Welcome to the new blog for all things LilyPond. I hope that this can be a useful place for users to come to learn little tricks and helpful hints to make life easier and more enjoyable. Why? Because LilyPond's results are absolutely incredible and gorgeous! I've used several of the most popular music notation applications and I have never saved so much time than when I stopped using them and only engraved using LilyPond. Now, that sounds pretty ruthless and there are plenty of people out there that would come back with flaming rebuttals. That's ok. If LilyPond isn't for you, then no worries! But if you are willing to try something a little different, the results will more than speak for themselves.
It can sometimes be a challenge to switch from a graphical interface, where you click on the screen or enter the music with a MIDI keyboard, to a text-based input system. The beautiful thing about this is the change in focus. LilyPond changes the effort from the tedious task of laying out what you want to see on the page to structure and description of the actual music. LilyPond's algorithms are carefully crafted to evaluate many, many different scenarios for laying out the score on the page and finally picks the best one it can find. It's not perfect and it doesn't think of everything, but it sure comes close!
As scores get more complex, then there will certainly be opportunities to tweak the position of objects on the page, but I have yet to find another piece of software that can compare to LilyPond's default output. Don't believe me? I'd love for you to provide me with a score's DEFAULT output in another notation program (i.e., no tweaks allowed) and let me score it up with LilyPond (with no tweaks). I am quite confident you will be impressed at the difference. And if there is something you don't like, there are ways to tweak the default output to suit your needs.
In the upcoming posts. I'll go through some of the basics of LilyPond syntax, leading into (hopefully) helpful tips and tricks. I'll also showcase new and upcoming music and text fonts I'm working on. Stay tuned!