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Distractions — Music scores with LaTeX

The Editors

Greensleeves with LaTeX

Daniel Taupin, a physicist and also a musician and TeX expert, created an excellent package for typesetting polyphonic music with TeX (and later LaTeX). The project was begun in the 1990's and Daniel and others have continued to develop it. The result is the package known as MusiXTeX, available from CTAN. Daniel Taupin died tragically, in an accident, several years ago, and, to our knowledge, the development of the software was stopped afterwards. Unfortunately, the package is not as well known as it deserves to be, in spite of the very fine results it produces. We decided, therefore, to choose this package for our Distractions column in the hopes of generating interest. For an example we chose one of the best known pieces of Renaissance music, the English traditional Greensleeves, which is presented here in the guitar transcription.

Here is the pdf version of the song: Greensleeves.

... and the source.

There are three steps when using MusiXTeX:
  • The source file is processed first with LaTeX;
  • The program musixflx is run (this program is in the same directory as MusiXTeX and takes one argument, the name of the file without extension);
  • The source is processed once more with LaTeX.


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