Solo plus choir in LilyPond

For a song, I want to have first a solo part (or a unisono part), then afterwards for the refrain or for the coda a full choir part. This is how it works in Lilypond (it may not be the best solution, but one that works).

Define the solo parts:

solo = \relative a' {
   c,4 d e f
   c d e f
   \bar "||"
   \break
}
sololyrics =  \lyricmode {
   la la la la
}

Then define the choir parts just like you normally would (see this post).

And put everything together. We have one voice/staff for the solo and another for the choir. In the choir parts, add a rest for the duration of the solo part to the beginning, in the example we have two measures, so we’ll use R1*2, but if you have more, then just adapt the number:

\score{
<<

   \new Staff <<
      \new Voice = "SoloVoice" << \global \solo >>
      \new Lyrics \lyricsto "SoloVoice" \sololyrics 
   >>

   \new ChoirStaff <<      
      \new Staff  = "Frauen"<<
         \new Voice = "Sopran" { R1*2  \voiceOne  \sopran }
         \new Voice = "Alt" { R1*2  \voiceTwo  \alt }
         \new Lyrics \lyricsto "Sopran" \refrainlyrics 
      >>      
      \new Staff = "Maenner"<<
         \clef bass
         \new Voice = "Tenor" { R1*2  \voiceOne  \tenor }
         \new Voice = "Bass" {  R1*2 \voiceTwo  \bass }
         \new Lyrics \lyricsto "Tenor" \refrainlyrics 
      >>      
   >>
>>

And finally, we need to suppress the empty staves in the beginning, which is done in the layout block:

\layout {
   \context { 
      \Staff
      \RemoveEmptyStaves
      \override VerticalAxisGroup #'remove-first = ##t
   }
}

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About swk

I am a computational linguist, teacher of computer science and above all a huge fan of LaTeX. I use LaTeX for everything, including things you never wanted to do with LaTeX. My latest love is lilypond, aka LaTeX for music. I'll post at irregular intervals about cool stuff, stupid hacks and annoying settings I want to remember for the future.