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Re: Any advice for getting emacs working with lilypond on MacOsX?

From: Tim McNamara
Subject: Re: Any advice for getting emacs working with lilypond on MacOsX?
Date: Fri, 9 May 2014 13:44:31 -0500

On May 9, 2014, at 12:43 PM, rif <address@hidden> wrote:

> The documentation seems spotty and inadequate compared to when I tried this a 
> few years ago.  I feel hopelessly lost.
> I found 
> This tells me I need to do a "make install".  This implies I need the source 
> to do anything at all with emacs mode? I found a source bundle here, along 
> with the warning "We do not recommend that you attempt to build LilyPond 
> yourself; almost all user needs are better met with the pre-built version." 
> Unclear whether using emacs is included in "almost all user needs" or not.
> [Side issue: the parallel structure of the documentation on the website is 
> *very* confusing.  In particular, I spent quite a few minutes puzzled about 
> why the "Source" link in the Download tab at the top of 
> led to 
>  rather than back to the source bundle.  Is this intentional?]
> OK, so I download the source bundle, and now I'm left with no more 
> instructions than "make install".  But in what directory?  I tried it in the 
> elisp directory and the lilypond directory above it, but in both cases I got 
> errors.
> I also tried skipping the install step and just directly pointing at the 
> directories.  This seems to give me at least a partial solution, although 
> it's warning me that lilypond-words doesn't exist.  Probably because it needs 
> to compile that somehow?
> Am I missing something basic/obvious/simple?  Any advice is welcome.  I'd 
> love to get emacs and lilypond working.  I'm happy to contribute a doc fix to 
> make this easier for others later.

I used lilypond-mode in Emacs once upon a time but use other tools now.  Just 
use the standard Lilypond pre-compiled bundle and put it in your /Applications 
folder.  You do not need to roll your own and it’s probably best if you don’t 
for the reasons you mention.  IIRC there is a site-lisp directory inside the bundle which contains lilypond-mode and/or lilypond-mode comes 
with Emacs by default.  I don’t think this is maintained or updated but I could 
well be wrong on that, so it may have been left behind by developments in 
Lilypond.  Frescobaldi is now so easy to install that I wouldn’t recommend 
bothering with lilypond-mode in Emacs unless you really like Emacs (I like 
Emacs but find it’s like using a sledgehammer to crack walnuts most of the 
time- gets the job done but there are better tools).

Add some things to your .emacs file:


(autoload 'LilyPond-mode "lilypond-mode" "LilyPond Editing Mode" t)
(add-to-list 'auto-mode-alist '("\\.ly$" . LilyPond-mode))
(add-to-list 'auto-mode-alist '("\\.ily$" . LilyPond-mode))
(add-hook 'LilyPond-mode-hook (lambda () (turn-on-font-lock)))

and tell Emacs where the stuff it needs in Lilypond is to be found (this is Mac 
specific to deal with the app bundle; other *nixen would have Lilypond stuff 
elsewhere. Note there is a place you need to edit to put in your user name):

(setq path 
(setenv "PATH" path)

(setq load-path (append (list 

I think that’s it.  Hope this helps!

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