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(cons* 'Schikkers (list)) -- a generic GUI platform for LilyPond

(cons* 'Schikkers (list)) -- a generic GUI platform for LilyPond

Schikkers List is a generic LilyPond GUI platform. It comes with a fully functional Gnome GUI and an interesting-enough HTML5 web GUI.

We aim to bring LilyPond to the 90+% of musicians who are uncomfortable with LilyPond's text interface and --if they want to-- give them an easy way to learn the LilyPond language.


Have a look at the Free Web Music LilyPond GUI DEMO,

and please

what you think.



Nearing initial useful application release v0.1.0.

Giving out a limited number of test accounts along with ssh repository access to interested hackers.

We are developing using Chrome and occasionally check Firefox compatibility. If you see something weird, please check with Chrome first, then fix or report your browser's problem.


Schikkers List is yet another GUI for LilyPond. Although several advanced free software front-ends for editing LilyPond files have been available for years, graphical as well as text-based, none of them used LilyPond to do the actual rendering.

Recently, several web-based or app-based GUIs have appeared, that do see and exploit the advantage of LilyPond rendering. None of these are free software, none boldly advertise “built on LilyPond technology™”, none of them use the LilyPond .ly language, ease the learning of .ly, support editing of .ly or acknowledge and leverage the power of text-based input.

LilyPond is perceived as too difficult for the grand majority of musicians and other potential users. As a consequence, most musicians still don't benefit from the exceptional engraving quality that the LilyPond expert system provides; most scores still look ugly and are made using expensive proprietary softwares. There is no free software that provides an easy way to learn LilyPond by doing and playing, nor is there a GUI that uses LilyPond for rendering and thus allows proof-reading corrections and tweaks.

Schikkers List aims to be a dumb interactive graphical shell and user interface, while outsourcing the smart music layouting to the LilyPond notation expert system; thus providing a safe and friendly GUI gateway to LilyPond.

I've chosen to use GUILE because it is an amazing language, and because this leaves the possibility to remove the socket backend and integrate in into LilyPond, directly accessing Grobs and documentation.


In 2004, I created the Gnome backend in LilyPond where output-gnome.scm would draw directly onto a GnomeCanvas to allow the creation of tweaks with the mouse. In 2005, Han-Wen created Ikebana: using a socket backend in LilyPond, a standalone program would draw onto a GnomeCanvas.

Schikkers List is the third effort to create a LilyPond GUI and has seen several major rewrites itself.


Schikkers List was inspired by Ikebana and uses a guile scheme to arrange Lily's notiational arrangements: part of Schikkers' Guile is in its lists.


The LilyPond Report wrote an article with a slick animated PNG of the user interface menus.