Lilypond and therefore Denemo offer many options to format and design your layout. Therefore it can be challenging to find and use all features available. Here you can find several hints, guidance and tutorials to use Denemo, from small tricks to complex tasks.


  • Users’ Manual for the current release.
  • The manual for the upcoming release can be obtained through our git-repository.

Beginner Guides


SATB choir on two staffs

Create the parts one to a staff using the Voice Preset commands (Staffs/Voices->Voices menu)
Then use the Staff Groupings to set Choir staff start and end.
(no longer needed is join the staffs with Join Voices before printing, that just affects the display
You can edit two voices on one staff, but it is best to use Split Staffs first.)
Note there a template for this (see Open -> Templates), and in Open -> Example there is a file showing how to typeset lyrics above an below the staffs for the four parts.

Repeat Barlines and 1st and 2nd time bars

The usual shortcuts are as follows

r,1 — inserts the start of a first time bar or bars
r,e — inserts the end of the first or second time bars already
r,2 — inserts the start of a second time bar or bars

Then you will want to insert repeat barlines, e.g.

Shift-B,e — insert a repeat end barline
Shift-B,s — insert a repeat start barline
Shift-B,d — insert a repeat-end-start barline

Note that what LilyPond typesets depends on various subtleties – it will
split a repeat-end-start barline, for example, if it occurs at the end of
the line, so that the repeat end is at the end of the line and the
repeat start at the start of the new line. And it will show or not show
things like the end of the repeated section depending on the best music
typesetting practice – it doesn’t blindly typeset what you enter. This
is called WYSISYM … So you can’t for example think “I’ll just test out
the repeat end marker by putting one in a score on its own”, as on its
own it doesn’t mean anything, and so nothing will be typeset. Specifically,
a repeat end followed by a repeat start is not the same as a repeat-end-start
barline, instead the repeat start barline at the same musical moment
will override the first. This happens even when they are in different staffs – if they occur
at the same musical moment only one sort of barline will be printed.

The actual commands are in Directives->Markings->Inserting Barlines menu
(for the barlines) and Directives->Markings->Spanning menu (for the
first & second time marks, which can span many bars, or part of a bar).

There is a convenience command that inserts all you need for a simple
first and second time bar case – you can start from that and then insert
extra bars between the start first time and end n’th time. And a command
for n’th time bars, where you can put any text needed.

And all these commands are gathered together in palettes
(View->Palettes) called “Repeats” and “Barlines”. You can move these all
into a single palette and dock it in your main window if you wish, and
add any other commands to them.

Denemo to LilyPond convertor

If you invoke Denemo like this

denemo -a "(d-ExportMUDELA \"myfile\")(d-Quit)" myfile

then the file myfile.denemo will be exported to LilyPond and saved in
Note that should not exist already!

Transcribing from Facsimile or Hand-written Score

The section below shows how to capture images of measures from an original and attach them to a score. For many uses a new facility providing links to the orginal will be preferred. For that option see the menu item File→Open-→Open Source for Transcribing.

This is particularly useful for difficult-to-read scores. Each measure of the original can be captured as an image and stored along with the Denemo measure that is your transcription. This makes the transcribing process much easier as you can glance at your original without losing your place in a large messy manuscript. Capturing the images of the measures is done using a screenshot type of process – you need to have the original visible on the screen so you can indicate the extent of each measure.
First display the original score or part on the screen using your pdf viewer or other image display software. Then, in Denemo, choose one of the Capture Measures commands. For a Full score you can capture all the parts at once – choose Movement→Capture Score→Capture Measures (Score). If you have parts use Staff→Capture Score→Capture Measures (One Staff).
Now you can continuously enter measures by left clicking at each measure. You can adjust the start position of the measure (which is normally the end of the last one) by right-clicking. As you enter a measure image a Denemo measure is entered into the score and the image placed underneath it. To stop entering images press a key on the keyboard. There are also commands to delete an erroneous measure-image and to insert a new one – N.B. when you delete the image for a measure all the other measures shift along by one, so they are under the wrong bars until you insert a new screenshot for the measure.
Now you can transcribe the music straight from the images directly under the measure you have selected.
LaManina is an example: the original print made in Venice is quite difficult to decipher and has a couple of errors. In this Denemo file each measure for each part can be seen directly beneath the transcription.
You will notice that in places the original measure was split across two lines; at the moment there is no mechanism for joining up the two halves, so instead the following measure has an image containing the remainder of the measure plus the next measure.

© 2016 Denemo All rights reserved. | Powered by WordPress
Theme created by Shprink.