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Disclaimer regarding Brokenness of the Code

This code is unreleased software, and is not in a fully functional state at the time of writing. I’m developing it publicly because that’s what I do, but be warned that the code in its current state is very likely to only frustrate you and waste your time. That said, if you like fighting with abandoned broken code as a hobby and want to help out, and especially if you know metafont and/or scheme, please contact Drew on the MNP’s google group for an update.


This is a branch of lilypond for hacking on alternative notation support. The hope is that someday alternative notation support will be mature enough to be merged back into mainline lilypond. This repository was set up by Drew Wagner on 1/26/2010, and will be of interest primarily to members of the Music Notation Project.

Preliminary support for alternative notations in lilypond was first coded up by Kevin Dalley

More information on LilyPond’s support for alternative notation systems can be found on the Music Notation Project Wiki:


There are currently several branches in the repository:

  • mark_hanlon contains the latest patches submitted by Mark Hanlon to the Music Notation Project. This is currently the best version of the source.
  • neil_puttock contains patches by Neil Puttock, posted to the lilypond-dev mailing list on 4 July, 2008.
  • added_examples contains example lily input related to alternative notation support. Changes to the examples should be made on this branch, and then periodically merged into the other branches.
  • master contains the latest (unpatched) lilypond version as of the time of import.

All of these branches share a common ancestor in mainline lilypond tag release/2.11.45-1

Getting Started

Here is a rough list of commands that will get you started on Debian.

  1. apt-get build-dep lilypond
  2. apt-get install texlive-metapost
  3. git clone git@github.com:drewm1980/lilypond-an.git
  4. cd lilypond-an.git
  5. git pull origin mark_hanlon
  6. ./autogen.sh
  7. make all
  8. make install or follow the directions in the file HACKING for running in-place
  9. ???

To Do

  • test everything, including the above instructions
  • recreate the inverted triangle noteheads needed by twinline notation, et al.
  • try to get the code up-to-date with main-line lilypond