LilyPond: explicit initial durations for a second voice and thanks to Frescobaldi

Happy Holidays, humbug, and stuff.

I'm in a coffee shop working on finalizing some pitches and durations for some pieces I'm working on for solo guitar. I'm hoping I can have the fingerings and dynamics all punched in by the end of the year – as I've got a nice amount of vacation built into the school year (one of the best advantages of working in academia). I started composing these last September (2012) so I'm behind schedule in that I wanted to be all done by September, 2013. Good intentions and all.

Anyway, I'm using the mighty Frescobaldi editor to make Lilypond scores after I'd done the initial notation in MuseScore and exported it to LilyPond format. And yesterday I was struggling with something I'd never come across before.

Basically I had thought that the first note defaults to a quarter note if no duration is specified. According to the LilyPond documentation here, that is indeed the case:

If the duration is omitted, it is set to the previously entered duration. The default for the first note is a quarter note.

The last measure of my first voice part ended with a half-note rest and the first note of my second voice part started with a quarter note, which I failed to explicitly notate because I thought a quarter note was the default per voice. My bad.

Well, it seems that the first note of the second voice was actually inheriting the half note from the end of the first voice so after getting a bit frustrated as to why my score was compiling all wonkily I stumbled upon the need to set the duration for the first note of the second voice explicitly as below.

  <g e' c'>4 r <b f' g> r |
  <g c e>2\fermata r\bar "|." |

% voice 2.
basso = \relative c {
  \set fingeringOrientations = #'(left)

  c4 e r e | % 1

Related Content:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *