I'm using lilypond with Frescobaldi to notate a piano score. My time signature is 4/4, and I just did a clef change, changing the bottom clef to treble for a few notes. I returned the clef to bass, and then inserted an a1,, into the next measure. It kicked back an error message and couldn't engrave; however, when I

1) change the a1,, to a2,,


2) change the a1,, to plain a1

it engraves just fine (the first example correctly engraves it as a half note, the second engraves it as an A natural two octaves above the pitch I desire.

But try as I might, it simply refuses to engrave the whole note duration at that octave. I'm in \relative mode; I'm quite sure there's a workaround using absolute, but this is frustrating. Is this a bug or am I missing something? I', new to the program so I thought I'd ask.

  • 2
    Please post a minimal complete (non-)working example so we can see what's happening. Feb 11, 2020 at 7:36

1 Answer 1


It's a,,1, not a1,,. Pitch first, duration afterwards. You cannot split the pitch by putting the duration in the middle.

  • Thanks lol, it makes sense that it was something simple I was missing. It was my third time using the program and I was returning to the project after a couple days’ wait.
    – Kevin H
    Feb 11, 2020 at 13:55

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