"Judging from the response to last month's column, it seems that
many readers are interested in applications and utilities designed
for practicing musicians. One reader brought up the subject of
scoring software, which are programs designed for formatting music
notation for printing. This month's column looks at music notation
software for Linux, with a special focus on the LilyPond
"First, a few remarks concerning the subject of music notation.
Modern Western music notation is the result of hundreds of years of
evolving practice. From its beginnings as a means of notating
plainchant the system has grown to accommodate a bewildering array
of symbols, signs and objects, all intended to convey a more or
less accurate set of instructions describing a performance of the
composer's musical intentions involving possibly huge instrumental
and vocal resources. Learning to read and write standard Western
music notation is a non-trivial task, and real fluency requires
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