Ekmelily is an extension for LilyPond that supports variable accidentals and key signatures for the notation of microtonal music in several equal-temperament tunings: 12, 19, 24, 31, 36, 48, and 72-EDO.1 For this purpose, it introduces predefined and user-defined Notation Styles. Each style determines a set of symbols for the alterations up to the five-quarters-tone, at most.
Moreover, Ekmelily defines own note names based on the names for semi- and quarter-tones given in LilyPond.
Ekmelily 3.7 requires LilyPond version 2.19.22 or higher.
LilyPond is the free GNU music typesetter to automatically produce high-quality sheet music. It runs on GNU/Linux, OS X, and Windows.
… all files of Ekmelily: LilyPond include files, short demos of the notation styles, old versions, et al
- Zip Archive
… with the LilyPond include files et al
… an extensions for LilyPond to use other music symbols from Ekmelos / SMuFL – clefs, time signatures, noteheads, rests, flags, articulations, dynamics, playing techniques, etc.
ly contains all available include files (
- Copy the include file(s) for the desired tuning(s)
as well as the main include file
ekmel-main.ilyinto an appropriate folder, e.g.
"LILYPOND/usr/share/lilypond/current/ly", with LILYPOND meaning the installation folder of LilyPond.
- Install the Ekmelos Font if it shall be used for the accidental symbols in Ekmelily; see Fonts.
Add the following lines near the top of your LilyPond input file. They are all optional – except for the include file of the desired tuning – but should be specified in this order.
ekmelicFont = FONTNAME \include "ekmel*.ily" \language "LANGUAGE" \ekmelicStyle STYLENAME \ekmelicUserStyle MYNAME #'((ALTERATION ACC-ELEMENT …) …)
Ekmelily supports different tunings available by separate include files. Each provides its own set of languages and predefined notation styles. The first LANGUAGE and STYLENAME specified in the following table is the default in the respective tuning.
|12||ekmel-12.ily||deutsch english nederlands català (catalan) español (espanol) italiano français português (portugues) norsk suomi svenska vlaams||std sag msag|
|19||ekmel-19.ily||deutsch english nederlands català (catalan) español (espanol) italiano français português (portugues) norsk suomi svenska vlaams||std sag msag|
|24||ekmel-24.ily||deutsch english nederlands català (catalan) español (espanol) italiano français português (portugues) norsk suomi svenska vlaams||stc stz go stvt arrow sag msag arabic persian four haba|
|31||ekmel-31.ily||deutsch nederlands español (espanol) français italiano português (portugues)||std sag msag stz sth|
|36||ekmel-36.ily||deutsch english nederlands norsk suomi svenska||go arrow sag msag wys bos haba|
|48||ekmel-48.ily||deutsch english||sag msag|
|72||ekmel.ily||deutsch english nederlands norsk suomi svenska||arrow rhm sims sag msag wys gost bos fern haba|
Note: Ekmelily versions prior to 3.0 support only 72-EDO.
This selects the note names in LANGUAGE, provided that it is
available for the respective tuning. Else, the default
language is selected (which is usually
Ekmelily defines its own sets of note names based on the names for semi-
and quarter-tones given in LilyPond.
See the Tables for note names.
Enharmonically equivalent Note names
Some notation styles support two distinct, enharmonically equivalent
accidentals; e.g. the
notations for the one-quarter-tone and three-quarters-tone.
Therefore, Ekmelily defines two note names each, e.g.
However, LilyPond does not support different accidentals for the same
alteration. As a provisional solution, the combined note names (e.g.
ciseh) have slightly differing alterations
and are therefore not suitable for MIDI output.
Predefined Notation Styles
This sets the predefined notation style STYLENAME. The default notation depends on the tuning or it is specified with the command line option3
The following table shows all predefined notation styles.
N indicates the default style in tuning N.
See the Tables with alterations or the Ekmelos Documentation for details (code points etc.) on the accidentals.
|arrow||Arrow||24 36 72|||
|rhm||Richter Herf / Maedel 4||72|||
|sag||Sagittal||12 19 24 31 36 48 72||…|
|msag||Mixed Sagittal 5||12 19 24 31 36 48 72|||
|gost||Gould + Stein / Zimmermann||72||……|
|stc||Stein / Couper||24|||
|stz||Stein / Zimmermann||24 31|||
|stvt||Stein / Van Blankenburg / Tartini||24|||
|sth||Stein / Half flat 6||31|||
|bos||Bosanquet commatic||36 72|||
User-defined Notation Styles
\ekmelicUserStyle MYNAME #'((ALTERATION ACC-ELEMENT …) …)
This creates a user-defined notation style derived from the current
style – possibly set by a previous
command – with the name MYNAME.
If MYNAME is an empty string (
""), the name
of the current style extended with the suffix
-user is taken.
ALTERATION must be a rational number. For each specified ALTERATION, a new accidental is defined which is the concatenation of the ACC-ELEMENTs. For all other alterations where the previous accidental of ALTERATION appears likewise (usually in combination with further symbols), this accidental is also replaced by the new one.
ACC-ELEMENT must be either a code point as an integer number
#xE262), or a character literal (e.g.
or a string of any length (e.g.
Two or more ACC-ELEMENTs are juxtaposed with a padding of 0.12
staff units, but no extra space is inserted between the characters of a
Note that in a SMuFL10 compliant font, accidental symbols
have a zero side-bearing. This also applies to the Basic Latin (ASCII)
characters in the Ekmelos Font.
ekmelicFont = FONTNAME
or with the command line option3
- Set the name of the current notation style as the output filename
suffix for the current
- Draw the name of the current notation style as markup.
- Draw an accidental according to the current notation style as markup. ALTERATION must be a rational number.
- Draw ALTERATION as a fraction arranged vertically (not just a string num/denom) or as an integer if its denominator is 1, with a separate minus sign for a negative value. ALTERATION must be a rational number.
ekmelicFont = "Bravura" \include "ekmel.ily" \language "english" \ekmelicStyle sims
- This sets the predefined Sims notation for 72-EDO, selects the English note names, and draws the accidentals with the Bravura font.
\include "ekmel-24.ily" \ekmelicStyle stz \ekmelicUserStyle myNotation #'( (-3/4 #xE327) (1 #xE262 #xE262))
- This sets the predefined Stein / Zimmermann notation (
stz) for quarter-tones (24-EDO) and modifies it into a user-defined notation with the Sagittal flat 11 medium diesis down symbol (U+E327) for three-quarter-tones flat, amd a concatenation of two sharp symbols (U+E262) for double-sharp.
\include "ekmel-24.ily" \ekmelicStyle stz \ekmelicUserStyle myNotation #`( (,THREE-Q-FLAT #xE327) (,DOUBLE-SHARP #xE262 #xE262))
- This is the same example but it makes use of the corresponding Scheme symbols.
\include "ekmel.ily" \language "english" \ekmelicUserStyle hewm #'( (1 #\x) (-1 "bb") (1/2 #\#) (-1/2 #\b) (1/4 #\^) (-1/4 #\v) (1/6 #\>) (-1/6 #\<) (1/12 #\+) (-1/12 #\-))
- This sets the HEWM (Helmholtz / Ellis / Wolf / Monzo) notation for 72-EDO and selects the English note names.
\include "ekmel-24.ily" \language "nederlands" \ekmelicStyle stz \ekmelicUserStyle stockhausen #'( (3/4 #xED5A) (-3/4 #xED59 #xE260) (1/4 #xED58) (-1/4 #xED59))
- This sets the notation after Karlheinz Stockhausen for 24-EDO with the fractional sharp symbols (U+ED58) and (U+ED5A), and the quarter-tone flat symbol (U+ED59), and selects the Dutch note names.
Further examples of user-defined styles can be found in the file
- Version 3.7 ():
New languages are available in
ekmel.ily("norsk", "suomi", "svenska"). In
ekmel-24.ily, some quarter-tone names of "suomi" are corrected.
- Version 3.6 ():
The note names are revised according to LilyPond 2.22.
New languages are available in
ekmel-24.ily("catalan", "norsk", "suomi", "svenska", "vlaams"), in
ekmel-36.ily("nederlands"), and in
ekmel.ily("nederlands"). Native language names ("català", "español", "português") or their alias names can be used.
- Version 3.5 ():
ekmel-24.ily: The Hába notation for quarter-tones uses the SMuFL glyphs (U+EE64-U+EE69) and the default notation is
- Version 3.4 (): The Hába notation for quarter-tones (24-EDO) and for 1/3-, 1/6-, and 1/12-tones (36 and 72-EDO) is added.
- Version 3.3 (): Definitions to adjust the size of accidentals on grace notes are removed (obsolete since 3.2).
- Version 3.2 (): The output of accidentals is newly implemented (stencil instead of simple text) and the hair-space character (U+200A) is not used any more for padding in composite accidentals. The natural sign for restore and key cancellation now depends on the notation style (not always U+E261).
- Version 3.1 ():
Key signatures are now supported.
ekmel-24.ilydefines an alteration order for key signatures including quarter tones. A new file
ekmel-arabic.ilyis available for Arabic scores (24-EDO) including maqamat (taken from
- Version 3.0 (): A completely revised version that now supports different tunings (12, 19, 24, 31, 36, 48, 72-EDO) by separate include files. Arabic and Persian notation are added for 24-EDO.
See the file
CHANGELOG.txt for older versions.
- ↑Other extensions for LilyPond for the notation of microtonal music which also inspired Ekmelily are microlily by Graham Breed (Sagittal notation) and HE-Lily by Torsten Anders (Helmholtz-Ellis notation).
- ↑abThe file
ekmel-arabic.ilyis a variant of
ekmel-24.ilyfor Arabic scores, like LilyPond's
arabic.lybut with the correct accidentals (U+ED30 - U+ED38 in SMuFL). It supports Arabic maqamat and defines only the Arabic notation and Italian note names, so the commands
\languageare not required.
- ↑abLilyPond produces a warning "no such internal option", which can be ignored.
Warnings can be suppressed with the command line option
rhmuses optional glyphs (U+F600 - U+F605) for the accidentals after Franz Richter Herf and Rolf Maedel as they are not included in SMuFL. They are private supplements in the Ekmelos Font.
msaguses the large double sharp (U+E47D in SMuFL). Hence it is different from
stdeven for 12-EDO.
sthuses optional glyphs (U+F612, U+F613) for the semi-flat symbols. They are private supplements in the Ekmelos Font.
arabicuses the Arabic accidentals (U+ED30 - U+ED38 in SMuFL). See the file
ekmel-arabic.ilywhich supports Arabic maqamat.2
persianuses the Persian accidentals Koron and Sori after Ali-Naghi Vaziri (probably) (U+E460, U+E461 in SMuFL). See Persian music notation by Kees van den Doel for proper Persian microtonal alterations, note names, keys, etc.
habain the 36- and 72-EDO tunings uses optional glyphs (U+F660 - U+F670) for the accidentals after Alois Hába as they are not included in SMuFL. They are private supplements in the Ekmelos Font.
- ↑abSMuFL (Standard Music Font Layout) is a specification for music symbols, developed by the W3C Music Notation Community Group. It uses the Unicode Private Use Area (PUA) starting at code point U+E000.