Entering Scores

Frescobaldi provides a host of features to help you to enter LilyPond music scores as fast as possible.

Score Setup Wizard

The Score Setup Wizard (LilyPond » Setup New Score... or Ctrl+Shift+N), makes for a quick start of many types of music score. In the first tab you can enter titling information, in the second tab you can compose your score of many available part types. Doubleclick a part type to add it to your score (or click Add). Select the part in the score list to change some settings for the selected part, if desired. Many parts, especially Choir, have powerful options to set up the score the way you want it:

scorewiz 1
1. Enter titling information
scorewiz 2
2. Set up the parts
scorewiz 3
3. Adjust general settings

In the third tab you can set some general adjustments, e.g. whether to create MIDI output or not, which key and time signature you want to use, etc.

Clicking Try presents a demo score with some random notes filled in. Clicking Ok writes the LilyPond code to your text document, waiting for music etc. to be added.

Context Sensitive Autocompletion

Frescobaldi has a context-sensitive automatic completion feature. In most cases it will be enabled by default. It will pop up relevant completions as you type. The autocompletion popup can be enabled or disabled under Settings » Configure Frescobaldi » Editor component » Editing » Auto Completion. Even if disabled, you can always show the popup with Ctrl+Space.

Quick Text Expansions

Type e.g. rel and then press Ctrl+. (period). Frescobaldi will expand it to:

\relative c' {


and place the cursor right after the pitch so you could change it. If you then move the cursor a line down, you can start typing music notes or other shortcuts. E.g. typing F and then Ctrl+. yields \key f \major. There are many many more default shortcuts. Press Ctrl+. (without having entered an existing shortcut) to have a dialog open with all defined shortcuts. In this dialog you can also add, alter or remove shortcuts. See the "What's This" info (Shift+F1) for more information.

MIDI input via Rumor (Linux only)

The Rumor tab and settings dialog

Frescobaldi can use Rumor, enabling you to enter music just by playing it on a MIDI keyboard (or even your computer keyboard). This has some limitations: you can only play monophonic music (notes or chords). Rumor also does not support tuplets. To use Rumor within Frescobaldi, you must have installed it separately. Refer to the Rumor homepage for download and install information.

Setup: Start the Rumor plugin by clicking on its tab in the bottom of the Frescobaldi window. The Rumor panel appears at the bottom. In the panel is a settings dialog where you can configure which MIDI input and output you want to use.

If you have a MIDI keyboard controller but no audible output device you can run an ALSA MIDI-client like TiMidity++. Frescobaldi can do this for you when you press the TiMidity-button (you can configure it to run any command in the main config dialog under Settings » Configure Frescobaldi... » Paths). Frescobaldi remembers the settings, so the next time it will automatically start the MIDI client.

If you have no MIDI-controller you can also set the MIDI input to 'Computer Keyboard' in the settings screen of the Rumor plugin. This way you can play on your computer keyboard like a piano.

Entering music: Clicking the Record button starts Rumor. If all is well you hear a metronome and you can start playing; you'll see the notes appear. Clicking Record again or pressing Escape stops Rumor. If you already entered the key and time signature in your document, Frescobaldi will automatically use it, to interpret alterations correctly. Frescobaldi will also output pitches automatically in the language you use in the document.

You can configure the shortest note value to use using the Quantise option. If you enable the Step checkbox, Rumor will directly output every note played, without a duration. If you enable the Mono checkbox, Rumor will not output chords, but only single notes.

Under the Settings button you can configure some more settings. A powerful feature of Rumor is that it can load special scripts that change the Rumor output. This is useful when you write e.g. music with complicated rhythms. You can configure which scripts to load, and even put your own Rumor Guile scripts in ~/.kde/share/apps/frescobaldi/rumor/. More information about writing Rumor scripts is on the Rumor homepage.

Quick Insert Panel

The Quick Insert Panel is available in the left dock. It currently has one panel to add articulations and other symbols to your music. It can also add those symbols to all notes or chords in a selected music fragment.

Other shortcuts

Repeat last note or chord (Ctrl+;) repeats the last entered note or chord with all its suffixes (ties, articulations, etc.)

Insert pair of braces (Ctrl+{) inserts a pair of braces { } with an empty, indented line in between and places the cursor there.

Last modified: 7 nov 2009