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 is an old example in Templates, but it needs updating to use the new Staff Groupings commands.

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 this 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.

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