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Sample .ly file[edit]

It would be profitable to add a small sample .ly file (and an image of the generated sheet music) to the article, just to show people how easy it is to write Lilypond music. Perhaps some day a high school teacher will be inspired by this article and start creating music with Lilypond instead of writing it by hand (or buying Finale.) --Ardonik 05:40, Aug 2, 2004 (UTC)

  • Okay, here's my small addition. I hope it's the right size for an example. I have some thoughts about it, though: Right now, it's just a huge commented file. Should the example file be broken into parts and comments put to other places? I hesitated to do that, because it's beautiful to have an example you can copy-paste and run - and there are better tutorials/manuals for Lilypond anyway... --Wwwwolf 17:13, 18 Oct 2004 (UTC)
  • Thanks. I've updated it to 2.6 syntax and simplified some things a bit. It may be even nicer

to start with a real small example, say

 \relative { \time 6/8 a'16( gis a b c d e4) r8 }

which allows viewing and comparing the input and result in one glance. Of course, this is just what the [HowTo] and [Tutorial] are for. -- JCN 30 June 2005 15:32 (UTC)

I agree with the idea of starting with a short sample, if we're describinging the notation. A "demo" on the other hand, would have to be more complex, if we're showcasing the output. It depends on what the emphasis is: method or result.
So maybe a simple example or two for the notation, and then a nice-looking demo (which we already have). --Uncle Ed 16:53, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

Just a small thing I would change in the otherwise brilliant example .ly file. Despite the 3/4 time signature it is more conventional to notate a full bar rest with a "semi-breve" rest and lilypond allows this by using a uppercase 'R2.' instead of a lowercase 'r2.' rest for bar 8 in the lower part. -- (talk) 12:44, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

Objection to Sample .ly file section - it doesn't make sense[edit]

This inserted objection is nonsense. Lilypond is a programming language for graphics generation - the graphics of musical notation. All significant programming language articles in Wikipedia that I've ever seen (and I looked at number of them) have coding examples and often output examples. These examples portray the FACTS of language syntax, ease of use, applications for which it's appropriate, and so. Remove these coding examples and essential - I repeat, ""essential"" - information about the language simply disappears. One can talk about it, or show it. Showing is more powerful. Doing both is even more powerful, of course, and good articles do just that.

I strongly object to the notion that this article needs to be "improved" by excising the coding example. It is just an example. It certainly doesn't teach much, and only the naive would think it does.

This is a good article. Leave it be.

Tomcloyd (talk) 01:15, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Esthetic judgment?[edit]


I take issue with

While it has achieved this, the quality of output from competing commercial packages has improved since the inception of the LilyPond project so that they are now comparable

because it implies that LilyPond can be considered "done" from a typographical POV (which it isn't, IMO). Furthermore, "comparable" is a vague statement: mosquitos and elephants are comparable, and the result of the comparison is that the elefant is bigger. Esthetics aren't well defined, but most printout of Finale and Sibelius still (we're speaking 2006) looks made with a computer.

I think I am not the right person to edit the page itself, though.

Han-Wen (LilyPond Author).

Han-Wen, thank you for stopping by Wikipedia and providing your feedback. You may be correct that the comment is unwarranted, though I think you'll agree that Sibelius and Finale have both come a long way, typographically, since their state at the time that you made the first public releases of Lilypond, both in terms of the overall use of white space and in the ability to make tweaks. I've read through your essay on the "Miss Manners" of music typesetting, and do understand the issues involved. Do you have some sample scores showing the same musical content printed with Sibelius, Finale, and Lilypond that would highlight some of these differences? Best regards The Uninvited Co., Inc. 21:50, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

First of all, "the first public release" was made long before the said essay. LilyPond now has improved a lot wrt. versions from then.

I don't own licenses to either Finale or Sibelius, so I can't provide you with any specific samples, but I've seen both in action. I think that pointing out weaknesses of other packages should not be done on the LilyPond page, but rather on the pages of said packages. I think it's better to point out what sets apart Lily, as this is more informative and more objective, eg

  • optical scaling for font: depending on staff size, the design of the font is altered slightly. (This is a Feature that Knuth's Comupter Modern font is well known for too): note heads become rounder, and lines heavier.
  • Optical spacing (see the essay), where stem directions are taken into account for spacing subsequent notes. Note that this is something different from the inaccurately named Optical (tm) Spacing feature of Sibelius.
  • Proportional spacing, where allotted space is exactly equal to durations. No other packages support this out of the box. (you need a recent 2.7 lily, though)
  • Ledger lines that never collide, but are shortened in tight situations.
  • Stem directions on the center follow the directions of surrounding notes. (recent 2.7)

Also, in general, LilyPond does much better on automatically avoiding collisions for ties, slurs, articulation marks, nested tuplets, etc.. For example, if you add an arpeggio to a chord in Finale, Finale just parks it on top of the accidentals, you have to manually tweak things to look ok.


-- 17:15, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

lilypond in a wiki[edit]

This articles features about "WikiTeX, a MediaWiki interface, supports editing LilyPond notation directly in wiki articles", but do you know LilySnap ? it's a plugin for the snipsnap wiki/blog engine, that allows integration of lilypond. Here it is :


You note three free GUI programs that can export sheet music to LilyPond format; however, they are for Linux only. Should the fact be noted that no such programs exist for Windows or even for the Macintosh?  Denelson83  06:39, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

Of the three, Denemo will work with Macintosh OS X and, indeed, like LilyPond comes with Fink. However, its state of development at present does not leave something to be desired, but instead is absolutely rotten- Not Ready For Prime Time. Unless much has been improved with 0.7.1-11, the .ly files it produces don't contain a version number, crashes are regular experiences... better to just learn how to use LilyPond or for someone to write a proper GUI and adapt it for XDarwin, this still needs to be done after all. Schissel-nonLop! 03:56, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
The free software community is sometimes hostile towards commercial operationg systems, but many programs are offered in a Windows or Macintosh version. I'm one of those with friends in both camps: sort of like Bilbo between the dwarves and the elves. --Uncle Ed 16:55, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

Frescobaldi doesn't export lilypond format, it's just a graphical front end to lilypond. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:00, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

That's true. I've updated the page. Feel free to make these edits yourself! Pnorcks (talk) 01:17, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

Relationship to TeX please[edit]

Hi there, can someone please add a few lines about the relationship with TeX/LaTeX? It's pretty clear that the notation is at the very least heavily influenced by TeX, but is there more? From a user perspective, is there a (La)TeX lilypond package for integrating music scores into regular TeX documents? From an architectural perspective, is there any reuse going on? (I would expect Lilypond did not reinvent the TeX-parsing wheel.) Thanks. (talk) 05:14, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

A random look at the CTAN yields this: [1], so the answer to the first question is probably no. (talk) 05:18, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

LilyPond was definitely influenced by TeX and LaTeX, and the default output backend used to be TeX, but for the past six years or so, PostScript has been the primary output medium. In its early stages, IIRC, LilyPond was a preprocessor for MusicTeX. Pnorcks (talk) 21:51, 9 February 2010 (UTC)


Should a peice of example code really contain encoding information for one particular editor? Does that line have any meaning to lillypond or can it simply be removed? (talk) 12:15, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

No, it doesn't have any meaning aside from (maybe) triggering custom syntax highlighting in emacs. Go ahead and remove it. There are plans of eventually translating the Spanish GNU LilyPond page to English, so this example might be gone in the future anyway. Pnorcks (talk) 21:47, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
I've removed this line. Pnorcks (talk) 22:10, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

Why "GNU"?; Proposed move[edit]

This article is entitled "GNU LilyPond." But the software package itself is just "LilyPond." See [2], [3], [4], etc. I propose moving it to LilyPond, replacing the redirect that is there, and redirecting GNU LilyPond to it (due to the many internal and potential external links) to it. Objections? TJRC (talk) 00:17, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

LilyPond is GNU software, so that's why you occasionally see references to "GNU LilyPond." I am okay with changing it though, because most people leave off the GNU prefix. Would we have to move the transcluded pages too? (i.e. Template:Latest stable software release/GNU LilyPond and Template:Latest preview software release/GNU LilyPond) Pnorcks (talk) 17:42, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

templates have bad date math[edit]

the templates for the release don't have the right number of days/months. i don't see how to correct that (talk) 01:06, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

Are you referring to the counters that display the number of days/months since the last releases? We don't have control over those numbers. They are always correct right after page modification, but the counters never seem to update on a regular basis; sometimes it happens after a few days, but it looks like the preview release counter hasn't updated in about 9 days, which is unusually long... Pnorcks (talk) 04:34, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

Chapter Design[edit]

I propose to add at the end of this chapter: Therefore, numerous programms deliver lilypond output to be processed by lilypond, and can be used as graphical interface. Pipecat (talk) 23:14, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

Simpler example needed[edit]

It would be good to have an example of Hello World simplicity. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Deluno (talkcontribs) 03:09, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

How about commons:File:Aura Lea excerpt.png? --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 03:20, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

lack of citations[edit]

I see this is up for GAN. It'll run into problems there, though, as it's missing citations for a lot of statements—even whole paragraphs. There seem to be a lot of sources out there you might be able to use: "LilyPond scores beautiful music" at, for instance, as well as in other languages (This one in German). The LilyPond website also links to a bunch of reviews. Curly Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 04:41, 4 April 2016 (UTC)

Integration into MediaWiki example[edit]

@Peter SamFan:, what you've done to this example is not an improvement. The whole point of mediawiki supporting lilypond is that people don't need to know much about the lilypond language to display a simple melody on a page. The original Solfeggio example is much more appropriate here than the incomprehensible mess you have created. Also, WP is not a manual. Here is not the place to be showing off every feature that lilypond provides. Tayste (edits) 17:57, 4 April 2016 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:LilyPond/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Calvin999 (talk · contribs) 07:55, 14 April 2016 (UTC)

When are you going to begin? Peter Sam Fan 19:43, 15 April 2016 (UTC)

I will do it this weekend, don't worry.  — Calvin999 21:09, 15 April 2016 (UTC)
  • Quite a few dead links
  • Some dablinks
  • I'd add a hatnote to the top of the article saying {{Distinguish|Lily Pond}}
  • You don't need to say "; 20 years ago" in the info box
  • You could use the {{hlist|}} for the language in the info box: {{hlist|English|Dutch|French|German|Hungarian|Italian|Japanese|Spanish}}
  • These should be alphabetically too
  • The lead really isn't giving a broad enough overview of the rest of the article, it's too short.
  • I don't see the point of having one sentence sub sections for Version 1.0 and Version 2.0. Just add these to the end of the History section para.
  • The screenshot of Screenshot of LilyPond running on Linux needs to be on the left and placed at the top of the Design section, as it is currently defaulting to under the info box
  • Try to avoid single sentence/line paragraphs. There are a lot of them.
  • One benefit of this is that more than one language can be included in the same source file. → Unsourced
  • Another scorewriter with comparable features to LilyPond is SCORE, but SCORE relies on manual positioning more than Lilypond does. → Unsourced
  • There are inconsistencies in the date formatting in the references.
  • Most are missing a work or publisher
  • Is ref 14 supposed to have a red link for the name?
  • Looking at the history of the article, I don't really think you've done must to improve it. There are a handful of minor changes.

Failing this article because I don't think that it was sufficiently prepared for being nominated to be a Good Article. There are issues with sourcing, comprehensiveness and referencing. I'm sure there must be more info than there currently is. This article does not satisfy the criteria at the present stage. It needs a lot of work, more than I believe is worth putting on hold for 7 days for.  — Calvin999 08:43, 18 April 2016 (UTC)