Note: LilyPond is a text-based music engraver; it is more similar to a programming language than a graphical score editing program. Before downloading LilyPond, please read about our Text input. Once you have downloaded LilyPond, read the start of the Learning Manual for a gentle introduction on how to install it and use it.




Double-click the downloaded file, then drag it to wherever you want.


Delete the folder.

Running on the command-line

Note: If you are happy with the GUI instructions in the Learning Manual, then please ignore these instructions.

MacOS X on the command line

The most convenient way to run lilypond scripts is by setting up “helper” scripts of your own.

  1. Create a directory to store these scripts,
    mkdir -p ~/bin
    cd ~/bin
  2. Create a file called lilypond which contains
    exec DIR/ "$@"

    Note: DIR will generally be /Applications/

  3. Create similar files lilypond-book, convert-ly, and any other scripts you wish to use, by replacing the bin/lilypond with bin/convert-ly (or other program name).
  4. Make the file executable,
    chmod u+x lilypond
  5. Now, add this directory to your path. Modify (or create) a file called .profile in your home directory such that it contains
    export PATH=$PATH:~/bin

    This file should end with a blank line.

Invoking individual scripts

The scripts — such as lilypond-book, convert-ly, abc2ly, and even lilypond itself — are included inside the .app file for MacOS X.

Scripts can also be run from the command line by invoking them directly:


The same is true for all other scripts in that directory, such as lilypond-book and convert-ly.



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