Operation: LilyPond

A free alternative to Finale / Sibelius / Dorico?

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. Or you might be someone who prefers to use free (libre) software whenever possible.

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