This Tutorial is for versions 0.9.4 or higher

This tutorial will show you how to create a simple piece of music in Denemo from start to exporting a PDF.

Starting and Navigation

  1. Download and install Denemo.
  2. Launch the program using the normal method for your operating system.
  3. When you start a new, mostly blank window awaits you, showing a single staff, empty but a treble-clef and a 4/4 time-signature.
  4. Add a note by pressing a note name “a”, “b” … “g”
    1. Use a number key from 0 to 6 to enter a note with a specific length. 0 is whole note, 1 is a half, 2 is a quarter and so on… (if possible use numeric keypad – faster)
  5. Use the up/down arrow keys to move the large blue marker to a new note position
    1. Type in note names (a, b, c, d, e, f, g) to add more notes
    2. or change note length as before with number keys

Enter four measures of music with two different note-lengths

  1. Use the up and down arrow keys to move the Denemo cursor near the G-position located in the middle of the staff.
  2. Press 2. A quarter note duration appears.
  3. Press an “a”. See it works – it chooses the nearest note A.
  4. Enter “b”, “c” “d” and “e”.
  5. You see a measure was added automatically after 4 quarter notes. This is because the measure is complete.
  6. Enter “c”, “b” and “a”. The nearest note to the cursor is chosen, so in this case a descending sequence
  7. Now enter a half-note duration with the “1″ key. Then “g” and “f”.
  8. Finally add a whole note with 0 and “g”

Save and View

  1. We have to save this masterpiece. Press Ctrl+s and a save dialog will appear.
    1. Just enter a name, for example “tutorial”. (The .denemo_wordpress extension will be added automatically).
    2. Press Save and this piece is stored on disk and we are back at the editing prompt.
  2. Now press Ctrl+p to view the final output in a new window, a typeset as a pdf by LilyPond music engraver. This takes some time – a progress bar appears.
  3. Look over the generated pdf image and choose Print from the top if you are happy to print now.

One more detail

  1. We want to make the only f an f-sharp, aka Fis.
  2. Navigate with the Arrow Keys Left and Right until you meet the half f. You don’t have to hit it vertically, horizontally is enough.
    1. You can just click the f with your mouse, if you want.
  3. Press the + key to sharpen the note. (Guess what - does.)


  1. Save and rejoice! You have done the whole first steps!
  2. To export a pdf choose Export from Denemo’s File menu or use the Print To File option of the print dialog.

Next steps

  1. Visit the other tutorials to learn what’s possible.
  2. Your piece needs a name and author-information. Try to figure out how to set them with the Score menu located in the third or fourth row of Denemo’s menus.
  3. Add a second staff with Staffs/Voices->Insert Staff->Add Staff after and write a beautiful second voice!
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