Frescobaldi, a LilyPond sheet music editor available on Ubuntu

about Frescobaldi

In the next article we are going to take a look at Frescobaldi. This is a sheet music text editor LilyPond. Its goal is to be powerful, while also trying to be light and easy to use. Frescobaldi is Free Software, and is freely available under the General Public License.

The program is designed to run on all major operating systems, Gnu/Linux, Mac OS X and MS Windows. The name of this program comes from Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583-1643), who is an Italian composer of keyboard music, late Renaissance and early Baroque.

Frescobaldi has a modern user interface with configurable colors, fonts and keyboard shortcuts, which also it will allow us to use multiple versions of LilyPond, automatically selecting the correct version.

General characteristics of Frescobaldi

Frescobaldi's Preferences

  • The program has a text editor with syntax highlighting and auto completion.
  • It also offers a music view with Point & Click advanced.
  • Another feature available is the MIDI player to listen to MIDI files generated by LilyPond.
  • We will can take MIDI capture for music input.
  • It has SnippetManager, which allows you to store and apply text fragments, templates or scripts.
  • is going to give us possibility to use multiple versions of LilyPond, automatically selecting the correct version.
  • It has a Integrated LilyPond Documentation Browser and User’s Guide.
  • has a powerful sheet music assistant to quickly set up a music score.

sheet music assistant

  • It has smart layout control features, such as coloring specific objects in the PDF.
  • We will also have the possibility of import of MusicXML, Midi and ABC.
  • The user interface is modern, with configurable colors, fonts and keyboard shortcuts.
  • The program has been translated into the following languages: Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Czech, Russian, Spanish, Galician, Turkish, Polish, Brazilian Portuguese and Ukrainian.
  • You can change the music from relative to absolute and vice versa. It will also allow us change the language used for note names and rhythm (fold, halve, add/remove points, copy, paste), etc.
  • We will have the possibility to add keys, dynamics and articulation easily, using the quick insert panel.
  • It will give us the possibility update LilyPond syntax using convert-ly.

These are just some of the features of this program. can be consult all of them in detail from the project website.

Install Frescobaldi Music Editor on Ubuntu

frescobaldi working

with APT

Many Gnu/Linux distributions have Frescobaldi in their package manager. On most Debian-based distributions, this program, version 3.0.0, can be installed by opening a terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and running the command:

install frescobaldi with apt

sudo apt update; sudo apt install frescobaldi

This command should be enough to install Frescobaldi and its dependencies. Once the program is installed, you can start looking for the launcher in our team.

fresco baldi pitcher


If you want remove installed program with APT, it is only necessary to open a terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and execute in it:

uninstall frescobaldi apt

sudo apt remove frescobaldi; sudo apt autoremove

Like Flatpack

For install Frescobaldi 3.1.3 via flat pack, it is necessary to have support for this technology in our system. If you use Ubuntu 20.04 and you still don’t have it enabled, you can follow the guide that a colleague wrote on this blog some time ago.

When you can already install this type of packages on your system, it is only necessary to open a terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and execute the command in it:

install frescobaldi with flatpak

flatpak install --user

If there is a new version available, this program can be updated writing:

flatpak --user update org.frescobaldi.Frescobaldi

At the end of the installation, when you want to start the program, you can search for the launcher on your computer, or type in the terminal:

flatpak run org.frescobaldi.Frescobaldi


in case you want uninstall the program, just open a terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and type the command:

uninstall frescobaldi flatpak

flatpak uninstall org.frescobaldi.Frescobaldi

For users who are interested in knowing more about how to use the program, they can go to the documentation that they offer on the project website.

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