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Re: unmetered music - page breaks and empty bar lines

From: Peter Van Kranenburg
Subject: Re: unmetered music - page breaks and empty bar lines
Date: Sun, 02 Jan 2011 15:39:59 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X 10.6; en-US; rv: Gecko/20101207 Thunderbird/3.1.7

On 1/2/11 3:17 PM, Frauke Jurgensen wrote:
Oddly, I'm dealing with the exact same problem just now! Like you,
I've set a metre and then set the default bar line type to empty.

Simply removing the Bar_engraver will lead to disaster, although it
will make all the notes evenly spaced...The clefs on subsequent
systems will disappear. Now sure why yet. Section 3.2.9 of the
Reference gives all the properties of bar lines that you can mess
with; I'll report on what I find out.

I tried to adjust kern, thin-kern, several parameters in space-alist; all without success. The descriptions are too sparse for me to get the full meaning of the properties.

--- off topic ---

Out of interest, what are you working on? It looks somewhat familiar...

It's organ music. A trio in French Baroque style, part of a Magnificat suite, composed by a friend of mine.

Saw your Bach article in CIM 15, btw; nice work!


Looking forward to meet you in Aberdeen.

Best regards,


On Sun, Jan 2, 2011 at 1:33 PM, Peter Van Kranenburg
<address@hidden>  wrote:
Dear list,

I'm typesetting unmetered music. My question is: what is the right (or best)
approach to do so?

If I set Score.timing to false, I have to insert \bar "" everywhere in order
to let lilypond figure out a nice layout. That's tedious.

My current approach is this:

\layout {
  \context {
        \remove "Bar_number_engraver"
        \override BarLine #'transparent = ##t
        \override TimeSignature #'transparent = ##t
  \context {
          \override SpanBar #'stencil =
          #(lambda (grob)
                (if (string=? (ly:grob-property grob 'glyph-name) "|")
                        (set! (ly:grob-property grob 'glyph-name) ""))
                (ly:span-bar::print grob))

At the beginning of the music I do: \set Timing.defaultBarType = ""

So, I set the music with meter - providing lilypond many good points to
insert line breaks - and I make all barlines empty and hide the meter. The
problem is that the (empty) bar lines still occupy space, causing the notes
to be spaced unevenly (see attached example - the bottom part is where the
bar lines are when they are not empty. The space before the final note is
really bad).

I tried to set the next-note distance to 0 in the space-alist of barline,
but that didn't remove all horizontal space.

Is there a better way to do this?

Thanks in advance.

Peter van Kranenburg

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