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Re: Poster for music engraving conference

From: mason
Subject: Re: Poster for music engraving conference
Date: Thu, 5 Dec 2019 11:48:51 -0800
User-agent: NeoMutt/20180716-346-437793-dirty

On 12/04, Werner LEMBERG wrote:
> Folks,
> the music engraving conference in Salzburg (January 17.-19.) aims to
> present as much note engraving programs as possible.  While some
> companies send representatives (e.g., Dorico, Capella, Finale) – some
> even with talks – we don't have something similar for LilyPond in the
> main part of the conference.
> Instead, we would like to have a poster (in A0 format) that shows how
> LilyPond works, together with some showcase results.
> Now my question: Are there people who are willing to produce such a
> poster?  Has anyone already done something similar for other
> conferences?
>     Werner

I don't have the time/skill to make a poster right now, but here are my
first thoughts about some things which might be good to include.  In no
particular order:

(1) Mention Frescobaldi, and include a screenshot which exposes the
playback functionality.  While Frescobaldi is not the only way to use
Lilypond, seeing a GUI and playback bar will likely be comforting to
people used to graphical notational software who are intimidated by the
idea of working with straight text files.

(2) Show off things which are easier in Lilypond than in graphical
notation software.  Some things which come to mind are

* quarter tones

* \cadenzaOn and \cadenzaOff

* per-staff meters

* percussion input

(3) Keep Lilypond code snippets simple.  Focus on one thing per snippet.
(For example, don't use any accidentals, except for a snippet
demonstrating accidentals and quarter tone accidentals and nothing
else.)  Lilypond's syntax often consists of English words and musical
terms.  Try to stick to code that an English-speaking musician could
parse without any familiarity with Lilypond.

(4) If the text of the poster is in English, use English note names.  If
the text of the poster is not in English, I am on the fence as to
whether it would be better to use note names consistent with the
language of the poster, or to use English note names in order to be
consistent with the language of Lilypond's syntax.  Or perhaps have only
one example using accidentals at all, and demonstrate in multiple

(5) Emphasize the high quality of Lilypond's default output,
pre-tweaking.  Lilypond takes longer to learn than graphical notation
software, but it makes up for that in the long run by requiring far less
manual tweaking.  I rarely have to manually tweak anything other than
slurs.  This also makes Lilypond more robust against layout changes,
which when I used Sibelius always came with the risk of ruining my score
and requiring hours of cleanup.

(6) Show off a simple macro example.  Another time-saving feature of
Lilypond is the ability define a specific set of instructions once and
apply it multiple times.  Back when I used Sibelius, I had a
several-step process, which involved disabling and renabling magnetic
layout and alternating between Ctrl+Up/Down and Up/Down, plus several
clicks, in order to create an acceptable glissando, and I use a *lot* of
glissandi in my music.  Doing this over and over again wasted countless
hours of my life.  I'm sure many other composers/engravers have their
own tedious workarounds that they would automate with a macro if they

(7) Also show off some fancy, Ferneyhough-esque or otherwise specialist
examples, perhaps including some of the wackier stuff from the LSR,

but without the Lilypond source code, in order to demonstrate what
Lilypond is capable of without overwhelming people with too much code.
Only include enough code  on the poster to demystify how Lilypond is
actually used.

(8) As free software, Lilypond does not require a subscription or a EULA
or any other loss of autonomy over the ability to access your work now
or in the future.  Moreover, Lilypond files are human readable/editable
without even having a copy of Lilypond.  Both are advantages in terms of
long-term sustainability and preservation.

(9) Include some of the information from here,

in order to show off Lilypond's attention to detail.

(10) The ability to use LyLuaTex, Edition-Engraver, and version control
also come to mind as huge advantages of using Lilypond, but they might
be too much to explain briefly on a poster.

(11) Even without the knowledge of scheme needed to extend Lilypond
yourself, someone the mailing list can often provide an include snippet
to achieve what you want.  Good luck convincing AVID to implement a new
feature just for your unique use case.  The helpfulness of Lilypond's
community might be something to mention on the poster.

(12) Describe some ways in which Lilypond has been used in large
projects.  Some of Urs's work comes to mind.  MediaWiki/Wikipedia
integration might also be something to mention.

(13) Include one full page of a complex and highly-polished score.

I'll let you know if I think of anything else.  I wish I could help a
little more directly, but I'm in the middle of a few very busy weeks.  I
would like to be involved in some way next year.



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