I am thinking of creating a video where (originally) the viewer would see a scrolling music sheet (be it a single staff or a system or score) so I was wondering if it would be possible to make lilypond generate such an output (a veeeery wide image with a single staff/system/score) instead of separate lines on paper.

I just checked the output reference (https://lilypond.org/doc/v2.22/Documentation/notation/controlling-output) but I don't think there's anything relevant there towards what I want to do.

By the way, I could go as far as just generate the PDF and then take the separate lines and put them together in gimp, say but would rather have lilypond do it for me automagically.

Update I have found that controlling layout does get me close to what I need:

#(set! paper-alist
    (cons '("my size" . (cons (* 70 in) (* 3 in))) paper-alist))

\paper {
    #(set-paper-size "my size")

Would rather like to have a way to avoid having to test the proper width for given score.

  • I seem to remember someone coding something so that LilyPond created a scrolling score video that aligned with a MIDI realization. Maybe search the lilypond-user listserv?
    – Richard
    Aug 6, 2022 at 17:35

1 Answer 1


You want to redefine the page breaking. Just put this into your \paper block:

page-breaking = #ly:one-line-auto-height-breaking

and it should do exactly what you want.

(By the way, in my totally personal opinion, it would be better to use static chunks of score in your video, and just change them once in a while. The benefit would be threefold: 1) it takes less work, 2) your viewers won't get motion-sick (at least I do), 3) the scrolling score is hard to follow even if you don't get motion sickness, because most of the time, you don't see the clef and the key signature. For such static chunks of score, you will find #ly:one-page-breaking more useful (make a big one-page PDF and cut it in GIMP).)

  • First, let me thank you for the answer... it works! About your suggestions.... I am thinking of playing with blender3d and having a long system sounds like a good starting point but I don't have a clear idea of what it will be like en the end. I might as well come here when it's done so you can take a look (don't hold your breath.... it will take me a long while to get all the pieces together... including learning how to use blender3d)
    – eftshift0
    Aug 6, 2022 at 18:32

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.