LilyPond 2.18.2-1 / 2.19.15-1 Development

An innovative and efficient software application designed to help you transform notes written as text into musical scales, in an interactive manner
LilyPond is a software solution that prints music in the best traditions of classical engraving with minimum fuss.

Don't waste time on moving around symbols, tuning spacing, or shaping slurs. Impress friends and colleagues with sharp sheet music!

The inspiration for LilyPond came when two befriended musicians got annoyed with the bland and boring look of computer print-outs.

Every musician prefers reading beautiful music, so couldn't we programmers solve that printing problem?

LilyPond takes ASCII input, which you can produce in your favorite environment, quickly and comfortably. No more futzing with the mouse.

The input contains all the information, so there is no need to remember complex command sequences. Simply save an input for later reference.

Don't waste time with tweaking the output; LilyPond gets the formatting correct right from the start. It determines spacing by itself, and breaks lines and pages to provide a tight and uniform layout.

Clashes between lyrics, notes, and chords are resolved and slurs and beams are sloped, automatically!

All style settings, font designs and algorithms have been inspired by the finest hand-engraved music. LilyPond output has that same strong and balanced look as a classical score.

Put fragments of music into texts with without cutting and pasting pictures. Integrate music into LaTeX or HTML seamlessly, or add music to with ooolilypond.

Parts and score are made from the same source file, so every change always gets into both score and parts. (demo). In addition, LilyPond can combine staves in scores and insert cue-notes from other parts.

All settings can be changed to suit your personal typographical taste. If that still is not enough, there is always the built-in scripting language, a dialect of the powerful language LISP.

Settings, variables and functions are all documented in the comprehensive program reference manual.

By using LilyPond, you can easily transform your text-based notes into musical scales.

Main features:

  • Automatic spacing, line breaking and page breaking.
  • Handling of polyphonic collisions for notes, dots, and rests.
  • Automatic placement of accidentals, beams, slurs, ties, based on optimal scoring algorithms.
  • Users don't need typographical expertise to produce excellent notation.
  • No user interaction necessary during running. Running the program can be automated which is convenient for mass converting databases of digitized music and printing algorithmic compositions.
  • The Feta font has been tailored especially for LilyPond, and was designed carefully mimicking the finest hand-engraved scores. It is available as a scalable font, but also as a Metafont.
  • Accidental cautionaries and suggestions, classic and modern styles
  • Ambituses
  • Arpeggio signs
  • Balloon texts (teaching)
  • Beamlets
  • Blanking arbitrary notation elements (teaching)
  • Chord names, in English, French or Italian
  • Cluster notation and rhythmic grouping signs
  • Coloring of arbitrary notation elements
  • Cross staff beaming
  • Cue-notes (automatic)
  • Dashed or dotted bar lines
  • Drum notation
  • EasyNotation note heads
  • Falls and doits
  • Feathered beams
  • Figured bass
  • Fingerings, including guitar right-hand fingering
  • Fret diagrams
  • Glissandi
  • Grace notes, acciaccatura and appoggiatura
  • Hairpin crescendi and decrescendi, also with circled tips (al niente)
  • Harmonics
  • Laissez vibrer ties
  • Ledger lines, including automatic shortening for tight spacing
  • Lyric extenders, hyphens, melismata
  • Measure repeats ("Percent style")
  • Mensural notation
  • Microtones
  • Metronome markings
  • Nested analysis brackets
  • Orchestral scores with automatic part combining
  • Ornaments; mordents, pralls and combinations thereof
  • Ottava brackets (octaviation)
  • Part extraction: see Orchestral scores
  • Piano pedals
  • Polymetric notation
  • Proportional notation
  • Quarter tone accidentals
  • Quoting of other music fragments, including transposing
  • Separator slashes between systems
  • Shaped note heads
  • Starting and stopping staves anywhere
  • Staves, tunable number of staff lines, individual positioning of staff lines
  • Stemlets
  • String numbering, also on chords
  • System separators
  • Tablature notation
  • Tie formatting for chords
  • Transposing
  • Tremolos, both for single notes and chords
  • Trills, also running and explicit pitches
  • Tuplets in arbitrary ratios, nested, broken with customisable endings
  • Vertical staff spacing using a skyline algorithm
  • For details and music samples, follow the chain of NEWS entries and have a look at the regression tests.
  • Robust design
  • No arbitrary limits: unlimited number of staves, voices, measures, lengths of texts, etc.
  • Pluggable output backend: output in EPS, PDF, PNG, PostScript, MIDI, SVG.
  • Lyrics in any language.
  • Text-based input with versatile music language.
  • Programmable and extensible with built-in LISP interpreter.

last updated on:
September 29th, 2014, 7:19 GMT
file size:
24.7 MB
developed by:
Han-Wen Nienhuys
license type:
operating system(s):
Windows All
C: \ Others \ Miscellaneous
download hub:
Music Notation Tools


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2 Screenshots
LilyPond - The application allows you to engrave text notes into musical scales.LilyPond - With LilyPond, you can drag files with LY extensions onto the executable of the application in order to obtain PDF files with your text-based notes transformed into musical scales.

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