Lilypond – A program for typesetting sheet music

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LilyPond came about when two musicians wanted to go beyond the soulless look of computer-printed sheet music. Musicians prefer reading beautiful music, so why couldn’t programmers write software to produce elegant printed parts?

The result is a system which frees musicians from the details of layout, allowing them to focus on making music. LilyPond works with them to create publication-quality parts, crafted in the best traditions of classical music engraving.


Excellent classical engraving


LilyPond allows musicians to produce elegant sheet music that is easy to read. Its developer community has spent thousands of hours developing powerful music engraving software that results in beautifully engraved music. All of LilyPond’s style settings, font designs and algorithms have been inspired by the finest hand-engraved music. LilyPond output has the same strong, balanced and elegant look as the best-engraved classical scores.

Effective layout choices

Spend less time with tweaking the output; LilyPond gets the formatting correct right from the start. It determines spacing by itself, and breaks lines and pages to provide a tight and uniform layout. Clashes between lyrics, notes, and chords are resolved and slurs and beams are sloped, automatically!

Text-based input

LilyPond takes ASCII input, which you can produce in your favorite text editor, quickly and comfortably. The input contains all the information, so there is no need to remember complex command sequences: simply save a file for later reference.
Mix music and text

Put fragments of music into texts without cutting and pasting pictures. Integrate music into LaTeX or HTML seamlessly, or add music to with OOoLilyPond. Plugins are also available to allow LilyPond code in various blogs and wikis, making online collaboration possible.


Text-based input also makes score-writing possible for users with severe physical disabilities. Dexterity-impaired users who are unable to type or control a computer mouse can use speech-recognition software to edit LilyPond files. Even users who are totally blind can use screen-reading software to write LilyPond files – an impossible task in graphical-based score-writing programs.

Extensible design

All settings can be changed to suit your personal typographical taste. If that still is not enough, there is always the built-in scripting language Scheme, a dialect of the powerful language LISP. Settings, variables and functions are all documented in the comprehensive program reference manual.

Install lilypond in ubuntu

open the terminal and run the following command

sudo apt-get install lilypond


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2 Responses

  1. maarvarq says:

    apt-get didn’t properly install lilypond for me-
    $ lilypond
    GNU LilyPond 2.12.3
    warning: not relocating, no 2.12.3/ or current/ found under /home/mark/share/lilypond/
    ERROR: In procedure primitive-load-path:
    ERROR: Unable to find file “lily.scm” in load path

    but downloading the first package from this page
    and using the two shell commands, making appropriate substitutions for PATH-TO-DOWNLOAD-DIRECTORY and OS-TYPE did

  2. Bill says:

    Which two shell commands.

    I have installed lilypond and then I get this same message

    ERROR: Unable to find file “lily.scm” in load path

    I am on 2.14.02 but not sure what to do to get the system to see the software… I am on Xubuntu 12.04

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