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Including tweaks in a variable

From: Michael Stickles
Subject: Including tweaks in a variable
Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2018 09:33:27 -0500

This should be simple, but I just can't seem to get it to work.  I'm working on re-doing a lot of our church music, and use variables extensively to help make the .ly files more readable. There are a lot of places where one vocal part splits and we want the "secondary" notes to be smaller, resulting in code like this:

<f  \tweak font-size #-2  f,>1

What I want to do is replace the "tweak" section with a variable, like this:

smNote = \tweak font-size #-2

<f  \smNote  f,>1

But this results in errors:

error: unknown escaped string: `\smNote'
error: wrong type for argument 3.  Expecting symbol list or music, found #<Book>

(the "smNote" definition is at the end of the variables section, and the first line after the variables section is "\book {" )

Some online searching came up with a few suggestions, but none of them worked for me. Given that they worked for the original posters, I'd guess I implemented them incorrectly, but I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong. Ideas?

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