I have the following score typeset in Lilypond: Music score with markup problems and I have two question about markup:

  • I typeset "ritenuto" (slow down) as \tempo "rit.". Is it correct?
  • How can I move \tempo "Non rubato" to the right so that there is more space for the box with "A"?


  • solution proposed by @Lazy and @Elements in Space below is to modify X-offset property for MetronomeMark:

  • \once \override Score.MetronomeMark.X-offset = #2

  • use markup where it is possible to add horizontal space with \hspace:

\tempo \markup { \hspace #2 "Non rubato" } 4. = 80-85

where in both cases #2 denotes the amount of shift to the right.

  • 1
    As an aside, your note divisions and rest divisions don't really conform to the usual conventions for 3/4 and 6/8 time. In particular, in the last three bars your repeated rhythm should be written with a dotted quarter note tied to a quarter note, not a half tied to an eighth. This shows the player where the "beat" is in the middle of the tied note and helps them keep time. Sep 9, 2023 at 13:03
  • @MichaelSeifert you're right, thank you! I did not think about it as I just copy-pasted it from the 3/4 part. Sep 10, 2023 at 12:15

1 Answer 1


First of all: ritenuto is not slow down, but hold back, so a slower tempo. Slowing down gradually would be ritardando or rallentando.

Marking the tempo change as Metronome Mark is correct. These marks are MetronomeMark grobs, usually created at the Score level. So you can shift these by doing something like

\override Score.MetronomeMark.X-offset = #2
  • Yes, thanks, I somehow thought that it is ritenuto for slowing down; did not heard about ritardando before. Sep 9, 2023 at 0:13
  • 2
    It's probably a good idea to use \once for this particular issue. Sep 9, 2023 at 0:15
  • 3
    @DmitryKabanov Although "Rit." can be used for both ritenuto and ritardando, I prefer "riten." for the former, to avoid ambiguity.
    – Aaron
    Sep 9, 2023 at 1:13
  • @ElementsinSpace yes, agree Sep 9, 2023 at 10:07
  • @Aaron somehow, I memorized rit. = ritenuto. As I do not know Italian, I thought it means "decelerate" :-) Sep 9, 2023 at 10:08

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