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Title: MusiXTeX  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Comparison of scorewriters, TeX, AMS-LaTeX, XyMTeX, List of scorewriters
Collection: Scorewriters, Scorewriters for Linux, Tex
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Attaingnant's "Branle de Poictou" rendered by MusiXTeX (lute tablature and corresponding guitar notation).

MusiXTeX is a suite of open source music engraving macros and fonts that allow music typesetting in TeX.


  • History 1
    • Three-pass system 1.1
    • Spin-offs 1.2
  • References 2
  • External links 3


Macros for typesetting music in TeX first appeared in 1987 (MuTeX) and were limited to one-staff systems. MusiXTeX requires ghostscript.

In 1991, Daniel Taupin[1] created MusicTeX, whose macros allowed the production of systems with multiple staves, but which presented a few problems in controlling the horizontal positioning of notes. MusicTeX used a one-pass compilation.

In 1997 the positioning problems were corrected in MusiXTeX, which includes the external application musixflx to control the horizontal distances. This new module requires a three-pass compilation: TeX, musixflx and TeX again.

Three-pass system

When compiling a TeX source file named file.tex, a file.mx1 is generated, containing information about the distances between staves and bar lengths. This file is processed by the program musixflx, which determines the distances between notes for each beat and writes them in file.mx2, which is used in compiling the final TeX file. Any changes in the score that affect the horizontal distances require file.mx2 to be deleted and all three passes to be performed again; otherwise, only one compilation in TeX is required.


In 1996, Han-Wen Nienhuys and Jan Nieuwenhuizen, who worked in the MusiXTeX PreProcessor (MPP) project since the previous year, decided to create a new music engraving program loosely based on MusiXTeX's concepts, named LilyPond.[2][3] On July 31, 1998, LilyPond 1.0 was released, highlighting the development of a custom music font, Feta, and the complete separation of LilyPond from MusiXTeX.[4]

PMX is a preprocessor for MusiXTeX written by Don Simons.[5]


  1. ^ Daniel Taupin's short biography
  2. ^ "GNU LilyPond Learning Manual: Preface". Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  3. ^ "MusiXTeX PreProcessor README". Retrieved 2010-03-31. 
  4. ^ Nienhuys, Han-Wen (1998-07-31). "GNU LilyPond 1.0 released". gnu-music-discuss mailing list. Retrieved 2010-02-16.
  5. ^

External links

  • MusiXTeX and Related Software
  • Complete MusiXTeX Guide
  • List of programs that import/export to the MusiXTeX format

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