How to write music with LaTeX

It is possible to write music with LaTeX. My girlfriend was quite surprised of this, so I decided to write a little tutorial show some examples.

Symbols

Some basic music symbols

Some basic music symbols

\documentclass[a4paper,12pt]{article}
\usepackage{wasysym}
\begin{document}
\eighthnote ~~~ \halfnote ~~~ \twonotes ~~~ \fullnote ~~~ 
\quarternote ~~~ $\natural$ ~~~ $\flat$ ~~~ $\sharp$
\end{document}

The harmony package offers some additional symbols:

music symbols form the LaTeX-harmony package

music symbols form the LaTeX-harmony package

\documentclass[a4paper,12pt]{article}
\usepackage{harmony}

\begin{document}
    \noindent \AAcht ~~~ \Acht ~~~ \AchtBL ~~~ \AchtBR ~~~ \AcPa \\
    \DD ~~~ \DDohne ~~~ \Dohne ~~~ \Ds ~~~ \DS \\
    \Ganz ~~~ \GaPa ~~~ \Halb ~~~ \HaPa ~~~ \Pu ~~~ \Sech \\
    \SechBL ~~~ \SechBl ~~~ \SechBR  ~~~ \SePa ~~~ \UB ~~~ \Vier \\
    \ViPa ~~~ \VM ~~~ \Zwdr ~~~ \ZwPa
\end{document}

musixtex

musixtex example

musixtex example

\documentclass[a4paper,12pt]{article}
\usepackage{musixtex}

\begin{document}
    \noindent This is a clef:
    \begin{music}\trebleclef\end{music}
    - a simple example\\
    for the \LaTeX{} package musixtex.
\end{document}

ABC

Preparation

You have to have ABC installed. For Ubuntu-Users:

sudo apt-get install abcm2ps

Example

\documentclass[a4paper]{article}
\usepackage{abc}

\begin{document}
    You can create music sheets within the abc-environment:
    \begin{abc}[name=c-dur]
        X: 1 % start of header
        K: C % scale: C major
        "Text"c2 G4 | (3FED c4 G2 |
    \end{abc}
\end{document}

compile with

pdflatex --shell-escape myTexFile.tex

to get this:

ABC example for creating music sheets with LaTeX

ABC example for creating music sheets with LaTeX

LilyPond

Preparation

Make sure that you have installed GNU LilyPond and LaTeX.

Ubuntu-Users have to type

sudo apt-get install lilypond

to install Lilypond.

Example

From the Documentation

Save the following source as lilybook.lytex:

\documentclass[a4paper]{article}

\begin{document}
    Documents for \verb+lilypond-book+ may freely mix music and text.
    For example,

    \begin{lilypond}
        \relative c' {
          c2 g'2 \times 2/3 { f8 e d } c'2 g4
        }
    \end{lilypond}

    Options are put in brackets.
    \begin[fragment,quote,staffsize=26,verbatim]{lilypond}
      c'4 f16
    \end{lilypond}

    Larger examples can be put into a separate file, and introduced 
    with \verb+\lilypondfile+.
\end{document}

Compile it with these commands:

lilypond-book --output=out --pdf lilybook.lytex
cd out/
pdflatex lilybook
mv lilybook.pdf ../lilybook.pdf
cd ..
rm -rf out

For simplification, you can save this as compile.sh, execute chmod +x compile.sh and now you only have to enter ./compile.sh to generate the PDF.

Output:

Lilypond example - output was a PDF

Lilypond example - output was a PDF

Further Reading

If you've made some more complex examples with LaTeX, I'd be happy if you added them in the comments.

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