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Re: Professional ???

From: Mats Bengtsson
Subject: Re: Professional ???
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2000 10:38:14 +0100

> Hello,
> I am a composer of contemporary music (it's my job)
> How about an professional use of TeX for Music ? and not just
> for score so simple than all your exemples (it's an another performance
> to copie score of Boulez or Stockhausen ...)
> On this, I permit to send a mail to you because I never see anything
> about it
> in mailling list. In fact, does music with Tex is just for fun or
> serious ??

First of all, this mailing list is mainly devoted to the program
Lilypond, which uses TeX as the output language but all the 
typesetting decisions are made by Lilypond. MusixTeX, on the 
other hand, is a a macro package implemented in TeX, using
TeX as the input language (but there are preprocessors PMX
and M-Tx that simplifies the input).

Of course these tools are ment for serious typesetting. 
However, the main goal of Lilypond is to support the 
standard typesetting practice of 19:th century music.
Of course, Boulez and Stockhausen used some special
notation that will be difficult to typeset with the 
current version of Lilypond, as with most commercial
music typesetting programs. On the other hand, Lilypond
has a very flexible architecture intended to make it easy
to add new features. I and some other users who are interested
in early music have added some support for old-style note 
heads, clefs and time signatures, for example.
Also, Lilypond is still under heavy development with new
patch levels released almost every week, which means that
the response to user requests mostly is very rapid.

Comparing Lilypond and MusiXTeX, I would say that in MusiXTeX
you describe the layout whereas in Lilypond you describe 
the music, i.e. Lilypond takes more typesetting decisions.
This means that Lilypond mostly will give a nicer result with
less work. On the other hand, MusiXTeX gives more freedom to 
fine-tune every little detail and add special notational
constructs, if you now TeX (in Lilypond you may need to know
C++, the LISP dialect Guile and possibly some TeX and Metafont).

For some serious examples, please take a look at the Mutopia
archive (examples typeset with
different versions of Lilypond) and the GMD archive, Most of the
music at the GMD archive is typeset using MusiXTeX but there is
also one larger score made with Lilypond (Niels W. Gade).
For an impressive example of advanced MusiXTeX typesetting, 
I recommend the Urtext version of Bach Sonatas and Partitas, 
typeset by Werner Icking. 

Best regards


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