Suppose I have a piece of music in Lilypond (three staves per system) and I want to lay it out so that all the piece fits into a single, continuous system of arbitrary length, with no breaks. How could I achieve this in Lilypond?

For context - I'm a severely partially sighted organist and need to memorise all pieces I want to play as my sight isn't good enough to follow the music while I play anymore. I also need to inspect the music bar by bar using inverted colours. At the moment I work with a portable screen reader, I magnify and invert colours on each bar, try to play it until it is clear in my head what are the notes and the move to the next. Major hassle as I have to keep the reader up with one hand. The above single-system sheet would be used on a tablet so I could just levae it on the section I'm looking at each time without having to move the reader up and down.
I have been using Lilypond since I'm a child to adapt sheet music formats to my special needs when I realised that photocopying wasn't good enough, so I already have a hefty collection of music in Lilypond format.

  • Hello Big Al! If you like you could reach out to the Lilypond user mailing list (lists.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/lilypond-user). I’m sure we could help you there in finding good solutions for your problems, e.g. for things such as inverting colors and stuff. People on the list are generally really friendly and supportive, so if you like feel free to join us and discuss your needs on the list!
    – Lazy
    Apr 15 at 10:45

1 Answer 1


The solution is very simple. Just put this line into your \paper block:

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

and it should Just Work™. The width and height specified in the \paper block will then be ignored and automatically re-set to fit the score.

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