Operation: LilyPond

LilyPond Tutorials

A free alternative to Finale or Sibelius?

If you’re reading this, you are probably looking to learn more about writing and publishing your own music. Perhaps you are a student and cannot afford the license cost for Finale, Sibelius, or Dorico. Or maybe you are a professional who needs to distribute music to your ensemble for an upcoming performance but have a tight budget. If you would like to engrave your music and publish beautiful looking scores for free, then please read on…

I’m currently creating a series of tutorial videos which will take a comprehensive, in-depth look at engraving music using LilyPond. The first set of videos is aimed at beginners and it will be following a step-by-step approach in order to help everyone become a power user. There are also more advanced videos showing how to polish up and finalize scores as well.

If you would like to see more videos on LilyPond, please click here to subscribe to my channel so you don’t miss any new tutorials.

*NEW videos posted to YouTube include a complete, step by step tutorial on MIDI input, MIDI playback, and MIDI export.

Here’s the link to the newest MIDI videos: –> http://bit.ly/2d2sxoj

**If you are looking for my new solarized Frescobaldi color scheme, here’s that link: –> Frescobaldi Solarized

So, what is LilyPond?

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. There is quite a bit that LilyPond can do that Finale and Sibelius simply cannot. It’s also much better than the old SCORE program that many publishers used years ago (and still use today).

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 for web pages.

Why LilyPond?

In terms of purely music typesetting, LilyPond’s output is far superior to any other program available today, including the long-time favorite and de facto standard, SCORE.

With my tutorial videos, I’ll be starting at the very beginning:

  1. You will learn the structure of a LilyPond input file and basic note entry
  2. We’ll look at more advanced concepts like variables and creating individual instrument parts
  3. Then formatting and layout – and the power to tweak anything on the page
  4. Finally you’ll learn how to add the finishing touches to your scores so they look perfect

The first playlist is aimed at beginners: it has 25 videos and provides around 2 hours of learning material. You can watch all of the LilyPond tutorials here: http://bit.ly/LearnLilyPond

And if you would like to support this channel and help me to be able to create more engaging and educational music materials, please consider making a donation here: https://www.paypal.me/soundsfromsound

New intermediate and advanced videos coming every week. I’ll be showing how to format your score, tweak objects, align dynamics, create instrument parts, and graphic notation.

Don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss any new tutorials.

Learn LilyPond

Posted in Learning, LilyPond
7 comments on “Operation: LilyPond
  1. After 12 years of Sibelius, wich I use until today, I become a Lily-Enthusiast more and more… thanks for the Tutorials… they are great… wish to stay in contact… an Austrian Guitar Player…
    yours sincerely

    Daniel Oman

    • Ben Ben says:

      Hi Daniel,

      Thank you for sharing some feedback about my videos. I’m so happy that you found them to be helpful! I’m going to be uploading more tutorials in the coming weeks and they will focus on more advanced topics like: score layout, formatting, font substitutions, tweaks, dynamics / hairpin alignment, and also nested tuplets.

      Thanks again for stopping by and taking the time to leave an encouraging comment here. Much appreciated!


  2. Steve says:

    Hi there; looking forward to watching the tutorials. I’ve used Lilypond before to create some horn section charts for a rock band. The guys & gals were always impressed with the quality of the music engraving compared to the Sibelius or Finale charts that others brought in. I’ve been out of performing for a while, but my kids are starting to play, and I’d like to start writing some exercises for them. I looked up lilypond right away to see what’s new, and was happily surprised to find that there’s now a way to change music fonts http://lilypondblog.org/2014/09/lilyponds-look-and-feel/. Will you have a tutorial on using LilyJAZZ, or is that already out there? Thanks for the site, and for taking the time.

  3. Peter Ganev says:

    Wonderful! I would like to subskribe.

  4. Wonderful programe is LiliPond

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