[linux-audio-user] Searching for music composition tools

Steve D groups at xscd.com
Mon Feb 21 15:20:30 EST 2005

Noah Roberts wrote:
> Have you had a look at lilypond or ABC?  These are music languages, 
> typesetting really in the case of lilypond at least, that can be 
> translated into many formats including midi.  I only managed to work 
> with lilypond and it seems pretty complete.
--- ---

LilyPond is a very well-designed and developed program for music 
notation and engraving (producing sheet music).

Rather than using a WYSIWYG visual-oriented editor like other music 
notation programs such as Finale, Sibelius and Igor, LilyPond allows a 
musician, music notator or composer to create an entire score, from 
simple single-staff melody-chord-and-lyrics "lead sheet" to piano music 
to full orchestral score, using just a standard text editor.

LilyPond then parses (interprets) the plain-text document one has 
created, and outputs a beautifully engraved score in PostScript and PDF 
  among other formats. LilyPond can also create a standard MIDI file 
from the same plain-text source file.

It is a truly amazing program that, like a lot of Linux music and audio 
programs, has been developed with a lot of care and dedication and a 
great sense of generosity to the Linux community on the part of the 
developers: LilyPond is free. The developers, like many other great 
programmers that work for the Linux community, do appreciate financial 
support for the project if or to the extent one can afford it, but they 
don't demand it.

I used to use the expensive commercial program Finale, and in my opinion 
LilyPond beats Finale easily in concept, design, implementation and the 
visual appearance of the final score. Although LilyPond is especially 
created for those who use a Linux or *BSD operating system, it will also 
run on Windows computers under the Cywin environment.

To investigate LilyPond further, go to LilyPond's homepage:


Best wishes,
-Steve D, New Mexico, US, UTC -7

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