newkeyword like the plague wherever you can, as it is a tarpit of not-what-you-think-it-is (and a hairy, largely impenetrable mess to debug, when you get it wrong). It's a brief run-down on just the howtos without the full in-depth perspective of the whys and why-nots, and well worth your time, especially if you come from the Java camp (or anywhere else in class land where you lean heavily on the
- A Sunday a few weeks ago, I stumbled upon GNU Lilypond, a freeware music notation program, and got the sudden idea that I wanted to transcribe Tourdion, a French drinking song from around year 1500, that my local choir sung (among other things) on our week-end trip to Budapest a month ago. Anyway, Lilypond, much like TEX, revolves around a plaintext notation for (music) layout, which it then renders into beautiful postscript, PDFs, SVGs or similar. In theory it is prepared for midi output as well, but I don't think that is implemented yet.
It took a few hours, with ample help of its great online documentation, and then I had my score and a great print-quality version (145kb pdf) to keep and to share (and a variant of my own on the tenor voice, which I first misread it as, and kind of grew attached to). The Lilypond notation of the song ended up 4 kilobytes long.
- In poring through the Lilypond docs, I also encountered Erik Sandberg's Master's Thesis Separating input language and formatter in GNU Lilypond (Uppsala University, Department of Information Technology March 2006 -- 750 kb pdf), which, among other things, had a great geek's guide to (English) music terminology and notation in its appendices. Excellent; just what I needed to brush up a little on my music vocabulary.
I've been reading a lot lately, and on rather diverse subject matter. My usual reading diet is actually a lot more skewed towards the personal blogs, of a largely nontechnical narratorship. This post will be a little of everything, some out of scope for this blog. It's a bit overdue from when I wrote it, but fortunately it's content that lasts.
Posted by Johan Sundström at 09:20