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some observations from a new user

From: Paul Matthews
Subject: some observations from a new user
Date: Sun, 5 Oct 2008 23:44:25 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: Loom/3.14 (

Long story. But the daughter was roped into playing Blumenlied for a concert
while we where on holidays. And she was without her sheet music. The only
on-line source was a fairly illegible copy from the Australian National Archive.
So she went in search of a physical copy, I thought hmm .. lilypond .. I'll just
type it in. Having never used lilypond, or played a musical instrument before.

Stop laughing.

To say the least, lillypond grammar is a nightmare. 

>From a programmers point of view the cord notation is ok. The angle 
brackets wrap around the notes that are to be played.
    <e g>2.
Beams do not follow this form however. The start of the beams is marked at 
the end of the first note it covers, and ends after the last note. For 
example : 
    e8[ f g h] 
it might be more elegant and consistent to express it as : 
    [e f g h]8

The same applies to slurs
    c( d e) would become (c d e)

Technically it should not be required to have a different symbol for both slurs
and phrasing slurs. Parsers I've seen can count how deep they are:
    c\( c( d) e\) would become (c (c d) e)

Why \new Staff and not just \Staff?

The difficulty and inconsistent grammar is going to drive off new users. I don't
think I'll be using it again. The daughter tried it for fun once we got home,
and she chucked it in. Spending an hour just to get a single staff is not
an effective use of time.

To finished the story however, luckily she did find a nicely printed source. And
the concert went without a hitch.

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