Frequently asked questions are answered here as well as known bugs and issues.
- 1 How do I set up a MIDI keyboard?
- 2 How can I change fonts for lyrics?
- 3 How do you get new commands?
- 4 How do you insert a diamond-shaped note above a regular note for artificial harmonics?
- 5 How can I start a new line of music?
- 6 Triplets and friends
- 7 Unable to load/import LilyPond
- 8 The lyric line is too long for the input field
- 9 Tempo Changes
- 10 Empty Measures
- 11 Time Signature changes
- 12 Occasional Polyphony
- 13 Refusing to Typeset
- 14 There is a Sourceforge.org Denemo Page, what is it?
How do I set up a MIDI keyboard?
Plug the keyboard into a usb port.
It will already respond to the keyboard, but you should still do as follows:
From the Edit Menu choose Change Preferences
In the MIDI tab look under Input Device for your device and select that.
Now it will not only respond to the keyboard but also allow you to play in a complete rhythm (brownish notes) and immediately play the notes on top.
How can I change fonts for lyrics?
I added these lines to the
start of a lyric verse (all on separate lines)
\override LyricText.font-shape = #’italic
\override LyricText.font-size = #4
\override LyricText.font-name = #”Arial”
and the lyrics changed from normal to italic, from the default size to a
larger one, and from the default font to the Arial font.
You can use any or all of these, but you have to be very careful to
paste exactly the correct text in there – that’s why having buttons to
remember the exact text is so handy. In particular watch out for the #
the ‘ and the ” characters which have to be right.
The size is 0 for default -1,-2… for smaller, 1,2 ..for larger.
You need to look up the fonts you have on your own machine – I tried
Dingbats and Gentium from the list given by the Character Map tool on my
How do you get new commands?
New commands are to be found in the menu system at in our source repository, where you navigate down the Main Menu or the Object Menu as appropriate until you come to the menu containing the new command you seek.
Each command requires two files command.scm and command.xml
If you download these and then use the More->My Commands to load them. That is: navigate to the location you downloaded the files to and select the command.xml file.
You will be asked if you only want to load shortcuts, the reply should be no, you want the command itself.
Then the command will then appear in the menu system. When you quit you will be asked if you want to keep the new command with your standard ones.
How do you insert a diamond-shaped note above a regular note for artificial harmonics?
In versions 1.2.1 and higher this is a command in Notes/Rests, Notehead Types. For earlier versions:
1) create the main note
2) move the cursor up a fourth and press Ins to insert a note in the chord
3) Click Notes/Rests->Directives->Attach LilyPond to Note
5) Type in \harmonic for the second text (LilyPond after the note)
6) Type whatever you like (e.g. o or h, or you could even paste a diamond character from your character map tool in accessories) for the display, to remind you that the note is altered
How can I start a new line of music?
If you just want to force a staff line-break in the printed output insert the Directives → Page Break command. Remember Denemo does not do the final typesetting of the music in the display, it just lets you input it quickly. However – there is a “page view” which shows the music on multiple lines – see the View menu (but this is so you can see more of your music, not to show the printed page).
Triplets and friends
Start and End triplet (tuplet) markers are objects in Denemo having a position (i.e. you can place the cursor on them, and delete them using backspace or del etc, just like notes, time signature changes or directives etc). There are commands to insert the start tuplet marker object and it has the meaning that the notes following have the scaled timing. Denemo expects tuplets to be ended within the Denemo measure, and although not strictly necessary it is probably best to do this. This is because the typesetting can be controlled regardless of how you tell Denemo about the timing of the notes.
If you right-click on a tuplet marker it explains about itself.
Unable to load/import LilyPond
Denemo’s LilyPond parser does not work on many third-party LilyPond files. It should work on its own output. Sometimes if there are a lot of notes you want to capture from a LilyPond file, it can be worth cutting the notes from the file and pasting them in to a file Denemo can read or using Paste LilyPond. Or you can try cutting out things in the original file that Denemo barfs on until Denemo can read it.
The lyric line is too long for the input field
You can use line breaks (Enter/Return) in this field. They don’t affect the placement of one syllable per note. You can make the lyrics pane larger by dragging, and scroll bars appear if the text is too much.
You should generally place tempo changes in all the staffs (and voices) – these will only be typeset once, but unless you do this the MIDI will be out of sync. Another reason for doing it is you want to print a single part, the tempo marking needs to be in that part. You are offered the chance to make such markings apply only to the part – this can be used if you need to place the marks at slightly different places in the various parts (e.g. because a tempo change occurs during a note). If you have two tempo marks (or other marks such as rehearsal marks) at different times in a piece they will all print unless you make them conditional in this way. The Directives menu has commands for (un)making them conditional if you want to alter this.
Denemo allows you to leave empty measures, which it will take as whole measure rests. But they must be truly empty, otherwise you have to put in the rests (non-printing ones if desired). To warn you the latest version of Denemo paints incomplete bars in red, unless you are currently working on them.
Time Signature changes
These should be placed in every staff/voice otherwise the typesetting will be strange.
The way to do this in Denemo is to use Staff → Voices → Add Voice. You can leave all the measures empty except for the one(s) with the extra notes. Those extra notes can be controlled with regard to stem up/down using the voice commands (Directives → Voices) or with individual stem up/down. slur up/down etc commands. Also you will probably want to create non-printing rests for that voice in any bar where it has notes.
The exception to being able to leave measures blank comes with any change of time signature – the change of time signature is added in the voice as well and you must then put a (non-printing) rest(s) to fill out the bar. Likewise if you have an Anacrusis (upbeat, pickup) then one will be created in the voice and you must insert non-printing rests of the duration of the upbeat (unless the voice is to be used for the upbeat too).
In fact, if for any reason you have something in a measure then you must complete the measure. With the latest version this is marked out by the measure appearing blue or red, depending if the measure is over- or under-full.
Refusing to Typeset
A general way of finding a mistake in a score which prevents LilyPond from typesetting is as follows:
You make a copy of the score.
You go to half way through and delete from there to the end (you can do this with the Selection commands Set Point and Set Mark and Cut)
If the score still misbehaves the problem is in the first half, so repeat.
If the score is now printing ok the problem is in the bit you deleted, so reload and delete the first half.
Continuing in this way will reduce to a single bar where the error should lie.
Now, it is equally possible that the error is in the layout (that is, all the stuff besides the music), so perhaps first it would be best to test by deleting all the music and seeing if it will typeset the score with just one empty measure.
There is a Sourceforge.org Denemo Page, what is it?
The only official Denemo pages are denemo_wordpress.org and the GNU Savannah project page, where our files are hosted. The sourceforge page is out of date and we have now put redirections to this site from it for those who are following old links.