LilyPond is a language for typesetting music. It's not actually LaTeX and requires knowledge of music notation. But it is integrated with LaTeX and has a lot of in common with it.

Is it allowed to ask the questions about it here? Is there a chance to get an answer?

3 Answers 3


I think the answer has to be no really. It seems to be stretching the "related typesetting systems" too far. There is a lilypond tag on stackoverflow

  • 2
    We have 24 questions tagged with lillypond. Feb 15, 2015 at 19:08
  • @MartinSchröder can you fix that link otherwise it's a bit confusing: one l) True but looking at the first few of them they all mention latex so they are about the interaction between lilypond and tex which is on topic, and we always tolerate the occasional OT question anyway. so 24 sounds about right. Feb 15, 2015 at 19:46
  • Sorry, that comment is fixed. Here's the correct one: lilypond. Feb 15, 2015 at 21:40

Lilypond originally was developed using LaTeX, but the current version does not use TeX at all to produce its output of graphical music scores. So questions about Lilypond's syntax (or the Scheme syntax used to modify it) are off topic.

As with any program that produces graphical output (Inkscape, Gimp, Photoshop), you can include the output graphic files into a LaTeX document using \includegraphics from the graphicx package. From the TeX engine's perspective these files are just big boxes to put on the page; it doesn't matter whether it's music or pictures inside. Questions about doing this are only on topic if they relate to how TeX gets and arranges that box on the page.

The Lilypond documentation gives the impression that the program is closely integrated with LaTeX because there is a lilypond-book program that includes Lilypond images within a LaTeX file. This program is basically just an automated way of processing each separate image with Lilypond and then using \includegraphics. (In fact in many cases it is, in my opinion, simpler just to do it that way manually.)

As an active Lilypond user, I would encourage users to please start posting and answering Lilypond questions on StackOverflow with the lilypond tag. The lilypond-user mailing list is currently the main place where lilypond questions are discussed, but the Q/A format and resulting knowledge base of SO would in my opinion be more helpful to the Lilypond community in the long run.

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    Still, questions in which lilypond-book plays a significant role are IMHO on-topic, similarly as are certain R questions, for instance.
    – yo'
    Feb 16, 2015 at 11:11
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    @yo' Yes, I think so. We need to look into the workings of lilypond-book, as that program itself might be considered a TeX-based typesetting system, in which questions about how it works could not just be solved with non-Lilypond MWEs but where the essential question still deals with how that program uses LaTeX. Feb 16, 2015 at 12:54

No, it is not on-topic per se, since LilyPond itself is hardly a "related system", more than MathJaX is, for instance. The only exception is when you ask about the interaction between LilyPond and LaTeX, for instance through lilypond-book.

I have brought the question of where to ask about LilyPond up on the Big Meta 2 years ago:

On which site are LilyPond questions on-topic?

The concensus seems to be that the correct place is either StackOverflow or Music.SE or SuperUser. The choice is yours, I would prefer SO for purely technical questions (about LISP/Scheme) and Music for all the other questions.

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