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Alan, you are da bomb! i look forward to every new project you venture into.
Years ago, I tried and gave up on Lilypond probably 3 times before I discovered Lilypond Tool (a jEdit extension), and then Frescobaldi to use as frontends. Those made a world of difference. Lilypond is a powerful engine; all you need is a well-appointed operators’ cockpit from which to control it.
I and a friend made a few templates that were useful to us as primarily hymn writers, and the process of composing in Lilypond was profoundly simplified. In most of our templates, for example, we use a \transpose line (comment it or not), which allows us to compose any song in the Key of C, and then transpose the output to any key desired.
I have also found it much easier to input music using \include english.ly. This eliminates the is and es for sharps and flats, using instead s and f, which I find more intuitive. B flat becomes bf, C sharp becomes cs, and so forth.
I also output the midi to a higher quality player through easily found settings in Frescobaldi.
We easily made a basic songbook template, which consisted of nothing more than a few global settings for consistency, and a list of \include files referencing all the songs we wanted in our collection, and markup options between each file for title and composer information.
With a little use, I found that I could compose directly in Lilypond just as fast as I could in Noteworthy Composer, Harmony Assistant, Musescore, Staffpad, etc. And since many of my scores were intended to be printed, I found that the whole process was quicker in Lilypond, because, almost invariably, once I had the music and words typed in, the job was finished. Only very rarely did I need to ponder spacing and layout issues.
Over time, we have added a few bells and whistles according to our hearts’ desire. Lilypond, controlled with Frescobaldi, has continued to serve us very well. The ability to copy and paste any text in your score or other’s is more powerful than one can possibly appreciate who has not worked with it.
In short, each person will have personal preferences in input procedures and output options, and the beauty and power of Lilypond is that it is flexible enough to suit almost any taste while still producing dependably flawless results.
This site © 2024 Adam Scott Neal.
Portrait photos by Davis Martin.