Improvement by benchmarking

LilyPond’s output has improved gradually over time, and it continues to improve by comparing its output to hand-engraved scores.

For example, here is one line of a benchmark piece from a hand-engraved edition (Bärenreiter BA320):

baer-sarabande

and the same quotation as engraved by a very old version of LilyPond (version 1.4, May 2001):

lily14-sarabande

The LilyPond 1.4 output is certainly readable, but close comparison with the hand-engraved score showed a lot of errors in the formatting details:

lily14-sarabande-annotated

(There were also two missing note heads, several missing editorial annotations, and an incorrect pitch!)

By adjusting the layout rules and font design, the output has improved considerably. Compare the same reference score and the output from the current version of LilyPond (2.25.10):

baer-sarabande

[image of music]

The current output is not a clone of the reference edition, but it is much closer to publication quality that the earlier output.


Essay on automated music engraving v2.25.10 (development-branch).