Consider this example :

#(set-global-staff-size 25)
%\tempo Allegro
\time 4/4
a'4 b' c'' d''
a'4 b' c'' d''
a'4 b' c'' d''
a'4 b' c'' d''
a'4 b' c'' d''

enter image description here

Is there a way to impose a smaller width to the bars that only contain a rest, which would give more space to the other bars? (Not best practice but I try to copy a manuscript.)

Knowing that the Lilypond manual states "No workaround exists for decreasing the amount of space."

(Related to this question.)

1 Answer 1


In fact there is. MultiMeasureRest use the dummy property springs-and-rods to set the actual spacing, so we can actually get rid of all extra spacing by setting

\override MultiMeasureRest.springs-and-rods = ##f

But more reasonably: ly:multi-measure-rest::set-spacing-rods pads the length by the value of the property bound-padding to both sides, which defaults to 0.5ss (so the total length is padded by 1ss). Adjust this value as you like

\override MultiMeasureRest.bound-padding = #-0.5

to achieve wider or narrower spacing. This padding can also be set to a negative value, but can not lead to negative spacing.

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