Denemo, an open source music notation software

about demo

In the next article we are going to take a look at Denemo. This is a free music notation program that we can find available for GNU/Linux, Mac OSX and Windows. This is based on the LilyPond music recorder. It will also allow us to write the musical notation using the keyboard of our computer, and also play it through the built-in MIDI controller. It comes with print preview, pdf, MIDI, OGG or WAV file export and MIDI instruments. It will also allow us to import midi, lilypond and musicXML files.

We will also have the possibility of adding music using a microphone. in this program we will find the ability to put links in the sheet music to the original source, Tablature, Chord Charts, Fret Diagrams, Drums, transpose instruments, ossia, ottava, cue and support for more.

Denemo uses LilyPond, which generates scores with the highest publishing standards. As we work with the program, it will show us the staves in a simple way, so that we can enter and edit the music efficiently.

Typesetting is done in the background, and generally has impeccable publication quality. Some final adjustments can be made to the score with the mouse if necessary. This represents a huge practical improvement over other popular programs that require us to reposition colliding notation as we add music.

General features of Denemo

running demo

  • Denemo offers lots of ways to add notation to suit our style staff.
  • The program interface is English en.
  • It has support for MIDI instruments, keyboard and mouse.
  • We can import PDF files to transcribe them. It also allows us load .denemo files, import midi, lilypond and musicXML.
  • Any function can be (re)assigned to any key press, combination of key presses, MIDI signal, or mouse movement.
  • It will also allow us insert notes of a specific length.
  • Another option available will be create a rhythmic layer that can be filled with tones.
  • We will find many functions to alter and modify existing notation. Transpose, shift, increase, decrease, randomize, order, etc.
  • Will allow us print the full score automatically composed, without the need for manual adjustments to avoid overlapping notation, slurs, beams, etc.
  • We can generate with a single click a complete score and parts, with title pages, collected critical comments, or cross-referenced to sheet music locations.
  • We can also link score points to source pdf file when transcribing music.
  • It will give us the option of export images for excerpts or full scores.

command center

  • Another possibility will be export as MIDI, OGG or WAV file, including live performance on the MIDI keyboard.
  • We can direct our midi or audio data to other applications.
  • Will allow us use all kinds of historical or special notation.
  • The program uses NotationMagick. This will allow us to use various commands to generate music randomly, from text, numbers, patterns. It also modifies existing music with shuffle, sort, transpose, etc.
  • We can create macro recording the commands or writing functions thanks to the scripting interface.
  • We will have the possibility of add Lilypond text and commands directly to the musical structure.

These are just some of the features of this program. They can consult all of them in detail from the project website.

Install Denemo on Ubuntu as a Flatpak package

This program can be install using the Flatpak package which is available at Flatub. To install these packages, it is necessary to have this technology enabled on our system. If you use Ubuntu 20.04, and you still don't have it, you can continue The Guide that a colleague wrote a while ago in this blog.

When you can install this type of package on your computer, it will only be necessary to open a terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and write in it the install command:

install demo flatpak

flatpak install flathub org.denemo.Denemo

At the end, we can start the program using the launcher that we can find on our computer, or we can also choose to open Denemo using the command:

app launcher

flatpak run org.denemo.Denemo


Remove Flatpak package from this programIt's as simple as ever. Just open a terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and type in it:

uninstall application

sudo flatpak uninstall org.denemo.Denemo

To learn more about how to work with this program, users can check the Tutorials and manual offered on the project website.

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