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Chapter 13. Frescobaldi

13.1. Frescobaldi Makes LilyPond Easier
13.2. Requirements and Installation
13.3. Configuration
13.4. Using Frescobaldi
Frescobaldi is an advanced text editor, designed specifically for use with LilyPond source files. Its interface has been crafted in such a way that it aids the average workflow of creating and editing musical scores in LilyPond. Frescobaldi's tight integration with various system tools is similar to the way LilyPond itself is tightly integrated with various other software programs.
Frescobaldi is designed to take advantage of several features of the KDE 4 desktop system. Regular KDE users will immediately recognize Frescobaldi's components as being identical to several other key KDE applications - specifically Kate, Okular, and Konqueror. The key advantage to this approach is that KDE users will already know how to use most of the features of Frescobaldi, because those other applications are not just replicated, but actually used by Frescobaldi. There are many other advantages to this development approach.
For non-KDE users - especially those with older computers, this KDE-based approach may be more of a hassle than a help. An unfortunate side-effect of this development choice is that Frescobaldi has many "dependencies" in KDE packages, meaning that some KDE software will need to be installed in order to use Frescobaldi. This is a significant disadvantage for some users, but the benefits of using Frescobaldi far outweigh the extra hard drive space that will be required.

13.1. Frescobaldi Makes LilyPond Easier

Using LilyPond with Frescobaldi is the recommended method for this User Guide. All three case studies in the "LilyPond" chapter (link? maybe?) use Frescobaldi. This is because the writers feel that Frescobaldi truly makes using LilyPond an easier thing to do.
Here are some of the benefits:
  • The text-editing component (from Kate), PDF-preview component (from Okular), and help file component (from Konqueror) are from applications that you may already know how to use.
  • The one-window setup of the application allows you to view either the source file and its output, or the source file and a help document, side-by-side. This is perfect for today's widescreen monitors.
  • The "Setup new score" tool greatly increases the speed of creating a new score, and offers some advanced configuration options that might otherwise take hours to discover.
  • The "Quick Insert" sidebar on the left-hand side of the window makes it easy to insert articulation, trill, and other marks. These would often otherwise require checking a reference document.
  • The 'LilyPond' menu provides several further tools to help adjust and troubleshoot your scores.
  • Careful integration with system tools allows you to input notes with a MIDI keyboard, listen to the MIDI output of your LilyPond score, and print the PDF file of your score, all from within Frescobaldi. These features are not covered in this Guide.
For more information refer to the Frescobaldi Website at