1.5 Putting LilyPond to work

We have written LilyPond as an experiment of how to condense the art of music engraving into a computer program. Thanks to all that hard work, the program can now be used to perform useful tasks. The simplest application is printing notes.

[image of music]

By adding chord names and lyrics we obtain a lead sheet.

[image of music]

Polyphonic notation and piano music can also be printed. The following example combines some more exotic constructs.

[image of music]

The fragments shown above have all been written by hand, but that is not a requirement. Since the formatting engine is mostly automatic, it can serve as an output means for other programs that manipulate music. For example, it can also be used to convert databases of musical fragments to images for use on websites and multimedia presentations.

This manual also shows an application: the input format is text, and can therefore be easily embedded in other text-based formats such as LaTeX, HTML, or in the case of this manual, Texinfo. Using the lilypond-book program, included with LilyPond, the input fragments can be replaced by music images in the resulting PDF or HTML output files. Another example is the third-party OOoLilyPond extension for OpenOffice.org or LibreOffice, which makes it extremely easy to embed musical examples in documents.

For more examples of LilyPond in action, full documentation, and the software itself, see our main website: www.lilypond.org.

LilyPond — Essay on automated music engraving v2.21.81 (development-branch).