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Re: figured bass in staff context

From: Lukas-Fabian Moser
Subject: Re: figured bass in staff context
Date: Sun, 8 Mar 2020 16:22:13 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:68.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/68.4.1

Hi Derek,

I’m a new user as of today.
This is great news - and I'm quite happy that my (and my colleagues') introductions seem not to have been too deterrent. :-)
I’ve input my first score in LilyPond today (a Telemann song) and I can’t figure out how to enter the figured bass directly into the staff context, as described here because I’ve used Frescobaldi’s template, which has a different setup. The problem is that the alignment is off (all single figures should be one level lower). Unfortunately I don’t know how to make a tiny example of this.

That problem is not related to where the figured bass is put - generally, figured bass lives in its own context (namely FiguredBass), which is independent of Staves, PianoStaves, Lyrics etc.

Rather, LilyPond by default arranges Bass figures starting from top. This may be changed by

  \override BassFigureAlignment.stacking-dir = #UP

which may be put directly into the \figures { ... } part of your file, or e.g. in a \layout { } block at the beginning of the file.

The problem is that then the figures also have to be entered bottom-up, e.g. <4 2> instead of <2 4>. Someone posted a function some time ago that did this automatically, I'll see if I can find it.

Some other remarks:

In order to skip a beat in bass figures, it's not necessary to put <"">8. You can just use s8 (s for "skip"), and also use a single skip for longer stretches of time. So, the beginning of your bass figures may be entered as

s8 <6> s8*5 <6>8

or - better, since we can keep safety bar lines for bar checks -

s8 <6> s | s4. | s8 <6>

I’m also trying to figure out the best way of entering and translating Telemann’s text at the bottom. A footnote, header, or something else?

To me, just putting a \markup after a \score seems fine.

I changed some other things in your file - namely, indentation (this is easy with Frescobaldi: Tools -> Code formatting -> Format) and the way music and lyrics are organized. (Most experienced users discourage the use of \addlyrics except for very simple scores, but here I think it's fine.) Of course, lots of the decisions involved (for example, my scrapping of \pianoPart) are a matter of taste.


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