34 votes
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How to notate time signature switching consistently every measure

Yes, one possible way is to clarify a "5+3" meter throughout. Depending on the music, this could be preferable to just writing 8/4 if the meter is clearly a 5+3 layout. As one example of how this ...
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25 votes

How do I notate a staccato on a unison note?

On single-stem pitches, the rule is always the same: the staccato goes on the side of the notehead that is opposite the stem. But when multiple voices are in play, the convention is typically to put ...
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23 votes
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Anacruses, Bar Lines, and Line Breaks

It's great that you're thinking about where your line breaks should go, and putting them at natural "punctuation" points is generally a good idea. Breaking mid-measure though is pushing this too far. ...
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21 votes
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Which note goes on which side of the stem?

I've always understood that the lower pitch of the harmonic second occurs on the left side: This is also true when additional pitches are added in. On beat four, the E is now on the right because the ...
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15 votes

How to notate time signature switching consistently every measure

One way which is possible is to show two time signatures, as here from Tchaikovsky's second String Quartet via Popflock: This warns the user that bars of each length are to be expected. You haven't ...
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15 votes
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LilyPond - how to write a basic makefile

Invocation make will search the current directory for a file named Makefile or makefile, so it's often simplest to name it one of these two choices and then invoke with the simple command: $ make ...
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14 votes
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Time signature inconsistent

The notes in the upper staff are tuplets. As an aid towards your eventual goal, here is some sample code to create what you're looking for: \version "2.19.82" musicA = \relative c' { \key cis \...
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13 votes

How to notate time signature switching consistently every measure

As a possible alterative to Richard's answer, you can write the total in the time signature and the division above the staff like this: This may be easier, depending on the capabilities of your ...
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13 votes
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Lilypond: natural+flat accidental in front of the note

This might be what you are looking for: \tweak Accidental.restore-first ##t https://lilypond.org/doc/v2.23/Documentation/snippets/pitches#pitches-force-a-cancellation-natural-before-accidentals
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12 votes
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How to notate this two-voice syncopation in 12/8 time?

Yes, this is tricky. It may depend on what you have in the remaining voices/hands/parts, but one possible solution is to use stem direction to your advantage: By using stem-down notes for the held Cs ...
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12 votes
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Partially-optimized orchestra scores?

Would such a score cause confusion or turn away conductors? Absolutely not. Especially if it's the whole movement, nobody is going to be confused. But really, it's such a common practice, as is ...
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12 votes

When should tenor clef be used?

Don't over-think this. Go into tenor clef when there's a substantial section of music that would otherwise need an annoying number of ledger lines. Note that while orchestral trombone players are ...
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12 votes
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Eliminate ties via additive meter?

Firstly, it would really help if you sort out what the various voices in the bass clef are doing, (this is where the "noise" is coming from). For piano it's not really possible to re-...
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11 votes
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Are there any "good practices for sheet music writing" guidelines that are more or less universally accepted?

The go-to reference for notation is Elaine Gould's Behind Bars: The Definitive Guide to Music Notation. It's a massive book that, in addition to the standard tonal notation rules, includes examples of ...
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11 votes

Anacruses, Bar Lines, and Line Breaks

What you're doing is doubling up on the phrase marking, which is there just for the purpose you propose. Is there any extra point in breaking up bars? Not for me. It seems an amateur thing to do, as ...
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  • 174k
11 votes
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When does bar-line go down?

Bar lines don’t connect in vocal music. This avoids bar line-lyric collisions. I notice that both appear to be vocal pieces, but I see no lyrics on the one with connecting bar lines. As a general ...
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11 votes
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Printing all accidentals with Lilypond

Lilypond has several options to automatically display accidentals. I'm not sure which one suits you best, but perhaps one of these: teaching This rule is intended for students, and makes it easy to ...
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10 votes
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slur options in sheet music

Composers may use a dashed/dotted/broken slur or phrase mark when it's optional (for example, when lyrics are irregular, as user25358 attests). It may also be used to indicate a hemiola, for example ...
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10 votes

Breath Marks (different symbols)

The comma is plainly called "breath mark" and is the most commonly used version in symphonic and vocal music. The "tick" mark is called luftpause and is of German origin according to Oxford Music ...
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  • 1,589
10 votes

Name for partially disjointed/interrupted chords, Lilypond

This is the act of engraving different voices within a single system. In LilyPond, it is created with the << { *voice1goeshere*} >> \\ << { *voice2goeshere* } >> construction. ...
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10 votes
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How to write after a score with Lilypond

Here I am overriding the barline stencil: fancyMarkup = \markup \with-dimensions #'(0 . 0) #'(0 . 0) { \raise #-2.5 \center-column { "D. S." "al" "Fin" } } \new ...
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10 votes

How to increase LilyPond horizontal spacing?

This is accomplished with the SpacingSpanner spacing-increment property (see the Lilypond documentation) For example, this code % LilyBin \score{ \relative c' { c d e f g a b c } } ...
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10 votes
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Multiple staccato dots on minim with tremolo repeat in Lilypond

One possible solution could be based on this snippet for multiple tonguing. \version "2.20.0" tongue = #(define-music-function (parser location dots) (integer?) #{ \tweak stencil ...
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  • 78.8k
9 votes
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Piano - What is the notation for two notes played simultaneously, where both notes are different lengths?

This is common notation in keyboard music, although we don't call them "double stops"; it's just harmony. When notating something like this, you write the music out as different voices, with the ...
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9 votes

Music engraving - note with two accidentals - natural (♮) and sharp (♯)

As noted in Rosie F's answer, the natural is not typically required here in modern notation. But if you wanted to get it in Lilypond, I don't think there's a default accidental setting that will ...
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9 votes
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How do you notate a tremolo of indeterminate length?

Something like this should be clear. Responding to your comment: OK, just one or two trem. bars then. Or this. (Whoops, I forgot to erase the time signature.) BTW, have you tried playing it? Not ...
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9 votes

Partially-optimized orchestra scores?

Since it's a full and isolated movement, that shouldn't be an issue. You can consider each movement as a single piece, and what's written in the first page of a piece is the full instrumentation ...
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9 votes
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8va or clef change?

As AndyB commented, this depends heavily on the instrument in question. Us cellists get quite used to jumping amongst bass, tenor, and treble, with stacks of ledger line anyway . By comparison, you ...
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8 votes
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Lines too long in piece with two sections for different instruments

Remember that full-measure rests in LilyPond are input with a capital R. Thus every instance where you have r2. (or r2.*8, etc.), you should instead have R2. (or R2.*8, etc.). Making this change in ...
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