Typeset music and/or produce MIDI from file.


Compile a lilypond file into a PDF

$ lilypond [path/to/file]

Compile into the specified format
$ lilypond --formats=[format_dump] [path/to/file]

Compile the specified file, suppressing progress updates
$ lilypond -s [path/to/file]

Compile the specified file, and also specify the output filename
$ lilypond --output=[path/to/output_file] [path/to/input_file]

Show the current version of lilypond
$ lilypond --version


lilypond [OPTION]... FILE...


Typeset music and/or produce MIDI from FILE.

LilyPond produces beautiful music notation. For more information, see


-f, --formats=FORMATs

dump FORMAT,... Also as separate options:


generate PDF files (default)


generate SVG files


generate PNG files


generate PostScript files

-E, --eps

generate Encapsulated PostScript files

-O, --pspdfopt=KEY

set ps/pdf optimization to KEY, which is either 'size' (default), 'TeX', or 'TeX-GS'

-d, --define-default=SYM[=VAL]

set Scheme option SYM to VAL (default: #t); use -dhelp for help

-e, --evaluate=EXPR

evaluate scheme code

-h, --help

show this help and exit

-H, --header=FIELD

dump \header field FIELD to file named BASENAME.FIELD

-I, --include=DIR

append DIR to search path

-i, --init=FILE

use FILE as init file


chroot to JAIL, become USER:GROUP and cd into DIR

-l, --loglevel=LOGLEVEL

print log messages according to LOGLEVEL, which is either NONE, ERROR, WARNING, BASIC, PROGRESS, INFO (default), or DEBUG

-o, --output=FILE

write output to FILE (suffix will be added) or to FOLDER, in which case the file name will be taken from the input file.



-s, --silent

no progress, only error messages (equivalent to --loglevel=ERROR)

-v, --version

show version number and exit

-V, --verbose

be verbose (equivalent to --loglevel=DEBUG)

-w, --warranty

show warranty and copyright

You found a bug? Please read


Copyright © 1996--2020 by

Han-Wen Nienhuys <> Jan Nieuwenhuizen <> and others.

This program is free software. It is covered by the GNU General Public License and you are welcome to change it and/or distribute copies of it under certain conditions. Invoke as `lilypond --warranty' for more information.


The full documentation for LilyPond is maintained as a Texinfo manual. If the info and LilyPond programs are properly installed at your site, the command info LilyPond should give you access to the complete manual.

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