Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

In LilyPond the syntax to add a sharp to a note is is so that fis is f sharp, and the syntax to add a flat to a note is es so that bes is b flat.

I'm having trouble remembering this; is there a rationale behind this choice of syntax and can it be changed?

share|improve this question
up vote 3 down vote accepted

It's because it's using the default setting of Dutch inflection notation:

Alterations are made with different names: add -is for sharp, and -es for flat (these are Dutch note names, other languages are available). LilyPond figures out where to put accidentals.

The -is and -es are for their relative phonological stresses.

If you want to use another suffix you can change the language setting. For example:

\language "english"

This way if you used English you would mark -s and -f for sharps and flats respectively.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .