Reading some examples of lilypond codes, I sometimes see \tuplet and sometimes \times for engraving nuplets. In the documentation, the french (using \times) and the english version (that uses \tuplet) differ on the command to use.

When I try to engrave this example (using lilypond-book), using the command \tuplet returns an error, that dissapear when I use \times...

My questions: What is the difference between these two commands ? Which one is the right one to use? (Is the difference related to the lilypond version (v2.16 vs v2.18), or the system language?)

1 Answer 1


\tuplet is syntax introduced in version 2.18 (scroll down about 2/3 of the page when following the link). The French documentation for version 2.18 indeed refers to \times at the top of the entry for tuplets. This has been fixed in the documentation for version 2.19.

It is a bit unfortunate that the fix is not present in the documentation for 2.18.2. The exact version where this has been introduced is 2.17.11. The issue number in LilyPond's issue tracker is 3095 (omitting the link here because its current location is not supposed to be permanent).

If you need to be backwards-compatible, you should be using \times. Once you upgrade, convert-ly should likely be able to convert to the \tuplet syntax which tends to be more logical to musicians who tend to think of trioles having 3/2 of the notes per beat rather than 2/3 of the duration.

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