With default spacing SpacingSpanner.base-shortest-duration = #(ly:make-moment 1/16) the music doesn't look good to me. The chords are more densely packed than the single notes, which produces a bit too much 'black' to my liking. See picture. enter image description here With (ly:make-moment 1/8) it only gets worse, and with (ly:make-moment 1/32) the single notes are too widely spread out. Is there a way to change this behaviour, preferably globally? The same spacing between the chords as between the single notes might already be an improvement.

1 Answer 1


I don't think it's true that in your picture, "the chords are more densely packed than the single notes". In the first staff, the single notes are packed pretty much just as densely as the chords, and the same thing holds for the second one. Of course, if you have lots of chords, it will look busier because there are more dots. What is different is the density of all notes in general in the two staves.

And the density of stuff in a line is of course most importantly affected by how much stuff you pack into the line. In this case, it's just the fact that the first line has four bars and the next one has only three. (Perhaps it's the last line of the score and ragged-right has the (default) value of #f?)

So a simple solution would be putting a \break after the bar 60. That will force a line break, you will have only three bars in the line and it will look considerably less crowded. However, I would advise to first write the whole score and only then tweak line breaks and similar stuff; otherwise you could very well need to re-do the tweaking several times.

  • Thanks. I know I can 'clean up' with \break s but was wondering whether it could be done with a command. Thanks anyway.
    – HarryH
    Jun 4, 2023 at 12:42
  • By the way, I'm considering overriding make-moments where those chords occur, to revert them afterwards. What say you?
    – HarryH
    Jun 4, 2023 at 12:46
  • 1
    You can certainly do it. I'd just repeat that it's best to do these tweaks when the score is fully entered. Other than that, it's a good tweak to get the job done.
    – Ramillies
    Jun 4, 2023 at 13:17

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