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\sustainOff\sustainOn produces inconsistent MIDI results

From: H. S. Teoh
Subject: \sustainOff\sustainOn produces inconsistent MIDI results
Date: Mon, 2 Feb 2015 17:34:56 -0800
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.23 (2014-03-12)

Hi All,

I'm having some trouble with the MIDI output from lilypond for a new
piano composition. I have a lot of \sustainOff\sustainOn sequences in
the music, and while they show up fine on the score, the MIDI file
appears to sometimes turn off sustain completely instead, instead of
turning off previously sustained notes and starting new sustained notes.

Here's a snippet that exhibits this problem:

    | g8(\sustainOn d' g d f,\sustainOff\sustainOn d' f d |
      ees,\sustainOff\sustainOn c' ees c d,\sustainOff\sustainOn bes' 
d)\sustainOff r |

I used a decompiler on the MIDI file and discovered that some of the
sustain pedal controller events have been transposed. The correct
sequence of controller events ought to be (64,0), (64,127), but lilypond
appears to sometimes generate (64,127), (64,0) instead, which, of
course, has the effect of completely turning off the sustain. (Note: 64
is the sustain pedal, 0 means pedal off, 127 means pedal on).

Is this a known bug? Are there any workarounds?

P.S. I'm using lilypond 2.18.2.


The volume of a pizza of thickness a and radius z can be described by the 
following formula: pi zz a. -- Wouter Verhelst

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