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/upcoming release.

Beginner Guides


SATB choir on two staffs

Create one staff for each of the four parts using the Staffs->Add Staff menu. Then make the second
and fourth staffs typeset as voices using the the Staffs->Voices->Staff to Voice command.
Then use the Voice Preset commands (Staffs/Voices->Voices menu) to set the stem directions for each voice.
Use the Staffs/Voices->Staff Groupings menu to set Choir staff brace start on the first staff and end brace on the last.
Note there a template for this (see Open -> Standard Template), 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,2 — 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

See the menu item File→Open-→Open Source for Transcribing. A video demonstrating this is available

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