I've recently installed LilyPond and Denomo and found them to be great tools. However I can not seem to learn how to make a beaming pattern like this:

enter image description here

This is the bar in Denemo gui:

enter image description here

My LilyPond code:

\stemUp g'[ \stemDown  c''16 d'' e''8 \stemUp  c'8]~  c'16[ bes16 a g] a8 f'~ \AutoBarline

The problem is that this comes out:

enter image description here

The 16th note beam collides with the note heads. I am referring to the C and D, the 2nd and 3rd notes into the bar.

How would one draw the 16th note beam from under the main connecting beam, going away from the note heads toward the bottom of the staff, like as in the first picture?

  • 1
    Lilypond takes text input and produces a music 'engraving'. You should provide the source text for the measure(s) you are having difficulty with.
    – timbo
    Commented Mar 30, 2018 at 23:30
  • hello, this is the lilypond code snippet, g'[ \stemDown c''16 d'' e''8 \stemUp c'8]~ c'16[ bes16 a g] a8 f'~ \AutoBarline
    – user49352
    Commented Mar 30, 2018 at 23:42
  • You should add that to the question.
    – timbo
    Commented Mar 30, 2018 at 23:43
  • I would recommend to remove the stemUp/stemDown anyway. Your example looks like a baroque manuscript and notation conventions were different then. You would not do a service to todays readers by attempting to mirror the original.
    – guidot
    Commented Apr 3, 2018 at 11:57

2 Answers 2


You could split the lilypond code into two parts that you combine using \partcombine, for example like this:

\stemUp \partcombine { g'8[ \stemDown \set stemLeftBeamCount = #1 c''16] s16 s4 } { s8 \stemDown c''16[ \set stemRightBeamCount = #1 d'' e''8 \stemUp c'8]~ } c'16[ bes16 a g]  a8 f'

I used stemLeftBeamCount and stemRightBeamCount to ensure that the double beams for the 16th notes are only drawn between these.

The result would look like this:

Using partcombine

Maybe the appearance can be improved further, but at least it looks much better than the original.


OP asked this question on the Lilypond-User mailing list; the thread can be found here.

The solution given is

\version "2.19.81"

line = \relative c'' {
  \once \override Stem.beaming = #'((0) . (-1 0))
  \once \override Stem.beaming = #'((-1 0) . (0))

\score {
  \new Staff \line
  \layout { }

enter image description here

Although LilyPond does provide an error message—warning: no viable initial configuration found: may not find good beam slope—the code nevertheless compiles.

As for the curvature of the beam in the original example, this is something that (in my understanding) is not currently a possibility in LilyPond.

Lastly, whether this is an ideal way to typeset this excerpt is still up for debate.

  • IIRC, you can export as an SVG, in which case, with the right graphics editor, you can shape things however you desire... I've never tried with curved beams. Could be interesting.
    – Neal
    Commented Apr 7, 2018 at 16:45

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