Technical documentation

EES Tools is a collection of scripts that are required for engraving scores for the Edition Esser-Skala. In addition, this repository includes instructions to build a Docker container ees-tools with these tools and all dependencies.

TL;DR: Engraving scores

… using the Docker image

We recommend to engrave scores via the ees-tools Docker image. This image is based on python:3.9, with all dependencies installed by docker/ GitHub Actions uses this image to automatically engrave and release scores of the Edition Esser-Skala whenever a tag is pushed.

Build the image via

sudo docker build --build-arg user_id=$(id -u) --build-arg group_id=$(id -g) --tag ees-tools .

From the root directory of an edition, run

sudo docker run --rm -it -u engraver -v $PWD:/ees ees-tools

to engrave all final scores (i.e., make final/scores). To list all available build targets, run

sudo docker run --rm -it -u engraver -v $PWD:/ees ees-tools make info

(Note: These commands ensure that there is a user engraver in the container whose uid and gid match the user who runs the container. Thereby, all files created by the container will have the correct permissions.)

… using a manual installation

Install the following dependencies:

Clone the repository and make sure that the files can be found by the respective programs:

  • Define the shell variable EES_TOOLS_PATH to point to this directory.
  • Run tlmgr conf auxtrees add $EES_TOOLS_PATH.
  • Always run LilyPond with the flag --include=$EES_TOOLS_PATH.

From the root directory of an edition, invoke make to engrave scores:

  • make final/scores generates all publication-ready scores in folder final.
  • make info lists all available build targets.

Structure of a score repository

In order to create a new edition, clone the ees-template repository:

gh repo create edition-esser-skala/<repository> \
  --public \
  -p edition-esser-skala/ees-template \
  -d "<composer>: <title>"

The new repository will contain the following folders and files:

  • notes/*.ly – LilyPond files containing individual voices; add new variables with
  • scores/*.ly – LilyPond files containing score definitions
  • .gitignore – excludes irrelevant files from the repository
  • – the changelog
  • – general definitions; include
  • LICENSE – the license (CC BY-SA 4.0 or CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)
  • Makefile – configuration file for make; imports
  • metadata.yaml – metadata whose format is described below; can be processed with
  • .github/workflows/engrave-and-release.yaml – GitHub Actions workflow that reuses the workflow of the same name from EES Tools
  • front_matter/critical_report.tex – prefatory material based upon ees.cls

This script extends LY files in subfolder notes/ with variables for a new movement:

  • -h, --help: show this help message and exit
  • -m, --movement MOVEMENT: add this movement
  • -n, --notes [NOTES ...]: add the movement to these instruments (default: all instruments in notes subfolder)
  • -k, --key KEY: key signature (default: C major). Examples:
    • C is C major
    • d is D minor
    • d_dorian is D dorian
  • -t, --time TIME: time signature (default: 4/4)
  • -p, --partial PARTIAL: duration of upbeat (default: no upbeat)
  • -b, --current-bar CURRENT_BAR: start movement with this bar number (default: 1)
  • -f, --force-file-creation: create missing files (default: false)

General LilyPond settings and macros. This file is included by in the repository of each work.


Set these Scheme variables before including the file, like

#(define option-movement-title-markup "number-title")
#(define option-init-toc #t)
#(define option-print-all-bar-numbers #f)
\include ""
  • option-movement-title-markup: Select the format of the movement title and the number of arguments for \section. Choices: "genre-number-title", "number-title", and "title" (default).
  • option-init-toc: If true, generate table of contents files that can be interpreted by LaTeX (default: true).
  • option-print-all-bar-numbers: If true, print all bar numbers (useful when preparing a score; default: false).

Score settings

Include one of the following files in subfolder score_settings at the beginning of a score definition:

  • Format parts with a single staff (e.g., vl 1). option-instrument-name sets the instrument name of this staff.
  • Format parts with two bracketed staves (e.g., cor 1, 2). option-instrument-name sets the instrument name of the bracket.
  • Format parts with three staves, of which the upper two are bracketed (e.g., ottoni). option-instrument-name-upper and option-instrument-name-lower set the instrument name of the bracket and lower staff, respectively.
  • Format parts with four staves, of which the upper three are bracketed (e.g., ottoni with three trumpets). option-instrument-name-upper and option-instrument-name-lower set the instrument name of the bracket and lower staff, respectively.
  • Format parts with five staves, of which the upper four are bracketed (e.g., ottoni with four trumpets). option-instrument-name-upper and option-instrument-name-lower set the instrument name of the bracket and lower staff, respectively.
  • Format the full score.
  • Format the vocal score. option-instrument-name sets the instrument name of the lowermost staff.
  • Format the realized organ part. option-instrument-name sets the instrument name of the bracket.

System configuration

  • \setGroupDistance <staff-staff> <after-group>
  • \setStaffDistance <after-staff>

These commands modify the vertical spacing of staff groups and single staves. <staff-staff> will be the spacing between staves in the group, while <after-group> and <after-staff> will be the distance after the group and staff, respectively.

\new Staff \with { \setStaffDistance #10 } {  }

\new StaffGroup <<
  \new GrandStaff \with { \setGroupDistance #12 #15 } <<
    \new Staff {  }
    \new Staff {  }
  \new Staff {  }
  • \smallGroupDistance
  • \normalGroupDistance
  • \smallStaffDistance

For convenience, these three commands for changing distances are predefined.

  • \incipit "<name>" "<clef>" #<space1> #<space2>
  • \incipitSoprano
  • \incipitAlto
  • \incipitTenore

\incipit prints an incipit in front of a staff with the given instrument name and clef. space1 and space2 determine the horizontal space between the instrument name and the staff, or the staff and the system, respectively. For convenience, predefined incipit commands for soprano, alto, and tenor are provided.

\new Staff {
  \new Voice = "Soprano" { \dynamicUp \SopranoNotes }
  • \transposedName "<name>" "<pitch>" "<accidental>"
  • \transposedNameShort "<name>" "<pitch>" "<accidental>"
  • \transposedTimp "<pitch-high>" "<acc-high>" "<pitch-low>" "<acc-low>"
  • \transposedTimpShort "<pitch-high>" "<acc-high>" "<pitch-low>" "<acc-low>"
  • make-one-pitch
  • make-timp-pitches

These commands print an instrument name including pitches. \transposedName and \transposedTimp should be used for the first movement, commands ending in …Short should be used for subsequent movements. For special cases, the Scheme functions make-one-pitch and make-timp-pitches are available.

\new Staff {
  \set Staff.instrumentName = \transposedName "Clarino" "B" "flat"
\new Staff {
  \set Staff.instrumentName = \transposedTimp "B" "flat" "F" ""

Sectioning and TOC

Sectioning commands:

  • \insertEmptyPage: Inserts an empty page (useful if parts should start on the right page).
  • \part "<label>" "<number>" "<title>": Adds a part page, followed by an empty page. Must be used inside a \book. For technical reasons, a <label> has to be supplied even if the command is used for a default TOC.
  • \section "<title>",
  • \section "<number>" "<title>", or
  • \section "<number>" "<genre>" "<title>": Adds a section heading. The number of arguments is determined by the option option-movement-title-format. Must be used inside a \bookpart.
  • \subsection "<title>": Adds an unnumbered subsection heading. Must be used inside a \bookpart.

TOC commands:

  • \addTocEntry: Adds a TOC entry; should be used immediately after a heading command.
  • \addTocLabel "<label>": Adds a labeled TOC entry. The <label> must be unique throughout the score.
% normal TOC entries
\book {
  \part "" "1" "First part"
  \bookpart {
    \section "1" "Kyrie"
    \score {  }
  \bookpart {
    \subsection "Christe"
    \score {  }

% labeled TOC entries
\book {
  \part "firstpart" "1" "First part"
  \bookpart {
    \section "2" "Recitativo" "Title"
    \addTocLabel "label2"
    \score {  }


  • \remark <markup> and \remarkE <markup>: Format source directives (upright) and editorial directives (italic), respectively. In addition, several directives are predefined with source and editorial variants (e.g., \solo and \soloE):

    Command Printed text
    \arco arco
    \bassi Bassi
    \colOrg col’Org.
    \dolce dolce
    \org Org.
    \pizz pizz.
    \senzaOrg senza Org.
    \solo Solo
    \tasto tasto solo
    \tenuto ten.
    \tutti Tutti
    \unisono unisono
    \vlc Vlc.
  • \critnote: print asterisk denoting an editorial emendation
  • \mvTr: move text 2 staff spaces to the right
  • \mvTrh: move text 2.5 staff spaces to the right
  • \mvTrr: move text 3 staff spaces to the right
  • \tempoMarkup "<tempo>": format the tempo indication

Inside the staff

  • \twofourtime and \twotwotime adjust automatic beaming in 2/4 and 2/2 time, respectively.
  • The following dynamics commands are redefined and supplemented by an editorial variant: \fff (plus \fffE etc), \ff, \f, \mf, \mp, \p, \pp, \ppp, \sf, \sfp, \sfz, \fp, \fz, \rf, \rfz, \piuF, \piuP, \pocoF, \pocoP, \cresc, and \decresc.
  • \bp: override beam positions
  • \extraNat: force accidental
  • \hairpinDashed and \hairpinSolid: turn on/off dashed hairpins
  • \hideTn: hide a single tuplet number
  • \kneeBeam and \noKneeBeam: force/suppress kneed beams
  • \markDaCapo: print “da capo” right aligned above a bar line
  • \mvDl: move dynamic mark 2 staff spaces to the left
  • \mvDll: move dynamic mark 3 staff spaces to the left
  • \parOn and \parOff: only print the left/right parenthesis in \parenthesize
  • \sbOn and \sbOff: turn on/off subdivided beams
  • \scriptOut: force script (like -|) to be printed outside of slur
  • \trillE: editorial (parenthesized) trill
  • \xE and \x: turn on/off editorial (italic) lyrics


  • \pa: short for \partCombineApart
  • \pao: short for \once \partCombineApart
  • \pd: short for \partCombineAutomatic
  • \rh and \lh: change staff in keyboard music

Bass figures

  • \bo and \bc: only print the left/right bass figure bracket
  • \l: empty space instead of figure
  • \t: horizontal dash instead of figure
  • \tllur: dash from lower left to upper right instead of figure

Makefile that defines rules for engraving scores. This file is included by the Makefile in the repository of each work. Available targets:

  • full_score, b, vl1 etc: individual scores (LilyPond output only)
  • scores: all scores
  • final/full_score, final/b, final/vl1 etc: individual final scores (LilyPond output + front matter)
  • final/scores: all final scores
  • info: usage details

Each run of LilyPond and LuaLaTeX generates a log file, which is stored in tmp/<score>.ly.log and tmp/<score>.tex.log, respectively. This script collects all errors, warnings, and full boxes from these logs, prints them on the terminal, and stores them in tmp/_logs.txt. Its single optional argument allows to change the directory where log files are searched (default: tmp).


This table describes instruments (rows) via the following variables (columns):

  • abbreviation – abbreviation used in the scoring, the list of abbreviations, and score file names
  • long – full English name given in the list of abbreviations
  • variable – name used in LilyPond variables
  • score_type – name used for the score type on the title page
  • relative – start pitch for relative octave entry
  • clef – default clef
  • autobeam – should notes be beamed automatically? (false for vocal parts)
  • default_key – overrides key for transposing instruments; ‘none’ indicates no override
  • second_template – second variable template to add (for vocal parts and figured bass)

This script creates various outputs from information in metadata.yaml, depending on the subcommand given as first argument.

Subcommand edition

Generate a set of LaTeX macros that can be imported by front_matter/critical_report.tex. Each of these LaTeX macros starts with \Metadata.... The mapping between YAML keys and macros is described below.

  • -h, --help: show this help message and exit
  • -i, --input FILE: read metadata from FILE (default: metadata.yaml)
  • -o, --output FILE: write the macros to FILE (default: front_matter/critical_report.macros)
  • -t, --type TYPE: select score TYPE for front matter:
    • draft (default):
      • set \MetadataScoretype to Draft
      • include critical report, changelog and TOC
      • do not print any scores
    • full_score:
      • set \MetadataScoretype to Full Score
      • include critical report, changelog and TOC
      • print the full score
    • any other value is interpreted as scoring abbreviation:
      • set \MetadataScoretype to the long form of the abbreviation
      • do not print critical report, changelog and TOC
      • print the respective score
  • -c, --checksum-from {head,tag}: obtain version, date, and checksum from HEAD or the most recent tag (default: head)
  • -k, --additional-keys [KEYS ...]: process additional KEYS
  • -s, --score_directory DIR: read included scores from this directory (default: ../tmp)
  • -l, --license-directory DIR: check the LICENSE in this directory (default: current dir)

The long form of a scoring abbreviation is looked up instrument_data.csv. The abbreviation may end in an Arabic number, which is converted to a Roman numeral (e.g., vl2 -> “Violino II”). Abbreviations can also be defined in metadata.yaml via the parts key (e.g., clno12: Clarino I, II in C).

The subcommand also obtains the following information from the git metadata:

  • name of the remote repository origin (-> \MetadataRepository)
  • version … (-> \MetadataVersion)
  • … date … (-> \MetadataDate)
  • … and checksum of HEAD or the most recent tag (-> \MetadataChecksum)

Furthermore, the subcommand reads the LilyPond version from the output of lilypond --version (-> \MetadataLilypondVersion).

Subcommand table

Collect metadata from several repositories and save it as a table. The subcommand requires a folder structure like root -> composer -> work.

  • -h, --help: show this help message and exit
  • -d, --root-directory ROOT: read metadata from all repositories in ROOT, assuming the folder structure root -> composer -> repository (default: current folder)
  • -o, --output FILE: write the table to FILE (default: works.csv)


This file describes metadata for each work and comprises the following keys:

  • composer (optional): The composer’s name, specified by the following subkeys:
    • last (required): last name (-> \MetadataLastname)
    • first (optional): first name (-> \MetadataFirstname)
    • suffix (optional): name suffix (-> \MetadataNamesuffix)

    Note that this key is optional mainly to facilitate collections of works by the same composer (such as the Proprium Missæ project). If the key is missing, first and last name are set to “(unknown)”.

  • title (required): Work title (-> \MetadataTitle).
  • subtitle (optional): Work subtitle. The subtitle is combined with the work identifier and stored in \MetadataSubtitle. If this key is missing, the work identifier is used alone.
  • id (optional): Work identifier (typically, the catalogue of works number). If this key is missing, the RISM library siglum and shelfmark of the principal source are used.
  • genre (required): Work genre (only used on the webpage).
  • scoring (required): Scoring of the work (-> \MetadataScoring). See the editorial guidelines for the scoring syntax. The list of abbreviations in the critical report is also assembled from the scoring information (-> \MetadataAbbreviations)
  • license (required): License of the edition (-> \MetadataLicense). Currently, the following values are supported: cc-by-sa-4.0 and cc-by-nc-sa-4.0.
  • sources (required): Manuscript and print sources used for the edition (-> \MetadataSources). The name of each subkey will be used as source identifier (e.g., A1, B2). Each source is described by the following keys:
    • siglum (required): RISM library siglum
    • shelfmark (required): shelfmark
    • date (optional): date
    • rism (optional): RISM identifier
    • url (optional): link to digital version
    • license (required): license of the source
    • notes (optional): miscellaneous notes
    • principal (optional/required): Boolean that denotes whether this source is the principal source. Exactly one source must contain this key with a true value.
  • imslp (optional): IMSLP identifier (only used on the webpage).
  • notes (optional): Miscellaneous notes (only used on the webpage).
  • parts (optional): For each file in the scores/ subdirectory, this key may contain a subkey-value pair. The subkey corresponds to the file name (without extension), and the value will be used as score type on the title page (-> \MetadataScoretype). File names that correspond to default scoring abbreviations (such as org and vl1) will be converted even in the absence of a respective subkey.
  • extra_abbreviations (optional): Additional abbreviations and their long forms (subkeys and values, respectively) to be included in the critical report. If the subkey corresponds to a known abbreviation, its value may be empty.
  • By default, all other keys are silently ignored. However, any <key> specified in the --additional-keys option of will be available in LaTeX via a \\Metadata<Key> macro.


LaTeX class for printing scores with prefatory material.

Class options

Type and default value in parentheses.

  • abbrwidth (length, 3em): width of the first column in the list of abbreviations
  • changelog (Boolean, true): print the changelog (i.e., include
  • shortnamesize (number, 80): font size for the composer name in the title page head
  • shorttitlesize (number, 60): font size for the work title in the title page head
  • tocdir (string, ../tmp): directory where LilyPond saves the TOC file
  • tocstyle (string, default): selects a style for the table of contents
    • none: do not print a TOC
    • default: print a normal TOC
    • ref: print a manual TOC using labels
    • ref-genre: print a manual TOC using labels; include a genre

    Note that even if a TOC is not printed, the pdf will contain bookmarks with entries for movements as well as sections in the prefatory material

  • toe (Boolean, true): indicates whether the commentary contains a table of emendations


  • \textlt{<text>} and \ltseries: Select light text weight.
  • \textsb{<text>} and \sbseries: Select semibold text weight.
  • \A{<number>} to \E{<number>}: Typeset a source identifier (uppercase letter plus index <number>).
  • \doublesharp{<pitch>}, \sharp{<pitch>}, \natural{<pitch>}, \flat{<pitch>}, and \flatflat{<pitch>}: Add an accidental to <pitch> and ensure correct kerning.
  • \wholeNoteRest and \halfNoteRest: Print respective rest with improved kerning.
  • \demisemiquaverRest and \demisemiquaverRestDotted: Print (dotted) thirty-second rest.
  • \hemidemisemiquaverRest and \hemidemisemiquaverRestDotted: Print (dotted) sixty-fourth rest.


By default, these macros use the respective values in metadata.yaml.

  • \firstname{}: first name of the composer (default: \MetadataFirstname)
  • \lastname{}: last name of the composer (default: \MetadataLastname)
  • \namesuffix{}: name suffix of the composer (default: \MetadataNamesuffix)
  • \shortname{}: composer name for the title page head (default: \MetadataLastname)
  • \title{}: work title (default: \MetadataTitle)
  • \shorttitle{}: work title for the title page head (default: \MetadataTitle)
  • \subtitle{}: work subtitle (default: \MetadataSubtitle)
  • \scoring{}: scoring information (default: \MetadataScoring)
  • \license{}: license of the edition (default: \MetadataLicense)
  • \scoretype{}: score type printed on the title page (default: \MetadataScoretype)
  • \repository{}: name with owner of the GitHub repository (default: \MetadataRepository)
  • \version{}: version of the most recent git tag (default: \MetadataVersion)
  • \date{}: date of the most recent git tag (default: \MetadataDate)
  • \checksum{}: checksum of the most recent git tag (default: \MetadataChecksum)

The value of any additional metadata <key> can be retrieved via \Metadata<Key>. Note the uppercase key name in the macro: For instance, the key genre will provide a macro \MetadataGenre.

Document structure

  • \eesTitlePage: Print the default title and copyright page.
  • \eesCriticalReport{<table rows>}: Print the critical report (abbreviations, sources, and commentary) and the changelog. The single argument may contain rows for the table of emendations, which comprises three columns if tocstyle=none, and four columns otherwise. If toe is false, the argument is ignored.
  • \eesCommentaryIntro: Print the default introduction of the commentary section (automatically invoked by \eesCriticalReport).
  • \eesCommentaryAfterToe: Text that should be printed after the table of emendations (by default empty).
  • \eesToc{<contents>}: Setup pdf bookmarks; print the table of contents unless tocstyle=none. If tocstyle=ref or ref-genre, the value of the argument is printed under the headline Contents and allows to format the TOC manually (see below).
  • \eesScore: Print the included score.
  • \ifPrintFrontMatter\fi: Additional content in the prefatory material should be surrounded by this conditional, which ensures that it is only printed in the full score and draft.

Manual TOC

  • \part{<label>}: Print a TOC entry for the part with <label> as defined in the LY file via \addTocLabel.
  • \section{<label>}: Print a TOC entry for the section with <label>.
  • \begin{movement}{<label>} <lyrics> \end{movement}: Print the TOC entry (section level) for the movement with <label>. The <lyrics> may comprise
    • continuous text, which represents all lyrics of the respective movement (as seen, for instance, in Michael Haydn’s Litaniæ MH 532); or
    • text blocks labeled with the associated voice (as seen, for instance, in Stölzel’s Jeſu, Deine Paßion). \voice[<label>] sets the <label> of each text block.


This GitHub Actions workflow engraves scores using the ees-tools Docker container and creates a GitHub release that includes the generated PDFs. It is triggered whenever a SemVer tag is pushed to GitHub.


Useful LilyPond snippets

Increase length of multi measure rest.

\override MultiMeasureRest.minimum-length = #40
R\breve.*123 \bar "||"

Adjust overall horizontal spacing. (ADD in next version: command)

\layout { \context { \Score \override SpacingSpanner.common-shortest-duration = #(ly:make-moment 1/8) } }
tightNotes = \override Score.SpacingSpanner.common-shortest-duration = #(ly:make-moment 1/8)

Define a left-aligned mark.

markFine = {
  \mark \markup { \remarkE "Fine" }

Change displayed time signature fraction.

\set Staff.timeSignatureFraction = 3/8

Show only numerator of time signature.

\override = #'single-digit

Add name to choir staff group.

\set ChoirStaff.instrumentName = \markup { \rotate #90 "C O R O   1" \hspace #8 }

Add a tie to the last note of a movement.

lilypond extendLV = #(define-music-function (parser location further) (number?) #{ \once \override LaissezVibrerTie.X-extent = #'(0 . 0) \once \override LaissezVibrerTie.details.note-head-gap = #(/ further -2) \once \override LaissezVibrerTie.extra-offset = #(cons (/ further 2) 0) #}) `

Mark deleted parts of a score by gaps across the staves.

startDeleted = {
  \once \override Staff.BarLine.color = #white
  \once \override Staff.BarLine.layer = #10000
  \once \override Staff.BarLine.thick-thickness = #10
  \noBreak \mark \markup { \fontsize #-2 \musicglyph #'"pedal.*" } \bar "." \noBreak

stopDeleted = {
  \once \override Staff.BarLine.color = #white
  \once \override Staff.BarLine.layer = #10000
  \once \override Staff.BarLine.thick-thickness = #10
  \noBreak \bar "." \noBreak

Make a multirow short instrument name.

#(define option-instrument-name (markup #:center-column ("vla 1" "trb 1")))

Add time signature mark (add this to the next version!).

markTimeSig = #(define-music-function
  (parser location meter)
    \mark \markup {
      \fontsize #-6
      \override #'(padding . 0) \parenthesize
      \compound-meter #meter

Incipits for two sopranos.

\incipit "Soprano I" "soprano" #-19.5 #-1.8
\incipit "Soprano II" "soprano" #-20 #-1.8

Incipits for mixed chorus and continuo.

\incipit "Soprano" "soprano" #-20.5 #-0.3
\incipit "Alto" "alto" #-18.3 #-0.3
\incipit "Tenore" "tenor" #-19.7 #-0.3

Tacet function (add!; fist used in Caldara’s Miserere).

tacet = #(define-scheme-function
  (parser location title)
    #:vspace 10
    #:fontsize 4
    #:fill-line (
      #:center-column (title #:italic "tacet" )

Spacing recommendations

Vertical spacing is changed by modifying

  • the top margin via top-system-spacing (default: 20 staff spaces), top-markup-spacing (5), and markup-system-spacing (15);
  • the distance between systems via system-system-spacing (20); and
  • distances within a system via \smallGroupDistance, \smallStaffDistance, and user-defined similar commands.

Note that both the .basic-distance and .minimum-distance must be changed.

For full scores with eight staves (e.g., horns, Vienna church trio and four-part choir), the following settings might allow to print two systems per page:

\paper {
  top-system-spacing.basic-distance = #10
  top-system-spacing.minimum-distance = #10
  top-markup-spacing.basic-distance = #0
  top-markup-spacing.minimum-distance = #0
  markup-system-spacing.basic-distance = #10
  markup-system-spacing.minimum-distance = #10
  system-system-spacing.basic-distance = #17
  system-system-spacing.minimum-distance = #17
  systems-per-page = #2

\layout {
  \context {
    \setGroupDistance #11 #11
  \context {
    \setGroupDistance #11 #11
  \context {
    \setGroupDistance #12 #13

For full scores with seven staves (e.g., Vienna church trio and four-part choir), the following settings usually allow to print two systems per page:

\paper {
  top-system-spacing.basic-distance = #10
  top-system-spacing.minimum-distance = #10
  top-markup-spacing.basic-distance = #0
  top-markup-spacing.minimum-distance = #0
  markup-system-spacing.basic-distance = #10
  markup-system-spacing.minimum-distance = #10
  systems-per-page = #2

Alternatively, decrease system-system spacing to 20 and use \smallGroupDistance; this allows to preserve the top margin.

For scores with six or less staves, change (a) the distance between systems and (b) the number of systems per page (written as “a/b” in the table below):

\paper {
  system-system-spacing.basic-distance = <a>
  system-system-spacing.minimum-distance = <a>
  systems-per-page = <b>
Staves Full score Vocal score
6 –/2 25/2
5 30/2 –/–
4 22/3 25/–
3 20/4 (or 30/3) 22/4
2 21/5 (or 18/6 with \smallGroupDistance) 20/6

If a work contains chorals with two stanzas, define

twoStanzaDistance = \setGroupDistance #15 #20
twoStanzaDistanceCoro = \setGroupDistance #13 #13

and apply these to the choir staff in the full and vocal score, respectively. In the vocal score, also decrease system-system spacing to 15 or 14 if there are three systems on the page.

If a work contains chorals with three stanzas, define

threeStanzaDistance = \setGroupDistance #18 #22

and apply these to the choir staff in both the full and vocal score. In the vocal score, only show two systems per page.

In accompagnatos, parts comprise up to 5 staves per page by default. The number of staves may be increased to six per page if system-system spacing is 16 and the choir staff uses \smallGroupDistance.