While LilyPond has extensive documentation that is really excellent compared to many other open source software packages there are still situations where new and even advanced users would be glad about some more elaborate explanations. Apart from the Learning Manual the documentation is mostly a reference and obviously somewhat hard to get used to for beginners. This is where our tutorials strive to chime in. They concentrate on one single topic each, and can afford to dwell on that as long as its author considers appropriate. As the collection will grow, we may consider tailoring the contributions towards a coherent book, but for now we will simply regard it as a collection of independent texts.

This is intended to be an open platform and we really welcome any contribution of articles, long or short. We hope to gather a substantial collection of knowlegde over time. Anybody who has mastered an issue with the help of the community is encouraged to give something back by contributing to this collection of resources. For example we would love to host the tutorial that would have helped you to master that particular issue without asking for help.

Tutorials are delivered either as pdf files or as blog posts, and all of them are presented in the tutorials category in the Scores of Beauty LilyPond blog.

Table of Contents:

The items not linking anywhere are tutorials that aren't published yet, or that are plans/suggestions/promises.

General Topics

  • Plain Text Files in Music (Urs Liska)
    Extensive essay on the power of plain text based workflows for publishing musical documents.


  • Compiling Songbooks with LaTeX and LilyPond (Jeremy Boor)
  • Orchestral Scores with LilyPond (Antonio Gervasoni)
    Antonio's announcement to write this tutorial actually tipped the scale to give this project the form it now has got. It will be an in-depth discussion of his learning curve to manage large-scale score projects with LilyPond.
  • Setting Up Modular File Structures
  • Versioning LilyPond Input Files with Git

Mastering LilyPond

  • Tackling complex tasks (Urs Liska)
    This tutorial has been already published and is still accessible at http://lilypond.ursliska.de/notensatz/lilypond-tutorials/tackle-complex-tasks.html. It will be converted to our consistent book format and be made available as a pdf document soon.
  • Taking the Step to Modify the Default Appearance
  • Working with Stylesheets

Specific Topics

  • Voice Contexts in Temporary Polyphonic Section (Urs Liska)
  • Transposition with Enharmonic Changes (Urs Liska)
    Part 1 — The occasional need for enharmonic change
    Part 2 — Factoring out common code
    Part 3 — Creating a generic solution
    Part 4 — Some corner cases and pitfalls
  • Horizontally Aligning Full Measure Rests (Janek WarchoĊ‚)
  • Adding Ornamentations to Note Heads (Advanced tutorial) (Nicolas Sceaux)
    Part 1 — Introduction and a first, simple implementation
    Part 2 — Realizing various kinds of ornamentations
    Part 3 — Collision Handling and Spacing Issues
  • Reusing/Redefining Music Variables
  • Managing Headers in Multi-Movement Scores
  • Efficiently Handle Unison/Diviso Situations