glilypond - Linux


Lilypond is a sophisticated music sheet composer specifically designed for creating high-quality printed music. It excels in producing intricate musical notation, enabling professional-looking output.


lilypond [options] [file(s)]


  • -o, –output-file-name: Specify the output file name.
  • -f, –output-format: Select the output format (e.g., PDF, MIDI). Default: PDF.
  • -E, –backend: Set the playback engine (e.g., internal, lilypond-js). Default: internal.
  • -P, –paper-size: Define the paper size (e.g., A4, letter). Default: A4.
  • -v, –version: Display the LilyPond version.
  • -h, –help: Show the help message.


Create a simple melody:


Export to MIDI:

lilypond --output-format=midi

Use an external playback engine:

lilypond --backend=lilypond-js

Common Issues

  • File format errors: Ensure your LilyPond source file (.ly) is syntactically correct.
  • Missing LilyPond modules: Install additional LilyPond modules if necessary, using lilypond-book.
  • Playback problems: Check your sound system and ensure the correct playback engine is selected.


With LaTeX: Use LaTeX’s luamusical package to include LilyPond music in documents.
With bash: Run LilyPond commands directly from the terminal using lilypond -x.

Related Commands

  • pdflatex: Used with LilyPond to produce final PDF documents.
  • make: Automate the music composition process using Makefiles.
  • gnuplot: Create graphs using musical notation.