I’m currently creating a series of tutorial videos which will take an in-depth look at engraving music using LilyPond. The videos are aimed at beginners and they’ll be following a step-by-step approach in order to help everyone become a power user.
LilyPond is a free, open-source, and cross-platform program. Those of you coming from graphical editors like Sibelius or Finale will notice right away that LilyPond is a different kind of program; instead of dragging notes from a toolbar and placing them on the page, you will be creating your scores by typing text. This text is then compiled (or interpreted) by the program, which then produces beautifully engraved sheet music. In some ways, LilyPond is more like a programming language than a graphical score editor, but don’t let the idea of a learning curve discourage you. It’s really not as steep as you think.
LilyPond truly brings the aesthetics of traditionally hand-engraved music straight into your computer and into your scores. It is also very easy to insert score excerpts or full pages of your score into LaTeX documents, scientific papers, musicology/research papers, and even HTML.
With these videos, I’ll be starting at the very beginning:
- first you will learn the structure of a LilyPond input file and basic note entry
- then it’s on to formatting and layout
- next, more advanced concepts like variables and functions, and…
- finally you’ll work on adding the finishing touches to your scores so they look amazing.
I recently completed the first playlist which has 25 videos and clocks in at approximately 2 hours of learning material. You can check them out here: http://bit.ly/bcl-lilypond (YouTube playlist)
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