Is it possible to have overlapping system delimiters (braces and brackets) in lilypond? I know how to do complex nested hierarchies, but they're always nested. I can't figure out how to start, for instance, a brace before ending a bracket. Getting something like:

  • I don't believe this is possible without some very cumbersome overrides. This is a very uncommon notation (never seen it personally...) Is there a specific reason you're wanting to notate it this way?
    – N R
    Aug 8, 2018 at 18:54
  • I'm writing a converter from Noteworthy Composer to Lilypond and I want to be able to translate the most general case first before adding exceptions for more common layouts. Like with key signatures I can translate every combination of accidentals you care to throw at it with \set Staff.keySignature and then I added exceptions for major, minor modes, church modes etc. to increase the readability of the Lilypond output in those cases.
    – Erik
    Aug 8, 2018 at 19:24
  • I see. Is it possible to notate it like this in Noteworthy?
    – N R
    Aug 9, 2018 at 5:28
  • Yes, that's how I generated the picture.
    – Erik
    Aug 9, 2018 at 9:08
  • In Noteworthy a staff has a Connect Bars with, Brace with, and Bracket with Next Staff property, which can be set independently.
    – Erik
    Aug 9, 2018 at 9:19

1 Answer 1


I've been digging in the manuals a lot, and it seems there is no override for this. The only way to get a brace is to put the staves in a staff group. Perhaps you can have your program give a warning that this is not possible and give it a default way of notating it.

Someone who knows the internals very thoroughly may be able to tell you how to manually draw the staves, but it will be very ugly coding.

  • I feared as much. Oh well, I'll figure something out. Thanks for the trouble.
    – Erik
    Aug 11, 2018 at 7:54

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