I'd like to add a muffle notation to my music sheets for the harp. The notation is a cross with a circle inside for left hand and that plus a circle outside for both hands. Example:

harp muffle

There are a few more variations described here: http://www.harpspectrum.org/harpworks/composing_for_harp/images/sacred_harp_notation.gif

How can I achieve this in Lilypond?

  • 1
    Since the lilypond documentation does not mention this even in the harp chapter of special instrument section, I'm afraid it's not present in high-level notation. Did you address this topic at the lilypond community?
    – guidot
    Oct 3, 2016 at 12:02

2 Answers 2


As guidot says, it's odd this isn't already included (at least, not that any of us three can apparently find). It should be an easy fix, so you might want to mention it to them! Here's one possible workaround:

\version "2.19.48"

global = {
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4

upper = \relative c'' {

  R1 |

lower = \relative c {

  <g g'>4_\markup + r_\markup { \char ##x2A01 } r2 |

\score {
  \new PianoStaff <<
    \new Staff = "upper" \upper
    \new Staff = "lower" { \clef bass \lower }
  \layout { }

enter image description here

I just used a _\markup + for the first symbol. For the second symbol, I tried to find a Unicode equivalent with _\markup { \char ##x2A01 }, but this was the best I could find. (If anyone finds a better one, please let me know!)


These symbols are in the "harp techniques" section of the SMuFL specification for music fonts. See http://www.smufl.org/version/latest/range/harpTechniques.

An introduction to using the SMuFl-compliant Bravura font in Lilypond is at http://www.lilypondblog.org/2014/01/smufl-fonts-in-lilypond.

In future versions of Lilypond, using the Bravura font will probably get easier - you might want to try the "development version" 2.19 rather than the latest stable version 2.18.

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