4.3.2 Invoking musicxml2ly

MusicXML is an XML dialect for representing music notation.

musicxml2ly extracts the notes, articulations, score structure, lyrics, etc. from part-wise MusicXML files, and writes them to a ‘.ly’ file. It is invoked from the command-line.

It is invoked from the command-line as follows,

musicxml2ly [option]… xml-file

Note that by ‘command-line’, we mean the command line of the operating system. See Converting from other formats, for more information about this.

If the given filename is ‘-’, musicxml2ly reads input from the command line.

The following options are supported by musicxml2ly:

-a, --absolute

convert pitches in absolute mode.

-h, --help

print usage and option summary.

-l, --language=LANG

use LANG for pitch names, e.g. ’deutsch’ for note names in German.


Set the output verbosity to loglevel. Possible values are NONE, ERROR, WARNING, PROGRESS (default) and DEBUG.


use the lxml.etree Python package for XML-parsing; uses less memory and cpu time.

-m, --midi

activate midi-block.

-nd, --no-articulation-directions

do not convert directions (^, _ or -) for articulations, dynamics, etc.


do not convert beaming information, use LilyPond’s automatic beaming instead.

-o, --output=file

set output filename to file. If file is ‘-’, the output will be printed on stdout. If not given, xml-file.ly’ will be used.

-r, --relative

convert pitches in relative mode (default).

-v, --verbose

be verbose.


print version information.

-z, --compressed

input file is a zip-compressed MusicXML file.

Other languages: deutsch, español, français, magyar, italiano, 日本語.
About automatic language selection.

LilyPond — Usage v2.18.2 (stable-branch).