Contexts and engravers

Changing defaults

Contexts and engravers


Adding a figured bass above or below the notes

When writing a figured bass, you can place the figures 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).

This property can be changed as many times as you wish. Use \once \override if you don’t want the override to apply to the whole score.

bass = {
  \clef bass
  g4 b, c d
  e d8 c d2
}

continuo = \figuremode {
  <_>4 <6>4 <5/>4
  \override Staff.BassFigureAlignmentPositioning.direction = #UP
  %\bassFigureStaffAlignmentUp
  < _+ >4 <6>
  \set Staff.useBassFigureExtenders = ##t
  \override Staff.BassFigureAlignmentPositioning.direction = #DOWN
  %\bassFigureStaffAlignmentDown
  <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.

\score {
  \new StaffGroup \relative c'' {
    \new Staff
    \key f \major
    c1 c^"Unwanted extra space" \break
    << { c1 | c }
       \new Staff {
         \key f \major
         \once \omit Staff.TimeSignature
         c1 | c
       }
    >>
    c1 | c^"Fixed here" \break
    << { c1 | c }
       \new Staff {
         \once \set Staff.explicitKeySignatureVisibility = #end-of-line-invisible
         \key f \major
         \once \omit Staff.TimeSignature
         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 | d
          }
          \new Staff {
            \once \omit Staff.TimeSignature
            c1 | b
          }
        >>
        c1
      }
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Automatically changing the stem direction of the middle note based on the melody

LilyPond can alter the stem direction of the middle note on a staff so that it follows the melody, by adding the Melody_engraver to the Voice context and overriding the neutral-direction of Stem.

\relative c'' {
  \time 3/4
  a8 b g f b g |
  c  b d c b c |
}

\layout {
  \context {
    \Voice
    \consists "Melody_engraver"
    \autoBeamOff
    \stemNeutral
  }
}

[image of music]


Centered measure numbers

Scores of large ensemble works often have bar numbers placed beneath the system, centered horizontally on the measure’s extent. This snippet shows how the Measure_counter_engraver may be used to simulate this notational practice. Here, the engraver has been added to a Dynamics context.

\layout {
  \context {
    \Dynamics
    \consists #Measure_counter_engraver
    \override MeasureCounter.direction = #DOWN
    \override MeasureCounter.font-encoding = #'latin1
    \override MeasureCounter.font-shape = #'italic
    % to control the distance of the Dynamics context from the staff:
    \override VerticalAxisGroup.nonstaff-relatedstaff-spacing.padding = #2
  }
  \context {
    \Score
    \remove "Bar_number_engraver"
  }
}

pattern = \repeat unfold 7 { c'4 d' e' f' }

\new StaffGroup <<
  \new Staff {
    \pattern
  }
  \new Staff {
    \pattern
  }
  \new Dynamics {
    \startMeasureCount
    s1*7
    \stopMeasureCount
  }
>>

[image of music]


Centering markup on note heads automatically

For technical reasons, text scripts attached to note heads cannot easily be centered on a note head’s width, unlike articulations.

Instead of using trial-and-error offset tweaks, this snippet uses a Scheme engraver to reset the horizontal parent of each markup to a NoteColumn. This also allows text to follow note heads which have been shifted via force-hshift.

#(define (Text_align_engraver ctx)
  (let ((scripts '())
        (note-column #f))
    (make-engraver
     (acknowledgers
      ((note-column-interface trans grob source)
       ;; cache NoteColumn in this Voice context
       (set! note-column grob))
      ((text-script-interface trans grob source)
       ;; whenever a TextScript is acknowledged,
       ;; add it to `scripts' list
       (set! scripts (cons grob scripts))))
     ((stop-translation-timestep trans)
      ;; if any TextScript grobs exist,
      ;; set NoteColumn as X-parent
      (for-each (lambda (script)
		  (set! (ly:grob-parent script X) note-column))
		scripts)
      ;; clear scripts ready for next timestep
      (set! scripts '())))))

\layout {
  \context {
    \Voice
    \consists #Text_align_engraver
    \override TextScript.X-offset =
      #ly:self-alignment-interface::aligned-on-x-parent
    \override TextScript.self-alignment-X = #CENTER
  }
}

\new Staff <<
  \relative c'' {
    \override NoteColumn.force-hshift = #3
    c1-\markup { \arrow-head #Y #DOWN ##t }
  }
  \\
  \relative c' {
    a4 a-\markup { \huge ^ } a a
  }
>>

[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"
    }
    \tempo 2 = 72
  }
}

[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 Psalm chant, where verses aren’t always the same length.

stemOff = \hide Staff.Stem
stemOn  = \undo \stemOff

\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"
    }
  }
}

% uncomment these lines for "letter" size
%{
\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
}
%}

% uncomment these lines for "A4" size
%{
\paper {
  #(set-paper-size "a4")
  ragged-last-bottom = ##f
  line-width = 180
  left-margin = 15
  bottom-margin = 10
  top-margin = 10
}
%}

[image of music]


Cross staff stems

This snippet shows the use of the Span_stem_engraver and \crossStaff to connect stems across staves automatically.

The stem length need not be specified, as the variable distance between noteheads and staves is calculated automatically.

\layout {
  \context {
    \PianoStaff
    \consists #Span_stem_engraver
  }
}

{
  \new PianoStaff <<
    \new Staff {
      <b d'>4 r d'16\> e'8. g8 r\!
      e'8 f' g'4 e'2
    }
    \new Staff {
      \clef bass
      \voiceOne
      \autoBeamOff
      \crossStaff { <e g>4 e, g16 a8. c8} d
      \autoBeamOn
      g8 f g4 c2
    }
  >>
}

[image of music]


Defining an engraver in Scheme: ambitus engraver

This example demonstrates how the ambitus engraver may be defined on the user side, with a Scheme engraver.

This is basically a rewrite in Scheme of the code from ‘lily/ambitus-engraver.cc’.

#(use-modules (oop goops))

%%%
%%% Grob utilities
%%%
%%% These are literal rewrites of some C++ methods used by the ambitus engraver.

#(define (ly:separation-item::add-conditional-item grob grob-item)
   "Add @var{grob-item} to the array of conditional elements of @var{grob}.
Rewrite of @code{Separation_item::add_conditional_item} from @file{lily/separation-item.cc}."
   (ly:pointer-group-interface::add-grob grob 'conditional-elements grob-item))

#(define (ly:accidental-placement::accidental-pitch accidental-grob)
   "Get the pitch from the grob cause of @var{accidental-grob}.
Rewrite of @code{accidental_pitch} from @file{lily/accidental-placement.cc}."
   (ly:event-property (ly:grob-property (ly:grob-parent accidental-grob Y) 'cause)
                      'pitch))

#(define (ly:accidental-placement::add-accidental grob accidental-grob)
   "Add @var{accidental-grob}, an @code{Accidental} grob, to the
list of the accidental grobs of @var{grob}, an @code{AccidentalPlacement}
grob.
Rewrite of @code{Accidental_placement::add_accidental} from @file{lily/accidental-placement.cc}."
   (let ((pitch (ly:accidental-placement::accidental-pitch accidental-grob)))
     (set! (ly:grob-parent accidental-grob X) grob)
     (set! (ly:grob-property accidental-grob 'X-offset)
           ly:grob::x-parent-positioning)
     (let* ((accidentals (ly:grob-object grob 'accidental-grobs))
            (handle (assq (ly:pitch-notename pitch) accidentals))
            (entry (if handle (cdr handle) '())))
       (set! (ly:grob-object grob 'accidental-grobs)
             (assq-set! accidentals
                        (ly:pitch-notename pitch)
                        (cons accidental-grob entry))))))

%%%
%%% Ambitus data structure
%%%

%%% The <ambitus> class holds the various grobs that are created
%%% to print an ambitus:
%%% - ambitus-group: the grob that groups all the components of an ambitus
%%% (Ambitus grob);
%%% - ambitus-line: the vertical line between the upper and lower ambitus
%%% notes (AmbitusLine grob);
%%% - ambitus-up-note and ambitus-down-note: the note head and accidental
%%% for the lower and upper note of the ambitus (see <ambitus-note> class
%%% below).
%%% The other slots define the key and clef context of the engraver:
%%% - start-c0: position of middle c at the beginning of the piece.  It
%%% is used to place the ambitus notes according to their pitch;
%%% - start-key-sig: the key signature at the beginning of the piece.  It
%%% is used to determine if accidentals shall be printed next to ambitus
%%% notes.

#(define-class <ambitus> ()
   (ambitus-group #:accessor ambitus-group)
   (ambitus-line #:accessor ambitus-line)
   (ambitus-up-note #:getter ambitus-up-note
                    #:init-form (make <ambitus-note>))
   (ambitus-down-note #:getter ambitus-down-note
                      #:init-form (make <ambitus-note>))
   (start-c0 #:accessor ambitus-start-c0
             #:init-value #f)
   (start-key-sig #:accessor ambitus-start-key-sig
                  #:init-value '()))

%%% Accessor for the lower and upper note data of an ambitus
#(define-method (ambitus-note (ambitus <ambitus>) direction)
   "If @var{direction} is @code{UP}, then return the upper ambitus note
of @var{ambitus}, otherwise return the lower ambitus note."
   (if (= direction UP)
       (ambitus-up-note ambitus)
       (ambitus-down-note ambitus)))

%%% The <ambitus-note> class holds the grobs that are specific to ambitus
%%% (lower and upper) notes:
%%% - head: an AmbitusNoteHead grob;
%%% - accidental: an AmbitusAccidental grob, to be possibly printed next
%%% to the ambitus note head.
%%% Moreover:
%%% - pitch is the absolute pitch of the note
%%% - cause is the note event that causes this ambitus note, i.e. the lower
%%% or upper note of the considered music sequence.

#(define-class <ambitus-note> ()
   (head #:accessor ambitus-note-head
         #:init-value #f)
   (accidental #:accessor ambitus-note-accidental
               #:init-value #f)
   (cause #:accessor ambitus-note-cause
          #:init-value #f)
   (pitch #:accessor ambitus-note-pitch
          #:init-value #f))

%%%
%%% Ambitus engraving logics
%%%
%%% Rewrite of the code from @file{lily/ambitus-engraver.cc}.

#(define (make-ambitus translator)
   "Build an ambitus object: initialize all the grobs and their relations.

The Ambitus grob contain all other grobs:
 Ambitus
  |- AmbitusLine
  |- AmbitusNoteHead   for upper note
  |- AmbitusAccidental for upper note
  |- AmbitusNoteHead   for lower note
  |- AmbitusAccidental for lower note

The parent of an accidental is the corresponding note head,
and the accidental is set as the 'accidental-grob of the note head
so that is printed by the function that prints notes."
   ;; make the ambitus object
   (let ((ambitus (make <ambitus>)))
     ;; build the Ambitus grob, which will contain all other grobs
     (set! (ambitus-group ambitus) (ly:engraver-make-grob translator 'Ambitus '()))
     ;; build the AmbitusLine grob (line between lower and upper note)
     (set! (ambitus-line ambitus) (ly:engraver-make-grob translator 'AmbitusLine '()))
     ;; build the upper and lower AmbitusNoteHead and AmbitusAccidental
     (for-each (lambda (direction)
                 (let ((head (ly:engraver-make-grob translator 'AmbitusNoteHead '()))
                       (accidental (ly:engraver-make-grob translator 'AmbitusAccidental '()))
                       (group (ambitus-group ambitus)))
                   ;; The parent of the AmbitusAccidental grob is the
                   ;; AmbitusNoteHead grob
                   (set! (ly:grob-parent accidental Y) head)
                   ;; The AmbitusAccidental grob is set as the accidental-grob
                   ;; object of the AmbitusNoteHead.  This is later used by the
                   ;; function that prints notes.
                   (set! (ly:grob-object head 'accidental-grob) accidental)
                   ;; both the note head and the accidental grobs are added
                   ;; to the main ambitus grob.
                   (ly:axis-group-interface::add-element group head)
                   (ly:axis-group-interface::add-element group accidental)
                   ;; the note head and the accidental grobs are added to the
                   ;; ambitus object
                   (set! (ambitus-note-head (ambitus-note ambitus direction))
                         head)
                   (set! (ambitus-note-accidental (ambitus-note ambitus direction))
                         accidental)))
               (list DOWN UP))
     ;; The parent of the ambitus line is the lower ambitus note head
     (set! (ly:grob-parent (ambitus-line ambitus) X)
           (ambitus-note-head (ambitus-note ambitus DOWN)))
     ;; the ambitus line is added to the ambitus main grob
     (ly:axis-group-interface::add-element (ambitus-group ambitus) (ambitus-line ambitus))
     ambitus))

#(define-method (initialize-ambitus-state (ambitus <ambitus>) translator)
   "Initialize the state of @var{ambitus}, by getting the starting
position of middle C and key signature from @var{translator}'s context."
   (if (not (ambitus-start-c0 ambitus))
       (begin
         (set! (ambitus-start-c0 ambitus)
               (ly:context-property (ly:translator-context translator)
                                    'middleCPosition
                                    0))
         (set! (ambitus-start-key-sig ambitus)
               (ly:context-property (ly:translator-context translator)
                                    'keyAlterations)))))

#(define-method (update-ambitus-notes (ambitus <ambitus>) note-grob)
   "Update the upper and lower ambitus pithes of @var{ambitus}, using
@var{note-grob}."
   ;; Get the event that caused the note-grob creation
   ;; and check that it is a note-event.
   (let ((note-event (ly:grob-property note-grob 'cause)))
     (if (ly:in-event-class? note-event 'note-event)
         ;; get the pitch from the note event
         (let ((pitch (ly:event-property note-event 'pitch)))
           ;; if this pitch is lower than the current ambitus lower
           ;; note pitch (or it has not been initialized yet),
           ;; then this pitch is the new ambitus lower pitch,
           ;; and conversely for upper pitch.
           (for-each (lambda (direction pitch-compare)
                       (if (or (not (ambitus-note-pitch (ambitus-note ambitus direction)))
                               (pitch-compare pitch
                                              (ambitus-note-pitch (ambitus-note ambitus direction))))
                           (begin
                             (set! (ambitus-note-pitch (ambitus-note ambitus direction))
                                   pitch)
                             (set! (ambitus-note-cause (ambitus-note ambitus direction))
                                   note-event))))
                     (list DOWN UP)
                     (list ly:pitch<? (lambda (p1 p2)
                                        (ly:pitch<? p2 p1))))))))

#(define-method (typeset-ambitus (ambitus <ambitus>) translator)
   "Typeset the ambitus:
- place the lower and upper ambitus notes according to their pitch and
  the position of the middle C;
- typeset or delete the note accidentals, according to the key signature.
  An accidental, if it is to be printed, is added to an AccidentalPlacement
  grob (a grob dedicated to the placement of accidentals near a chord);
- both note heads are added to the ambitus line grob, so that a line should
  be printed between them."
   ;; check if there are lower and upper pitches
   (if (and (ambitus-note-pitch (ambitus-note ambitus UP))
            (ambitus-note-pitch (ambitus-note ambitus DOWN)))
       ;; make an AccidentalPlacement grob, for placement of note accidentals
       (let ((accidental-placement (ly:engraver-make-grob
                                    translator
                                    'AccidentalPlacement
                                    (ambitus-note-accidental (ambitus-note ambitus DOWN)))))
         ;; For lower and upper ambitus notes:
         (for-each (lambda (direction)
                     (let ((pitch (ambitus-note-pitch (ambitus-note ambitus direction))))
                       ;; set the cause and the staff position of the ambitus note
                       ;; according to the associated pitch
                       (set! (ly:grob-property (ambitus-note-head (ambitus-note ambitus direction))
                                               'cause)
                             (ambitus-note-cause (ambitus-note ambitus direction)))
                       (set! (ly:grob-property (ambitus-note-head (ambitus-note ambitus direction))
                                               'staff-position)
                             (+ (ambitus-start-c0 ambitus)
                                (ly:pitch-steps pitch)))
                       ;; determine if an accidental shall be printed for this note,
                       ;; according to the key signature
                       (let* ((handle (or (assoc (cons (ly:pitch-octave pitch)
                                                       (ly:pitch-notename pitch))
                                                 (ambitus-start-key-sig ambitus))
                                          (assoc (ly:pitch-notename pitch)
                                                 (ambitus-start-key-sig ambitus))))
                              (sig-alter (if handle (cdr handle) 0)))
                         (cond ((= (ly:pitch-alteration pitch) sig-alter)
                                ;; the note alteration is in the key signature
                                ;; => it does not have to be printed
                                (ly:grob-suicide!
                                 (ambitus-note-accidental (ambitus-note ambitus direction)))
                                (set! (ly:grob-object (ambitus-note-head (ambitus-note ambitus direction))
                                                      'accidental-grob)
                                      '()))
                               (else
                                ;; otherwise, the accidental shall be printed
                                (set! (ly:grob-property (ambitus-note-accidental
                                                         (ambitus-note ambitus direction))
                                                        'alteration)
                                      (ly:pitch-alteration pitch)))))
                       ;; add the AccidentalPlacement grob to the
                       ;; conditional items of the AmbitusNoteHead
                       (ly:separation-item::add-conditional-item
                        (ambitus-note-head (ambitus-note ambitus direction))
                        accidental-placement)
                       ;; add the AmbitusAccidental to the list of the
                       ;; AccidentalPlacement grob accidentals
                       (ly:accidental-placement::add-accidental
                        accidental-placement
                        (ambitus-note-accidental (ambitus-note ambitus direction)))
                       ;; add the AmbitusNoteHead grob to the AmbitusLine grob
                       (ly:pointer-group-interface::add-grob
                        (ambitus-line ambitus)
                        'note-heads
                        (ambitus-note-head (ambitus-note ambitus direction)))))
                   (list DOWN UP))
         ;; add the AccidentalPlacement grob to the main Ambitus grob
         (ly:axis-group-interface::add-element (ambitus-group ambitus) accidental-placement))
       ;; no notes ==> suicide the grobs
       (begin
         (for-each (lambda (direction)
                     (ly:grob-suicide! (ambitus-note-accidental (ambitus-note ambitus direction)))
                     (ly:grob-suicide! (ambitus-note-head (ambitus-note ambitus direction))))
                   (list DOWN UP))
         (ly:grob-suicide! ambitus-line))))

%%%
%%% Ambitus engraver definition
%%%
#(define ambitus-engraver
   (lambda (context)
     (let ((ambitus #f))
       ;; when music is processed: make the ambitus object, if not already built
       (make-engraver
	((process-music translator)
	 (if (not ambitus)
	     (set! ambitus (make-ambitus translator))))
	;; set the ambitus clef and key signature state
	((stop-translation-timestep translator)
	 (if ambitus
	     (initialize-ambitus-state ambitus translator)))
	;; when a note-head grob is built, update the ambitus notes
	(acknowledgers
          ((note-head-interface engraver grob source-engraver)
	   (if ambitus
	       (update-ambitus-notes ambitus grob))))
	;; finally, typeset the ambitus according to its upper and lower notes
	;; (if any).
	((finalize translator)
	 (if ambitus
	     (typeset-ambitus ambitus translator)))))))

%%%
%%% Example
%%%

\score {
  \new StaffGroup <<
    \new Staff { c'4 des' e' fis' gis' }
    \new Staff { \clef "bass" c4 des ~ des ees b, }
  >>
  \layout { \context { \Staff \consists #ambitus-engraver } }
}

[image of music]


Displaying a whole GrandStaff system if only one of its staves is alive

In orchestral scores sometimes single or groups of instruments are silent for a while and their staves can be removed for that time (with \removeEmptyStaves).

When they play again it is often preferred to show the staves of all instruments of such a group. this can be done adding the Keep_alive_together_engraver in the grouper (e.g. a GrandStaff or a StaffGroup)

In the example the violins are silent in the 2nd system and in the 3rd system. Only the first violin plays the last measure but the staff of the second violin is also displayed.

\score {
  <<
    \new StaffGroup = "StaffGroup_woodwinds"
    <<
      \new Staff = "Staff_flute" \with {
        instrumentName = "Flute"
        shortInstrumentName = "Fl"
      }
      \relative c' {
        \repeat unfold 3 { c'4 c c c | c c c c | c c c c | \break }
      }
    >>
    \new StaffGroup = "StaffGroup_Strings"
    <<
      \new GrandStaff = "GrandStaff_violins"
      <<
        \new Staff = "StaffViolinI" \with {
          instrumentName = "Violin I"
          shortInstrumentName = "Vi I"
        }
        \relative c'' {
          a1 \repeat unfold 7 { s1 } \repeat unfold 12 a16  a4
        }
        \new Staff = "StaffViolinII" \with {
          instrumentName = "Violin II"
          shortInstrumentName = "Vi II"
        }
        \relative c' { e1 \repeat unfold 8 { s1 } }
      >>
      \new Staff = "Staff_cello" \with {
        instrumentName = "Cello"
        shortInstrumentName = "Ce"
      }
      \relative c { \clef bass \repeat unfold 9 { c1 }}
    >>
  >>
}
\layout {
  \context {
    \GrandStaff
    \consists Keep_alive_together_engraver
  }
  \context {
    \Staff
    \RemoveEmptyStaves
  }
}

[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 signature, accidentals, bar line, etc. form a Staff context.

%% 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"

  localAlterations = #'()

  % explicitly set instrumentName, so we don't get
  % weird effects when doing instrument names for
  % piano staves

  instrumentName = #'()
  shortInstrumentName = #'()

  \accepts "Voice"
  \defaultchild "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."

  localAlterations = #'()
  \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 "Dynamic_align_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"
}


\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 = {
  \hide Staff.BarLine
  s1 s
  % the final bar line is not interrupted
  \undo \hide Staff.BarLine
  \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]


Numbering groups of measures

This snippet demonstrates the use of the Measure_counter_engraver to number groups of successive measures. Any stretch of measures may be numbered, whether consisting of repetitions or not.

The engraver must be added to the appropriate context. Here, a Staff context is used; another possibility is a Dynamics context.

The counter is begun with \startMeasureCount and ended with \stopMeasureCount. Numbering will start by default with 1, but this behavior may be modified by overriding the count-from property.

When a measure extends across a line break, the number will appear twice, the second time in parentheses.

\layout {
  \context {
    \Staff
    \consists #Measure_counter_engraver
  }
}

\new Staff {
  \startMeasureCount
  \repeat unfold 7 {
    c'4 d' e' f'
  }
  \stopMeasureCount
  \bar "||"
  g'4 f' e' d'
  \override Staff.MeasureCounter.count-from = #2
  \startMeasureCount
  \repeat unfold 5 {
    g'4 f' e' d'
  }
  g'4 f'
  \bar ""
  \break
  e'4 d'
  \repeat unfold 7 {
    g'4 f' e' d'
  }
  \stopMeasureCount
}

[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
    \omit BarNumber
    % or:
    %\remove "Bar_number_engraver"
  }
}

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

[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 ChoirStaff 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
  >>
}

[image of music]


Vocal ensemble template with verse and refrain

This template creates a score which starts with a solo verse and continues into a refrain for two voices. It also demonstrates the use of spacer rests within the \global variable to define meter changes (and other elements common to all parts) throughout the entire score.

global = {
  \key g \major

  % verse
  \time 3/4
  s2.*2
  \break

  % refrain
  \time 2/4
  s2*2
  \bar "|."
}

SoloNotes = \relative g' {
  \clef "treble"

  % verse
  g4 g g |
  b4 b b |

  % refrain
  R2*2 |
}

SoloLyrics = \lyricmode {
  One two three |
  four five six |
}

SopranoNotes = \relative c'' {
  \clef "treble"

  % verse
  R2.*2 |

  % refrain
  c4 c |
  g4 g |
}

SopranoLyrics = \lyricmode {
  la la |
  la la |
}

BassNotes = \relative c {
  \clef "bass"

  % verse
  R2.*2 |

  % refrain
  c4 e |
  d4 d |
}

BassLyrics = \lyricmode {
  dum dum |
  dum dum |
}

\score {
  <<
    \new Voice = "SoloVoice" << \global \SoloNotes >>
    \new Lyrics \lyricsto "SoloVoice" \SoloLyrics

    \new ChoirStaff <<
      \new Voice = "SopranoVoice" << \global \SopranoNotes >>
      \new Lyrics \lyricsto "SopranoVoice" \SopranoLyrics

      \new Voice = "BassVoice" << \global \BassNotes >>
      \new Lyrics \lyricsto "BassVoice" \BassLyrics
    >>
  >>
  \layout {
    ragged-right = ##t
    \context { \Staff
      % these lines prevent empty staves from being printed
      \RemoveEmptyStaves
      \override VerticalAxisGroup.remove-first = ##t
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


LilyPond — Snippets v2.19.12 (development-branch).