# lilypond - make it start counting from a partial opening measure

We have noticed that when a part starts with a partial measure, LilyPond will consider the first measure to be the following one. Is there an easy way to tell LilyPond to start counting from the partial measure?

Adding ss to complete the measure is not good enough because they take up space. We found that adding \set Score.currentBarNumber = #2 at the start will get the bar numbers how we want, but this looks counterintuitive (because who starts counting on 2, right?). Is there an easier way to do this?

In case you are wondering, we are working on: https://github.com/eantoranz/bwv/blob/main/BWV%201004%20Violin%20Partita%20II%20D%20minor/5-ciaccona.ly

• Take a look at the Measure_counter_engraver object Dec 18, 2021 at 18:49
• Can you elaborate why you want to have the incomplete measure counted, against normal practice? Is this customary for the Ciacona? Dec 18, 2021 at 21:17
• Quite frankly, I do not care that much in this branch (Bach was not adding numbers to the measures).... however, if I were putting up editions of the chaconne (other than the manuscript), some start counting on the partial.... then I would like to match them on the numbering. Dec 18, 2021 at 21:34
• I don't understand your problem with using \set Score.currentBarNumber = #2. It might be counterintuitive, but it is certainly easy. Dec 18, 2021 at 23:33

I suppose adding a quarter note rest on 1 would be more readable. Anyway, instead of using \partial 2 you can also directly change the measure length by doing

\set Timing.measureLength = #(ly:make-moment 1/2)

before the music and

\unset Timing.measureLength

after the partial measure.

Problem: wrong bar numbers when using partial such as in

\partial 2
\firstMeasure
\remainingMeasures


Fix 1: partial with current bar number = 2

\partial 2
\set Score.currentBarNumber = #2
\firstMeasure
\remainingMeasures


s4
\firstMeasure
\remainingMeasures


Fix 3: start with rest, tweak width

\newSpacingSection
\override Score.SpacingSpanner.spacing-increment = #6.5
\override Score.SpacingSpanner.shortest-duration-space = #1
s4
\newSpacingSection
\revert Score.SpacingSpanner.spacing-increment
\revert Score.SpacingSpanner.shortest-duration-space
\firstMeasure
\remainingMeasures


Fix 4: set first measure length to 2/4 (thanks to Lazy)

\set Timing.measureLength = #(ly:make-moment 1/2)
\firstMeasure
\unset Timing.measureLength
\override Staff.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f
\time 3/4
\remainingMeasures


source code : wrong bar numbering after partial demo

• What does the symbol "∅" represent here? Dec 19, 2021 at 3:31
• in the first 2 examples, \partial is used, in the 3rd and 4th examples, s4 is used, and in the last example, nothing (=the empty set symbol ∅) is used 😱. Sorry, it's a bit far-fetched. Dec 19, 2021 at 17:10
• Rigging the first measure's length has one of the strongest parallels, if not the strongest parallel, with how to pull off the request in the question with Musescore instead of Lilypond. Dec 19, 2021 at 20:48