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Re: LilyPond, Finale and Sibelius (was Review of Valentin's Opera)

From: David Stocker
Subject: Re: LilyPond, Finale and Sibelius (was Review of Valentin's Opera)
Date: Fri, 03 Apr 2009 08:36:29 -0400
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20090318)

Please see this picture of what it looks like when I'm hand-writing music with repeated chords.

Notice that I don't write out each repeated chord in the manuscript. It's understood by the editors and engravers that the "|" means simply "print the previous chord again". It would be great if there was a shorthand for this in LilyPond code for situations (like in many forms of popular music) an accompaniment pattern consists of many repeated chords--perhaps something like "<r>"--simply instructing LilyPond to reprint the previous chord. It would be doubly useful if the command were sensitive enough to allow the user to specify things like different rhythms or whether the chord is tied or has different articulations attached to it, etc. on the repeated chords (as in <c e g>4 <r>2. ~ <r>1 ).


Jan Nieuwenhuizen wrote:
Op donderdag 02-04-2009 om 21:53 uur [tijdzone -0600], schreef Andrew

Hi Andrew,

The full report is at, but here's my
"At least for me, MIDI entry is much faster than typing the pitches
and durations myself.
That's a real interesting report!. You note that entering chords in lilypond is real slow as compared to using MIDI entry.
While that's no surprise, I wonder if there's anything  that we can or
should do about it.  Typing <> is just real awkward...

In certain cases, such as the Handel piece, it may be advantageous to enter all chords seperate as voices, and combine them later? Ie, type

    \relative c''{
      \time 3/4
      \context Voice <<
        { b4( b4. c8 d4 d2) }
        { g,4 g4. g8 a4 a2 }
        { d,4 d4. e8 d4 d2 }

Wouldn't that be much faster?  It shouldn't even be necessary to enter
the note durations in every voice.

Also, the plain lilypond timing you did on the wtc prelude 3

Counting only the note entry time, by computer keyboard it took me 2:51

struck me as a bit much, so I did my own timing.  We're talking about
8 measures with 6 eight notes, plus 7 measures with 2 notes and 5
loose ones.  Also I count 9 commas and apostrophes, which makes for

    8*6 + 7*2 + 5 + 9 = 76

pitches to enter.  Double that for typing spaces (hmm, come to think
of it, even spaces are not necessary in this case) makes for 152
keystrokes.  Taking 2:51 for that, is 171 seconds, which means you
took 1.1 seconds per keystroke, or 55 keystrokes per minute).

For a regular touch typing course, you need more than 150 keystrokes
per minute to graduate, ie, 0.4 seconds per character: about three
times faster.  So I'm sure there's much room for you to improve ;-)

You noted that what you measure is your own skill rather than the
program's speed, but the 152 keystrokes of the wtc piece took me 46
seconds (198 keystrokes per minute).

That is without the search and replace needed to add "is" after
each note, adding that took me 15 seconds ( M-% \(.\) SPACE RET
\1is SPACE RET !), making a total time of 1:01.


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