At the Sounding Edge: LilyPond, Part 2
Denemo is a utility for the creation of files in a variety of formats, including ABC, MIDI, XML, Csound score and, yes, LilyPond. Denemo's default user interface seems rather modest when compared to the GUIs of Rosegarden and NoteEdit, but much power lurks beneath its surface. The program combines a mouse-driven GUI, user-defined keyboard bindings and a set of pre-defined keyboard commands in a flexible and useful tool for preparing LilyPond files. The GUI is not WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get), and the program should not be confused with a music notation editor such as NoteEdit. Denemo is a general-purpose input device that significantly reduces the difficulty of preparing multiformat music files.
Figure 8 shows Denemo at work. You can see the display is not completely WYSIWYG, but it is quite comprehensible. Indicators such as the tuplet figures are translated to their correct appearances when the output file is compiled by LilyPond, as illustrated in Figure 9. A bug in Denemo prevented the dynamics indicators from being displayed in Denemo itself, but they are entered correctly in the LilyPond output. The title and author information is entered in Denemo's File/Set Headers dialog.
As of version 0.7.2a, Denemo's user documentation is contained in the source package's README. Various key bindings are described there, and Denemo includes a facility for creating user-defined key bindings for the program's entire command set and GUI menu items (see Figure 10). With data entry keys defined as you want them, you can work quickly and accurately with Denemo.
I hope you've enjoyed this mini-introduction to LilyPond. I've only scratched the surface of the system, so you simply have to try it yourself to test its depths. If you're not the language-learning type, you can employ one of the GUIs presented here or you can work in a MIDI environment and use the midi2ly format converter. However you choose to work with it, I think you'll agree that LilyPond lives up to its promise of producing output that truly is beautiful.
From July 6 to 10, I attended the Libre Software Meeting (LSM), once again held in Bordeaux, France. The LSM is a large conference that encompasses a wide variety of free software development topics and trends, including computer sound and music trends. I'm happy to report that LSM 2004 hosted an excellent series of presentations on development occurring in the sound, music and multimedia domains of free software. Non-audio-specific report topics included updates on the Cinelerra video editor, the Blender 3-D renderer and the Scribus DTP edit/layout system. Music and sound topics included reports on recent ALSA development, with particular regard to the 2.6 kernel; an overview of the Faust programming language, a real-time sound processing/synthesis; the use of RDF (Resource Description Framework) in audio applications; and an introduction to the Dolabip software and its use in gesture/audition training for children. Other sound-related topics included a presentation and workshop dedicated to the Ardour DAW (digital audio workstation) and introductions to the AGNULA and APODIO projects. Details on all these presentations can be found by clicking on the Program link under the heading of Music And Other Artistic Domains on the Technical Topics page on the LSM Web site.
Next year's LSM will be held in Dijon. Information regarding LSM 2005 probably will start to appear on-line in the spring of that year. The conference has something for almost everyone, so you're bound to find more than a few interesting presentations, lively discussions and impromptu workshops. I hope to see you there.
Many thanks to the directors and staff of LSM 2004 for their assistance. Special thanks to Ludovic Penet for his extraordinary patience and courage and to Francois Dechelle and Myriam Desainte-Catherine for their great efforts to make the music and sound topic presentations so successful.
Similis sum folio de quo ludunt venti.
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