LilyPond, What is and How Works

LilyPond is the result of the intuition of two musicians eager to cross the border of computer-generated scores, perpetually endowed with a too high degree of mechanicalness. If it is true that every musician’s ambition is to write music correctly and without too many hitches, it is equally true that the goal of the programmers who designed it was to design a software capable of processing scores that were at least elegant . The result that follows is a harmonious mix that combines enjoyable scores, paying attention to the best traditions of musical typography. LilyPond also takes a careful look at details, those concerning formatting, which however will allow musicians, publishers or transcribers to be able to devote themselves entirely to the music, rather than taking care of improving the output of their software. In fact, the musician will be given parts that, in addition to being read, will allow him to concentrate his strength on the actual performance. Going further in detail, what is it then? Let’s deepen in this guest post kindly accepted by musicainformatica.

The description
As previously stated, LilyPond allows each musician to make scores that are not only elegant but also easy to read. The team of programmers who developed and laid the foundations for this idea has in fact spent hours and hours trying to make available to each of them a music engraving software that produces high quality scores. Each style setting, along with fonts and algorithms, draws inspiration from what was the best handwritten music. The output that characterizes LilyPond features the same elegant and at the same time balanced conformation of the best known and most appreciated classical scores.
Formulating a text input, LilyPond will make sure that it is read very easily both by a human being and by any other program. There are no hidden information either for what concerns the menu settings, nor for what concerns the saving in binary files. Anyone who has to change factors related to appearance, the correction made can also be viewed in the input file, in a perfectly decipherable form for anyone. You will therefore always and in any case be in a position to consider the music you have written. In the hypothesis in which you owe for mistake to render the file not working, you will be able to remedy simply restoring or modifying every decision without canceling the everything. You will be able to interpret each file without having to enter the program that generated them. You will therefore manage text files with the aid of a version control program.

By setting the best formatting initially, LilyPond will avoid the hassle of using large timescales to correct the output. The program in question, in fact, independently determines both the space and the line breaks, for a layout that will appear as uniformly proportioned. There will be no collision between notes, text and agreements. In addition, as if this were not yet sufficient, the tails and slurs will be placed automatically. Particular of not secondary importance is a textual input that also gives to those who are affected by disability the pleasure of writing good music. All those who, due to physical disabilities, are unable to use a mouse or keyboard, will be able to use the voice recognition function. Even the blind can use LilyPond. This operation, which we are talking about, would be practically impossible in any other program. Those who designed LilyPond have developed functional tools to make the editing or correction of files quicker and more effective. Different instruments can therefore be selected depending on the change to be implemented.

The practical part
LilyPond can be defined as a compiled system. This, in a nutshell, means that you will be able to view the output on your PC screen, but also print it. Here, the music will not be written simply by dragging the selected notes into a toolbar, but the text will be typed in directly and in first person. Everything will finally be interpreted by the program, which will produce excellent quality scores. The coding of the notes is performed with the help of letters and numbers. For what instead affects the alterations, they are associated with different names. Just to mention a few examples, for the sharp the entry -is must be added, while for the flat there will be the word -es. I calculation of alterations.

More info on official webiste.

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