5.2 Invoking musicxml2ly

MusicXML is an XML dialect for representing music notation.

musicxml2ly extracts the notes, articulations, score structure, lyrics, etc. from part-wise MusicXML files, and writes them to a .ly file. It is invoked from the command-line.

It is invoked from the command-line as follows,

musicxml2ly [option]… xml-file

Note that by ‘command-line’, we mean the command line of the operating system. See Converting from other formats, for more information about this.

If the given filename is ‘-’, musicxml2ly reads input from the command line.

The following options are supported by musicxml2ly:

-a, --absolute

convert pitches in absolute mode.


print usage and option summary.

-l, --language=LANG

use a different language file ’LANG.ly’ and corresponding pitch names, e.g. ’deutsch’ for deutsch.ly and German note names.


use the lxml.etree Python package for XML-parsing; uses less memory and cpu time.

--nd --no-articulation-directions

do not convert directions (^, _ or -) for articulations, dynamics, etc.


do not convert beaming information, use LilyPond’s automatic beaming instead.


set output filename to file. If file is ‘-’, the output will be printed on stdout. If not given, xml-file.ly’ will be used.


convert pitches in relative mode (default).


be verbose.


print version information.


input file is a zip-compressed MusicXML file.

Other languages: français, español, deutsch.

Application Usage