I'm trying to typeset a piano piece, where the following two chords challenge my Lilypond skills:

I'm sorry for the bad quality of the printed score (which is actually the reason why I'm retypesetting it). The snippet is from the upper staff, treble clef, in A major.

The first problem is the slur departing from g'' in the right hand. It is a repeated pattern in this piece that slurs are attached to inner notes of a chord, so it seems intentional. I found no other solution than using two voices, both rendered as \voiceOne so their stems collide and they appear as a single chord:

\relative c''' {
  \key a \major
  << { cis4 s8 } \\ { \voiceOne <g cis,>4( fis8) } >>

It feels like an ugly hack, but it works (except for a warning about colliding columns).

However, when I add the first chord of the left hand, it isn't moved to the right, resulting in a collision of c#'' and b':

I was unable to shift the chord through flipping \voice<N>, and even NoteColumn.force-hshift had no effect (why?!). This is my current attempt:

\relative c''' {
  \key a \major
  << { cis4 s8 } \\
     { \voiceOne <g cis,>4( fis8) } \\
     { \voiceTwo
       \set doubleSlurs = ##t
       \once \override NoteColumn.force-hshift = #1.8
       <b, e, b>4( <ais ais,>8) }

I see two possible solutions: There might be a better way to change the attachment of the slur in the right-hand chord, which doesn't involve abusing collisions. Or there is a way to (effectively) force-shift the left-hand chord. Does anybody know how to achieve either of these?

1 Answer 1


With a reasonably recent version of 2.19 you'll be able to write

\fixed c'' {
  \key a \major
  << { <cis g( cis'>4 <fis)>8 } \\
     { <b,, e, b,>4^(_(\p <ais,, ais,>8) }

in order to get

this result

In-note slur positioning like for the upper slur is not overly convincing yet, but at least the manner of getting double per-chord slurs (used in the lower voice in order to get nicer overall results than when using the \= construct for multiple per-note slurs) is slightly less cumbersome than meddling with the doubleSlurs property and also works for phrasing slurs.

  • Excellent! I upgraded to the dev version right away. Just a quick follow-up: You you know if in-note slur positioning is going to work for multiple slurs per chord (right now it doesn't)? I have another beast in this piece...
    – lenz
    Commented Sep 15, 2017 at 8:07

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