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Lilypond – Music notation for everyone

LilyPond is an automated engraving system. It formats music beautifully and automatically, and has a friendly syntax for its input files.

Refer to the Lilypond FAQ or Lilypond userguide for further information


Download the latest installer from


And run the installer


Shell Access

As the preferred method to enter a score is a text editor, any editor can edit the files stored on the server.

If you have trustworthy users give them shell access. They can then run lilypond to produce a .pdf file for printing and optionally a .midi file

cd /home/e-smith/files/ibays/scores/mozart/

Shell access lets users use all the features of Lilypond, such as importing a .midi file

midi2ly  K123.midi

MediaWiki Extension

Insert fragments of music or whole scores into your wiki pages.

After installing the Mediawiki Lilypond extension you can work on your score anywhere you have browser access.

  • Install MediaWiki

Thank you Dietmar for the prepared rpm

  • Install the Lilypond Extension

cd /opt/mediawiki/
cp /path2file/LilyPond.php extensions/Lilypond.php

Add the extension to the Local settings config file

nano -w LocalSettings.php
  • <lilypond>

You place special tags in your wiki article, in a nutshell,

  c, d e f 
  g a b c
  b a g f 
  e d c

Produces: An Image

Lilypond Scale

  • <lilymidi>

Produces: An image plus makes it a clickable link to a .midi file

  c, d e f 

  • <lilybook>
\version "2.10.29"

\header { 
 title = "Mary Had a Little Lamb"
 tagline = ""

\paper {
 ragged-right = ##t
 ragged-bottom = ##t
 indent = 0\mm

melody = \relative c' {
e d c d | e e e e |
d d e d | c1 |
text = \lyricmode {
\set stanza = "1." Ma- ry had a lit- tle lamb,
its fleece was white as snow.
  \score{ <<
    \new Voice = "one" { \melody }
    \new Lyrics \lyricsto "one" \text
    \layout { }
    \midi { }
    \wordwrap-string #"
    Verse 2.
    Mary took it home again,
    It was against the rule."

Produces: An Image, linked to a midi if \midi { } is included

Lilypond Song

Important.png Note:
For the <lilybook> method you enter the text of an entire .ly file

For <lilypond> and <lilymidi> you are just entering the notes from the melody

For all three methods, macro code is disabled for security reasons.

Further Information

The Lilypond syntax cheat sheet may be less daunting for wiki users then the full manual.

See the Lilypond Snippet Registry for more advanced syntax examples