic, stopGraceMusic, startAcciaccaturaMusic, stopAcciaccaturaMusic, startAppoggiaturaMusic and stopAppoggiaturaMusic, which are defined in the file ly/grace-init.ly. By redefining them other effects may be obtained.

startAcciaccaturaMusic = {
  <>(
  \override Flag #'stroke-style = #"grace"
  \slurDashed
}

stopAcciaccaturaMusic = {
  \revert Flag #'stroke-style
  \slurSolid
  <>)
}

\relative c'' {
  \acciaccatura d8 c1
}

[image of music]


Removing bar numbers from a score

Bar numbers can be removed entirely by removing the Bar_number_engraver from the Score context.

\layout {
  \context {
    \Score
    \remove "Bar_number_engraver"
  }
}

\relative c'' {
  c4 c c c \break
  c4 c c c
}

[image of music]


Removing connecting bar lines on StaffGroup PianoStaff or GrandStaff

By default, bar lines in StaffGroup, PianoStaff, or GrandStaff groups are connected between the staves. This behaviour can be overridden on a staff-by-staff basis.

\relative c' {
  \new StaffGroup <<
    \new Staff {
      e1 | e
      \once \override Staff.BarLine #'allow-span-bar = ##f
      e1 | e | e
    }
    \new Staff {
      c1 | c | c
      \once \override Staff.BarLine #'allow-span-bar = ##f
      c1 | c
    }
    \new Staff {
      a1 | a | a | a | a
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Rest styles

Rests may be used in various styles.

\layout {
  indent = 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

  % Set new values for beam endings
  \set Score.beatStructure = #'(3 4 3 2)
  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 c'' { a1 | a }
  \new Lyrics \lyricmode { \skip 1 bla1 }
>>

[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
  r16 d']
}

[image of music]


Strict beat beaming

Beamlets can be set to point in the direction of the beat to which they belong. The first beam avoids sticking out flags (the default); the second beam strictly follows the beat.

\relative c'' {
  \time 6/8
  a8. a16 a a
  \set strictBeatBeaming = ##t
  a8. a16 a a
}

[image of music]


Subdividing beams

The beams of consecutive 16th (or shorter) notes are, by default, not subdivided. That is, the three (or more) beams stretch unbroken over entire groups of notes. This behavior can be modified to subdivide the beams into sub-groups by setting the property subdivideBeams. When set, multiple beams will be subdivided at intervals defined by the current value of baseMoment by reducing the multiple beams to just one beam between the sub-groups. Note that baseMoment 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 ly:make-moment function, as shown in this snippet. Also, when baseMoment is changed, beatStructure should also be changed to match the new baseMoment:

\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 baseMoment = #(ly:make-moment 1 8)
  \set beatStructure = #'(2 2 2 2)
  c32[ c c c c c c c]

  % Set beam sub-group length to a sixteenth note
  \set baseMoment = #(ly:make-moment 1 16)
  \set beatStructure = #'(4 4 4 4)
  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 X) padding))
          (y-ext (interval-widen (ly:stencil-extent stencil Y) 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 LEFT y-rule padding))
     (set! stencil (ly:stencil-combine-at-edge stencil Y UP x-rule 0.0))
     (set! stencil (ly:stencil-combine-at-edge stencil Y DOWN 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:

\relative c' {
  c1^\markup { \NWS-box ABCD }
  c1^\markup { \NWS-box \note #"4" #1.0 }
}

[image of music]


Time signature printing only the numerator as a number (instead of the fraction)

Sometimes, a time signature should not print the whole fraction (e.g. 7/4), but only the numerator (7 in this case). This can be easily done by using \override Staff.TimeSignature #'style = #'single-digit to change the style permanently. By using \revert Staff.TimeSignature #'style, this setting can be reversed. To apply the single-digit style to only one time signature, use the \override command and prefix it with a \once.

\relative c'' {
  \time 3/4
  c4 c c
  % Change the style permanently
  \override Staff.TimeSignature #'style = #'single-digit
  \time 2/4
  c4 c
  \time 3/4
  c4 c c
  % Revert to default style:
  \revert Staff.TimeSignature #'style
  \time 2/4
  c4 c
  % single-digit style only for the next time signature
  \once \override Staff.TimeSignature #'style = #'single-digit
  \time 5/4
  c4 c c c c
  \time 2/4
  c4 c
}

[image of music]


Tweaking grace layout within music

The layout of grace expressions can be changed throughout the music using the functions add-grace-property and remove-grace-property. The following example undefines the Stem direction for this grace, so that stems do not always point up, and changes the default note heads to crosses.

\relative c'' {
  \new Staff {
    $(remove-grace-property 'Voice 'Stem 'direction)
    $(add-grace-property 'Voice 'NoteHead 'style 'cross)
    \new Voice {
       \acciaccatura { f16 } g4
       \grace { d16[ e] } f4
       \appoggiatura { f,32[ g a] } e2
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


Using alternative flag styles

Alternative styles of flag on eighth and shorter notes can be displayed by overriding the stencil property of Flag. Valid values are modern-straight-flag and old-straight-flag.

testnotes = {
  \autoBeamOff
  c8 d16 c32 d64 \acciaccatura { c8 } d64 r4
}

\relative c' {
  \time 2/4
  \testnotes

  \override Flag #'stencil = #modern-straight-flag
  \testnotes

  \override Flag #'stencil = #old-straight-flag
  \testnotes

  \revert Flag #'stencil
  \testnotes
}

[image of music]


Using grace note slashes with normal heads

The slash through the stem found in acciaccaturas can be applied in other situations.

\relative c'' {
  \override Flag #'stroke-style = #"grace"
  c8( d2) e8( f4)
}

[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]


LilyPond — Snippets