# Lilypond lead sheet chord symbol notation

I am working with a collection of Lilypond files generated from the Weimer Jazz Database, and I've been trying to understand the rules for chord symbol notation. I've found a useful resource explaining the general rules, but still have a couple of questions about specific details.

First, I haven't found a definitive explanation about the difference between `s` and `r` for chord notation. My understanding is that `r` represents the No Chord symbol, NC. I thought that `s` meant repeat the previous chord, but as can be seen here, the sequence `s2. r4` results in:

Another point of confusion I have is with `c1:775+`, which I would be tempted to interpret as C7#5 (or C7b13) with an extraneous 7 in the notation, but as the engraved output here shows, is interpreted by Lilypond as C(9)13.

Finally, my understanding is that `es` indicates a flat symbol, but as can be seen in the engraved output, this sequence produces `es2:min7 aes2:7` Eb-7 Ab7. I would have written the sequence `ees2:min7 aes2:7`.

I'd appreciate it if someone could help explain these examples, or point me to a definitive guide on Lilypond chord symbol notation.

• Just a quick note: thought that s meant repeat the previous chord... `s` means to skip whatever duration it has, as previously explained, but there is a symbol for "repeat the last chord": `q`. Aug 18, 2023 at 12:45
• "I am working with a collection of Lilypond files generated from the Weimer Jazz Database..." I'd be very interested in knowing where you found these (the LilyPond source files). Aug 18, 2023 at 13:19
• I'm curious why there needs to be both a no chord symbol `r` and a skip symbol `s`. Aren't they fundamentally the same? Aug 18, 2023 at 17:25
• I wrote to one of the Weimar Jazz Database researchers, Dr. Klaus Frieler (see link) and he was kind enough to share them with me. Aug 19, 2023 at 13:05
• An `r` will produce a N.C. chord but an `s` will produce no chord. In the engraving of staff notation, the `r` produces a rest while an `s` leaves a space where the rest or note would be. Aug 20, 2023 at 14:40

`s` is simply a skip, so no information at all. `r` is a rest, and in Chord Names a rest is taken as `N.C.` (so essentially `N.C.` is the conceptual equivalent of a rest). By default Lilypond will only print Chord symbols if the chord changes.
For the second point: `775+` essentially means ’a chord with a raised 775th on top‘. Now, this notation seems to cap at 13th, which is what you are getting. I suppose you actually want the notation `7.5+`.
Finally `es` is a shorter alias for `ees`, similar to `as` for `aes`. It should not affect the output. Most likely your file changes the default minor chord modifier, as explained here:
• It can get confusing though, since `es` is e-sharp with `\language "english"` set. Aug 18, 2023 at 20:24