LILYPOND NOTATION REFERENCE PDF

This index lists all the LilyPond commands and keywords with links to those sections of the manual which describe or discuss their use. Each link is in two parts. The first part points to the exact location in the manual where the command or keyword appears; the second part points to the start of the section of the manual in which the command or keyword appears. We welcome your aid; please help us by reporting errors to our bug list. About automatic language selection. LilyPond command index This index lists all the LilyPond commands and keywords with links to those sections of the manual which describe or discuss their use.

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This manual provides a reference for all notation that can be produced with LilyPond version 2. It assumes that the reader is familiar with the material in the Learning Manual. For more information about how this manual fits with the other documentation, or to read this manual in other formats, see Manuals. This section discusses how to specify the pitch of notes. There are three steps to this process: input, modification, and output.

This section discusses how to input pitches. There are two different ways to place notes in octaves: absolute and relative mode. In most cases, relative mode will be more convenient.

The note names c to b are engraved in the octave below middle C. Music Glossary: Pitch names. Absolute octave entry requires specifying the octave for every single note.

In relative mode, each note is assumed to be as close to the previous note as possible. This means that the octave of each pitch inside musicexpr is calculated as follows:. Identifying middle C with c' is quite basic, so finding octaves of c tends to be straightforward. This happens to be equivalent to choosing f as the reference pitch.

If the preceding item is a chord, the first note of the chord is used as the reference point for the octave placement of a following note or chord. Inside chords, the next note is always relative to the preceding one. Examine the next example carefully, paying attention to the c notes. As explained above, the octave of pitches is calculated only with the note names, regardless of any alterations.

Therefore, an E-double-sharp following a B will be placed higher, while an F-double-flat will be placed lower. In other words, a double-augmented fourth is considered a smaller interval than a double-diminished fifth, regardless of the number of semitones that each interval contains. In complex situations, it is sometimes useful to get back to a certain pitch regardless of what happened before. Music Glossary: fifth , interval , Pitch names.

Internals Reference: RelativeOctaveMusic. Note: New users are sometimes confused about accidentals and key signatures. In LilyPond, note names specify pitches; key signatures and clefs determine how these pitches are displayed. For more information, see Pitches and key signatures. A sharp pitch is made by adding is to the note name, and a flat pitch by adding es. As you might expect, a double sharp or double flat is made by adding isis or eses. This syntax is derived from Dutch note naming conventions.

To use other names for accidentals, see Note names in other languages. A natural pitch is entered as a simple note name; no suffix is required. A natural sign will be printed when needed to cancel the effect of an earlier accidental or key signature. Normally accidentals are printed automatically, but you may also print them manually.

A reminder accidental can be forced by adding an exclamation mark! A cautionary accidental i. In accordance with traditional typesetting rules, a natural sign is printed before a sharp or flat if a previous double sharp or flat on the same note is canceled. To change this behavior to contemporary practice, set the extraNatural property to f in the Staff context. Music Glossary: sharp , flat , double sharp , double flat , Pitch names , quarter tone. Learning Manual: Pitches and key signatures.

Notation Reference: Automatic accidentals , Annotational accidentals musica ficta , Note names in other languages. There are predefined sets of note and accidental names for various other languages. Selecting the note name language is usually done at the beginning of the file; the following example is written using Italian note names:.

Exactly the same holds for es and ees , aeses and ases , and finally eeses and eses. In German and Finnish, LilyPond additionally provides the more frequent form asas for ases. Languages that do not appear in this table do not provide special note names yet. In German, there are similar name contractions for microtones as with normal pitches described above. Most languages presented here are commonly associated with Western classical music, also referred to as Common Practice Period.

However, alternate pitches and tuning systems are also supported: see Common notation for non-Western music. Notation Reference: Common notation for non-Western music. In relative mode, it is easy to forget an octave changing mark. Octave checks make such errors easier to find by displaying a warning and correcting the octave if a note is found in an unexpected octave. This example will generate a warning and change the pitch because the second note is the absolute octave d'' instead of d' as indicated by the octave correction.

This checks that the interval between the previous note and the controlpitch is within a fourth i. If this check fails, a warning is printed. While the previous note itself is not changed, future notes are relative to the corrected value.

Compare the two bars below. Internals Reference: RelativeOctaveCheck. This means that musicexpr is transposed by the interval between the pitches frompitch and topitch : any note with pitch frompitch is changed to topitch and any other note is transposed by the same interval.

Both pitches are entered in absolute mode. Consider a piece written in the key of D-major. It can be transposed up to E-major; note that the key signature is automatically transposed as well. If a part written in C normal concert pitch is to be played on the A clarinet for which an A is notated as a C and thus sounds a minor third lower than notated , the appropriate part will be produced with:.

If we do not specify a key signature, the notes will be transposed but no key signature will be printed. The first version will print sharps and the notes will remain on the same scale step, the second version will print flats on the scale step above.

For example, when entering music for a B-flat trumpet that begins on a notated E concert D , one would write:. To print this music in F e. For more information about transposing instruments, see Instrument transpositions. This example uses some Scheme code to enforce enharmonic modifications for notes in order to have the minimum number of accidentals.

In this case, the following rules apply:. Notation Reference: Instrument transpositions , Inversion , Modal transformations , Relative octave entry , Retrograde. Internals Reference: TransposedMusic. The musicexpr is inverted interval-by-interval around around-pitch , and then transposed so that around-pitch is mapped to to-pitch. Note: Motifs to be inverted should be expressed in absolute form or be first converted to absolute form by enclosing them in a relative block.

Notation Reference: Modal transformations , Retrograde , Transpose. Notation Reference: Inversion , Modal transformations , Transpose. In a musical composition that is based on a scale, a motif is frequently transformed in various ways. It may be transposed to start at different places in the scale or it may be inverted around a pivot point in the scale. It may also be reversed to produce its retrograde , see Retrograde.

Note: Any note that does not lie within the given scale will be left untransformed. The notes of motif are shifted within the scale by the number of scale degrees given by the interval between to-pitch and from-pitch :.

A motif can be inverted within a given scale around a given pivot note and transposed in a single operation with:. The notes of motif are placed the same number of scale degrees from the around-pitch note within the scale , but in the opposite direction, and the result is then shifted within the scale by the number of scale degrees given by the interval between to-pitch and around-pitch. So to simply invert around a note in the scale use the same value for around-pitch and to-pitch :. To invert around a pivot between two notes in the scale, invert around one of the notes and then transpose by one scale degree.

The two notes specified can be interpreted as bracketing the pivot point:. Notation Reference: Inversion , Retrograde , Transpose. Middle C is shown in each of the following examples. Specialized clefs, such as those used in Ancient music, are described in Mensural clefs and Gregorian clefs. Music that requires tablature clefs is discussed in Default tablatures and Custom tablatures. Other integers can be used if required. Clef names containing non-alphabetic characters must be enclosed in quotes.

Optional octavation can be obtained by enclosing the numeric argument in parentheses or brackets:. By default, a clef change taking place at a line break will cause the new clef symbol to be printed at the end of the previous line, as a warning clef, as well as the beginning of the next. This warning clef can be suppressed. The forceClef property overrides this decision locally to re-print a clef once. When there is a manual clef change, the glyph of the changed clef will be smaller than normal.

This behaviour can be overridden. Changing the Clef glyph, its position, or the ottavation does not change the position of subsequent notes on the staff.

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