Easier editing

Front-end Applications



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Frescobaldi is a lightweight, yet powerful, music and text editor with many features added and enhanced particularly for LilyPond. Major features include point-and-click links between the code and music views, detailed score wizards, built-in LilyPond documentation browser, syntax highlighting and automatic completion. Frescobaldi is written in Python, with PyQt4 for its user interface, and will run on all major operating systems (GNU/Linux, macOS and Windows).



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Denemo is a graphical editor which generates LilyPond source code, and also allows audio playback. It allows users to view the LilyPond source code in parallel to the graphical view. Extra LilyPond tweaks can be attached to notes, chords, etc., and are stored with the Denemo file, so that users can continue to edit graphically.

Moving the cursor in the LilyPond text moves the cursor in the graphical view, and any syntax errors in your LilyPond tweaks are highlighted in the text view when printed from there.



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Spontini-Editor is a text-combined-with-graphic music editor that speeds up the creation and fine graphic tuning of complex scores edited with LilyPond through two main features:

  1. It allows the positioning of musical objects (articulations, texts, pedals, curves, brackets etc.) with the mouse. Once the positioning is graphically done, the text editor reports the corresponding changes on the input file.
  2. It assists in the creation of piano music by inserting notes in tabular and formatted form and it provides quick tools for cross-staff notation.

It works both as a standalone application and as a web-based server + multi-client system.

Browser-based editors




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An online sheet-music editor and publishing tool powered by LilyPond, with additional features such as autocompletion and contextual help. The underlying web hosting code is available under the AGPL license, on its own development page.




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Since 2010, Online Music Editing Tools (OMET) offers a ready-to-use LilyPond service with a specifically-tailored web interface. Registration is required but free of charge.

Word processor plug-ins



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An OpenOffice.org extension that converts LilyPond files into images within OpenOffice.org documents.

IDE Plug-ins


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A complete environment for editing scores with LilyPond in Eclipse, offering a rich toolkit for conveniently managing LilyPond.

Text editors

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https://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/ Emacs is a text editor with language-sensitive capabilities for many different computer languages. Emacs is a highly extensible editor and can be used as an Integrated Development Environment. There is a ‘lilypond mode’ which supplies the language definitions for working with LilyPond source files. A developer has written lyqi, an Emacs major mode.

If you are not already familiar with Emacs then you may probably prefer to use a different editor for writing LilyPond input files.

More information on setting up Emacs can be found in Text editor support.


https://www.vim.org Vim is a minimal text editor and is an extension of the older Unix vi editor. It is also extensible and configurable.

If you are not already familiar with Vi then you may probably prefer to use a different editor for writing LilyPond input files.

More information on setting up Vim can be found in Text editor support.




The TeXShop editor for macOS can be extended to run LilyPond, lilypond-book and convert-ly from within the editor, using the extensions available at:

Other programs that can export LilyPond code

Score, tab and MIDI editors:

Algorithmic code generators

Other programs no longer being actively developed

Where now?

You are now ready to Download LilyPond.

Still not convinced? Many composers, musicians, and conductors have learned how to write music in our input format. Experienced users even report that they can enter a full score in LilyPond faster than with a piano keyboard or mouse+GUI! Perhaps you would like to review the Features, Examples, or the Freedom that LilyPond provides, or read about users’ Productions and Reviews. In addition, our approach to the computational aesthetics of classical engraving is explained in our Background.