I’m rewriting a sheet of music where the first two notes are separate, but lilypond connect them. How to disconnect those two 1/8 notes? Thanks.

see exemple: http://lilybin.com/rexyws/1

  • Why do you want to remove the beam? That's going to make them harder to read (without affecting how they're played in most cases).
    – gidds
    Commented Nov 12, 2021 at 19:01
  • 1
    One reason for disconnecting them is to set lyrics to each note, and use beaming as a slur joining notes together for a single syllable. This is common in setting plainchant on a five-line stave, for example. Commented Nov 12, 2021 at 19:33
  • @AndrewLeach Hmmm — for irregular/unmetered music, I could probably sort of see the point. But it also gets used for standard metered vocal/choral music, too, and as a singer, I hate it: it makes complex rapid rhythms impossible to follow, and IMHO adds nothing that's not better conveyed using standard notation with slurs for melisma. (And it doesn't seem to apply to the example in this question, which is in common time.)
    – gidds
    Commented Nov 12, 2021 at 23:44
  • @gidds as a singer, I hate vocal music that is beamed according to the meter instead of with the syllables. It makes it much harder to know where each syllable begins and ends, and it leads people to introduce spurious phrasing as they try to treat the slurs as an instrumentalist would. It's a matter of taste. And it was the standard notation for several centuries.
    – phoog
    Commented Nov 13, 2021 at 11:13
  • @phoog Then I hope you never have to sing fast music filled with rhythms like this (genuine, AFAICR): | s s s q q q s q q q | q. q q q q q s q | q q s s s q q q s q | … (where q=quaver and s=semiquaver). As for phrasing, isn't that what phrasing slurs are for?
    – gidds
    Commented Nov 13, 2021 at 12:34

1 Answer 1


There are lots of ways to customise the beaming in LilyPond:

  • if you just want a manual beam — try [ & ] or \noBeam
  • or maybe you want no beams at all — try \autoBeamOff
  • perhaps there is something else you want your beams to do programatically
    — Have a look at the options on this page of the documentation:

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