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Numbered Notes

By Tim Smith

Extending LilyPond to render music in the alternative notation "Numbered Notes".

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Numbered Notes


Numbered Notes is an alternative music notation system introduced by Jason MacCoy in 2009. It uses the numbers from 1 to 12 to designate notes. For a description of the system, see here.

I like the notation, so I wanted to extend LilyPond (a free music engraver) to render it. I found that work had already been done on getting LilyPond to work with other alternative notation systems over at The Music Notation Project. I built on that work to add support for Numbered Notes. Specifically, I added a Numbered Notes page to their wiki, created a new LilyPond staff StaffNumberedNotes, and added it to the MNP-scripts.ly file provided at their LilyPond wiki page. To render a LilyPond file (.ly) as a PDF in Numbered Notes, just follow the instructions at that LilyPond page, using StaffNumberedNotes from the MNP-scripts.ly file.

Due to technical difficulties, I wasn't able to fully implement the "Counts Per Measure" timing system used by Numbered Notes, and there are a couple of other things I didn't handle (marked "TO DO" in MNP-scripts.ly). Maybe someone else will work on those...