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Pond-fu

I suspect that most people, if they wanted to include a snippet of music in a piece of text, would resort to a photocopier, scanner or camera. I am a geek though so, when I wanted to incorporate a short Taizé chant in a worship session I am leading tomorrow evening, I resorted to Lilypond.

Lilypond is a powerful tool for engraving musical notation. It converts a text file, filled with appropriate codes, into music. For example, {c4 d e f g a b c} would give a C major scale in crotchets while {d8 e fis g a b c <<d fis a c>>} would produce a D Mixolydian scale in D, ending on a D7 chord. I have not used the system for three or four years but I figured that it would be a good way towards the end result that I wanted.

It did take me a couple of hours to build up to the eight bars of notation I was after but I think it was a good investment of time. I went from installing the software, through some simple tests, to building a correctly formatted piece of music with the four voices clearly shown and rendered as a PNG graphic for incorporation with the rest of the text. I have been meaning to brush of my Pond-fu several times recently but now I have done it and hope to find more opportunities to reinforce and develop my skills before it all goes rusty again.

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